55gal drum Horizontal build

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by pinkmeat, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    Well, I am embarking on the greatest....no let me stop. [​IMG]

    In my quest for a bigger smoker I am building a horizontal out of a 55gal closed drum and a Chargriller side firebox. I am also using some shelving that I had in the basement that was never put together. It will need some modifying, but I sort of mocked it up today. Here's a couple shots:

    The bottom shelf will be metal, but it comes with pressboard so I threw it on for rigidty while messing around. I made a template so I can cut the opening for the firebox on the drum, but I fear I am going to have problems with the 1" or so lip that runs around the circumference of the drum on that firebox side.

    I am choosing to mount the firebox on the "bung" side of the drum, so that if one day I want to convert to a reverse flow design, I will already have a good starting point to cut out for the exhaust stack. Either way, I still have that lip to contend with.

    The next steps will be cutting out the lid, making an exhaust, making some sort of base with wheels and locking casters, mounting the drum to the frame, mounting the firebox, and designing grates and a tuning plate system. Wow, cannot wait!
  2. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    See my "helpers?" I can't believe they can't fetch a beer out the fridge yet.

    No seriously, do you all think this firebox will be mounted plenty low enough on the drum? I am planning the first (lower) shelf to be slightly beneath the halfway point, and still need to leave some room for tuning plates and hope that what I have mocked up will provide enough clearance.

    Also, how much room would you typically leave between tuning plates and the first cooking grate? Should that be a consideration?
  3. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    He's three already and 90lbs. He should be good for something other than acting like a fool, lol!!!
  4. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks very familiar......



    I jeft the lip on and bolted the FB to the drum, using hi heat roping in between for a gasket and hi heat caulk to fill the gap outside.
    Has held up fine for 2 years now.
    May seem a little scabbed but this was a complete no weld build!


    I'm really going a long way back to find these pics but i'll keep lookin and post some more for ya!
  5. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    So, is the firebox actually tilted slightly towards the drum? Does that have two exhausts on it? What is coming out of the back side of the drum?
  6. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    FB is level, just used some spacers.
    Tube on back is old exhaust installed when i found it, just a door stop now.

    Exhaust is 4" stove pipe installed at grate level.

  7. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    Well, got a little time in today. Cannot believe the wife let me being our anniversary and all [​IMG]....I'm sure I'll be paying for those three hours one way or another.

    I was able to run out to Tractor Farm Supply and pickup some hinges along with hardware to make wheels for the shelf/smoker. I added the axles and wheels, cut-out the firebox opening, and am currently trying to measure off the opening. I am going to wait to cut until a buddy brings his laser level by so I can be sure to measure it as square as possible. Aside from that holdup I think everything is looking pretty good. The drum isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be on the inside.....just some surface rust and a tiny bit of goop in the opposite end. Enjoy:

    So what if they look like lawn mower wheels. They were still $8 each....

    Here is the hole I cut from the Chargriller template I made:

    I think I solved the problem of the lip running around the edge of the drum: I cut it and hammered the tabs flat. After the firebox is screwed in place it looks like a go..
  8. smok'n steve

    smok'n steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking good! Can't wait to see the the finish job!!

    Also, I am jealous of your stock in royal oak in the back there...They,Walmart, have stopped ordering it here locally:-(
  9. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    looks pretty cool so far, cant wait to see your progress!!!
  10. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    It goes a couple bags past that[​IMG]

    I'm not sure if mine will be cutting it out soon, so everytime I am nearby I get a couple for safe measure..
  11. guvna

    guvna Smoking Fanatic

    looking great so far! when complete, i'd love to see the pics of the rack set-up as well as the "door". keep going!!!
  12. cman95

    cman95 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You have a nice build going there pink. Can't wait to see the finished product.[​IMG]
  13. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    Okay guys, it's been a busy morning. Prepping and tending a butt while working on the new smoker a bit.

    I measured out (PITA) the door opening finally and cut it out. I also aattched some hinges that will later need to be bent a little to fit perfectly. It's starting to look like a smoker a little!

    I'm planning on burning it out for at least a few more hours today. I started a thick bed of coals and threw on some small logs for some extra heat. Everything seems to be doing okay and it's putting out some serious heat about now.
  14. smoknrookie

    smoknrookie Fire Starter

    So what are using to make all of your cuts?? I know some guys use a plasma cutter, but not everyone has access to one of these didn't know what you were using to make yours, by the way I think it is looking GREAT so far, cant wait to see the finished pics..
  15. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    Jigsaw with a new bit....the tricky part was starting the lid cuts since I really didn't want to lose any surface metal at all, but I did have to drill some very small pilot holes to get the jigsaw bit IN....

    I plan on adding some flashing for a better seal all around the lid anyways, but I did feel a little pressure to cut it right the first time [​IMG]
  16. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    Well, I dropped off the drum at the powdercoating place to be sandblasted. Should have it back early next week. What to do?
  17. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Post a pic of what it looked like pre paint.....
  18. johnnyreb

    johnnyreb Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    i wanna see the flashing part added..how do you plan on attaching it? pop rivets maybe?
  19. motorhedd

    motorhedd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    All I want to know is this:you gonna remember us when you become rich and famous![​IMG]
  20. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    I do plan to attach the flashing with pop rivets since it will not be very thick metal. It should be interesting when attaching it though. You don't really see that the cylindrical part of the barrel is under tension until you cut a piece out, like the lid. Now when it's closed, the lid doesn't have the same exact curve that the rest of the drum has, which may or may not make the flashing work correctly. We'll see.

    Hey the only place I will ever be famous is here, and that's only if the finished product doesn't look too ghetto....lol

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