I think the drum had hydraulic fluid in it, but I'm not 100% sure. With the drum home, I started laying things out, marking where to drill holes, and just generally cleaning up what I had.
Between my pneumatic cut-off wheel and my angle grinder, I got the top rim cleaned up and ground nice and smooth. I then figured how high I wanted to place my cooking racks. In keeping with the conventional wisdom that the bottom rack should be 24" above the charcoal grate, I drilled my bottom grill mounting holes 27 1/2" from the bottom of the drum. Since I'm using a Weber lid, I drilled the upper grill mounting holes 1 1/2" down from the top. That gives me 6 1/2" between the grills.
I then flipped the drum over and marked the location of my 1" holes to mount the three 3/4" close black iron nipples. I marked the locations, then used a center punch to give me a little divot for the tip of the drill bit. I turned the drum on its side and put a drop of pneumatic oil on the mark I was about to drill, then drilled the pilot hole with a 1/4" bit. I drilled all of the 1/4" holes the same way.
Then I switched over to the stepped bits. Harbor Freight tools aren't known for lasting very long, and to be honest, I didn't expect much out of the stepped bits I got there. I was more than pleasantly surprised that they worked like a champ. The stepped bit set I got had 2 bits. I started with the smaller bit and drilled the intake holes to 1/2" with it. Then I swapped out the bits and drilled up to the required 1" with the larger bit. It just took me longer to type that than it did to do the drilling. I was very impressed.
So with all of the drilling done, what remains to do tonight is to go ahead and burn it out. I can see a bit of greasy residue along one side (see the pics,) so I figure it needs it. I called a few local sandblasting shops to get quotes, and suffice to say I'll be taking the drum down to be blasted inside and out Monday morning. I figure that for the price he quoted me ($25,) it'll be worth it.
My lesson learned? Harbor Freight stepped bits drill this drum steel pretty durned well!
OTS - UDS - Don't have a UDS? Well why not?