Here are some early pics before she was finished. I guess I am kinda posting these pics backwards but I just found these and thought I might as well post them. You can see the lite rust inside, I got rid of that with a sanding sponge and then I sprayed the inside with vegtable oil. I seasoned it after that for about 6 hours with some Hickory. I welded the 2 barrels together and I used alot of stainless pop-rivets on this thing. I just didn't feel like welding on this thin stuff and burn holes in it or whatever. I probably would have welded if it would have just been a couple spots but I had to go around both lids and I didn't want to distort anything with heat.
I removed all of the original paint with these paint stripping wheels I found at ACE Hardware, took it right off in about an hour. I put 5 coats of paint on this smoker. The first 3 coats were flat black grill paint from Lowes which I didn't like so much. I found some semigloss black grill paint at Tracktor Supply which looks real good not to shiney and not to flat and seems to ward off rust real good. I think the paint is very important on these barrel smokers because they rust if you just look at them with a tear in your eye!
Notice that the ridges in the top barrels sit right in the middle of the flues. I had to bang those out with a hammer from the inside of the cooking chamber so it wouldn't leak around the flues. That was a pain that I didn't see until after I mounted the top barrels.