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250 Gallon Propane Tank Question. Pic Included
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ThrillSeeker



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 7:48 am    Post subject: 250 Gallon Propane Tank Question. Pic Included Reply with quote

I've got my tank, and got it fully of soapy water. We plan on cutting the tank within the next few days, and I'm stuck on how we should cut it.

I would like for the tank to be roughly 6 ft long (it's 7'4 right now), but I can't decide if I want to cut off both ends and give the grill a barrell type shape, or leave one of the curved ends on it. I plan on making a reverse flow type of cooker with a fire box on the side.

Are there any benefits to cutting off both ends and capping them w/ plate metal vs leaving one end rounded?

I would either cut it in the vicinity of the orange marking and leave the other end rounded or cut both ends of the tank where the feet currently are.

Any suggestions?


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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThrillSeeker, personally I would not cut off either end and start from there. But if you want the 6' long then I would only cut one end, for two reasons one I would not have to buy plate to cap but most importantly I would already have a solid end and not much chance for warpage.
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Alien BBQ
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget to perge with lots of dry ice before and during the cut.
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Haaseman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and use gloves with the ice! Laughing
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icecoldkicks
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never cut into one, but have studied, like they said, Dry Ice, make sure to have gloves,

follow this link to HillbillySmoker's step by step build

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17388

he might be the guy to ask, he actually has a pic with the hand saw before & after!

Good Luck, send pics after the cut & how you did it please Wink


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mds2
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On mine I cut one bell off about 2 inches from the seam, then I cut a section out and welded the bell back on.
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ThrillSeeker



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx. What's the purpose of the dry ice?
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icecoldkicks
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dry ice & a little bit of Water helps makes it inert, it should completly purge the tank!

just helps free the tank of unwanted fumes Wink
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ThrillSeeker



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh.....Dang it. We filled that thing up w/ degreaser and water, and it's been sitting for about a week. We plan on cutting it while it's still full of water.
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txfireguy2003
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can cut it while it's full of water. That's what I did and I'm still here. The idea of the dry ice is that as it evaporates, the CO2 is heavier than the propane and will force any vapors out of the tank, making it safe. Water is heavier than either CO2 or propane (technically more dense, but that's the engineer in me) so it will ALSO serve the same purpose. That said, make sure to fill it FULL, meaning put a lifting device under one end and slowly lift it, then do the other end, watching the opening for bubbles. When you can lift both ends with no bubbles, shove the hose back in there and let it overflow until you don't see anymore oil coming out with the water (that's the rainbow looking film on the water). Once you've done all that, cut away. A note of caution however, if using an abrasive cutting tool such as a hand grinder like I did, you, your clothing, tools and basically everything within about 15 feet will get soaked, but it sure does make a pretty cut when you're done.
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ThrillSeeker



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks txfireguy2003. We're debating on whether to use a cutting torch or a saw w/ a metal cutting blade. I have a buddy that's a welder that will cut it and cut out the doors for about 20 bucks....or we can hack away w/ the skill saw for a few hours for free. I'll post pics as soon as we get this thing cracked open.
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Haaseman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21 08 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might be a thrill seeker but be careful with that saw or the only thing we will get pictures of is the aid care. Water and electricity don't mix well. Crying or Very sad
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txfireguy2003
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22 08 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For 20 bucks, go to the weldor to do it for you. You'll spend that much in blades for your saw, plus, what's your time worth? Just what I would do anyway, I wish I new somebody that was good with a torch who would make all those cuts for 20 bucks. Hey, if he's a buddy, maybe he'll do it for 12 pack?
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JimmieOhio
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22 08 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haaseman wrote:
Water and electricity don't mix well. Crying or Very sad

Sure they do and I can prove it. Every time I'm in the shower, the telephone rings!

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Jeff_From_VA
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22 08 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: 250 Gallon Propane Tank Question. Pic Included Reply with quote

ThrillSeeker wrote:

Are there any benefits to cutting off both ends and capping them w/ plate metal vs leaving one end rounded?


Yes. If you only cut off one end, you only have to come up with steel to weld onto one end. If you are set on making it shorter, I would leave one end as is. Sure it may look funny, but will be cheaper to do. You cut both, and you just tossed out material for one side to replace it with more material.

Another option. Cut out a few feet of the middle and weld it back together. Then you buy nothing to shorten it other then welding supplies. And you get a nice rounded end on both sides.

That said, why not leave it full size? I have yet to read a single post where someone says "My smoker is too big". I have however read plenty of posts that say the opposite.
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22 08 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bingo Jeff. Don't make it smaller. Thrill, you will most likely regret not having more space at some point.

Also, think about cutting the door at 12 and 4 ( or 8 ) like on a clock so you can get at least three shelves in it. If you cut at 12 and 3 (or 9) you are wasting about 6" on a tank that size.

I'd torch cut it full of water. Unless you have a DC saw I would not stand in water with an electric tool.
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ThrillSeeker



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22 08 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow....lots of food for thought. Thanks fellas. I think I'm gonna cut it on the inside seam on the right hand side and go ahead and buy beer for my buddy and let him cut away. If I cut it at the seam, that will put the entire cooker at roughly 6'9 - 7 ft long.

That's the first bit of advice that I got on the doors mrcustomsteel. I'm thinking about doing 2 doors w/ the 6 inch piece in between the two and a hinge on that piece for the rare event where I cook a whole pig.
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22 08 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That seam might overlap on the inside so cut it a couple of inches off the weld so you are not cutting through double thick steel.
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Rub the Butt BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22 08 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I cut mine I used an 18V sawzall to cut it open then took the torches to it. Just open the tank up before puttin the fire to it.
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ThrillSeeker



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24 08 3:45 am    Post subject: Whoo Hoo! Still Alive! Reply with quote

We, we didn't electrocute ourselves, and didn't blow ourselves up either. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

The smell eminating from the tank had us a little worried, but it was full of degreaser and water when we cut it. We opened it up w/ a cordless saw, and then my buddy put the torch to it. IMHO, he's pretty good w/ a torch, and he didn't even get wet from all the water gushing out. Cutting out doors and making a baffle for the offset are next.

The black stuff is burnoff from the paint that's on the tank now. The cut was much straighter than I imagined it would be, but there's still a bunch of grinding to do. Here's a pic from my phone.


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