View Full Version : My latest welding project--a big grill.

05-16-2012, 05:00 PM
I've been working on this the last week or so.


It's a grill that's going to be mounted crosswise on a trailer. The ends are notched to clear the fenders/tires. The work shelves swing out to let you get close to the tank openings.


It's got dampers on each end to control the temperature. It'll also have a damper on top of each stack.


There are doors low on the back side for access to the pans for holding the charcoal. There are two tracks for the pans to vary the cooking temperature.


This is the first time I've tried mounting the tank crosswise. I think it'll be worth the extra effort to get much better access to the working area and not have to work around the fenders. I wanted to try it with a smoker, but the firebox causes all sorts of problems.

05-16-2012, 05:04 PM
The tank is thirty inches in diameter and almost eight feet long. That's bigger and heavier than the tanks I usually work with, so I needed a new stand. This one has rollers to make it easy to reposition the tank.


Fortunately, the new stand will also work with the tanks we usually use for smokers.

05-16-2012, 05:22 PM
Looks really GREAT!!!!! Smokin!

05-16-2012, 05:56 PM
So does this mean we are all invited over for BBQ this saturday? :)

05-16-2012, 05:58 PM
That is some nice work! Good looking welds.:)
When do we eat?:D

05-16-2012, 06:43 PM
Is that a 330 gallon propane tank?

Mike Burdick
05-16-2012, 08:22 PM

Nice job, great looking welds, and you have a lot of nice work in it!

I just have to ask...

Is bigger really that much better for a grill? There's a lot of steel radiating the heat away. Kinda reminds me of the old sayin' "White man build big fire and stand far back, Indian build small fire and stand close".


05-16-2012, 10:31 PM
Frankly, I have no idea. I've never used any of the smokers I've built, and I've never had a bite of meat from any of them. I have had several burgers cooked on a grill similar to this at the school, but I'd much rather have one from the Whattaburger down the road.

They seem to do pretty well selling tickets when they raffle the smokers off at some local fund-raising events. That and the fact that I really enjoy the welding and fabrication work makes it worthwhile.

This particular grill is for a friend who hosts some pretty big dog trial events on his property, so I'm sure it's going to get used a bit. He's footing the bill for the materials. He approved the basic design, but left all the details up to me.

Most of the hard part is done. The trailer frame and running gear is pretty straight forward.

I'll have to admit that I had some trouble making the cutouts in the ends of the tank to clear the fenders. I spent some quality time today with one of these 9" angle grinders that weighs 14 pounds. :D


05-16-2012, 10:38 PM
Looks good,reminds me of a Deep-sea submersible:)

05-17-2012, 11:45 AM
I had some trouble making the cutouts in the ends of the tank to clear the fenders.

For the straight radial part of the cuts, what I like to do is to roll some 1/8x1" strap to the same diameter as the tank and tack it lightly to the tank and run my plasma torch down the strap. The strap breaks off easily and you can reuse it on other places on the tank.

The horizontal cuts are much harder. I did my layout using a small plastic tube with water in it. I clamped one end and moved the free end with one hand while making soapstone marks with the other. Then I "connected the dots" with a flexible ruler and made the cut with the plasma cutter freehand. It was a little rough but nothing I couldn't weld up after some grinding.

FYI a 30x96" tank is usually a 288 gallon tank.

Nice grill. Are you going to make cleanout ports or grease drains on the bottom? On my latest smoker (24x70" horizontal offset) I used 2" pipe with ball valve for the grease drain, and on a big cook it drains about 2 gallons of grease that I don't have to clean out of the smoker later. I also put in a washout drain, another 2" pipe, at the lowest point in the cooker. I use a small electric pressure washer to knock the crud off the cooking grates and it all runs out the washout just fine. The whole washout fits into a 5 gallon bucket, and that's all I have to do is about a 3-minute pressure washing job. The cooking grates don't need reseasoning.


05-17-2012, 02:25 PM
Never saw a gravity bomb so cleverly disguised......

michigan doug
05-17-2012, 04:40 PM
Paint it yellow and it would look just like the little submarine my local marina parks in the front for advertising I suppose.

Nice work, let us know how it cooks.


05-17-2012, 09:47 PM
I really like the swing out shelves. I may have to steal that from you if you don’t mind. Looks like a 250gal propane tank.

05-17-2012, 10:39 PM
Some heat shields to protect the tires??? have you seen the video of what happens when you weld on a rim???? not pretty. would be cautious with heat around a tire, anyway!!

05-18-2012, 02:37 AM
There will be several inches of clearance between the tank and the tires all around, and fenders will be installed over the tires. We'll probably put a shield on the inner side of the fender, too.

With the dampers on the ends closest to the tires, the inflow of air will tend to keep the area from getting too hot. The pans that hold the charcoal inside the tank are a couple inches away from the dampers.

I mentioned earlier about the problems with putting a smoker tank crosswise on a trailer. Here's one solution I saw a while back.


We use larger wheels/tires on our smoker trailers, so it's really difficult to get enough clearance. Putting the heavy firebox off to one side like that puts too much weight on one tire.

Here's how I cut the end of the tank.


There was a little too much flex in the 1/8" x 1" flat bar to get it really straight, though.

05-18-2012, 09:00 AM
Good idea,add a little light welding rod truss work to it and your good.

05-24-2012, 04:52 PM
We got the materials for the trailer, and I've been busy all week on that. I had just enough time to get the tank tacked on the trailer this afternoon.




There's 3 1/2" clearance between the tank and the liner I put in the fender.

Still to do: expanded metal on the swing-out shelves and inside the ends of the end bells, pans to hold the charcoal, slide out cooking racks, storage box on the tongue, lights, and a few other small things.

05-24-2012, 05:49 PM
Man that makes me want to add another project to the list. Looks great!!!

05-24-2012, 08:24 PM
Seeing this gives me a great tdea for a project. I bought a 8000# 4x8 cast iron DU-ALL layout table, I guess a srface plate about 4" + the webbing bottom, keeping it. With it came it's little brother a 3'x6' or 8; layout table with a 1" top I believe is steel. I want to make 3 long LP burners under it for cooking pancakes,eggs,bacon,sausage etc & make a trailer under it for the local fly-ins.

05-24-2012, 08:39 PM
Um,, Flylo,, Over easy please, crispy bacon, and brown toast.:D

PS. Is that coffee fresh????;)

05-24-2012, 10:23 PM
But I'm not taking off my shirt & that's final!