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  1. #1

    Default Anybody like ribs?

    Since I'm getting rid of my Jeep I am going to have to have something to grind on for a while. I have started work on my trailer BBQ smoker and am going to post up like a build thread so here goes. If anyone has done this and has comments, pics or suggestions post em up.

    After I picked up my mammoth 250 gallon propane tank and slid it out of the bed of the truck doing even MORE damage to my tailgate than already is there the first order of business was to lop one cap off with the assistance of my wifes cocker spaniel.....I didnt realize tanks are THAT THICK!! Now so you all know, from what I hear, cutting propane tanks is dangerous and should only be performed by proffesionals... which I am not. This one has been sitting vented for 2 years and been filled and drained with water a couple times. I filled it up with water and made my initial cuts with the tank full, then drained it and finished cutting.

    Here is the pre cut marking for the smoke box.

    And today came home to make the cuts and 3 cutting wheels and 2 saw-zall blades later we have this.

    Next time Im just going to fill up the oxygen bottle in my garage and cut with fire.

    Now its off to get cardboard to make templates for the smoke box. I will basically seal the cooking area from the smoke box and cover the smoke box with metal. I will put vents and dampers to control the temperature and how much smoke flows from the box to the cooking area. I found a boat trailer today and will be modifying it to the smoker. I also am planning on a sink, propane burner or two, wood storage and cabinets on the trailer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    Getting rid of your JEEP! That's sacreligious!

    Not sure where you are located at, but when you get it all done, tow that thing my way and we'll give it a test run!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    greenfield new hampshire

    Default just a dream

    every time i see one of these tanks i cant stop thinking of how to make a submarine out of it, proably be like a jeep "just empty every pocket", i still have mine 74 cj5, but wouldnt a sub be cool

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Salt Lake City UT


    Cool Project,
    I would love to see the work in progress,

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Gim Spring, VA

    Default prints

    my father has asked me to build him a smoker very similar to this, do you have some plans or dimensions or anything that I might be able to use to get me started?


  6. #6


    Basically just cut the cap off at the weld. Then went 18" in from there at about 19" from the bottom of the tank. The door is gonna be the next figuring and Ill post that when I get it. If you got questions or need ideas about procedures email me at and Ill help when I can. Once I get the door figured out Jim Ill try to draw something up for you to help.

    Here are my measured and drawn templates for my smoke box work. Now I just have to finish cutting them out and pretty them up. Then I will put them on the sheet of metal and cut with a plasma torch and hope I dont set myself on fire. Notice all the scribble lines..... Dad says measure twice and cut once. I measure, draw, cut, cuss, measure, draw, re-measure, re-draw, cut, get new materials, cuss, measure, measure, cut, drink a beer..... perfect

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    regarding the tuning plates, what are they, what is their purpose etc? I have heard people talk about them but haven't heard much info on them. I am planning an offset build and am trying to cover all my bases on the first try. my cooking area will be 18 x 36 on the main rack with a smaller top rack. Not quite a 250gal build but should be plenty for my needs


  8. #8


    I have always cooked on cheap offsets that were bought at academy and didnt have any plates but from what I can gather, basically they are plates underneath your cooking surface that can be put in or out to control the heat on your food. Normally I have too many Keystones in my belly by the time food is ready to worry about all that "even cooking temps" balogna so I havent bothered with them yet. I am going to cook this weekend though and see if I have to break down and put em in. Pretty much you just put a rail 6 or 8 inches under the grate where you can lay pieces of sheet metal in if you have hot spots. Some of these real BBQ guys might have better info than me though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Kansas City Metro


    I think I would have to say that in welding terms a tuning plate in a smoker is just a heat sink of sorts.

    Alot of the fancy rigs have the fire on one end like the one Josh made. Then they have the smoke stack on the same end. They build a plate that is right above the fire box opening and runs to the opposite end of the cook area. This lets the smoke travel under the cook area displacing heat along the way. Then the smoke makes a u turn and travels back toward the fire box on top of the plate to the smoke stack. On these rigs all the drippings and grease can run to one spot and drain out a pipe or valve of sorts.

    What Josh has will work Great! He has the fire, the heat travels to the stack across the meat. If he cooks and the temp is way way hot on the right then he could find a heavy piece of scrap plate and lay it under the cook grate near the fire. 1 it will make the draft a little different moving the air flow down a little but also letting the heat build in the plate. With a few pieces of plate he could in time make a cook area that holds the same temp all the way across the cook area.

    It all depends what a person wants to cook. Alot of times you want to be able to put say chicken on the hot side for a while then move it to a lower temp. Or, once the meat being cooked is done and you want to keep it a safe warm temp you move it way down by the stack.

    Josh you got it right man.

    (your not cookin till the first beer is open)

    One thing to always keep in mind is that after the meat reaches a temp of about 120 to 150 it isn't going to take any more smoke. So if the weather gets bad or to many beers get consumed. You can always move your food to the oven indoors where you can set the temp and just wait till its finished.

    Good Luck Josh, Pls show us some pics of it cooking, or at least what turns out.

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