RF Patio Smoker Build on Steroids (Pics Added)

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by aubrey stewart, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. I decided to build my first smoker a few months ago and I've been assembling all the necessary components and tools.  I've cooked on several nice smokers of different styles and I decided on a reverse flow unit.  I didn't really want another trailer to maintain (I'm currently maintaining 32 tires I counted up) so i decided to build a patio size unit.  Only trouble is that the tank I found is 250 gallons.  My design approach is to use a piece of the tank as the firebox to keep the size down.  I'm going to see how putting it up on casters works out sort of knowing that it might not with the backup plan to put it up on an old boat trailer I've a line on.

    Here's a picture of my tank at the smoker maternity ward.  She weighed in at 650 lbs and 93" long!  The Dr is burping her now.

    Here's a picture of the tank with the future firebox cut off it.  I cut off 1/4 of it so that it will be 1/3 the size of the cooking chamber per the sizing calculator that I found on the site.

    I sure would like any advice that I can get.  For starters, how do I get this paint off?  A wire brush on a 7" grinder barely touches it.

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  2. abaralnek

    abaralnek Fire Starter

    thats going to be a pretty heavy unit to be rolling around once completed,might be doable though.im assuming you searched on how to cut a propane tank open safely?once you get it cut open a nice hot fire inside will get the paint to fall off..good luck on the build and keep the pics coming..
  3. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    Look through the RF threads and you should find a build like you are doing.  It should work just fine.  
    What he said.

    Also, read up on cutting into a propane tank if you have not do so.  I filled mine with water and lots of dawn dish washing detergent.

    good luck.  
  4. Before I cut the tank I had let it air out for a month or so and even then I ran a line into it from my air compressor and purged it for 5 min or so.  I had read up on cutting it here before I put the torch to it.  Lots of good info here.
  5. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This will be a big patio smoker. I love it!!
  6. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    I'm watching.Thumbs Up
  7. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Me too !
  8. Ok, made pretty good progress this weekend.  I cut out a template that matched the radius of the tank and used it to cut the leg to tank interface.  Then I joined the two leg pairs with angle.  Pic below.

    The second picture shows it being test fit up against the firebox I cut off the main tank.

    Here's one of the leg pairs joined before it put them up on the main cook chamber.

    Then I put the two leg pairs up on the cook chamber, leveled up everything and connected them together with angle and welded them to the tank.

    Next I welded the firebox plate to the part of the tank I had cut off earlier.  The cat eye cut off is the connection to the main chamber and the cresent cutout is for a cleanout.

    I wrestled the thing upright and then aligned them together getting ready for the join.  You can sort of begin to see what its going to look like.

    Then I had to drink some beers and admire my handywork until sundown.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  9. Does anyone have an idea of how to install a firebox door into the dome end of my firebox?  I was thinking I could frame the opening with angle and then put on a flat plate door -or- just cut it out like the cook chamber door and put flashing around it.  Has anybody done that?
  10. Are you installing the door on the round end or will the door face the front?
  11. I want to put the door in the rounded dome end not on the side of the cylinder. I want to add a warming box and a door in the side would run into where the box sits.
  12. I would get some nice size 1/4" angle and frame it in like this, then just use 1/4" plate as a door, it would make it easier to mount hinges as well. Put vent right in the door.

  13. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    What he said.:biggrin:
  14. Great idea for the door frame.  I came home and managed to get one put together tonight.  Tomorrow I'll cut the firebox and install it.

  15. Looking good. That framed door looks a lot better than dealing with the curved end.
  16. that should turn out nice.
  17. Well I spent the day welding the firebox door frame into place and then grinding it smooth.  I mis measured and had about a 0.2" gap in places.  That took a bit of creative welding technique to bridge which I had to figure out on the fly.  I'm afraid I'm more of a grinder than a welder.  I sure do have a lot of respect for those "stack of dimes" welders now.

    After getting the fram faired in I cut out all the pieces for the warming box and the baffle plate while I fired the cooking chamber and firebox.  That sure did work to get the paint to release just like you guys said it would. 

    I guess the next step will be to weld the firebox and cooking chamber together, install the baffle plate and close out the cook chamber opening. 
  18. Looking good!  I can't wait to see the end results!  [​IMG]
  19. Today I fabricated the base plates for the casters and installed them.  The pit seems to roll around easy enough on concrete so I may be able to avoid mounting it on a trailer after all.

    As you can see I also welded on the firebox.  If you look closely between the firebox and the left leg gap you can see a triangular gusset I welded in between cook chamber and the firebox.  Until the closeout plate on that side gets installed there's not a lot holder the two together.

    In this picture you can see where the baffle plate is going to sit.

    I wanted to get everything in place so I could measure the exact width for the baffle.  I'm finding it better to measure than rely on measurement from a CAD program.  The propane tank has quite a lot of variability to it.

    Here's a shot of the baffle going in.

    You can see all the cut outs for the warming box in the background.

    The baffle plate fit up nicely.  I cut it about 1/8" wider on the far side so there's a very slight angle.  I'm going to put the drain down at the firebox end so all the water and drippings will run down to this end that way.

    I have a hole in the bottom for the drain pipe.  I need to figure a way to cut a hole straight up from there into the baffle plate.  I think I'll put some ink on the end of a pipe and then push it up from below and try and mark the baffle.  Then I'll pull the baffle back out and cut the hole.
  20. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If the smoke ink doesn't work... try some of the wife's old lipstick... put the lipstick on the end of the pipe and push it up through and touch the bottom of the plate with it... should leave a nice round mark...

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