my first 250 gal reverse flow

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by dragons breath, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Almost their keep up the good work.[​IMG]
  2. Thanks for the shout back.

    I did use 7018 3/32 on some of the welds. It is cleaner and makes a pretty weld. That being said your weld material has to be clean and fit well to get a good weld from 7018. As you know 7018 is a fast fill rod that goes down quick and is used as a cover pass after the root seal pass of 6010 or 6011. Some of this stuff isn't very clean, rust and paint, and some of the fits could have been better. 6011 is a penetrating rod that literally burns through anything. A lot of the welds were vertical up and I know I got good penetration with the 6011. The flux on the 7018 I used did curl up and came off easily. I didn't mind the flux removal on the 6011, but the spatter was terrible because I run it very hot. That required a lot of clean up. But I wanted full pen welds and I'll live with the clean up.

    I would like to say one thing about AC welders for the guys who can't afford a DC welder. Get a 225 or 250 amp AC machine, they're cheap. Used 7014. A lot of people don't know about 7014. It welds good AC vertical down. Back in the 70s I worked for Waltco Truck Equipment Co. in Gardena Ca. and I installed the electro-hydraulic tailgate lifts on new trucks. They were one of the few mfg.s around that made these tailgate lifts. The capacity was up to 6000 pounds. You weld really hot, like 220 amps for 1/8" rod down hand. The new trucks came in with that black tar undercoating and all we did was take a chipping hammer and chip a place to strike an arc and start welding. I remember welding down hand on the truck frame and the flux would peel off while I was still welding. And smooth with no weld spatter. All the tailgates were welded AC with 7014. Here in Ca. a lot of the lift gates are Walco Truck Equipment. They're proof that an AC machine will give you a sound weld.

    For your question Shoneyboy I'll tell you what I learned right here at SMF. After your 100% confident that the tank is empty, no propane, leave the valve open for 3 or 4 days. When I got my tank I couldn't tell if it still had propane in it. I hooked up my turkey fryer and burned it until the fire went out by itself. It lasted 3 hours. I did this again the next night and the fire lasted 15 minutes. This is when I left the valve open. I was this cautious because I couldn't tell where I was at with this tank. When messing with a used propane tank you cannot be too cautious. Then  removed all the fittings from the tank. Then fill with soapy water, I used automatic dish washer soap because I heard it was concentrated, but any dish soap will work. Let it soak over night and siphon out. Fill it again with soapy water and let soak over night and siphon out. Now fill with water to a couple of inches of where you first cut will be, which is probably the top of the door. You should cut the top of the door and then install your hinges before cutting the rest of the door. The door is where it should be and there's no hassle fitting a heavy awkward piece of metal later. I used a plasma but you can used abrasives or torch. It all gets the job done. One thing no one mentioned was the need to leave clearance between the door and the tank. I would leave at least a 1/8" to 1/4" all around. That's just me. I welded flat bar inside and out to get a better seal.

    I bought 2 sheets of 1/4" plate for a work bench 12 years ago for $300. but since my wife has used it for storage in the garage all these years I won't count that. I bought a trailer a couple of years ago for a different project, $450, so I won't count that. I got a 250 gal propane tank for $150 in October. I ordered $250 worth of flat bar, angle, square tubing, fattened expanded metal, and some sheet metal. I had my Oxygen and Acetylene  tanks filled $75. 3 nice temp gauges $50. A fiasco with the air flow into the fire box cost $100. Necessary tools and misc. another $200. Free stuff is good indeed. My job gave me a 3/8" plate. 4" SS product tube to use for the chimney pipe. So it does add up. I'm looking for some red VHT flame proof paint. It's supposed to be silica ceramic 2000 degree paint. It's not gloss but I think it will look nice. You can check recycle yards. Here in Stockton they had nothing, but I heard it's all timing. So ball park I'm into about $1300 and still going.

    Lots of luck and go ahead.

  3. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the fast response....I'm hoping to pick up my tanks over the Christmas break....and to get started ASAP....but $$$ is slowing me down till after the first of the year...I'm hoping to pick up some side work in the spring when the AC works and change outs start picking up to help finance this build....I’m really just looking for the build/challenge, I don’t need anything nearly this big, so my son and I were thinking about renting it out or loaning out to groups that may need it for a fund raisers like a church or school. A couple years ago a good friends helped me cook for 200 kids at my sons school, once we were finished he gave me all of his equipment. All he asked is that I continued to help if someone asked, so I have been cooking ever since. Again,Thanks for the information and if it is alright, I may need some help/information on my build in the future.  ShoneyBoy
  4. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All the cool kids got the COOL tools to build these smokers. I am green with envy [​IMG]at your work shop it's wayyyyyyy cool.

    [​IMG][​IMG]  as your build progresses. [​IMG]
  5. Any time you need help give me a shout. This is my first smoker build, but I've been fabricating for over 40 years. Whoa I must be getting a little long in the tooth. All these smoke experts will help out with their expertise.

    I got started something like you did. Actually I built several mobile grills for caterers over the years and finally decided to build one for myself. I was so green at the time I thought I was building a BBQ. I even convinced my boss at work and build an all stainless grill to BBQ for the whole workforce. Grill surface = 4'x8'.  Wow was I surprised when I found out a grill is not a BBQ. lol My neighbor liked it so much we built one for him. One time both of us together cooked chicken for 700 people! We had both grills line up and covered them both 3 and 1/2 times to get the chicken cooked. I have tried to "BBQ" beef ribs about 25 times on the "grill". Very difficult, but doable. I like the beefy taste. With the smoker I have high expectations.

    My step son came down from Washington and he "BBQ"ed a brisket and 4 pork shoulder roasts on the grill.


    He's really into cooking and I learned a lot. He has all his special tricks which I suppose most of the folks on this site have. And the meat turned out delicious. Bacon makes everything taste better! Now my wife tells me I'm going to build a smoker for him. The next one should be easier.
  6. Had fun today!


    Gives the smoker a different look.
  7. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    Cool stuff!
  8. Just asking a question. Does anyone know the secret to maintaining the Jambo Pit smoker temp. so long without tending the fire? I read that's a feature that the pros use to get sleep the night before the comp.This is one characteristic I would like to build into my smoker. Thanks
  9. chinasmoke

    chinasmoke Smoke Blower

    I've been eyeing this temp. controller called the stoker but it's a little pricey. check it out
  10. Thanks ChinaSmoke. I'll check it out.
  11. Got a little done.


    The door is on finally after 5 tries. The grate is so large I may have to reinforce it with more rebar.

    I ran into a small problem. The trailer is a 2000 lb. GVW, but I think I'm getting close to that. The tires squat too much so I decided to add another axle. I couldn't see losing it on the freeway at 65 mph. Does any body know if there is a minimum distance required between the tires on a tandem axle trailer?  I put so much work into modifying this trailer that I can't see starting over. I bought an identical axle so I just have to position it and weld in place. This BBQ pit is turning into a money pit. I measured the spring carriers and I can set it up so that the tires are 2" apart. My question - is this too close or does it matter? I heard that a tandem axle trailer is harder to move when not hooked to a truck, so I want the tires as close as safely possible to make it easier to move around by hand. Thanks for the input.

  12. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    One thought is to get either 6 or 9 ply tires...their are rated for heavier loads.... It has been a while but I remember a buddy of mine getting them for his trailor. That all he ever used on his trailor and we carried some pretty heavy stuff. Just a thought..BTW It's looking GREAT and I'm [​IMG]. I can't wait to start on mine....ShoneyBoy
  13. The tires on my tandem axle trailer are 5" apart if that helps. It is hard to maneuver by hand, impossible with any real weight on it.
  14. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    You should fab up some duals that would look cool

    but that would not help the axle [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  15. Thanks. The tires are only 12" and rated at 1050 lbs. each. They're 3 ply. With both axles I will effectively double the load bearing. I can barely move the trailer around right now so it can't hurt. ;). I suppose I could get a heavier duty tire, but then I would have to buy 5 new tires and all my tires are new. Nothing like these little problems cropping up. The old learning curve.
  16. The smoker trailers well. Safer too.                                                                                        


  17. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    How close are the tires to the firebox? Any concerns about them melting/exploding?
  18. Morning Solaryellow. You have a good eye for detail. There's 4" space. That's not much.

    I went through this back in the 80s when I built a large grill for a mobile kitchen. A heat shield between the tire and firebox will provide plenty of protection from heat. I used a piece of 16 ga. SS and after that the tire barely got warm. On the grill he burned mesquite charcoal that burns at about 1000 degrees. The first time he fired up the grill the tire got so hot you couldn't touch it. I thought it was going to blow. I fixed it quick and he used the grill 5 long days a week for 10 years with no problems, until the grill was burnt out. One time he "grilled" 800 lbs. of chicken and 400 lbs. of ribs for a 3 day event. The grill warped and I had to straighten it, but the tire never got hot again! I believe I left a 1" air space from the fire box.

    On my grill there is a 3.5" space and the tire doesn't get hot. I don't cook commercially though. But I didn't put a heat shield on the grill. 

    I'm going to monitor the tire and if it gets hot I will add a heat shield.
  19. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Just checking. [​IMG]

    It's those little detail things that always seem to bite me in the behind. It is easier to see them when you aren't in the middle of it. Good luck!

Share This Page