I'm right there with you, not a welder insight.
Here is the basket I made this past Saturday for my first drum.
Expanded metal bolted together and wired with copper wire to the bottom grate. The handle is 1/8" x 1 1/8" aluminum that was just waiting for a good use. The ash catcher is the top of a 30 Gal. drum and is bolted to the basket. Easy in and easy out.