I was just about to go out and lay down $400 for wsm 22.5 when i ran across this forum. Started on page 1 and read maybe the 1st hundred or so pages. Found a drum at a local drum mfg friday...brand new! Did have the dreaded red liner. But it was a special run 60 gallon drum...38" tall. And my webber kettle lid fit snuggly when i set on. (took it with me thanks to ya'lls advice) The salesmen did advize me it only had a 22 ga bottom. More on that in a min.
So took it home and and drilled the 4 1 inch intake holes, filled it with seasoned oak and fired it off. Took the leaf blower and directed the air stream in one of the intake holes. HOLY COW BATMAN!!! It burned all the paint and liner off in maybe half an hour. But the oak burned on for a couple hours.
Go out next morning to get started removing rest of liner and discover 2 things. 1st almost all the liner is gone....rubbed a patch of what was left with my finger and it came off!! so got the water hose and a rag and washed the rest out!! COOL! 2nd thing i discovered was the ultra hi temps i got with the leaf blower melted the bottom of my drum in couple places. Several nice holes!
Undaunted...off to home depot for required parts and hardware. Following Norcos KISS diagram and pics, me and buddly put it together in an hour or so...no welding. Fire basket is (was) a painted wire basket from home depot. burned it off by completely filling with self start charcoal and letting it burn out. the wire survived the fire and if there was anything harmful about it its gone now!!
SO time to season and test run!!! Half a bag of unlit king blue and about 2 thirds a chimney ashed over. cruised up to 450 with kettle lid on and all four holes open. Closed off 2 holes and other 2 other shut down about 2/3rds. using sheet magnets.
When it cooled down some, threw on some leg quarters and uncle johns mild. Turned out great!!! crispy skin. One friend said it was like eating fried chicken!!!
Today....2 sides of spares!! Again...following the KISS theory, rubbed them down with cavenders and when the drum was stable at about 275 i threw them on and played with the air holes a bit and went inside for a couple beers. checked 1 hour later and steady @250. didnt open lid.
@2 hours i turned them over. Beautiful!! Gave the drum a shake (lid on) to settle ashes and back inside for a couple more beers!!
@4hrs gave them the bend test and called them done.
Results = 2 sides of the best spare ribs i have ever eat!! Great bark on the outside....but even the parts that r usually chewy under the bark were moist and tender!! Smeared cattlemens carolina tangy sauce on a slice of white bread...put a rib in it and jimminy!!! Heaven.
So once again....thanks Norco, bigmista and every body else who posted their ideas and designs.
i Do solemly swear to read the remaining 400+ pages. To many great ideas not to!