pit design... tank help needed

Custom manufactured BBQ Pits, Do-it-Yourself projects, parts and ideas.

Moderator: TBBQF Deputies

b.read
Pilgrim
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:44 am
Location: new braunfels, tx
Contact:

pit design... tank help needed

Postby b.read » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:50 am

I am looking at building my own (horizontal) smoker, but need help w/ tank selection. I don't necessarily need anything as large as a 250 gallon propane tank. I've been offered a 50 gal. hot water tank, but am unsure if it is suitable for a bbq pit. anyone have experience cutting one open... is there insulation that is hard to remove or any unexpected problems that i could be made aware of before hand. Any help is greatly appreciated.
b.read
User avatar
JamesB
Retired Lawman
Posts: 6215
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:29 am
Location: Irving, Tx
Contact:

Postby JamesB » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:01 am

Not sure what kind of hot water tank you'll be dealing with, but most all of the ones I've seen were lined with some sort of spun glass insulation on the inside and the metal was not very thick... I would think that you would have to sand blast the insulation off the inside.
Image
honu41
Outlaw
Posts: 1588
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:16 pm
Location: Everett, WA
Contact:

Postby honu41 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:54 am

Just as JamesB sez. Also the diameter of the water tank is rather small too, possibly no larger than 18 inches in diameter on a 40 gallon tank.

a hui hou,
honu41
BAR "G" BBQ
Outlaw
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:54 am
Location: COMANCHE, TEXAS
Contact:

Postby BAR "G" BBQ » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:58 am

As the previous post have said; glass lined and thin steel. If it is an older tank it may also be galvanized. Water heater tanks are made of cold rolled steel, when you cut the door it will uncoil much the same as a spring; same problem with propane tanks. If you use a propane tank cut the ends off, then cut the entire length of the tank to eliminate the spring effect when cutting the doors (weld in a filler to close the gap). To get the most bang for your buck and a lot less labor intensive is to buy hot rolled pipe. I utilize 1/4" x 24" x 66" hot roll pipe. A little extra $$ spent to start with save a lot of $$ in the long run not to mention less head aches.
BAR "G"
b.read
Pilgrim
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:44 am
Location: new braunfels, tx
Contact:

Postby b.read » Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:53 am

Thanks for the responses! I've been thinking the water heater was a bad idea. I've been thinking about the propane tank route, but pipe would be better i think.

Bar "G" BBQ where do you pick up the hot rolled pipe and how much does that length usually run? I'm in new braunfels, tx.
BAR "G" BBQ
Outlaw
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:54 am
Location: COMANCHE, TEXAS
Contact:

Postby BAR "G" BBQ » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:31 am

b.read wrote:Thanks for the responses! I've been thinking the water heater was a bad idea. I've been thinking about the propane tank route, but pipe would be better i think.

Bar "G" BBQ where do you pick up the hot rolled pipe and how much does that length usually run? I'm in new braunfels, tx.

Most any large metal fabrication shop will have or can order to your specs. I am not famaliar with suppliers in your area or the current price but the Houston area usually has the best deals.
BAR "G"
Chip
Pilgrim
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:04 am
Location: prattville, al
Contact:

Postby Chip » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:20 am

I am thinking of building my own pit out of a 400 gal propane tank. I am also thinking about using a wood heater for the fire box because of the heavy steel construction, oxygen control, firebrick for holding the heat, and the general airtight nature of the heater. How can I know if it will be big enough for the tank. The heater will heat a 1250-1500 sq ft home. I need some help!

Chip
BAR "G" BBQ
Outlaw
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:54 am
Location: COMANCHE, TEXAS
Contact:

Postby BAR "G" BBQ » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:54 am

Chip,
First of all I am no expect, these or just things I have learned via trial and era when building pits.
The fire box should be at least the diameter of the main chamber and a minimun of 24 inches in lenght. Example; if the main chamber measured 30" x 72" I would build the Firebox (W30" X H30" X L24"). You can't make it to big but you can sure make it to small. As for using a wood stove if it is cast your going to run into problems welding it to the tank as well as breakage of the cast. Hope that helps.
BAR "G"
Chip
Pilgrim
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:04 am
Location: prattville, al
Contact:

Postby Chip » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:10 am

Thanks Bar G,

The only thing that is cast is the door. The rest is 5/16-1/4 steel plate. It measures 20" wide, 39" long, and 30" high. My plans were to recess the wood heater into the end of the tank approximately 8"- 12" so the smoke would exit directly into the tank below the main grill surface. Do you think it would be better to place the heater in the middle of the tank and have a smoke stack on each end?

What do you think?

Chip
User avatar
Papa Tom
Deputy
Posts: 5994
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:40 am
Location: Oak Point, TX
Contact:

Postby Papa Tom » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:17 am

Well Chip from Pratteville Welcome to the forum. Glad you're here.
Ol' Papa T ain't never built a pit so don't listen to his advice. He has however modified everyone he ever used.
I like the sound of what you are doing and am thinking FB at one end chimney at the other is probably the best way. FB in the center may result in a hot spot right in the middle of the prime cooking area.
tarde venientibus ossa....
BAR "G" BBQ
Outlaw
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:54 am
Location: COMANCHE, TEXAS
Contact:

Postby BAR "G" BBQ » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:26 am

I have to agree with Papa Tom on the fire box location. I am just afraid your not going to get the heat you need utilizing the heater as a firebox for a 400 gallon tank. When utilized to heat a living area you are utilizing the radiant heat from the entire heater, when used as a firebox you will be relying on the heat produced from what was the exaust.
BAR "G"
User avatar
DATsBBQ
Deputy
Posts: 7948
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:15 am
Location: Yorktown, VA
Contact:

Postby DATsBBQ » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:29 am

All the woodstoves I ever used are super heavy! It'll affect the tounge weight. Also, the firebricks will rearrange themselves or maybe even break every time the pit gets move. And I think a woodstove would provide way too much heat to the pit. Just my .02
Deputy Dave

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."-Bruce Lee
Chip
Pilgrim
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:04 am
Location: prattville, al
Contact:

Postby Chip » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:02 am

Thanks yall,
I am open for any other pointers. Hey Dats BBQ, do you think that too much heat will be an issue if you can control the air flow to the point of putting out the fire?

Chip
User avatar
Papa Tom
Deputy
Posts: 5994
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:40 am
Location: Oak Point, TX
Contact:

Postby Papa Tom » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:05 am

Chip wrote:Thanks yall,
I am open for any other pointers. Hey Dats BBQ, do you think that too much heat will be an issue if you can control the air flow to the point of putting out the fire?

Chip


Really you can build a fire of any size so that probably won't be a problem. The fire brick should control radiant heat but the fire brick wandering around might be an issue.
BTW choking the fire down too far is a big no-no gotta let it breathe some or creosote will form.
tarde venientibus ossa....
User avatar
DATsBBQ
Deputy
Posts: 7948
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:15 am
Location: Yorktown, VA
Contact:

Postby DATsBBQ » Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:12 pm

The last woodstove I installed weighed nearly 400#. Took 2 men and a boy and a dolly to get it from the truck to the living room. Just can't envision welding one of those beasts to a propane tank. :shock:

If your woodstove is catalytic stove, well those by design don't smoke alot.

A wood stove also needs a fairly long chimney to draw properly. It's your dime, but I'd suggest going a different route. Just my .02 :wink:
Deputy Dave

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."-Bruce Lee

Return to “Custom Built Pits, Build Your Own Pit & Pit Modifications”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests