The idea is doing it as cheep as possible...burning is kind of traditional for a UDS. Depending on sand blasting cost, you might look into a new barrel. Around here they are $65.00 new. I have found garage sale Webers for about $5.00 and you get the lid, both grates, and maybe a few extras, depending on which one you find. Again, cheap is kinda cool. And, they work fantastic!!!