100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

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Peaksy
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100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by Peaksy » July 13th, 2018, 12:04 am

I'm planning my first smoker build using 100lb propane tanks salvaged from my father in laws "scrapyard". I have a healthy paranoia about things that may explode, and will follow every step to ensure the tanks are safe before any attempt at cutting them.

Most of the tanks appear to be galvanised, and I believe these won't be suitable for use as a smoker. Is this correct?

There is at least one tank which is painted and has some surface rust, I'm assuming this one isn't galvanised. Hopefully there is another one (or more) like this hidden in the pile. Another option is a tank removed from a car gas system, it too is painted and has some surface rust. I'm less confident about emptying this, and won't consider using it unless I'm more than satisfied that it is safe. It has a different diameter to the other tank, would this be a problem?

Another option could be a cylinder of 3/8 inch steel. It's about 3 feet by 2 feet diameter (perhaps a little longer) It has very heavy surface rust, and will need to have the ends squared and neatened up before ends could be welded on. Is the heavy surface rust a problem? Is 3/8 going to be too heavy to both make and use? Would I be able to use 1/4 inch plate for the end plates?

Thanks in advance from an absolute beginner.



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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by ajfoxy » July 13th, 2018, 12:13 am

Paint is OK, you can blast or scrape it off. A galvanised one is considered not ideal. Although in truth it would take a lot more heat than what is generated by a smoker to start gassing off. But to be on the safe side rather not use a galvanised one. Welding on galvanising is also not considered to be overly healthy. Then again sucking in any welding fumes is probably not going to do you much good.

Bottom line. Avoid galvanised tanks if possible. The 3/8 one sounds a good choice. Surface rust can be blasted or wire wheeled off. And as RC would say, it can never be too thick. It might take a tad longer to heat up, but once at heat it will hold the heat well.


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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by Rodcrafter » July 13th, 2018, 5:38 am

I agree with all that. This is what I did with a piece of pipe 36”x20” and some 3/8” plate the whole thing is 3/8”.

Image


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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by pr0wlunwoof » July 13th, 2018, 12:27 pm

Allot of folks get up in arms about galvanized. I don't think its much of an issue. If anything burn it out and keep going.



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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by pr0wlunwoof » July 13th, 2018, 12:30 pm

This method worked well.ImageImage

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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by Peaksy » July 19th, 2018, 3:05 am

I had a good look through the scrap heap, and took a few measurements this time.

The 3/8 cylinder is smaller than I thought, about 32 inches long, and 16 inch internal diameter. Is 16 inches large enough to allow for a second cooking grate? The ends look a little better than I first thought also. There is more 3/8 plate than I thought, definitely enough for end plates and baffle plate.
IMG_0118.JPG
There is a sheet of 3/8 stainless, which may be big enough for the firebox, would stainless be ok to use? I'm contemplating using stainless around the cook chamber door, and stainless for damper covers, just to bling things up a bit.

There is a good chance I won't get to do much of the work, my father in law is always looking out for a project. Despite having his knee replaced only a few weeks ago he's been repairing my ride on mower, including replacing the engine and modifying/adding a homemade bumper.
I've included a couple of shots of his handiwork and the scrap yard
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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by Peaksy » July 19th, 2018, 3:10 am

Having trouble with photos
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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by Peaksy » July 19th, 2018, 3:11 am

Bumper
IMG_0120.JPG
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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by Peaksy » July 19th, 2018, 3:12 am

Close up of bumper
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Re: 100 lb Propane Tank Smoker - Some Questions

Post by Dirtytires » July 19th, 2018, 1:57 pm

16 inch is pretty small for a smoker. I'd hold out for something in the 20-24 inch range.



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