Step 1 complete, well sort of anyway. I got my barrels home tonight although I have to go back for the lids and clamps since they were forgotten at work. 3 drums, lids, lock rings, and clamps to mount the drums vertically to each other. That might have possibilities down the road. I didn't think $10 per drum was too bad.
I didn't look too hard at it tonight but the coating in these drums looks more like paint than the coatings I have seen before. With any luck thats all it is.
Now the decision......burn or sand blast