Um could somebody please nuke the first post, I forgot to scale the pictures down
I read the first 200 pages of the thread, dunno if I can rfead them all, but here is my effort :-).
Like most others I wanted to be "like but different", so I used FIVE 3/4 inlets, one with a ball valve. I made NPT threaded bungs to weld on the inside. I made mine in the lathe with a 3/4 NPT tap, but I could have saved a LOT of time, and others could make their own by either slicing off the ends of unions (two bungs per union) or using reducers (aka bushings). I drilled the holes with a good quality 1" hole saw I had already, the 3/4 hardware did thread right in sort of. But I'd rather have a tighter fit. The drum had some kind of alcohol in it, the inside is flipping gorgeous.
I added another little machinist trick with the Thermo bungs, drilled the proper side hole through the middle of a 3/8" hex bolt.
The drum is so nice inside I hate to do a face cord of hardwood style burn out
The Grates I got from Menards, Porcelain covered for a whole $7.99 each.