Compressor tank to a backyard smoker

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by killerb468, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. I was given a compressor tank, and my old charbroiler smoker has about had it. I am a newbie and will need some advice along the way. I have to get into the pit calc and see if I can come up with some good numbers. The tank is a 50 or 60 gallon the bad is it is thin only an 1/8" thick. I will learn on this one and enjoy it for a while a build another one. The tank itself has a main body that has a circumference of 64" OD, the main part of the tank 36" long with 2 dome caps that are 5" giving it any overall length of 46". I have some 1/4" sheet of hot roll steel will that be good for the fire box? Or should I get cold roll steel? I will put together a drawing of what I would like it to be like.

    Question: should I build a stand or use my old charbroiler stand it will fit on there pretty well. It is the same length as the 2 grills that are on it now. I want it to be a reverse  flow and build the grease trap into the RF plate. Also another newbie question, since this won't cost me much to build what are your thoughts on me using the 3 stainless burners from the charbroiler grill and have them under the RF plate to act as a prewarmer? If not recommended or not even a good idea let me know, I still want to build a killer smoker. Thanks in advance 


    Thanks Dave for checking my numbers. I used a piece of rope to measure the circumference of the tank and measured the wrong end. The circ of the tank is 64" not 51"
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  2. Welcome, good questions. Totally up to you about using your char-broiler stand. If it were me I would build everything new including the stand or legs if you have the material. That way you can place them where you want without having to do any modifications and second would the Char-broiler legs be heavy enough to support your new smoker ? I never thought of burners under my RF plate, Mine warms up pretty fast and to help it along I use my weed burner to start my fire and go over the grates and inside to help in warming it up. Not sure how all that plumbing under the RF plate would affect the air flow. You would need to make your RF plate or plates removable in order to service the burners if you decide to go that route. Be sure and post pictures as you go.

  3. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Bill good luck on the build

    Click "Meet Frank" and "Frankensmoker Build" in my signature, this may help answer some questions.

    Don't be afraid to hit that search button and do tons of homework.
  4. Fellas thanks for the replies!! I have done a ton of searching I need to plug in to the pit calc and get busy. With using the compressor tank that is 1/8" and going to have roughly a 40"x 21" cooking surface, I should be able to get away with a 3/16" SFB shouldn't I?

    Squib I have read that build at least 5x's, and that was before I was registered to this site just browsing the forum. A lot like the build I want to do, whether I use the propane burner idea or get to anxious to "Q" and just build a nice and basic smoker. Either way I will be happy, just how way do I want to go learning on my first one.
  5. well I spent some time on the pit calc and ran 2 versions, let me know what you think is best and what to tweek. THANKS!!!


    D19.750" L40"

    CC 12247.96ci   Rec FB 4082.65ci

    FB 16"H 16"W 18"L   Specified 4608.00ci   Rec 4082.65ci   112.9%

    Chimney 4" pipe 18.34"L  230.40CV

    FB intake 13.82 sq in with 5 round intakes 

    Half moon 9.69"   FB to CC 36.86 sq in

    50 Gallon

    CC 11550.00ci   Rec FB 3850.00ci

    FB 14"H 16"W 18"L Specified 4032.00ci  Rec 3850  104.7%

    Chimney 4" pipe 16.05"L  201.60CV

    FB intake 12.10 sq in with 4 round intakes

    Half moon 9.06"  FB to CC 32.26 sq in
  6. Looking forward to hearing your progress and pic's

  7. There is nothing like cooking on the first smoker you build, take your time and pay attention to all the little details that make it what and how you want. Then you will have a smoker you, your family and friends will enjoy for years. (or at least until you decide you want to build another one)

  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bill, morning......   Installing burners in a RF smoker......    I think they should have flame sensors on the burners....   If you have a flame out you would have a  propane bomb...   If the burners were in the open air, not such a big problem.... enclosed space, big problem...  My thoughts are from a safety aspect.... 

  9. I walked around for a while with no eyebrow's or hair in front of my left ear due to the burner in #19, all I remember is the blue flash.  Funny, I was watching the vents in the firebox door, and every so often smoke would puff out of them. When I opened the door to see what the heck was going on it went off.

    At the time, I had no fresh air supply going to the outside of the burner except what came through the firebox, and that morning I had fired up the propane to preheat it while I stoked my wood fire. Once the fire got big enough it sucked to much of the oxygen out of the air that there was not enough to support the 5 ft burner,. My verticle smokers always had the burners situated between the vents, so it had never happened or given me a reason to think about that before...

    So if you do install a burner, make sure to come up with a way to supply enough fresh, cool air to feed the flames. preferably through the bottom lowest point of the chamber, so as if there is any UN burnt propane gas in the chamber, it has a way to run down and out

    , .. burners are cool, .(..I get mesmerized just watching them.)  but you got to be carefull!

  10. Dave and Wizzard I believe I will stay away from the pre heater at this time until I get more experienced with the smoker.

    Dave I edited my first post, I used the wrong end of the rope I measured the circumference with my cir is 64" with a 20 diameter with giving the 1/8" wall leaves and inside diam of 19.750. I never checked the cir to pie to get diam, I used to digital levels and measured the outside of the tank that way to get my diameter.
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I went to school, I learned on a slide rule.....  Dave
  12. Dave got me on the right track with my numbers so I plugged them in the calc. I came up with the ideal version for the fire box but would like it a tad bigger due to weather. here are my new numbers with the CC staying the same just 2 different FB's. With such a small cooking chamber will I benefit from having a bigger FB?

    Cylinder style 

    CC D20" x L39"  CC 12246.00ci

    Rec FB 4082.00ci

    sq FB H15.062" x W15.062" x L18"

    specified FB 4083.55  Rec FB 4082.00ci  100%

    4" pipe for chimney CV204.18ci  chimney length 20.38"

    FB intake 12.25 sq in with 5 round intakes

    Half moon diameter is 9.12"  32.67 sq in

    here are the numbers for the slightly bigger FB 

    FB H16" x W16" x L20"

    Specified FB 5120.00ci Rec FB for CC above is 4082.00  125.4%

    4" pipe for chimney CV256.00ci  chimney length 20.38"

    FB intake 15.36 sq in with 6 round intakes

    Half moon diameter 10.21" 40.96 sq in
  13. Got the tank in the garage picking up steel tomorrow. Should have decent progress by next weekend.

    Here is a rough drawing
  14. Here is my current grill/ smoker with some mods

    And some Qview from Labor day. 6# BB rubbed with Kosher salt 3 racks of St. Louis style ribs with a mixture of McKormics pork rub, cayenne pepper and brown sugar. And if course red spuds and steamed cob.
  15. The new rig will take up the space and a little more of the chargriller. Cant wait!! Mama then can have a smaller propane grill on the deck for the quick cooks.
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking good.....   If you like "seared" meat, check into the infra red grills....   I want one but..........  I have so much cooking stuff here now, I would have to sleep in the barn....
  17. Dave we have been looking at those infrared grills had some chicken that was cooked on on a few weeks back at a pool party. Wasn't bad at all. That is funny about all your cook wear in the barn. I was the same way when i drag raced and offroaded. Smoking is a way much cheaper hobby including building them.
  18. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    Infrared grills are the cats meow!!!  I finally got one a couple of years ago and love it!  All the drippings go into the heat deflector pan or whatever the heck they call them and no juices get on the burners to cause rust and crud that shortens their life.  No flare ups either even when grilling at "Flamethrower" setting.[​IMG]   The only down side I have found is that if I want to really sear something, I have to run the burners on both sides even if I'm only cooking a couple of steaks on one side.  Otherwise it just doesn't get hot enough
  19. That's a nice tank, should make a nice smoker...take your time and do it right!!!

    You all were taking about gas grills....I took my old ducane grill and drilled out the stainless steel tube burner and put a high pressure regulator on it....wanna talk about a grill !!!  That thing will cherry the stainless steel grates if you turn it up high enough, but will still turn down and run at low heat just fine.   I just got tired of how you have to keep closing the lid to build up heat to get a good sear mark.  Anyway, just an ideal for anyone that wants to take a "so so" grill and turn it into a "kick ass" grill!  And it sounds cool too !
  20. I have a Coastal (no longer in business) started in Fort Worth sold and Moved to Tulsa. All stainless except for the cast iron burners, just installed my last set grill is 13 years old and we use it 3 4 times a week every week rain or shine. This has been the best grill I have ever owned, BUT when these burners are worn out I may go the high pressure route myself. I think I would enjoy the extra heat to put a good sear on things. It to has a pan below the grates and above the burners so no flame ups. Let me know how your high pressure conversion turns out.


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