Drum questions

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by bbqbeginner, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. bbqbeginner

    bbqbeginner Fire Starter

    Hi All!

    Looking for some help in selecting a drum for a UDS build. I can get a reconditioned 55 gallon drum from a local place for $25, but it still has paint on the outside that would need to be removed. Can't really do a burnout where I'm at and I want a good surface to paint it with BBQ paint after, so I'm thinking I'll probably have to take it somewhere to get sand blasted. I'm thinking the sandblasting should also provide good surface for painting as well. What type of drum is best? A closed top or open top with lid? And why? 

    Also, I think I'd want to go with the Weber top option. I don't have a top yet, but how do I know if a drum will fit the top of the 22.5" Weber kettle? Any arguments against Weber top option other than additional cost? What's the best way to fashion the Weber on top of the drum to ensure seal with minimal leaks. I've seen on the web that some guys weld the lid back on and cut out the bottom, what's the purpose of this?

    Any additional comments on helping select a drum are appreciated!


  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Sandblasting will be the best option. I burned mine out and still had to grind it down. After spending hours prepping for paint I will never do it myself again.

    You should get an open top. I got a closed top and cut it open but it deformed slightly when I cut it which made it harder to seal.

    There are numerous ways to get a Weber lid to fit a drum. The lid is about 1/2" too small. Some people add a band of metal inside the drum to create a lip for the lid to sit on. I bent the flange on my lid out then hammered it to the drum. 

    I personally would not use a flat lid as it really cuts down on the cookable space. That being said, it is a cheaper and easier build with a flat lid so if you are on a strict budget then a flat lid will be the way to go. 
  3. bbqbeginner

    bbqbeginner Fire Starter

    Thanks for the advice! Sandblasting sounds like the way to go. I guess I could always start with the flat lid and see how that works. There were some inexpensive Weber kettles on CL in my area I could grab for parts and then would have a charcoal grill to use as well. Read some people ordered a replacement top from Weber, but not sure how much that would run. Didn't see an option for this on their website, is that something you'd have to call them to order? I'd probably want to repaint same color as UDS anyway, so used doesn't really bother me though. Do you add any extra exhaust vents onto the Weber kettle or just roll with the one that's on there?

    How would one go about putting a band of metal on the inside of the drum? I'm guessing maybe could just sacrifice the lid and cut it out of that and weld it on. I would think going over the outside edge of the drum would provide a better seal though. 



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