My first attempt...
This weekend I'm going to begin my first attempt at building one of these beauties! I picked up my first barrel from the guy who posted in Recycler. He had several empty food grade barrels (all with the interior lining, having contained apple juice concentrate). He sold it to me for $25, which I thought was fair considering its proximity of location. I opted to only get 1 barrel this time around since this wil be my first attempt at fabricating a smoker.
Currently, I am planning on using an old fireplace grate for the firebox (it's slots are thin enough for lump char), and bolting pipes to the sides for ventialtion (probably 2-3 at 1/2" - 3/4" a piece). I think I'll also drill 4 - 1/4" holes on the lid (in a tight square formation) and mount a pipe fitting over it for my upper exhaust (I'm thinking it will be a 1" diameter pipe that goes over it). I have no welding skills, so I am going to attempt to do this all with drills and bolts.
I'm little nervous about burning off the inner lining with potential heavy fire and fumes, but I'll be sure to post pics in the coming weeks as I build it.