It's a quick project for anyone who has a way to cut metal.
Star and I built it a couple of days ago,
and it's already been the center of some nice fireside gatherings.
The main safety concern is to make sure there's no flammable gas left in the tank when you start brutalizing it.
You can start out with any metal tank, but we used a 20 gallon vertical propane tank.
A few years ago they changed the valves on new propane tanks, and no one wants the old ones anymore. So you can get them for free.
We were going for a SF Burningman aesthetic, but you can make yours any style you want.
Step 1: Safely Remove All Traces of Fuel
Here are some hints as to how to avoid that.
Open the valve just a little and see if anything comes out.
If not, proceed.
Tap on the side of the tank with a wrench. Tap up and down on the side. If the sound changes as you go up and down the tank, you could be encountering liquid in the tank.
If not, Proceed.
Lift the tank - is it really heavy? That could be a sign that there's something in it.
If the tank seems light for its size, proceed.
Employ any other means at your disposal to determine if there's anything in the tank.
If you're sure it's empty, proceed.
Drill a very small hole in the top of the tank. Hopefully nothing comes out. You'll probably smell a little bit of propane stink. That stuff is pretty rank. If there's no gas gushing out but you still smell it, that's probably okay. You can expect some traces.
Drill the hole big enough to put in a compressed air nozzle. Not a tight fit, you want it loose so you can flush the old air out around it.
Blow lots of compressed air in until you don't smell that propane stink anymore.
Drill the hole even bigger so you can fill the tank with water. Fill it with water. Now you're sure you've flushed out all the old flammable gas. If you want to be fancy like an Alaskan you can start cutting the chimney hole or fireplace door out while there's still water in the tank.