that looks like it would be easy to build. i might think about it really hard. btw, did you look at the accessory page? that little smokey thermometer is what i have in my smoker, escept i paid $9 for them locally. http://www.bigdrumsmokers.com/accs.htm
i have two of them, one in end of the door.
Hey Ultra mag there are some food manufacturing plants around here that have the barrels. The other option was if you have a representative for chemicals. Find one that resells food grade glycerine used in many cases to fill the inside of pressure gauges that are subject to high vibration. They sell the stuff in 55 gallon drums
if the barrel is too big around, make sure it comes with a lid. cut out a hole for the top you plan to use to sit over. or, cut it so that the top you plan to use sets down into the llid, and weld it in. if you just can't get the lid with it, i would put some bolts thru the sides at the level so that the top you want to use is at the height you want, and make some kind of filler to go around the top. maybe weld some metal to the top. sound doable to you?
Heres what I've done so far-I got a drum that has a lid and the painted interior, added 4 daisy wheel vents (Weber clone) and pop riveted them 3" from the bottom of drum with four 3/4" holes on each vent. Took a 18.5" Weber Bar-B-kettle and drilled a lot of 3/4" holes around it, added a 9" H expando fire ring to sit on the charcoal grate of the kettle and set it in the bottom of the drum. I was just playing around with it and had a bunch of different briquettes and lump to see what it would do and had a steady 450F for @ 3hours then I dumped some Mesquite chips on for for good measure! I had to cut the rolled edge of drum for the 22.5" Weber Kettle lid to fit. I just got another drum that is not painted on the inside and I'll do a straight BDS setup to it and keep you posted on the results!
I gotta buddy down in willacoochie that told me he can get me 55 gal drums for 10-15 bucks, I needed to get one to make charcoal as I am tired of paying for it...lol. I will keep ya posted if they are high quality drums or not.
Are these not your average 55 gal drum? If it needs to be taller than an average drum, what would stop someone from welding a drum and a half together?
At those prices, I would guess they don't sell many.
I can get new 55 gallon drum for 12 bucks with lid and clamp.
The sizes of the BDS are 35", 38" and 43". I took a walk around our shop and pump room measuring the drums and the ones we had were all 35" H x 23.5"W. I wasn't thinking about it at the time but if I wanted more space I could put my EZ-Que ring on the drum and gain 6" plus the Kettle lid and I just got a Jumbo BDS. If you had 2 barrels you could cut one below the rib and crimp it so it fits into the top and make it whatever height you like.
I know they are new barrels, I buy them all the time to store feed in. I wouldn't even think twice about storing fed for my livestock in anything used.
As for a "scabbed up sub par project," I guess that all depends on how good a welder you are and have. I helped a guy build a homebuilt pontoon, and I did all the welding on the drums. The welds are beautiful and he actually gets complements on them all the time. He even got thumbs-up on the welds when he took it to be certified.