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Help me get the 1st steps in the right order

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I recently got my hands on two 30 gallon barrels (pictured), one with lining and one without. I also have an old unlined 55 gallon barrel (not pictured) thats been laying around for a while. My plan is to build a basic UDS with one of the 30 gallons, and a "T" style with the other 2 using the 55 gallon as the base and fire chamber and the other 30 gallon as the grill/smoke chamber. 

My friend will sand blast and powder coat the barrels for me, and then I plan on using high temp paint to coat both the insides and outsides. 


I have a bunch of questions for the "T" design though...


1) Is it better to do all the cutting and welding before or after I strip and coat the barrels?

2) If I'm painting them after I put them together, do I need to powder coat at all?

3) Are there any other steps I'm forgetting?!


I have a design planned as far as grates and intakes and an adjustable heat diffuser. I will also have a plate I can put in the bottom of the top chamber so I can grill regular style as well.


Any and all help and guidance is greatly appreciated.


This is my first build and it definitely won't be my last. As far as I'm concerned, and I think you all will agree, theres nothing finer than spending a weekend slow cooking meat and drinking beer while sitting around the yard with family and friends. 

20150422_165859.jpg 1,133k .jpg file

20150422_165849.jpg 1,228k .jpg file

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 


... would it be better to have the bigger barrel be the top chamber instead? It would effect the stability of the thing, but that problem could be solved with some extra supports easily enough.

post #3 of 5

If you want to paint them than you don't need to powder coat. If you powder coat you would need to do all of the fab first because you don't want to be drilling or welding on the coating.


I would not paint the inside. Everyone here including myself take the inside to bare metal than wipe it with veg oil to season it like an iron skillet.


I think your original idea for the T smoker with the 55 gal on the bottom sounds better. A 30 gal cooking chamber will still be a lot of room.

post #4 of 5

Do you think that you might do all that fab work, make a dynamite grill, and at some point in the future regret you didn't do it with 2 55 gallon drums?  You know what you're doing if you are going to attempt something like this, this is beyond my skill level, but it does seem like a lot of work, and not really much more work to make the the larger smoker.  

post #5 of 5

No paint or powder coating inside the barrel. No need. Other than that you can do what you want. Here is mine.


Basic is the best when it comes to these things. You try to get too fancy and it won't work like it's supposed to.

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