500+ gallon tank RF first build

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by krackers50, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. krackers50

    krackers50 Newbie

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all the great info. I am starting up my first trailer smoker build and will need some assistance.

    I am from Australia and smoking meats isn't really a big thing here but I went to the USA and now have a taste for it.

    So here is the newest member of the family an old gas tank which measures 1.5m (60inch) x 3m (118inches).
    I bought the tank but I haven't picked it up yet. I also just bought a makita metal cutting circular saw for the job.

    Just a quick question do you all insulate your FB or how thick steel do you use? 1/4 or 1/2inch?

  2. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Will be starting a rf project sometime soon, I picked up quarter inch for the firebox
  3. rotor head

    rotor head Fire Starter

    Looks like it going to be a fun build good luck with it.

    I used 3/8 on mine. insulating is really up to you if I lived in a place where it got cold and snowed I would insulate. From what I read during my research for my build if you lived in a warm place it wasn't needed.    
  4. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    From what I have been reading insulation is a good idea no matter where you are. The insulation helps put the heat into the cook chamber....instead of the atmosphere.
  5. rotor head

    rotor head Fire Starter

    I see what your saying. I just undersood that in a hot area you will use less fuel anyways you don't have to keep feeding it fuel to over come the cold.   
  6. Be looking forward to watching your build.  I use 1/4 "  works quite well.  Check out Dave Omak's pit calculator it is better that Feldon's for RF's   I have one but still putting the finishing on it to make it user friendly.

  7. krackers50

    krackers50 Newbie

    Hey Guys,

    Sorry a lot has gone on between when i bought my gas tank to trying to build my smoker. I finished off the trailer a couple of months ago but haven't started on the tank yet. Have a look at the trailer and let me know what you think. 

    By the way i am a amateur at welding so no judgement :)

    Don't worry about the gold paint i will do the whole thing in black once all the welding is finished as it's the only paint i had.
  8. krackers50

    krackers50 Newbie

    Here is a picture of me picking up the tank with my new trailer on it's first ride. I still have to sort out the wiring a bit better but i don't want to do that until i have welded the tank on.

  9. krackers50

    krackers50 Newbie

    I got the tank off the trailer and it's been sitting open for a couple of months. I opened up all the ports and got ride of all the left over gas and all the smelly sludge. I have filled it up with water and drained it - so there should be no more gas left in it.

    The tank is 2200 litres (581 gallons). 

    My next step is cutting the doors and welding the hinges so i can burn it all out. 

    i have done a bit of reading and correct me if i am wrong. 

    Step 1 - mark all the doors up in tape as a guild line

    2 - cut the top of the door

    3 - weld a hinge above the cut line, taking into account i will have a steel strip with fire rope underneath to seal the doors. 

    4 - once hinge is welded on cut the rest of the door

    My real question is at this stage - how big should i make the doors?

    I was thinking probably having 2 doors instead of 3 as it's a lot more work.

    Can you please tell me what size doors do people recommend? I think width wise it will be easy as i will cut  2 inch from the weld seam and piece in the middle about 20 cm (7 inches). Really i just need to know how high and do i need to cut?

    I was thinking maybe cutting not directly at the top of the tank but maybe 7 inches below and the bottom cut until it hits the half way point?
  10. If you search this form for 500 gallon tank builds you should find lots of info.
    When I built mine I made two doors that overlap so there is one big opening.
  11. ahumadora

    ahumadora Smoking Fanatic

    How many racks are you going to stuff in that monster?

    I just finished a 500 Gallon and cut it about  220 mm from 12 o'clock and 80 mm below 3 o'clock.

    Left a 4" gap in the center.     I am running 3 racks in there though.

    I don't need a counter weight on the doors.

    Can you get a video of cutting the doors with a a circular saw.   I want to watch the part where the blade gets jammed.  ;)

    Failing that use a 9" grinder with 1/8" cutt off wheel if you don't have a plasma cutter.
  12. krackers50

    krackers50 Newbie

    I made some hinges last night after work. (Sorry neighbors). I did the sketch on photoshop, printed it , then cut them out using band saw, grinder and handheld cold saw.

    The hinges will need a bit of work to make them sit well before i weld them. Probably need to cut an arv at the bottom which with mirror the tank.

    I'll try and cut the doors with the cold saw. I have a plasma cutter but I think mine has always struggled to work well so I don't use it much.

    Thanks for the advise on the doors. I'll go with your measurements and see how I go.

    The tank is at a mates farm so I want to cut the doors out before he has a big bonfire where I can put the tank on top of. Should I be carful of excess heat bending the tank? I mean this will be a huge bonfire.

    I think it might be wise to just use some of the wood to burn the inside and slightly around it. Thought?

  13. ahumadora

    ahumadora Smoking Fanatic

    Don't get too carried away and heat your tank until it warps.

    I find once the doors are cut out and tank is open for a few days most of the smell goes.

    Usually I run the temp to 400F or so on the first run to see if anything warps and clean out any smell.
  14. krackers50

    krackers50 Newbie

  15. krackers50

    krackers50 Newbie

    Doors almost cut but hinges are welded on and installed. And yes the cold saw jammed the saw blade like no tomorrow :)
  16. ahumadora

    ahumadora Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah, this ain't my first rodeo with a steel horse!   Been there done that  ;)

    Don't go gettin all carried away welding the flange solid to the door.    Do as Dave O suggest and every 4 " notch the door a little with the grinder.  Clamp your flange onto the door and put a small weld where the notch is on the INSIDE.  After you are done touch it with the grinder to remove anything sticking up on the weld.   You will have a clean looking door seal for not much extra work.

Share This Page