Part 5: Try Not To Explode

Well, the time has come to drain the tank and get cutting. The goal here is pretty simple: don’t die. I have to admit, this is one part that had me super nervous. I started out by drilling some drain holes in the bottom of the tank where the firebox is going to go. This was going to allow the water to drain out to a point, but not completely. This was by design as I had another plan to make sure the inside of the tank was inert. I’ve been told that just filling it with water and draining it again was enough, but I’m paranoid.

After the water had drained I went across the street to my local grocery store and bought 8lbs of dry ice, crushed it up, and dumped it into the tank. Flooding the tank with CO2 would guarantee the inability for anything to burn and once flooded, it will linger in there… at least that was the thought.

My friend Derek came by and watched it drain with me. But hey, why waste all that time in the back yard doing nothing when you could be smoking something at the same time?! So at 8am I put a 10lb pork butt in my current Charbroil smoker and got that going. Now its a fun day. Back yard now smells like ethyl mercaptan (the chemical added to propane to give it a smell), hickory smoke, and pork. We broke out the hydration beer (Rolling Rock) and planned out where the doors were going to go.

Now that it’s all planned out, it’s time to face my fear. For the first time in my adult life I looked at Derek and said

“Hold my beer and watch this…”

and set the grinder to the steel. Sparks are flying everywhere and I’m just waiting to hear that woosh of flame kick out the top vent. But I got nothing! Yay!

I managed to get the tops of both doors cut through and it started down pouring rain.

Next will be adding the top frame and the hinges… stay tuned!

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