first cut on propane tank

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by bourbonpcm, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Being a newbie on the forum I was wondering if there was anybody around the KC area that has built or had built a reverse flow smoker out of a propane tank.  That being said, I am trying to find help with the first cut.  After cutting the tank into 2 halves I will be able to burn it out and feel confident with the rest of the build.  Any suggestions will be great!

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Paul, morning and welcome to the forum.... Is there a design of smoker you are looking to build ???  How big is the tank ???   

  3. [​IMG] Search Reverse Flow in the search box up top there. Lots of threads on the subject.
  4. Hi Dave!  Hopefully it's going to be an offset reverse flow with a warming chamber/rib-box over the fire box.  The tank I found at a propane distributor was an old 250 gallon one.  It is a little over 10' in length not counting the rounded ends and 24" in diameter.  Once I get my "drawings" done I will submit for the forums approval...


    Paul (and his "contraption"
  5. Hi Alelover,  I have been lurking on SMF for a little over a year and have read (I think) most of the builds for the reverse flow guys including how to go about cutting and making the first cut on the tank.  That being said, I was wondering if there was anybody local from the forum who could do it or would be able to recommend some place to take it to get the tank cut in half around the diameter.  I'm in a fairly congested part of town and just to be on the safe side I would like some help with it.  I hope to get pics of the tank and trailer up soon.

    Thanks for the interest,

  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Paul, morning again.....  OK... reverse flow.... I thought that was your goal..... I just got concerned about "cutting the tank into 2 halves"...  That is not necessary when building a reverse flow.... What were your thoughts about 2 halves ??  Dave
  7. Sorry bout that, I was going to make my cooking chamber 5', have a 24" fire box, (using the two ends), save the 3' chunk from the middle for a barbeque grill on the other side of the trailer.  Hence the halving of the tank.  I feel pretty confident that if I can just get that "first" cut, then I can burn it out (ridding the propane fumes and other nasty stuff) then I can cut doors and such.

  8. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  9. I am too in process of a cook trailer build, I have cut the door in and have it all ready and here is how it went.......   First when I bought the tank from the tank place, it had been rendered "not rebuildible" because the label was missing, that being said they had already pulled out all the fittings from top of tank about a month prior to me purchasing the tank.  I too had concerns of any left over propane in this tank, so i simply explained to them what i had in mind and asked for any words of wisdom.  the answer was suprising, he said we cut them all the time and there is no chance of explosion, if all fittings have been removed, at most if you try to cut it open right after removing fittings, the you might get a bit of a flare coming out the holes, but after a week or so you will have nothing at all.   when i got back to shop, I marked out door and cut with a circular saw designed to cut steel plate and had NO issues whatsoever!!!!!!  my source for the tank was BLT tanks in kingfisher oklahoma[​IMG]
  10. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Call me a big chicken, but I still haven't worked up enough nerve to try cutting one yet........
  11. NO name calling here!!!  better safe than sorry!!  good luck and post some pics!!

  12. disturbed1

    disturbed1 Smoking Fanatic

    Before cutting you want to make sure all the propane is out of it hook it up to a weedburner and get all the propane out of it after you do that take off the fittings and add dawn detergent and if you want add a chemical called tsp trisodium phosphate this will break down any residual oils in the tanker you can get this at any paint store and most hardware stores ratio for propane is 2pounds per 100 gallons after you add the dawn and the optional tsp fill with water until overflowing this should push out any vapors. drain and you are ready to cut.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  13. okieleo

    okieleo Fire Starter

    I just did this with my 250 gallon propane tank. My tank was recently removed from an old farm. The guy I bought it from stated the complany came out took all of the gauges/connections off and "rendered it not for use". I bought it and took it home filled it with water and dawn soap and the excess came out. I let this set for two weeks and started cutting on it two days ago. I got all of the legs and excess metal off the top to make the outside smooth and then I will be cutting out my doors tomorrow with a circular saw and carbide blade. Some of my grinding and cutting on the top of the tank has been right over the hole openings with sparks going into the chamber without any flame ups.

    Good luck to you.
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do not run the exhaust into the tank .....  Carbon monoxide is explosive......  Run your shop vac on "blow", or leaf blower to remove the fumes...

    The National Fire Protection Association has assigned a flammability rating of 4 (severe fire hazard) to carbon monoxide.
    1. Flash point: Not applicable.
    2. Autoignition temperature: 609 degrees C (1128 degrees F)
    3. Flammable limits in air (percent by volume): Lower, 12.5; upper, 74

    Design your smoker on paper, taking into accounts,  all measurements, where stuff goes....  Calculate the fire box and RF plate, cooking racks etc. so the build goes easy...   In my signature line are calculators to help with the design....  If you need help, ask....  I would hate to see you have to "re-do" stuff....  So would everyone else on the forum....  Our members want you to build the best smoker there is...   

    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  15. okieleo

    okieleo Fire Starter

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for the save on the exhaust gases. I edited my post and just removed it as I wouldnt want somebody reading the above without catching what you said. [​IMG]


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