First smoker build and some questions

Let's hear about your ideas for smokers and grills.
Shadowxwsx
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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Shadowxwsx » March 9th, 2018, 7:53 pm

Ran into an issue...

The valve on the LP tank either has some kind of super loctite or is totally seized. I took it to work today, even maintenance could not break it loose and even broke one of the welds on the part around the valve that surrounds it (no clue what that is called).

At least I now know it is empty, I did not know about the bleed off secondary valve. I could smell a slight tinge of LP when they showed me, but no cloud.

Weather permitting this weekend I am going to cut off the remaining welds (on what ever it is called) and take a hacksaw to the valve. I think mother nature got slipped a some acid, as 50 and 60 at 1pm then dropping to 40s by the time I get home from work at 3, not counting the 30 mph wind going one direction one minute and another the next. I can deal with the cold, but not plus wind and all I have for shelter is a carport.

Talked to maintenance today also (tired of the weather) and they said I can use the shop to work on it, so the tripping on acid mother nature can do as much acid as she wants from now on as I have a warm wind free zone.

They even told me to use some old pipe they have to make a stand, gave me a metal plate with holes for my firebox burn area, the 3.5 inch pipe for the smoke stack, and offering to do all the welding...

If this thing works good, hope they like pulled pork as once I confirm it works I am buying a bone in pork shoulder butt to cook. Then take it in a crockpot to them, Even if it is junk I am still going to cook them one, as they saved me tons on this try



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Dirtytires » March 9th, 2018, 11:59 pm

Sounds like a super win for everybody. It is amazing how guys come together when smoked food is brought up.

Don’t have an idea on the tank. I’d say just cut it off but since you can’t get the valve off you can’t purge the tank with water. Cutting into it is probably a bad idea.

Just my 2cents but it might be time for a new tank or just build a square firebox. You’ll be happier square anyway as it’s much easier to work with putting doors and vents and a basket in it.



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Shadowxwsx » March 10th, 2018, 4:04 pm

Well my arm is tired, those welds they were not easy with a hacksaw. Got the top protector off and as a video I saw on youtube showed ( I was not brave enough to use an angle grinder like him so used a hacksaw), used a large hammer and gave it a few good whacks on the valve. It broke loose and no boom :) It is brass so even if I had cut it with a hacksaw there would not have been a spark, but this was far easier and quicker.

So now I can purge it with water, and the weather is cool with little to no wind today (yay).

P.S. It had green loctite on it, never seen that before just blue and red.

As for price I am being a "scrooge" as I am saving for a for buying a newer car with cash on the spot, and trying to do this as cheaply as possible. So building a square firebox (as much as I would like to) is too much. As of now counting everything I have about $90 in this ($25 is my angle grinder from walmart and the cutting disks, but I can not count how many times I wished I had one in the past)... Turns out that my current smoker is bigger than this, but the firebox grates that I have never used are perfect so going to save it for a grill and not use it for parts.

In all truth I could easily buy a pro built smoker right now like the $1300 one I was looking at. If this build is junk (I give it 60% working and 40% a waste of time), I may just invest in a pro built one. If it does work then the pro built ones can keep theirs for someone else to buy



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Shadowxwsx » March 17th, 2018, 12:27 pm

Went to town earlier this morning and stopped by where I bought the LP tank and they had a dumpster filled with scrap metal come in yesterday evening they had not even started processing yet. Got 4 pieces of galvanized thin walled square steel tube about 1.5 inch square and 4 foot long for $7, so now have better legs than the pipe from work (which will work great for bracing and structure).

Plus bought two 4foot lengths of 1/2 inch steel square tube, some expanded sheet metal, some paint stripper, rust remover/dissolver (for where the wire brush on my angle grinder can not get to and the bottom where it is kind of deep rust) and some other odds and ends I will need. So now I have about $180 in it (the square tube and expanded sheet were $50)...

Think I will take advantage of the square tube for the legs and do something odd with my smoker, by making it a bit more portable. Make the legs/stand removable by using some pull latches to attach the two parts (something like https://www.thetoggleclampstore.com/431 ... gJ7D_D_BwE

Had a nice a temp evening the other day, so took my angle grinder with a wire brush to the inside of the tank. I got about 90% of the rust out, then wiped off the dust and coated it with cooking spray. Bad thing is I looked like I had just walked out of a coal mine as I was covered except where the dust mack and safety glasses covered my face.



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Big T » March 17th, 2018, 5:30 pm

It's amazing how must dust and debris comes from inside a tank.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Dirtytires » March 18th, 2018, 12:19 am

Interesting idea on making it 2piece. Don’t see why it wouldn’t work as long as it’s stable. Just keep in mind it’s still going to weigh sever hundred pounds so “more portable” might be a relative term.



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Shadowxwsx » March 18th, 2018, 3:50 am

Big T wrote:It's amazing how must dust and debris comes from inside a tank.
Yeah, I thought that it would be less flying out though.

I tried at work with a air sander and it was bad, but the angle grinder was as bad if not worse lol.




Dirtytires wrote:Interesting idea on making it 2piece. Don’t see why it wouldn’t work as long as it’s stable. Just keep in mind it’s still going to weigh sever hundred pounds so “more portable” might be a relative term.

As a guess I will say together it will be about 200-250 lb, but with the cooking rack and stand being removable (even lighter if I take off the doors), I don't think it will be too difficult. I wont want to carry it, but just putting it in the back of my suv should not be hard.

Guess all the heavy lifting I do at work is paying off, I doubt that back when i was a desk jockey I would have even been able to lift the air tank. Yet now it is not light, but not straining to put in the back of my suv



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Shadowxwsx » April 8th, 2018, 6:19 am

Well with the weather being psycho, work slowing down for my machine and working on a press, never imagined just standing in one place all day and pushing a button would be so tiring. I have not felt like staying after work and been too cold on my days off.. I have not made any more progress since my last post.

I did decide to change the design a little.. Instead of a two piece it will be one and I decided to use some of the left over pipe for the stack to go between the firebox and main body as the throat. So instead of the firebox simply extending out from the main body it will at 90 degrees.

On the two piece design I wanted it to fit in my SUV, but as I plan on selling both my vehicles when I get a new one... Well that is a "well duh dummy" moment, as I will not have a SUV to put it in lol

The reason I decided to use the extra stack material is because all I need is a hole saw for metal, and that is a lot easier than trying to join two cylinders. I know I could join them but it might take hours, this way will take minutes.

At least this week (if the forecast holds) it will be nice Wed-Sun, so I will have plenty of time to work on it. No snow, no storms, no 70 @ 1pm and 40 by 6pm and at midnight snowing like it has been... If it stays decent I may even be able to get my garden started (nothing big just a 4x8 above ground that I put out last year)



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Dirtytires » April 8th, 2018, 11:32 am

All I heard was....”it’s cold here and the weather sucks. I’m selling my suv, plowing under the garden and moving south.”

But I’ve been told I’m not a good listener so might have missed something.

=)) =)) =))

Be patient and it will get done. A properly built smoker will last for decades so don’t fret that it is taking longer than expected.



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by pseeber » June 12th, 2018, 4:23 pm

First time smoker build. I plan to use barel hinges. Do the hinges get welded to the lid or to the over lap material. Thanks



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Big T » June 12th, 2018, 6:41 pm

Welcome aboard! You weld one side to the outer flange and the other side to the tank.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Dirtytires » June 12th, 2018, 11:40 pm

Just dont forget to put in a spacer of half the thickness of the gasket you plan to use or it wont close properly.



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by pseeber » June 13th, 2018, 10:06 am

Thanks guys. Perhaps I’m in over my head. I tried to order some plans but Frank said he didn’t have any for my size propane tank which is 47 long by 17 diameter. I already cut the lid at 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock but left the corners intact. I also cut out the bottom where all the junk from the tank was. I will be welding a new piece into that opening. My new plasma cutter is on the way I really don’t know what to do next. Any advice will be appreciated. I see the calculator so that’s not the issue.



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Dirtytires » June 13th, 2018, 12:00 pm

Stop....put your tools down.

At this point, we need to go one of two ways. First is you get a new tank, pipe or sheet metal and use a set of Franks plans. You dont have a whole lot of work or expense into what you started. You then proceed to have a well laid out build. Second is you need to spend some time on the pit calculator and a piece of paper to draw out the smoker you want to build. Your drawing needs to be as specific as possible (with dimensions) to avoid mistakes. We will be happy to help and throw out ideas but we need a starting point.



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by pseeber » June 17th, 2018, 11:20 pm

Thanks Guys. I talked to Frank and although he had no plans for my propane tank he gave some advice. He had me cut my CC door at the 1200 o’clock and 3 o’clock position leaving 6 inches from the right side for 4 inch stack. I left the corners intact. I think my tank is usable as that’s all I did. I did cutout the bottom of the tank as mentioned above but will weld in piece to cover that hole. Why couldn’t I use this tank?... Thanks so much. I will order plans from Frank as near to my tank dimensions as possible.😀



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Re: First smoker build and some questions

Post by Dirtytires » June 18th, 2018, 10:12 am

Way to go frank...the plans will answer many of your questions and give you a lot of good information on layout. It is money well spent. Glad you can salvage the tank.



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