Geob is correct on opening up a drum.Even if you know it has not had flammable materials in it. If you torch it,cut with sawzall, cut off wheel... it will leave a sharp edge. Spend about 10 minutes with a pipe wrench and 3-4 lb hammer, top is cut and no sharp edges. Open pipe wrench up with about a 1/4" play for front jaw to sit over lip of barrel. Hold wrench at about a 20-30 degree angle and start hittin the top of front jaw. When holding the wrench with other hand you want to lift the back end up, to help fold the cut in. To each their own though, BTW I am not an old welder nor a young welder. Not a Welder at all, just agree with Geobs advice. I dont think its the welders getting killed by cutting up drums with a torch....thats pretty much taboo. Its mainly those not familiar with the safety issue on cutting a drum. Sure would suck to get killed for cutting a drum for a firebox. Whatever method you use, be safe. I definetly will be making one for these for the house. Thanks for the pics and sharing the idea.