1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

Propane Tank Size

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Charles L, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Charles L

    Charles L

    Feb 20, 2008
    I know this is kind of a stupid question but I have to ask anyway. I just finished building a forge with Ed Caffrey's plans. What size propane tanks do most of you use? I know a 5 gallon BBQ tank is too small because they freeze up when in use and I want something I don't have to fill every time I forge 6 or 8 knives or do a little welding. I don't want a 250 gallon tank sitting in my pasture either. I won't be making 10 -15 knives a day because this is just a hobby. So, what are the suggestions for a reasonable tank size for a forge with one or two burners, mine has 1 but want to be prepared for the future and a firing chamber 6" diameter X 16" length? If this forge doesn't work Like I expect, though I think it will, I will purchase forge from Ellis. Sorry for the stupid question.
  2. jim moyer

    jim moyer

    Dec 8, 2005
    I use a 120 gallon tank. This is the size I can set next to or in the the building without an inspection. Check with your local autorities for max and mims. Some get by with 100 pounders.
  3. deloid


    Dec 19, 2007
    I use two 20 pounders connected with a "T". I chose 20 pound since we have to travel a lot with the tanks and it's any easier size to carry.

    These work just fine on the Darren Ellis 8" forced air forge (that I highly recommend).
  4. knifemaker3


    Dec 26, 1999
    It takes 96000 btu per hour of straight burn time to use 1 gallon of propane. A 100 pound propane tank holds @20 gallon. 20 lb b-b-q bottle holds @ 5 gallon.

    I'd opt for 100 lb tank. I used one on my whisper low boy for just heat treat and occasional forging for several years and the thing lasted forever. I just have a 20 lb tank on it now and still get several sessions out of it although it does freeze up on me.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Bruce Bump

    Bruce Bump KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 1999
    I use a 100 pound bottle. It is empty sometimes and I have to stop to go fill it. If I were rich I would lease a 250 from the propane company and put it on a "keep full" plan. It would look good out by the shop I think.
  6. Raymond Richard

    Raymond Richard

    Jun 17, 2001
    I prefer the 50 pound bottle's. Large enough to last awhile and don't break your back when being moved.
  7. Justin.Mercier


    Oct 21, 2006
    50lb bottles? I dont think i've ever seen a 50lb bottle, but i use some 40lb ones and they're my favorite size. Then again the bottle probably weighs a little over 50 full since 40 is just the fuel weight.


    is the size I'm speaking of.
  8. Raymond Richard

    Raymond Richard

    Jun 17, 2001
    Pretty sure the 50 pounders are a new size. Believe there the same height as your 40 except wider.
  9. oldwolf

    oldwolf KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 29, 2002
    That one looks like the one I've seen at Lowe's. Probably a new size. I think it's about $90.00. Looked good to me. Gonna get one next time I go to town.
  10. Sweany


    Dec 3, 2002
    if the 20 lb bbq size is freezing up you are using to much propane.
  11. Don Hanson III

    Don Hanson III KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 3, 2002
    They all will work fine but I like a big one. I have a 350 gal out behind the shop and it's filled once a year and a half or so. It also cost about half per gallon here to have the big one filled over the smaller tanks I used to carry into town.
  12. Gene Chapman

    Gene Chapman

    Aug 19, 2007
    Have been using the 20lb size tanks forever, easy on the back. To prevent freezing up, set the tank in a kitty litter box with about 4" of water in it. The water sucks the cold from the tank, yeah I know, sounds crazy, but it works. With heavy use you may get a block of ice in the litter box on the bottom of the tank.
  13. Bill Armstrong

    Bill Armstrong

    Nov 17, 2006
    I use a 60 lb. old style that I need to get converted to ODP. It will last for days!
  14. CrowValleyForge


    May 23, 2006


    Same question came up about a year ago, mentioning checking into getting a DOT type RV or alternate fuel tank with a 1" ACME fitting, as your tank has.

    Last time I checked, the price to fill a 20# BBQ or POL fitting bottles is written in real small blurry font on the ground at the fill station..... You need to grab your ankles to see it.

    I run a 60 gallon Manlincher DOT tank in my Farrier rig , last 10 times I filled it it has been about the same price, $50 bucks for 30 gallons. $1.67 a gallon.

    30 gallons is about 7 BBQ bottles, I paid $100 dollars for my 60 gallon tank, used.
  15. Kyle Royer

    Kyle Royer

    Dec 6, 2006
    I have used a 60 lb bottle and it worked fine, but now I use a big 500 gallon tank and I like it much better.:thumbup:
  16. sharpeknives


    Jan 13, 2006
    I am presently useing a 100 Lbs tank, I'm haveing a 350 installed as soon as they show up.You will use the same amount of propane no matter the size of the tank.With the 350 they check it every month and top it off.Nothing is worse than running out of propane on a sunday morning. Its just one less thing to worry about.
  17. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I use a 100# tank. It is portable enough to take and get re-filled, and big enough that no one will walk off with it.

    Jim - 120 GALLON tank inside a building???? can't imagine that is legal, even in Idaho! That is about 500 pounds of propane.
  18. jim moyer

    jim moyer

    Dec 8, 2005
    Yep its legal, not to smart, but legal.
    Mine is outside for ease of filling.
  19. Charles L

    Charles L

    Feb 20, 2008
    Thanks for all the replies. I just found a 150 gallon tank in excellent shape for 100 bucks. Think I'll go for that one.
  20. Dan Seaver

    Dan Seaver

    Jun 25, 2007
    I used to use a 100lb tank but now I run a far more effective 420lb tank. My tank holds 100 gallons so I know you will be extremely pleased with having a 150 gallon tank, some propane companies won't fill any tanks except their own so you might want to look into propane suppliers before you buy the tank.

Share This Page