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Langsterjohn 11-18-2009 07:05 PM

Steel Drum Question
HI all,

About a year ago I planned on building a UDS and bought a food grade drum. Being a newbie, I didn't realize until I was going to start building it that it had a crimped on (or welded, I am not sure) lid. For this reason, the build has been delayed until now.

I have thought about various ways to remove the lid, many of which involved a cutting torch (don't have), big grinders (I have, but have only one eye, so try to limit their use). Any ideas on how to remove the lid, or should I just plan on getting different drum with a removable lid. I sure hate to lose the $20 investment, if all it is going to take is some elbow grease.



BobF 11-18-2009 07:16 PM

cut it out with a jigsaw.
Know anyone that deals with drums regularly. They have a tool to remove the lid that works like a giant can opener.

Artfuldodger 11-18-2009 07:22 PM

What will you use for a lid if you destroy the original?

Drifter 11-18-2009 09:11 PM


Originally Posted by Artfuldodger (Post 1089636)
What will you use for a lid if you destroy the original?

A lid off of a kettle style grill (like a Weber 22.5 kettle)can be easily modified to fit the drum and this also allows enough room for using 2 cooking grates.
EDIT: Flip through this thread and you will see what I mean.

jetfxr27 11-18-2009 09:19 PM

Drum deheader

Or fill with water and use a sawsall, or a hammer and chisel.

Langsterjohn 11-19-2009 09:50 AM

Thanks for the ideas. Just curious though, why fill with water?


SirPorkaLot 11-19-2009 09:53 AM


Originally Posted by Langsterjohn (Post 1090063)
Thanks for the ideas. Just curious though, why fill with water?


It will help to keep your drum from deforming if you use a hammer & chisel.
It will help to keep vibrations down if you are using a sawzall.

jetfxr27 11-19-2009 11:16 AM

^^^ What he said.

Plus if the drum is not food grade, as your is, it keeps the to a minimum.

MushCreek 11-19-2009 11:20 AM

It does a better job of p-ing off the neighbors if you do it empty, though!

Langsterjohn 11-19-2009 11:33 AM

I know I'm getting old, it's been too long since I was an engineer. I should've realized the water trick. I like my neighbors too, so I guess that's another great reason. Thanks for all the suggestions--sawzall it is this weekend!


Paul B 11-19-2009 11:45 AM

Skip the water, the noise is over before anybody has a chance to complain!! If you like your neighbors they must like you and shouldn't mind especially when you throw them some smoked stuff thire way. Also, takes too much time to fill and empty. In the time it takes you to fill I could have that lid off and onto the next step.

I got mine off with a jigsaw in about 3 minutes and I'm slow!!

Paul B

MushCreek 11-19-2009 03:03 PM

True that- it doesn't take long, although Paul and I were working with stainless steel, which is rough on saw blades!

jerrykr 11-19-2009 03:40 PM

Hammer and chisel. The steel is soft, takes about 2-3 minutes.

forget the water.

After you cut the end out, lay the barrell down on the concrete and bend the rough edges down.
You can hit them with a grinder later, but hammering them down is all you need to do.

landarc 11-19-2009 04:30 PM

That drum deheader is great if you can rent one. Makes it a lot easier.

jgbmgb 11-19-2009 04:57 PM

I just did two drums yesterday. Used my jigsaw with metal cutting blade. Took all of 5 minutes and only left about 1/16 lip inside. Used 2 hammers backed up and flattened the 1/16 to the wall. Took all of 10 min. total.

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