First ever build. Thoughts, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by rob989_69, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. rob989_69

    rob989_69 Meat Mopper

    I finally got my grubby mitts on a 60 gallon air compressor tank. Tank is actually in excellent shape but whoever had it cut off the motor and now it's just asking to be used as a smoker.

    Let me start by saying I have ABSOLUTELY no experience working with metal. My end result is "hopefully" something along the lines of a Lang 48 patio. So, to the questions.

    1. How difficult is it to cut doors and fire box opening using an angle grinder? If I can save money by doing it vs finding someone with a plasma cutter and paying them I'll do it as long as it's not going to mangle the door. Also, I know propane tanks need to be handled with care when cutting into them for obvious reasons, do I need to worry about that with this air compressor tank?

    2. Finances are not unlimited unfortunately. So, I basically have 2 options. I can buy all the necessary metal, and then find someone to put it together for me. Or, I can purchase a cheap flux core welder and try to do it myself. Will a flux core be a good tool for this type of project though?

    3. I'm in Rochester NY, anyone have some time and welding abilities???? LOL!
  2. rob989_69

    rob989_69 Meat Mopper

    And here's a few pics of the tank.

  3. randya

    randya Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Hopefully someone from Rochester NY will contact you.  If you never did this type of project before you will have growing pains but it is still fun. If OK to just cut away as far as the tank. It will be safe.

    This size compressor tanks are not that thick a metal cut wheel will work, but you will go through a lot of them.

    I would lay out the project as to what you want and complete my material list.  Metal is very high now and hopefully you have a scrap yard in your area.  That will help on the cost too.

    If you were close to Palmetto Florida I would give you a hand.

    Good look!
  4. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    The tank looks good.  I'd like to find one that size so I could replace my Charbroiler before the thin metal rusts out.  My grill is in pretty good shape, but the firebox metal is so thin I'm afraid that it's not going to last much longer.
  5. rob989_69

    rob989_69 Meat Mopper

    randya, thanks for the reply. I think I'm going to go to Harbor Freight and pick up a cheapo grinder, and they sell a 6 pack of wheels for 6 bucks I think. I've pretty much got the design down in my head. There is a place that sells surplus at reduced rates, not a scrap yard, but as good as I can get around here.

    hdflame, I looked high and low, almost gave up and found this by chance on CL. I almost settled for a 33 gallon but this came up. Just keep your eyes peeled, you'll find one sooner or later.
  6. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    I have a local gas company that's going to give me a 250 gal to mount on a trailer, but I'd like to try something a little smaller first for practice and because I need a smaller one for when I'm cooking just for the family.

    Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out.
  7. just my 2cents but I would stay away from the harbor freight disks.
    I am building an rf smoker for a friend out of an oil tank. I had bought a bunch of harbor freight disks cheap at a parking lot sale last year and after cutting out half the door using up a makita wheel that had been in my grinder for a while already. I used seven harbor freight wheels to do the same amount of cutting I accomplished with one partially used makita wheel. the makita wheels run $2.25 each vs. around $1/each with the time used chancing them as well.
    the $20 harbor freight grinder I bought several years back, while not as nice and smooth running as my makita still works fine.
  8. I cut all my doors and openings using a Dewalt angle grinder through a .250 thick tank, I had no problems but have had some experience.  I use the 6" Dewalt wheels .040 thick and I think they work the best from what I have tried.  I would stay away from cheap wheels, beside them wearing quickly I have had to many come apart, at 10,000 rpm it's not a good thing. I like very striaght cuts which is why i didnt use a touch or even a plasma cutter, even though plasma cuts great, i like even square corner.  Hope that helps, good luck
  9. rob989_69

    rob989_69 Meat Mopper

    Thanks, I think I've decided. I'll do the cheapo angle grinder, but go with better wheels. Did you use any kind of guide or just freehand it?
  10. the best way to get a straight line is to draw a line using a straight edge then score along the line using the grinder and cutting wheel making a trough to follow before going full depth on the cut.
  11. rob989_69

    rob989_69 Meat Mopper

    Design questions. I'm getting ready to make cuts. Does it mater which end the draing is on? My tank has a whole that is in the perfect location for the drain, But it also happens to be at the end I was thinking of putting the firebox. Only reason is whoever cut the motor off did a poor job then tried to weld who knows what to the top. I was going to simply cut off a side and then use steel plate to close it up again. Essentially making one end flat. I'm even considering doing a "deluxe" style with a warmer. 

    How big do I make the door? Width is not a problem so much but height is. Do you do roughtly 1/4 of the tank? Overall diameter is about 21-22 inches.

    Finally, can anyone give me some help with the calculator? It's simple for the most part the difficulty is figuring the opening for the fire box. 

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