Originally Posted by scherty
I have been searching in NZ for suitable steel drums for my first smoker ... the 2 sizes I keep coming across are-approx 36" high and about 22.5" diameter ... but the downside is that it is a lighter guage steel. Or the heavier guage steel drum which is I am guessing is imperial size at about 23" diameter but only about 32.5" High. So at the end of the day I am torn between the lighter guage steel but more room at the top or a heavier drum but less room at the top. Any help would be appreciated.
Cheers from NZ
Get two drums, make your UDS with 24 inches from the fire grate to the cooking grate. Remember when you cut out the top to leave a few wedges to support the top grate. If it is already open, put grate support hardware as close to the top lip roll as possible.
Use the second drum as a donor. If it is closed top, you can use either top or bottom for lid.
Cut it off just below the first bulge. Flare the bulge edge with a hammer until it will fit over the drum top.
Finish shaping and weld on chimney, or drill out a ring of holes.
You're all set. I'll load some pics.