Oil drum ok?

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Original poster
Apr 13, 2014
I have access to some free 55 gallon oil drums... Are these ok to use for usd's... How many burns are recommended?

Hello.  The VERY short answer is yes.  BUT we don't know your experience.  If it sounds I am talking down to you please forgive me, not my intention.  I just don't want anyone hurt.  Wash those drums EXTREMELY well before starting and don't use a torch to cut open.  Fill it with water and then use a grinder to cut the top off.  Keep in mind the dangers of an electric grinder and water.  Now an old welders trick is to attach a hose to the exhaust of a car and then to the barrel, propane tank, gas tank.  Depending on the size of the tank start and run the car for about 1/2 hour before starting the cut.  There must be an intake for the car exhaust and and exit vent.  For an explosion to occur oxygen is required.  I have used the exhaust method to cut holes in large empty diesel tanks with a cutting torch.  I don't mean to scare you, I just want to ensure you are safe.  These barrels are used all the time.

Personally I would burn it out twice just for my piece of mind.  LARGE hot fire.  Old pallets or any old scrap will work.  Here comes safety guy again.  For the first burn, make sure you are in the wide open spaces and don't put yourself where the smoke can contact your skin or eyes and don't inhale dude.  
  Light it and get away.  Then do a later 2nd burn ( PROBABLY not needed but I would ).  Then clean the inside well ( wire brush and carwash? ) and get started.

Just to save you work:  After heating that barrel, ANY moisture will start that barrel rusting overnight.  That includes morning dew.  It will only be surface rust but it WILL rust and the rust will progress quickly until painted or seasoned for smoking.  Hope this helps.  Go for it and be sure you post some pictures of the build.  Keep Smokin!

Wow! My wife will appreciate your advice! I was gonna grind away in the garage. I too appreciate it I am a noob so all advice is appreciated . The safe way is the best way!! I will take your advice to heart, and hope to post pics of my progress. Thanks again. ( may be worth trying to find a different tank)
Hello.  I am sure the wife would have been REALLY upset if you blew apart the garage.  
  Those barrels will be ok.  Just use some precautions and you will be fine.  Every welder will tell you that every time you cut into a propane tank with a cutting torch your toes curl and other parts of the body tighten up.  Wash them out really well ( car wash and use the degreaser) before starting.  I am being OVER cautious but as I said we don't know your experience when we offer advice.  As they are oil barrels, IF  you do a REALLY good wash, leave EVERY plug out of the barrel, you should be good to go without filling with water WHEN USING A GRINDER, NO TORCH.  Just remember they contained petroleum products and then use.  As I said I AM being over cautious but I just don't want anyone hurt because I gave a quick off the cuff answer.  Fore warned is fore armed.  Keep Smokin!

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