Building a grill from a 55 gallon drum
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    JROC's Avatar
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    Building a grill from a 55 gallon drum

    Anyone on here ever built one? I'm sure some of y'all have as they're pretty popular. It's something that I thought I'd like to build some day.

    I found this old drum in an old fallen down barn. This barn used to be the local post office like 100-150+ years ago. The drum looks to be in pretty good overall shape. The thing is going off of facts I know it's been sitting out there for at least 20 years. I'd be shocked to find out that it hasn't been out there for 30+ years, and if I'm placing a bet I'm betting my grandpa who was a farmer had it out there, and he died in 1975 from a drowning accident put out fish traps. That mean It's likely been out the for 44+ years. The barns been collapsed for I'd say 15+ years and it took a lot of damage from tornadoes spun off of Hurricane Hugo back in 89 so the barrel has seen some of the outdoor elements for sure.

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    What do y'all think? Is something like this worth trying to make a grill with? I did find 2 tiny pin hole in the bottom of it, but I had to really look to find them, and tapping on it the drum feels and sounds solid. It doesn't seem like it's eaten thru with a bunch of rust is what I'm saying. The thing is how clean does the metal on a grill need to be to use it? Anything more than surface rust is a real PITA to remove and IDK what the inside of it looks like. If I coul d just clean off any loose rust with a wire wheel and flapper, weld in the two small pin holes, and paint it with some high temp paint it might be fine.

    Again what do y'all think? I've seen new one for sell from Uline for like $95. Also any idea's on a build. What I mean is something more than just a basic grill. Could you add a smoker to it? Dammit, guys, I'm a machinist not a chef! How does a smoker built into a grill function off it?
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    JD4044M's Avatar
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    Go for it but I would use a nice/newer 55 Gal Drum? Around here they give or sell real cheap those steel drums.

    Look at these that people made. https://www.google.com/search?q=maki...w=1300&bih=692
    Last edited by JD4044M; 05-25-2019 at 08:17 PM.
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    I'd want to know what had been in the barrel before I used it to cook food. The heat could release residual chemicals that could be transferred to your food.

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    I made one back in the mid '80's...when I was much younger and much, much more foolish! I cut the barrel lengthwise and had a grill surface roughly 3'x 2' ! That takes 3-4 bags of charcoal to fill. I already had grates for the top...metal-wire shelves from old style refrigerators.. and didn't bother to paint the inside or outside. We had "burner barrels" when I grew up...just an open top 55 drum... and they'd last 10+ years burning weekly. After cutting the barrel in-half, I had 2 "grilles" so I figured I was good for at least 20 years!

    They're kinda kewl, but pretty much a "novelty item." Bob
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    Carvel Loafer's Avatar
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    They are cool. I've always been nervous of the idea of cutting open a drum. If you torch or grind it I'm nervous of vaporising residual flammable whatever and BOOM! But guys do it so there must be a safe way. Hey, if you do cut it open, make a video for us, .
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    Quote Originally Posted by keane View Post
    I'd want to know what had been in the barrel before I used it to cook food. The heat could release residual chemicals that could be transferred to your food.
    This!

    Quote Originally Posted by Carvel Loafer View Post
    They are cool. I've always been nervous of the idea of cutting open a drum. If you torch or grind it I'm nervous of vaporising residual flammable whatever and BOOM! But guys do it so there must be a safe way. Hey, if you do cut it open, make a video for us, .
    My uncle used to cut the top out of drums with a Forney buzz box cranked way up. In retrospect, he was very lucky. I was chicken and used a hammer and cold chisel. Many years later, a guy I knew cut into one with a torch. Boom. No LOL here. He spent time in the hospital. Another person in the shop when this happened nearly died. So be careful when cutting into containers.
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    I could have sworn i seen GRILLE in the title and was wondering what kind of tractor grille you was going to make
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    JROC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlegreenmachine View Post
    I could have sworn i seen GRILLE in the title and was wondering what kind of tractor grille you was going to make
    That's the plan. Take off the plastic hood and weld this to the front of my tractor.

    Ballast up front + a cooking surface for those long days I'm out cutting/baling hay = win...?

    It will be like a double grill or something.
    Last edited by JROC; 05-26-2019 at 05:54 PM.

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    JROC's Avatar
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    I agree that cutting into an oil barrel would be something to be careful and think it thru before just jumping right into it. Still this thing is so old and isn't 100% sealed that I think it would be pretty safe to use a spark or flame around. Before I cut on it I plan to try and get the caps to break loose and take them off first to look inside them and let it vent. I plan to use a cutoff wheel to cut it.
    Last edited by JROC; 05-26-2019 at 05:55 PM.
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    JROC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keane View Post
    I'd want to know what had been in the barrel before I used it to cook food. The heat could release residual chemicals that could be transferred to your food.

    Keane
    I definitely plan to get the material clean and painted before using it to cook with. Also will probably burn a few fires in it before I use it for cooking.

    Probably won't get started on this for another month or so as my wifes scheduled to have surgery in a little over a week.

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