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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 02-04-2007, 09:44 AM   #1
Scrooge Fan
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Default Another 55 Gal drum question

I, too, am in the process of building cooker from a 55 gal drum. However, I'm building mine horizontal. I know. I know. For real BBQ the vertical is better. You folks have convinced me of that. That project is next.

For now, I'm building the horizontal. I want a big surface for grilling, and I can still smoke (perhaps somewhat inefficiently) with the fire on one side and the meat on the other.

I need advice on two things.

First, how far below the meat grate should the charcoal grate be? A solid bed of charcoal will bring the fire up from the grate 1 1/2 to 2 inchs. So, if I place the charcoal grate 6 inches below the meat grill there will be about 4 inches of space between the fire and the meat. Is that too far from the meat, too close, or about right? The more space I leave, the narrower the grate will be because of the curve of the barrel. What do you think.

Second, I have piece of 13 gauge expanded metal for the charcoal grate. Has anyone had any experience working with this stuff? Can I cut it with a hacksaw blade in my sabre saw? Can I bend it in my vice? I was thinking of cutting it 4 inches bigger than the size I want so I can cut out a 2 inch square on each corner and bend each side up 2 inches forming a box with 2 inch sides. This would help keep the charcoal away from the sides of the barrel.

When I get going on this I will post some pictures, if I can figure out how.
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Unread 02-04-2007, 11:04 AM   #2
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Cannot help you too much other than to make sure you have a least 3 to 4 inches of clearance UNDER the charcoal grate for air flow.
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Unread 02-04-2007, 11:23 AM   #3
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Scrooge
the best way to cut expanded metal that I have found is a 4" grinder with a cutting blade. It will cut it like butter and you don't have the binding problem you do with a blade type tool or if you have a huge shear that works to.LOL
Good luck I hope this helps.
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Unread 02-04-2007, 11:52 AM   #4
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I'm not familiar with exactly what a 4" grinder is. Is this some kind of a blade that I can attach to my circular saw or my electric drill, or do I need a whole new tool? I am only familiar with bench grinders.
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Unread 02-04-2007, 01:52 PM   #5
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you will have to buy a new tool. It's available at almost every hardware store. If it something you won't use often you can get cheap ones at tool sales or pawn shops.
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Unread 02-04-2007, 02:04 PM   #6
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I've tried to post a reply 4 times.??? You have to buy a new tool. Sorry. If you think you'll use it alot , go to lowes or hd. You can buy cheap knockoffs at pawn shops or tool sales.
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Unread 02-04-2007, 11:36 PM   #7
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Sorry I can't help much with the spacing issue, but I can tell you from experience that the expanded metal is easily cut with an angle grinder like mentioned above, or I use my oxy/acetylene setup a lot too. The easiest way is with a big shear (any other way is time consuming to say the least) but its not too bad.

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Unread 02-05-2007, 04:10 AM   #8
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Plasma cutter works nice.
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Unread 02-06-2007, 02:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrooge Fan
I'm not familiar with exactly what a 4" grinder is. Is this some kind of a blade that I can attach to my circular saw or my electric drill, or do I need a whole new tool? I am only familiar with bench grinders.
A 4" grinder is also a angle grinder.It has a 4'' wheel that does grinding or you can't put a cut off wheel on it to cut with. You can buy one at Harbor Freight or Cummings tools on sale for about 15.00 or 20.00.The cheap one will work just fine for what you want.
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Unread 02-06-2007, 02:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcoredneck
Plasma cutter works nice.
I used my plasma cutter a couple of times and ruind the tip. It was even set on expanded metal, I could have done something wrong don't know. Just as easy to use my 4' grinder.
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Unread 02-06-2007, 02:51 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure I replied to this thread.....did I get moderated or did I just have a brain fart?
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Unread 02-06-2007, 09:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw23
I'm pretty sure I replied to this thread.....did I get moderated or did I just have a brain fart?
I believe it was a brain fart brother.LOL
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Unread 02-06-2007, 10:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw23
I'm pretty sure I replied to this thread.....did I get moderated or did I just have a brain fart?
UH--there are a plethora of BDS threads running--less than a couple of weeks old
One of the others?????

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Unread 02-06-2007, 10:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn
UH--there are a plethora of BDS threads running--less than a couple of weeks old
One of the others?????

TIM
maybe...I don't know.....it was probably useless info anyway that I had to offer. Sometimes though I do forget to click the submit button...maybe that was it......or I'm going senile.
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Unread 02-07-2007, 04:38 AM   #15
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Chek out post #21 on this thread.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...t=23251&page=2
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Last edited by Norcoredneck; 02-07-2007 at 07:34 AM..
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