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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-04-2009, 11:00 AM   #1
countyliner
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Default Design Ideas Please

A buddy of mine just hooked me up with this old propane tank.

HPIM0565.jpg


What I would like to do is to make a psuedo drum smoker/ steak and burger grill.

The design in my head has two side-opening, french style doors (cut from somewhere below the center line to about 3/4 of the way to the top), two cooking grates, and some sort of semi-internal fire box with a circular baffle that would double as a surface to place coals for grilling.

The tank has an outside diameter of 41" and I'm guessing about a 39-40" inside diameter. (I put the 5 gallon bucket next to it for scale) It will need to be raised at least 24" to put it at a comfortable hieght.

What I would really appreciate from you guys are some design ideas, mainly airflow, vent, and firebox considerations. This could be a really cool project and I want to keep the "Damn, I wish I had thought of that before" to a minimum.

Thanks!


ps; gonna follow all safety precautions before cutting into this thing.
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Unread 08-04-2009, 11:07 AM   #2
Thawley
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Similar designs have been known to put out a lot of heat.



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Unread 08-04-2009, 11:36 AM   #3
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That is gonna be one heck of a kettle grill. You might need a catwalk to reach the middle of the grate.
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Unread 08-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #4
Norcoredneck
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Ranch kettle type cooker. with a tiered cooking rack flip up bottom grill to add coals.
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Unread 08-04-2009, 08:43 PM   #5
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Would be an awsome big green egg! haha or something similar.
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Unread 08-04-2009, 10:16 PM   #6
landarc
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How heavy are the walls on that thing, I am not sure you could make a lid out of the top. I would imagine you would need doors on at least two sides.
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Unread 08-05-2009, 11:17 PM   #7
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Not sure how thick the walls are but I'm definately going with side opening doors rather than a lift up lid/door. Got a pretty nasty injury as a kid when my uncle's home-made propane-tank bbq pit door fell closed on my hand. If it had fallen closed on my fingers rather than my wrist, it surely would have cut (or mashed) them off.

One tip for anyone making a pit out of an old propane tank....dont clean it out near the house! I was able to unscrew the pressure valve with a large crescent wrench and a cheater pipe. There was only residual gas left in the tank but it was enough to stink the whole place up. That nasty, rotten egg, oniony smell. I filled it up with the garden hose to chase all the gas out and it still smelled worse than a skunk fart. Pumped it out, rolled it back behind the shed and refilled it along with a gallon of Mean Green degreaser and two bottles of Dawn liquid and I'm still catching a whiff. The wife is not pleased.
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Unread 08-05-2009, 11:52 PM   #8
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I'd paint it black and weld a bunch of pieces of thick rebar to it and make it look like a German Ship mine!! That's a cool prop tank. Never seen one like that. I sold my 500 gallon tank cause the farking metal was pretty dang thick and heavy.

Here's what I see. First off, I'd save that lid that covers all of the valves. I'd try to make a round UDS out of it and use that lid for the coal basket. Just needs holes put into it with a torch or plasma cutter maybe. I'd go with a large bottom door to access the fire basket on one end and then maybe three vents on the bottom. For the top access, I like the French door idea of yours and since it is round..........I would recommend a lazy suzan rack set up on the inside. Best way to access everything and make two, maybe even three tiers of racks. Top center vent and a grease drain on the bottom. I would love to have a tank like that. I would forego the baffle and do with a UDS.....meat over the coals approach. you better stick around and show us pics fo the process. I want to see it finished. Good luck.
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Unread 08-06-2009, 12:26 AM   #9
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Default Tank thickness

I am going to take a guess that the skin is .188" which is 3/16 of an inch or probably even thinner. Propane is not a highly compressed gas, it does not take allot of pressure to keep it as a liquid. Remember the gas off the top of the liquid is what is used as fuel. The safety valves are not high pressure at all. The valves are designed to vent way before the tank ruptures. If that being the case the I.D would be 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch less that O.D. I have cut up some very large air tanks in the one hundred plus cubic foot size for very large commerical pits. One gallon is 7.48 cubic feet, these tanks were only 1/4 inch material.

Think about some sliding drawers to pull out and push in, that would stop the long reach.

Keep us in the loop I love to see how folks work out problems with good design for ease of use. Sometimes it take awhole village to build a pit, yea a play on the old addage of "it takes awhole village to raise a child" but it is the same. Take a little here, learn some over there, and soon you have the picture in your mind of how to build this back yard beauty.

So is everyone who helps with the design process get to come over for brisket and beer?
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Unread 08-06-2009, 12:43 AM   #10
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Damn, I can't stop thinking about that tank!!! Here's what I think about the grates. Course yours will have different size grates to match the diameter of its location in the tank and not made of polymer.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000KPYQPA/...SIN=B000KPYQPA

You maximize space and can access by spinning the grates and therefore you will not need a big door. You could weld the center support to the top of the tank and the grates will then just hang. The only problem.................and its a big one.........you would need to cut the tank in half to install these kind of grates and then weld it back together. I dont know how insane you are.............but I;m insane enough to go that extra mile to get that grate setup. It would be so kick arse to have two or three racks of varying size inside that pit. Dang I'd love a tank like that.
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Unread 08-06-2009, 01:29 AM   #11
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I had a buddy who came across something like this. Here is a video. It's Roughly 2 1/2 minutes into it.

http://www.ffwd.com/videos/121726631...2793&nextvideo



Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBrisket View Post
I'd paint it black and weld a bunch of pieces of thick rebar to it and make it look like a German Ship mine!! That's a cool prop tank. Never seen one like that. I sold my 500 gallon tank cause the farking metal was pretty dang thick and heavy.
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Unread 08-06-2009, 01:49 AM   #12
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kettle GRILLS are fun, have a good time.
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Unread 08-06-2009, 02:23 AM   #13
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You know there is a BGE Mothership, well this proves there is a fathership wondering about.
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Unread 08-06-2009, 02:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcoredneck View Post
I had a buddy who came across something like this. Here is a video. It's Roughly 2 1/2 minutes into it.

http://www.ffwd.com/videos/121726631...2793&nextvideo


I watched the entire thing. Talk about some memories. Just what I was thinking.
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Unread 08-06-2009, 03:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBrisket View Post
........I would recommend a lazy suzan rack set up on the inside.

That was what I was thinking too.

The shape is wild. It kind of resembles a huge M67. With a tall smoke stack it will look like a cherry bomb.
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