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Patrick_76
11-01-2005, 03:46 PM
I have seen some pics on here and on the net of big barbeque grills/pits made from LP tanks (the big ones that are like 30"+ in diameter and about 5 feet long). I have found a tank on our farm that isn't being used for anything and am thinking about making a bbq grill. What do I need to consider before starting in? I know you really need to purge the tank before cutting (from what I can tell, water is the best for this).

Here are my big questions right now:
What is the best way to cut the openings for the doors, pipes, vents, etc? Will a cutting torch cut through the steel wall of the tank while the tank is full of water?

Which is better, one door or two? This tank is at least 5 feet long, maybe more. I'm guessing one door would be at least 4 feet long. I don't know how thick the metal is, but I'm guessing that a door that big would be pretty heavy.

Direct heat or indirect heat? I know quite a bit about BBQ, and I can see the merits of both types of cooking. Is it possible, or even reasonable to try to design and build a cooker for both types of cooking?

Any other thoughts or experiences you fellas can relay to me on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Patrick

Bondo
11-01-2005, 08:20 PM
The Woodstove I posted on that thread is made from a Propane Tank about that size,........

This is Propane we're dealing with,... Not Gasoline,......
There's No Need to fill it with Water,.....
Propane is a Heavier than Air gas,.... It flows away as Quickly as it can,.....
It also leaves No Vapors,..... It's only a Liquid when under Pressure........

To prepare a tank for cutting,.. Remove Every/All the Fittings there are,... Some have only 1 threaded fitting,... Some have top, bottom,+ side fittings,... It depends on Your tank......
Anyway,......
Turn the tank so that 1 or more of the Openings that you've created is pointed Straight Down,...........(a word of caution here,.... Some tanks have a few Qt.s of Oil for rustproofing the tanks,.. It SINKS,.... Be Careful,+ Be Ready to control it as it runs out of the tank)
Support the tank so that there's good Airflow around the Holes,....
Now,... Leave it that way for a Week,......

It's Ready for Cutting Now.......

I use O/Ac torches.....

I can't help you with the Design Questions,.........
But,....... I recently stumbled onto several BBQ forums,.......
http://www.myfreebulletinboard.com/f2/?mforum=gatorpit
http://www.myfreebulletinboard.com/f2/index.php?mforum=bbq4u

IT-Welder
11-02-2005, 12:11 AM
check out this article on using an LP tank....


http://www.exit201.com/cyclops/cyclops.shtm



Don

Bondo
11-02-2005, 06:29 AM
"HTTP 404 - File not found"..............

Your link goes Nowhere......

IT-Welder
11-02-2005, 10:03 AM
my screw up....cut off the last character in the link...should have been this:

http://www.exit201.com/cyclops/cyclops.shtml

just checked it and this address works....

Don

mike39chef
11-02-2005, 01:31 PM
Something you should be carefull of is the propane!! I have made about 6 pits from old LP tanks, and you DO have to purge them. "Bondo" is right about propane only being a liquid under pressure, he is also right about the gaseous form of propane being heavier than the air. However, i object with regards to not having to purge the tank. Propane is indeed heavier than our breathing air, therefore it settles at the bottom of the tank, and infact even when it is released into the atmosphere is still is present for some time. In other words it takes a long time to disipate and it will settle in the tank itself. It is of course better to be safe than sorry so i would always recomened purging LP tanks before introducing the torch to it. You don't however have to leave the water in it to cut the tank, i always simply put a hose in it and let it overflow for about 20 minutes or so. I havent' had any troubles yet.

I always cut the door opening with a wheel and a sawzall, yet it takes a long long, long time, but it leaves a much cleaner cut that doesn't require any grinding to clean up the remenice of the cut form the torch. I usually work with tanks that are 5 feet by 24 inches, and i always just cut in one door, putting a counter weight on it and a door stop, makes it easy to open and close, my 70 year old mother opens and closes it 30 times a day sometimes.
LP tanks are usually made out of 1/4 inch and 3/16 on the ends(rounded part). Because of the thickness of this tank, you shouldn't get any burn out. This means that you can use it as a smoker or bbq. Simply build a rack on the bottom, that will hold the charcoal or wood, or whatever media you choose to cook with. So this will enable you to cook with either direct or inderect heat very effectivley.

4 of the 6 bbq smokers that i have made were for caterers and they have absolutley no problems with grill, infact it is there prize posesions, just like mine is to me. The best way to consider designs is to surf the net, and remember, everyone has a pipe with a square firebox on it, so the key to standing out is all the extras. All the pits i build include the following as a standard feature; 2" ball , Front 'nose' section with solid floor and hooks for straps, Turkey Fryer moved to front 'nose' section, Spare tire/mount either on the front or underneath, 2 inch Ball valve on the drain port with a hook of some type, SS spring handles on smoke door, ash doors, firebox, grilling lid
Ash door on the front side of the cooking chamber, Slide in/out food racks
Additional rib rack shelf, Paper towel bar to hold a roll mounted under cutting board area, Firebox cut open on top for grilling w/grate, w/bean pot shelf
Slide charcoal/fuel tray in firebox, Removable charcoal tray under smoke chamber grate for large scale grilling, Flagpole mount, Fire Extinguisher mount somewhere easily accessible, 6 gallon fresh water jug, 2000 lbs. axle, costum paint with flat black base and silver pinstriping, 3" thermometer, adjustable smoke stack, handmade forks and spatula and fire poker, the list goes on and on. If you would like to see a bunch of pictures of the one i am working on now, let me know and i shal email you alot of pics you can use for reference.

Good luck and please share some pics of your progress.

Mike
Chef De Cuisine

Bondo
11-03-2005, 07:16 PM
Mike,........ While your Cooker Plans sound like a Real Dream of a Cooker,.......
If You wish to Pump tanks full of Water for 20 minutes or so,....... That's Fine........
But,.......Totally Unnessessary...........

I've cut up,+ reused 100s,..... Maybe 1000s of Propane Tanks,....... From the 1lb. Campers Specials,... To the 1200 Gallon Home Heating Pigs...........
From This;
http://xs53.xs.to/pics/05441/woodstovefront.JPG
There's 7 Propane Tanks used in this Woodstove,.........

And,...... Here's My Biggest Propane Tank Project,...........There's 6, 1200 gallon Propane Pigs under this 14' X 50' Barge,.............
http://xs49.xs.to/pics/05406/thebarge.jpg



However, i object with regards to not having to purge the tank.
you DO have to purge them.

Not with Water,.........That Barge alone would have Wasted Over 7000 Gallons of Water............

To prepare a tank for cutting,.. Remove Every/All the Fittings there are,... Some have only 1 threaded fitting,... Some have top, bottom,+ side fittings,... It depends on Your tank......
Anyway,......
Turn the tank so that 1 or more of the Openings that you've created is pointed Straight Down,...........(a word of caution here,.... Some tanks have a few Qt.s of Oil for rustproofing the tanks,.. It SINKS,.... Be Careful,+ Be Ready to control it as it runs out of the tank)
Support the tank so that there's good Airflow around the Holes,....
Now,... Leave it that way for a Week,......

It's Ready for Cutting Now.......

Patrick_76
11-07-2005, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the input guys.

I do have one more question. Bondo, where did you find the used small propane tanks you used for the stove, especially the larger one used for the firebox?

Patrick

Bondo
11-07-2005, 04:42 PM
I just made it a point to get Friendly with some of the Propane Suppliers in my area,.......They send to Scrap,.. All the returned, or outdated tanks........
There's Always a steady turn over of Old tanks being replaced with Newer tanks,......
And,.. A couple years ago when the New OPDs were mandated for All of the smaller tanks,..... Well,.. As you can see in the background,.. 20lbers are a dime a dozen Now.......
The Replacement Valves are nearly as expensive as a Whole new tank.........

That firebox on that stove I believe is what's known as a 425lb. Pig...... I know it'll take 3' wood with room to spare.......

The Outdoor Wood Boiler I'm building Now is designed to be fed with 4' wood,... Up to 10" diameter........
You could probably Fit bigger,.. But it's too Heavy to carry.........