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tony76248 05-10-2007 08:06 PM

drum smokers under construction
OK these are pictures of some drum smokers that DeeZ and I worked on this past weekend. We picked up four rather new 55 gallon drums for $5 apiece.

In their former life they contained vegetable oil, each one still contained about a quart which easily drained out after the lids were ground off. Turns out we won't have to apply oil to season.

After a few trips to pick up the barrels, hit home depot, and harborfreight we were ready to go.

We started with our own idea of what we were going for and that pretty much left us with similar plans. Where we differed was in the types and sizes of intake valves.

Quite a bit of the hardware we took off of existing grills and smokers. One we had and the other we bought off of craigslist earlier that morning.

Using an electric grinder we were able to take off the lid leaving us with a nice snug fit for placing it back on for the smoke. One of the pictures shows a close up of the lid with a nice flanged finish. We started to use a pnuematic cutter but the going was rather slow and DeeZ got the idea to use the electric grinder. He also figured out that when the inside lip of the drum started to smoke we were through the barrel and we were able to stop before we went through the lid itself. It took us about 30 minutes to cut off the lid once we got to the second one. On the first one we were still learning but it actually came out a lot cleaner than the second one. Probably because I did the second one and kept getting off track.

On the one with the 3/4" brass fittings we used three equally spaced around the barrel. On the other we used two 1-1/4" close nipples to which we added plastic ball valves. One on each side of the barrel. The reason for this size was to accomodate my Stoker fan. We were able to use a step bit for the smaller ball valves and used a skill saw for the larger holes. Once the larger holes were drilled, we used a dremel grinder to make the holes even and smooth. Then the nipples screwed in perfectly and we added a locknut to keep them there.

We also added the handles and the only thing that remains to do is make up the charcoal basket and install the racks. We have the weber racks with hinged access on the sides for adding smoking wood. Perhaps we can finish them this week. We are still somewhat undecided on what type we are going to make and I doubt that they will be the same on both. I will add more pictures as we go.

A special thanks to Melissa (Ms DeeZ) for taking the pictures. Some of these I didn't even know she took.

LGerber 05-10-2007 08:11 PM

Looking good, one of these days I will sit down and get me one of those.... Hopefully it will look as good as yours

tony76248 05-10-2007 08:48 PM


Originally Posted by LGerber (Post 392715)
Looking good, one of these days I will sit down and get me one of those.... Hopefully it will look as good as yours

We have a little ways to go before we are finished. I hope it looks good in the end, but mostly hope it works good in the end..... it will! :wink:

Bigmista 05-10-2007 08:58 PM

I like the double handle idea! Good job!

tony76248 05-10-2007 09:04 PM


Originally Posted by Bigmista (Post 392749)
I like the double handle idea! Good job!

Thanks Bigmista!

A large handle across the drum lid woulda probably worked just fine but this idea worked well for us. I think the next one we build may incorporate a few different ideas. My whole concept was to keep it simple and inexpensive yet efficient. On the next one we may get more elaborate. Time will tell. On most free weekends cookoffs will prevent us from working on them.

So far we haven't had to weld anything but I am thinking once we start on the charcoal basket we will be welding.

Trout_man22 05-10-2007 09:07 PM

Nice Job

Bevo 05-10-2007 09:15 PM

Hey, Tony, is that a city of Garland trash can?...Bring that back..

tony76248 05-10-2007 09:29 PM

We were in Garland.....HaHa!

Blutch 05-10-2007 11:08 PM

How much you want for one of your extra barrels with the lid ground off?

Would a weber lid fit?


thillin 05-10-2007 11:41 PM

geeze, where was my invite? I could have at least opened beers..

Smokin Gator 05-11-2007 05:10 AM

Great day of work on a UDS and drinking beer.... priceless!!!

tony76248 05-11-2007 07:09 AM


Originally Posted by thillin (Post 392808)
geeze, where was my invite? I could have at least opened beers..

Oh Chit! Sorry Ty. How selfish was that of me? I know that you like to commute to the Dallas side of town too. If you want in on one, let me know we still have lots to do and this was all easy. I will let you know when we are gonna do some more work on them. You will probably be way ahead too, because you can use that Klose charcoal basket in yours.

tony76248 05-11-2007 07:10 AM


Originally Posted by Blutch (Post 392795)
How much you want for one of your extra barrels with the lid ground off?

Would a weber lid fit?


For a Brethren? $5 and a six pack of Corona! When you gonna be here to pick it up. Might you need two? I would imagine that a Weber lid will fit just fine.

thillin 05-11-2007 07:42 AM

I better not bring one home any time soon. Mrs Thillin might kill me. But I'm always up for beer and tinkerin.

Blutch, we're having a DFW area Brethren lunch Saturday(tomorrow). Drive on down. Maybe you could pick up a barrel from one of them then.

brdbbq 05-11-2007 07:44 AM

Just how many you building ?

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