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porkingINpublic
05-21-2012, 10:40 AM
ok so i am taking the plunge and getting a 250 gallon propane tank. i've already got the trailer (small lawnmower trailer with wood flooring) and i'm looking to build a complete set up trailer with sinks and working area on teh backside.

any pointers and tips i should know before cutting on this thing? Should I try to insulate the fire box or just get thick steel?

reverse flow or not? what the heck is reverse flow and how does it work!? :laugh:

thanks for the advice!

tx_hellraiser
05-21-2012, 10:50 AM
what about making a water trough inside it below the racks

razrbakcrzy
05-21-2012, 11:11 AM
Try this for and explination!

porkingINpublic
05-21-2012, 11:47 AM
that is a great explanation of the two styles... I have heard if you do the reverse flow you don't need a water pan.. not sure though.

if you do reverse flow does the diffuser take up the entire width of the smoker?

razrbakcrzy
05-21-2012, 11:52 AM
that is a great explanation of the two styles... I have heard if you do the reverse flow you don't need a water pan.. not sure though.

if you do reverse flow does the diffuser take up the entire width of the smoker?

it is solid for atleast the first half of cooker and might have increasing in size holes or slits/slots in the second half of the cooker or it could be solid with about a 8-10" gap at the far end of the cooker depends on the manufacturer. The idea is to make the heat and smoke travel the length of the cooker so it will mellow out before it gets released into the upper cooking chamber and then will have to travel all the way back across the food and cooking surface before exiting.

I also would not use a water trough in a reverse flow although some like M. M. swear by them...

NRA4Life
05-21-2012, 11:58 AM
Tip - don't blow yourself up cutting it.
Yes, insulate the firebox.
Yes, make it reverse flow.
No water pan needed with reverse flow.

porkingINpublic
05-21-2012, 12:09 PM
nra, i'm gonna try my best not to die! lol i'm going to fill it up with water first to make sure.

NRA4Life
05-21-2012, 12:44 PM
Porking - here is a recent thread on that subject http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132712&highlight=cutting+propane

But I'd definitely go reverse flow and insulate the firebox.

porkingINpublic
05-21-2012, 01:20 PM
looks good! I'm thinking I might do the fill w/water and dish soap a few times, then chalk out what I want and take it to someone to do the initial cuts (doors, fire box opening, and smoke stack...) I can do the welding but I'm kinda afraid the cuts would be jagged.

Panthers65
05-21-2012, 03:24 PM
Tip - don't blow yourself up cutting it.
Yes, insulate the firebox.
Yes, make it reverse flow.
No water pan needed with reverse flow.

pretty much sums it up, although number one is probably far more important than the other 3.


Then again, I've never used a water pan in my normal, non-reverseflow offset, dunno why you would need one in a reverse flow?

porkingINpublic
05-21-2012, 05:51 PM
Ok here's the new question.... 250 gal tank or a 120ish gallon tank?

I can see pros and cons to both. I can get either tomorrow so what would u recommend.

gusibole
05-21-2012, 06:13 PM
Here are a few pic of a reverse flow I built over the winter. Firebox 3/8 thick, 16" pipe, 31 inches in length. Smoke chamber 1/4 " thick, 24" pipe, 41 inches in length. Baffle is 1/4' plate and adjustable baffle is 1/8"thick. It holds temps beautifully. I love it. If ya got any questions PM me.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v41/raidermombcb/gus/smoker10.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v41/raidermombcb/gus/smoker14.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v41/raidermombcb/gus/SMOKER7.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v41/raidermombcb/gus/10.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v41/raidermombcb/gus/smoker6.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v41/raidermombcb/gus/smoker5.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v41/raidermombcb/gus/12.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v41/raidermombcb/gus/ReverseFlowHorizontalSmoker-Cooker_cropped.jpg

Crazy Tex
05-21-2012, 07:57 PM
Ok here's the new question.... 250 gal tank or a 120ish gallon tank?

I can see pros and cons to both. I can get either tomorrow so what would u recommend.


I got the 250.. how big is the 120? also, how many people are you planning on cooking for. That should determine how big of a smoker you need.

porkingINpublic
05-21-2012, 08:21 PM
Mainly just comps but possibly starting legit catering next summer.... I'm sure I don't "need" the 250 gallon but I'd hate to wish I had gotten the 250 gallon tank later on

gusibole
05-21-2012, 08:29 PM
Go with the 250 young Skywalker!:thumb:

Smokendink71
05-21-2012, 08:33 PM
My 120's that I have are horizontal they are 24" diameter and 55" long, good size for putting out a lot of food. 250's are 30" diameter and 94" in length, overkill if you're just using it for family in my opinion.

Smokendink71
05-21-2012, 08:36 PM
what are you getting your 120's and 250's for price wise, I can get either for $50 from a place by me. 500's are $75 and 1000's for $140

Meat & Heat
05-21-2012, 08:53 PM
I would go with the bigger tank, better to have to much than not enough. As far as cutting any fuel tank first rinse and drain about halfway then get aprox 2-3lbs of dry ice and drop in through any of the holes. Wait until you get gasses coming out of the holes then you are ok to cut. The co2 from the dry ice is an inert gas so now combustion can happen.
Just curious how much for the tank I am building a trailer rig right now as well and was going to use a 500 gal tank but couldn't fing one so I had a large plae or 3/16 rolled. Mine will be 6'x28" with a 2'x2' firebox and warmer on top.
Anyway goo luck on you build.

Meat & Heat
05-21-2012, 09:01 PM
Hey forgot to mention yes insulate the firebox. You could either use hi temp insulation or fire bricks on the inside. As far as cutting the doors I have built two and a grinder and a cutoff wheel work great just make sure you go slow and take you time and it will be much better than a plasma or a cutting torch.

gusibole
05-21-2012, 09:18 PM
I would go with the bigger tank, better to have to much than not enough. As far as cutting any fuel tank first rinse and drain about halfway then get aprox 2-3lbs of dry ice and drop in through any of the holes. Wait until you get gasses coming out of the holes then you are ok to cut. The co2 from the dry ice is an inert gas so now combustion can happen.
Just curious how much for the tank I am building a trailer rig right now as well and was going to use a 500 gal tank but couldn't fing one so I had a large plae or 3/16 rolled. Mine will be 6'x28" with a 2'x2' firebox and warmer on top.
Anyway goo luck on you build.

Hey forgot to mention yes insulate the firebox. You could either use hi temp insulation or fire bricks on the inside. As far as cutting the doors I have built two and a grinder and a cutoff wheel work great just make sure you go slow and take you time and it will be much better than a plasma or a cutting torch.


Most excellent info!

slowrollin
05-21-2012, 10:02 PM
Im a pipe welder by trade who welds on live gas lines all the time. Im not bragging just know how to do it safely. Get a bottle of nitrogen or any welding gas. They are all inert meaning they displace oxygen. Fill nitrogen from the bottom as it is heavier than air leaving the top unplugged to push out any gasses. If at all possible buy a lot of sawzall blades and cut it that way. It may take longer but your loved ones will be thankful that u took the extra time. Leave the gas on while cutting remember no oxygen no boom! The water trick does work but some gasses impregnate steel and will still seep out once the water is gone. Be careful my friend. I want to see picks once its done! Feel free to ask any questions.
Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk 2

porkingINpublic
05-22-2012, 09:17 AM
thanks for the good info!!! I can get 250 gal tanks for $50 as well. Can't beat that price! I'm going to go with the 250 since I do have smaller smokers for at home. I'm tired up loading up my home smokers for comps. It would be much easier to just role up and unhitch. I plan on putting my UDS on the trailer somewhere for overnight cooks, and someday upgrading to a BWS.

My next question is how do you get the metal trim to wrap around the doors... Do you just use clamps and locking pliers to hold it and gradually weld it? I could just see that being a problem...

Also, while I'm on a role here... would you attach the fire bricks to the inside of the smoking chamber? and if so how? gorilla glue? bolts? I just don't wanna screw up.
thanks

Bluehawg
05-22-2012, 10:10 AM
thanks for the good info!!! I can get 250 gal tanks for $50 as well. Can't beat that price! I'm going to go with the 250 since I do have smaller smokers for at home. I'm tired up loading up my home smokers for comps. It would be much easier to just role up and unhitch. I plan on putting my UDS on the trailer somewhere for overnight cooks, and someday upgrading to a BWS.

My next question is how do you get the metal trim to wrap around the doors... Do you just use clamps and locking pliers to hold it and gradually weld it? I could just see that being a problem...

Also, while I'm on a role here... would you attach the fire bricks to the inside of the smoking chamber? and if so how? gorilla glue? bolts? I just don't wanna screw up.
thanks
I used a ring roller and kept torquing and turning until I got the arc right to fit around the door. I cut the two sides of the door first and then welded the side bands, then I cut the bottom and welded the band on it. That way, when I cut the top of the door it didn't fall into the tank to be wrestled out. Once the top was cut, I mounted the top band and then the hinges over the top. That way, once I got the whole thing banded and the hinges mounted it was lined up where it needed to be.

Crazy Tex
05-22-2012, 10:22 AM
My next question is how do you get the metal trim to wrap around the doors... Do you just use clamps and locking pliers to hold it and gradually weld it? I could just see that being a problem...

thanks

Gotta be careful when welding the trip on the outside as well... it will want to change the arc of the door (the welding on the outside will pull it outwards) Just talking from experience... Wished I had figured in to building an insulated box before I did it.. but that was a while back. maybe I can modify it at a later date.

And y'all can get those tanks for $50?? Wow.. I had to drive like 3 hours for both my tanks and paid over $100 for them. I guess they are scarce around here.

porkingINpublic
05-22-2012, 10:30 AM
thanks! I am looking for peoples experiences so maybe I don't make the same mistakes.

Whats your thoughts on gorilla glueing fire brick on the firebox?

brewman114
05-22-2012, 11:02 AM
I have built a reverse flow from a 250. My life saving advice is to spend a $100 bucks or so and have the tank steamed out to make it safe to cut on.

Meat & Heat
05-22-2012, 11:41 AM
As far as the fire brick go are you going to have a warmer on top? If so what I did on mine was just put bricks in the bottom and the sides. I then welded angle in for for ashpan and frie grate to ride on and if you cut the brick right and make a snug fit they should't move. I left the top of mine uninsulated so I can get heat to the warmer.
The strapping on the outside if you are using a propane tank it should be 1/4" so all you have to do is have a few clamps and clamp it down nice and tight and bend to the radius of the door then tack in place. I would caution welding the whole thing or it will warp just some good tacks every few inches. You can also get some high temp silicone and put a bead around the underside of the straping to help get a good seal on the doors. You could aslo most likley use that for the fire bricks.

Post some pice when you get going.
I will try to get some up of my build soon.

porkingINpublic
05-22-2012, 01:05 PM
yea that would be great. I'd love to see how you have the fire bricks set in there...

I plan on doing a warmer box... but that part is just theory at this point. I'm more thinking about how to get the doors and cuts going right now.

Smokendink71
05-22-2012, 04:18 PM
the place I by my tanks from clean them out for me so no worries about a dead dink lol

porkingINpublic
05-23-2012, 03:04 PM
is there some kind of special blade to get for using a sawzaw or circular saw to cut it? I have a torch but from my research i'm gathering the torch method doesn't leave a smooth cut...

also, as far as insulating, anyone every used the expanding foam in a can? good stuff, or great stuff? something like that.... i thought that might be perfect for spraying in there and letting it fill in around the internal firebox...

porkingINpublic
05-23-2012, 03:10 PM
here is a link to the fire block product i'm talking about...

http://greatstuff.dow.com/

razrbakcrzy
05-23-2012, 03:23 PM
is there some kind of special blade to get for using a sawzaw or circular saw to cut it? I have a torch but from my research i'm gathering the torch method doesn't leave a smooth cut...

also, as far as insulating, anyone every used the expanding foam in a can? good stuff, or great stuff? something like that.... i thought that might be perfect for spraying in there and letting it fill in around the internal firebox...

Check sheet 2 of this at the bottom for the term isocyanate:

http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_089a/0901b8038089aa69.pdf?filepath=styrofoam/pdfs/noreg/179-15045.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc


Then check this out (page 4. heading 3.0 potential routes of exposure & health effects) about isocyanates & heat exposure.
Also page 7 last bullet point.

http://www.actsafe.ca/wp-content/uploads/resources/pdf/Isocyanates.pdf

porkingINpublic
05-23-2012, 03:34 PM
well there goes that great idea.. .thought i was onto something! why make a product called fire block but yet it can't be around fire?! feck!