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SmokingMeatForums.com › Groups › UK Smokers › Discussions › Finding a drum

Finding a drum

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I was wondering where all you UK smokers found your drums,they seem to be a lot harder to obtain than in the states. I've tried the usual eBay and gumtree routes and also google for any local businesses that may need to get rid of them but had no luck. I have found a few but they all have sealed tops and in trying to keep my first build as easy as possible I don't fancy having to cut a lid off knowing it won't sit properly when I come to use it.

I stay in central Scotland but am willing to travel if anybody knows of anywhere to buy one or which type of businesses I could contact that might have used one they need to dispose of.

post #2 of 48

Hi Deano - You may fine something here



post #3 of 48

My local srapyard usually has some lying about, is there a scrappy near you ?

post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 

Tried a few scrapyards with no luck but one pretty near me said they get them in quite regularly so think it will be a case of phoning up or dropping in every few days and hopefully getting some luck. I found a few websites in England that can provide 1 and deliver but it'd be costing nearly £50 and can get one from a scrapyard for a fiver so I'll try hold out as long as I can for the scrapyard.

Thanks for the help guys

post #5 of 48

Hi Deano


I have recently received my Drum from Amazon Keto Plastics, and started the burnout process the week just gone...




it was £29 with Free delivery, as like yourself  I was not having much luck sourcing drum locally in Stoke..







post #6 of 48

Hello Graeme.  Welcome back!


Hello Deano.  Welcome to the fun.  I too had some trouble finding one back a few months ago; but then I'm tight, AHH I mean conservative with my money.  :icon_biggrin:  If all you can find is the sealed top and you don't mind about an hours labour I have a solution.  Set the drum up like looking at a tin of peas.  Measure down 3" from the top and draw a line around the drum.  Now cut along that line.  So now you have a 3" top that will not sit on the base properly.  Old welder trick.  Turn the top on edge so you are looking inside a short tin of peas.  Place a piece of HEAVY steel or a big hammer head under the first 2" of the cut edge.  Now start hammering that 2" of edge.  Roll and hammer.  You don't have to beat the he  AHH heck out of it, just solid whacks.  Keep hammering and rolling.  As the metal heats and flattens from the hammering it will expand.  Before you know it that 3" top will slip easily and tightly over the base.  Clean up the edges and you now have a fitting lid that should seal pretty well.  Just a thought.  Keep Smokin!


post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thanks Danny, I'm also a bit conservative with my money! That sounds do-able though if I'm understanding correct once I lop off the 3" piece I put the steel block or hammer on the outside and hammer the inside of the 3" drum? Also am I hammering directly onto the steel underneath or hammering the 1" lip?

Thanks for the advice, I have a week off next week before I start my new job so will have plenty of time to try this even if I make a huge mess of it....
post #8 of 48

Hello Deano.  Yes hammer the 3" drum.  Think of watching old movies with the blacksmith hammering steel on the old anvil.  You don't have to hit it that hard.  Just keep working round and round.  You need the heavy steel/big flat hammer head directly under where you are going to strike with the hammer in your hand.  You want to smash the metal of the cut edge between the heavy metal and the hammer.  That thins and spreads the steel which will make that cut edge curl outward and allow it it fit over the base.  Let me know if I can help further.  Keep Smokin!


post #9 of 48
Hey Deano

I got my castrol barrel from a local golf course. The greens keepers have lots of tractors and machinery so go through a lot of oil. I don't know if this helps but if you've got some where similar in your area it might be worth sticking your head in the door and asking.

Good luck bud. [IMG][IMG][IMG]
post #10 of 48
Thread Starter 

Finally got a drum!got it from a friend who has a car body shop, it was lying out the back of his unit for months unclaimed so I claimed it!

Going to cut the top off like Danny suggested and drill the holes for the ball valves then do a burnout in the next week hopefully. Bought a chimney starter for a fiver from b&q and was looking to buy ball valves etc. Was wondering where u guys bought ur supplies from? Did u just get standard brass fittings from screwfix etc or is it better to try and source stainless steel? Also having diffuculty finding expanded metal to build the charcoal basket....
post #11 of 48

Hello Deano.  Brass will work fine.  You can find expanded metal on E-Bay cut to size if no other luck.  PLEASE!!!  Put your ideas on paper, post them here and get some input BEFORE you cut anything.  Give us a chance to offer some advice.  Once you cut you are committed, right or wrong.  If you cut here, drill there and then find out it may not work it's too late to go back.  Post pictures and ask every question you can think of if you have any doubt.  You have all of my failures to draw on and I am sure there are other folks out there with great ideas and hard learned lessons.  Keep Smokin!


post #12 of 48
Thread Starter 
I took ur advice Danny and drew up a starter plan. This is my drum in the photo along with where I am going to drill the 3 22mm holes for the ball valves, was going to have 1 hole with just threaded piece of pipe and an end cap on it but seems the ball valves are easier to locate so will just fully close 1 or 2 completely when it reaches desired temp and will have the same effect right!?
I've found 2, 53cm grills which should fit in my drum nicely and was going put these in place with 6mm x 35 roofing bolts (worry about heights when the burnout is done). The plan for the charcoal basket is to try and get a smaller grill for the bottom then use expanded steel for the sides any suggestions on what is a good diameter for the basket?

Any other suggestions on where to buy stainless steel roofers, washers to use or not use or any other problems anyone had during their first build is much appreciated! Cheers guys
post #13 of 48

Hello Deano.  The plan looks good so far.  I see no problems there.  I would use a grill about 47cm range for the basket.  That way you can spread the coals and use something like the snake method Wade uses to control temp.  Chef Jeramy had a good idea for shelf height.  His is a mini but the idea would work on a UDS also.  Fully adjustable and you can have multiple grills.  Have a look.  Keep Smokin!




post #14 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quite like that idea but my new job is monthly paid so trying to keep the build on the cheap as I won't be getting paid for a month haha this is basically a cheap test build to try and see how the whole process works, I've every intention of building an all singing all dancing UDS with a fancy little paint job etc once I get this built and working properly.

Found a grill grate for the charcoal basket also now and found some expanded steel but it's galvanised!? Will this be ok if I burn it off during the seasoning etc or best to keep looking for some stainless?
post #15 of 48

NO!  NO!  NO!  No galvanised!  NEVER any galvanised around food!!!!  You love your friends and family and the last thing you want to do is have one of those folks to get sick with galvanise poisoning.  It isn't nice.  Pay more if you must but avoid galvanised at all costs!  Keep Smokin!


post #16 of 48
Thread Starter 
Haha no problem Danny I'll take note, I got the lid cut off and hammered out the lid to fit on the top then burnt it out. I burnt it for around 2 hours and gave it a clean inside and out but it looks a strange colour compared to some of the guys on here after there burnouts! Still a few spots of paint on the lid as I didn't burn this for as long as the drum but I'll get them off with a steel brush. I'll attach a few photos for people to have a look at and as always, any advice on the next steps or reasons as to the strange colour of my drum are appreciated!
post #17 of 48
Thread Starter 

post #18 of 48

After firing the drum looks nice and clean. Did it take much effort to get all of the paint off?

post #19 of 48
Thread Starter 
Not much Wade, I just gave it a quick scrub with warm water and a steel brush and hosed it down. D'yu think the colour looks OK I thought it looked a bit strange because it didn't all come out the 1 colour sort of blended in to a few different shades? Hmmm

I'm having trouble getting the gear together for the charcoal basket just now but once I get that sorted I can drill the holes for the grill and handles and stuff as I already have that stuff sourced to buy. Hopefully get it together and up and smoking in the next couple weeks with some luck.
post #20 of 48
Thread Starter 
Any of you guys have any opinions on using copper for the charcoal basket? I can get a hold of some wire mesh made from copper but not sure how safe it'd be
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