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Got me a drum


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#1 Blister

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:00 PM

Well I managed to locate a steel drum today. I even got it for free and few pallets I can bust up so I can burn the junk out of it. It's about the only good thing to happen in the last few days considering work has gone absolutely sideways. Getting this thing turned into a UDS will be a nice distraction. It's probably going to be a slow project. I'll have to cut the top off and get the fire going in it, but that'll have to be up at the ol' lady's place because open wood fires haven't been allowed in town for a few years now. I'm not too sure what to do about a cooking grill or the basket for the coals just yet. I'm fairly limited for access to cutters and welders.

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I can get a few more pallets for the fire if need be. How long should I let the fire burn for to be sure it's cleaned out?

#2 Nova

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:10 PM

Let it burn until all the paint from the outside is no more.

Don't forget to roll it around the backyard a couple of hundred times before that though, pippy reckons that it's the only way to go!
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#3 Blister

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:07 PM

roll around yard... till paint no more... . got it! I recon rolling it around must make it more fuel efficient somehow huh? ;)

#4 Nova

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:06 PM

Something like that, it also ensures that it is indeed circular...
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#5 Blister

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:30 PM

Well got the top cut off of the ol' drum today. Had dad helping me and you know, sometimes help is best when it's not there. I don't know how many times I said "Ugly Drum SMOKER" and he still kept saying that it wasn't going to get hot enough to grill on. "Too large a space to heat"... Oh well, it's something we can do together. I'll be burning it out tonight at the ol' ladies place. I'll probably have to pick up a few more pallets to ensure it burns long enough to get all the paint off of it. I still need to find a grate and a top. Garage sales haven't really started here yet. Still too much snow, but it's melting fast.

It has enough room to burn a witch or two if anyone has one they want to throw in.

#6 texas blues

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 05:11 PM

Well got the top cut off of the ol' drum today. Had dad helping me and you know, sometimes help is best when it's not there. I don't know how many times I said "Ugly Drum SMOKER" and he still kept saying that it wasn't going to get hot enough to grill on. "Too large a space to heat"... Oh well, it's something we can do together. I'll be burning it out tonight at the ol' ladies place. I'll probably have to pick up a few more pallets to ensure it burns long enough to get all the paint off of it. I still need to find a grate and a top. Garage sales haven't really started here yet. Still too much snow, but it's melting fast.

It has enough room to burn a witch or two if anyone has one they want to throw in.


What was in the barrel before? Doesn't really need to be so hot it burns all the paint off, just enough to rid the innards of any nasties and toxin's. I welded tabs on the inside of the barrel and used 2 18" Weber grates found at Home Despot. If you don't weld or don't want to spend the money, drill some 1/4" holes and use 1/2" long bolts and nuts to hold the grates. I use 3/4" heavy steel bolts on for vent holes on the bottom of the barrel. You can also get a Weber lid of the same size for the top. Most have a sliding vent. You'll also need a good thermometer. Can't remember where I got mine offhand, somewhere online for cheap. The fire basket might be tricky. I had a machine shop pal cut me some 1/8" expanded metal and shape it into a barrel shape with a bottom and he welded some legs on it so it sits about 3" above the bottom of the barrel. Have fun with the build.

#7 Blister

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 09:52 PM

Well sir, I do believe I took a few years off my life while burning the crap out of the barrel. It was previously used for a Printer cleaning solution called Prisco (trade name Powerklene WM). I got a few pics of the hobo fire on my phone, but I'm having some troubles getting them off the phone. I must say, I was quite surprised about the amount of hobo's that showed up as soon as the fire was lit! There was about a 1' on the bottom of the barrel that still needs to be burned out the last I checked, but it should be taken care of with the hot coals on the bottom of the barrel. I have a pressure washer and will give it a good going over before it's used for anything. I've already got the bolts and 3/4" drill bit so I can drill the air holes on the bottom. I'm still looking for a weber grill and topper, but I do have a grill that I can grind/cut and mount in the barrel in the meantime. If all goes well, I could have this bad boy up and running by Wednesday ;).

#8 Blister

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:50 PM

Finally! I upgraded my OS and was having some difficulties getting the phone to be recognized. I managed to pull the pics off though. Here's the hobo fire

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I'll probably hit the barrel with the pressure washer and wire wheel tomorrow. I'll have to pick up some heat paint and give it a blast as well.

#9 Nova

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:02 AM

Going great guns!
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#10 texas blues

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:07 AM

burn baby burn!

#11 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 11:37 AM

You'll need to weld a charcoal basket. Round or square doesn't matter. You can get the expanded steel at building supply or metal supply stores, form it, and weld it. If you want it square you can use all steel. If you want it round you can buy a small grill grate and use that as the bottom, form the steel around it and weld it up. Ensures perfect roundness.

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#12 Blister

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:09 PM

I don't have access to a welder so I'm currently searching for a way around that. I was thinking of going with a square basket made out of expanded steel and using a heavy gauge wire to secure the corners. Not sure how it'll work out, but then again if the steel is heavy enough it may not have to be secured at the corners. On a side note, after I burned it out, I took it to the car wash and hit it with the pressure washer. I managed to blast a lot of crap off of the barrel, but I forgot about the nails from the pallets. There was about 50 or so nails that came pouring out with the rest of the crap :oops:. I cleaned up everything I could see and sprayed down the bay but if you get a nail in your tire, I don't know where it came from and it was there before I got there!

#13 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:21 PM

Don't forget it will need to be elevated as well for aerating the coals. And don't get galvanized. Zinc poisoning.

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#14 texas blues

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 09:33 PM

Don't forget it will need to be elevated as well for aerating the coals. And don't get galvanized. Zinc poisoning.


True story.

#15 Blister

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 10:44 PM

and if I want to become as mad as a hatter...

Actually I think I have found a guy that may be able to help me out. I was telling him about the smoker and the general size requirements of the coal box and he said he'd look into it. He works for a large construction company and has been a good friend of mine for years. I was guessing, but I figure an 18x18x18" square box of expanded steel would do it. If I don't have access to a welder and end up hammering it into shape without the legs, I was thinking of putting it on some firebricks so the box would be elevated and could allow the ash to sluff off when poked.

Is that too big? Or does it really matter considering you could stack the coals within the box?

#16 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 10:58 PM

Bricks are going to block the airflow. Bricks are big, and coals will be directly on them. You need air under all the coals. TB's has legs that run down the outer sides. Do a cylinder shaped one and weld it. Then cut a bottom piece and weld it in 2" off the ground. Done. If you get a welder.

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#17 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 11:41 PM

You know if you don't have a welder I'd still do a cylinder shaped one. Much easier. One seam on the side. Use some small U-bolts (with nuts and a strap) to tie it together, same with the bottom.

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#18 Blister

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 04:06 PM

Well I burnt the drum, cleaned it all out, got it painted with BBQ paint, but now I'm having problems finding expanded steel. I called the scrap yard, but they haven't had any for some time. I was thinking about going with a steel bucket and drilling it full of 3/4" holes, but I'm not sure how long that would last.

#19 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 04:24 PM

Make something temporary out of that metal you lay down when doing masonry. You can get it in a sheet at any building supply store.

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