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Ripper

Barrel Bbq Build

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Posting on AL after a long long break :)

I believe making a BBQ grill was discussed a few years back and thought of documenting my build as a build log here so it will hopefully inspire another to do the same. Or at least help to avoid a few issues i face during my shot at this.

As of now, i've complete about 80% of the build. Another two weekends and i should be through to the finish line :)

Simply put...I love beer and grilled meat.

Have a been huge fan for a while and i've been using two grills at home.

One was this large oil drum grill i got made from a weld shop a few years back

36127_403299607343_396846_n_zps89fa8661.

It got the job done beautifully. Have had many great times with friends and family with many cold ones.

The only real complains was that it was really poor in aesthetics, wasn't portable, was prone to rust, fire box wasn't good, and had no way of controlling the heat

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I had it for good five years and have used it pretty often. But now finally it's started to show age and rust away.

I also have a smaller portable grill that used to go in the truck with me on trips and the likes.

Its store bought... highly portable but quite small in size and flimsy.

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I do love DIY and consider myself to be a tool addict :)

Over time i've collected a bit of equipment so thought of building a grill myself as a weekend project.

Objective was to fix or at least reduce the issues i had with the large barrel unit.

Make it portable so it can go with me in the truck without taking too much of space etc.

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I did fair bit of research online to figure out an easy way to design and build. I couldn't find anything that fitted the bill that matched my requirement and skill set.

So i kinda designed my own thing

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many sketches later, and running through the building process in my head...i kinda settled for this

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In a nutshell...

it's a horizontally placed barrel with an opening flap. It will be ventilated with two adjustable vents. One for intake and one for exhaust

Grill to be made with stainless steel and internal firebox to be fabricated so no coal sit on the barrel surface itself

This whole unit will sit on a collapsible scissor stand made out of square tubing.

The tools u need

Welding unit - i'm using a small AC plant. 250amps on 3phase.

Angle Grinder with grinding and cutting discs, A chop saw will make things faster to cut - mine blew a coil while building this and i was limited only to using the grinders.

Drill - i used a bench drill too but a hand drill will still work

Bench grinder - this will make finishing things faster, angle grinder too will work but more time consuming and harder to control in some cases

G clamps, rivet gun, and misc hand tools like hammers, pliers etc

if adding the wooden side table thing, you'll need some wood working tools as well

Supplies

Barrel, L angle steel, 1.5 sq pipe, 1" and 3/4" metal "pattang"

I used 8mm stainless steel rods to make the grill top.

regular and SS weld rods

plenty of cutting discs for the grinder

Safety

It's really important to use safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection when using power tools.

In my case i have a curious 5 year old running around my work area and two rotties so safety becomes even more critical.

All powertools should be disconnected from power the moment you're done with them.

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Got the barrel from dam street for 1500 bucks

Finding one without dents was really hard

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this too had a small dent. since it's slightly heave gauge metal, beating this back to shape isn't really easy. especially since i don't have a blow torch to heat things up as yet.

But i did manage to hammer this one out

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This barrel used to carry chemicals needed to make incense sticks...

bloody thing still has the fragrance...

I will do a full burn before painting the exterior with high heat paint so all traces of the chemicals will be taken out.

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measured and cut the flap open with the angle grinder

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this was a new disc . barrel ate it up good

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steel "pattam" added to strengthen the cut edges. these are riveted to the barrel with pop rivets as my welder can't be used on thin sheet metal.

adding these also take out any risk of cuts from sharp edges of the barrel. I did sand paper the edges with 80grit paper to smoothen them in any case.

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Making a support frame for the top cover/lid with steel pattam

bending these to shape takes a bit of time. i used just two blocks of wood and a hammer as a simple bender.

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Top cover frame welded in fully

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Top cover frame riveted in place to the cut off barrel piece. L iron "stopper" added to the barrel so when the lid is close...it has something to rest on

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Lid kept on the barrel to check fit

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Almost a perfect fit.... there was like a 3mm difference on one side. Once the hinges come in i'll try to correct that.

fabricating lift handles out of 1" square pipe

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cutting 45 angles was a tad hard without the chop saw. these were cut with the grinder. managed to fill the gaps while welding.

I employed a oxy welding steel rod as a filler rod in addition to the weld rod. Saw a pro welder doing this and a nicked it from the guy

Trying to use only metal to fill things and keep fillers away as much as i can.

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These lift handles need to be perfectly square so did all i could to ensure accuracy.

The barrel base was leveled with a spirit level before each marking or welding job. Used a squares to mark angles

Found a sharpened "concrete nail" to be the best a scribe to mark steel. I got a cheapo chinese scribe tool that doesn't perform nearly as good and hold it's edge.

Took less than five mins to make on the bench grinder

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handles welded in

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I used an L iron to hold the handle and weld that into the barrel rim. Barrel rim is thick and strong and can take the heat from an arc welder.

The sheet metal wont be able to take the finished weight of the unit.

Also the plan is to have a sliding in wooden table top bit that goes into this handle.

Adding interior ribs

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this is to hold the firebox cos i don't want it to sit directly on top of the barrel sheet itself.

The thin metal will weaken due to high heat exposure over long periods.

The plan is to fabricate a firebox that will sit on these ribs.... somehow :) i'm yet to fully figure out that one.

Installing L iron on the internal ribs to hold the grill.

The ribs will be riveted to the barrel and these L iron will hold the grill in place

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Round steel rods welded in to connect the two L iron pieces from either side

This was to stop from the bottom ribs getting distorted when the heavy grill top moves in. It will also reduce strain on the pop rivets

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There was a a gap between the two l irons with the barrel sheet metal sandwiched in between. I welded a 1/2 pattam piece to cover that up

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welds are ugly and need fair bit of grinding to clean up

Starting on the grill...

I ran out of SS steel half way through the build. Bought 3nos 12ft rods but i ended up using a total of 6 rods.

These were the pricey ones with one rod priced at 1200 bucks.

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With rising power bills, switched to the hacksaw and a high speed blade to cut these and gave the grinders a break

sizes were ok. ground the edges a bit on the bench grinder as the saw cuts left rough edges.

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Welding the grill was the scariest part as i was told repeatedly by friends how hard SS welding is on an AC welding unit

This was untrue as i found SS welding pretty easy.

Keeping the metal rods in place and making sure everything was true... this was a effing nightmare.

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I tried making a wooden jig with holes spaced evenly but found drilling holes with a 16mm gap wasn't easy at all even with a bench drill.

Finally used the wooden thing as a frame, placed nails to hold the first few rods in place and use those as a guide for the next rod.

Overall quite happy how it came out. It's a bit on heavy side as rods are 8mm but the thought of not having rust to deal with is pretty awesome

I've added handles to either side but forgot to take a pic of it.

Over this weekend, i plan to finish up the stand and mate the top cover with hinges to the main barrel body.

Also need to drill and fix the grill heat gauge i got off ebay, start on the wooden sliding table top and the firebox

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Good Job Man!

Theses Barrels were imported by us to sri lanka.

After Packing all the fragrances, we sell these empty drums at Central Road In Pettah.

Some were distributed to E.B. Creasy.

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Good Job Man!

Theses Barrels were imported by us to sri lanka.

After Packing all the fragrances, we sell these empty drums at Central Road In Pettah.

Some were distributed to E.B. Creasy.

Thanks mate.

I got the barrel from dam street...there was this large barrel shop that sold everything from half cut barrels to plastic ones.

This was the size i preferred and unlike most used barrels you get...these were relatively dent free.

So you guys bring down the chemicals i'm guessing... Went for these assuming it wasn't hazardous.

Anyway i plan on taking this to a friend who's got a gas blow torch to do a full burn.

To get rid of old paint and any traces of chemicals.

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Great work there Ripper. Admire your thought through planning and attention to detail.

So when is the grand opening BBQ? :P

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Good question, Davy! I too support a trial run by the autolankans. I mean who better to test this right?

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Posting on AL after a long long break :)

I believe making a BBQ grill was discussed a few years back and thought of documenting my build as a build log here so it will hopefully inspire another to do the same. Or at least help to avoid a few issues i face during my shot at this.

As of now, i've complete about 80% of the build. Another two weekends and i should be through to the finish line :)

Simply put...I love beer and grilled meat.

Have a been huge fan for a while and i've been using two grills at home.

One was this large oil drum grill i got made from a weld shop a few years back

36127_403299607343_396846_n_zps89fa8661.

It got the job done beautifully. Have had many great times with friends and family with many cold ones.

The only real complains was that it was really poor in aesthetics, wasn't portable, was prone to rust, fire box wasn't good, and had no way of controlling the heat

312703_10150377805872344_45110666_n_zps9

307256_10150377806992344_91238049_n_zpsb

I had it for good five years and have used it pretty often. But now finally it's started to show age and rust away.

I also have a smaller portable grill that used to go in the truck with me on trips and the likes.

Its store bought... highly portable but quite small in size and flimsy.

522229_10150804562552344_1280016499_n_zp

I do love DIY and consider myself to be a tool addict :)

Over time i've collected a bit of equipment so thought of building a grill myself as a weekend project.

Objective was to fix or at least reduce the issues i had with the large barrel unit.

Make it portable so it can go with me in the truck without taking too much of space etc.

Nice work.. i love BBQ as well.

for the temp control issue, does you pit has vent holes on both sides of the drum. most of the good grills i have seen have those on both sides and they can be closed/opened fully or partially to control the heat.

and as for the rust, what i did when i was using one is to clean the thing tray right after using, wash, dry and apply a baking lub spray.

and if u have time, you can try applying a think coat of high temp paint on it. the paint will hold very well, but i dont know how long it will last :)

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Nice work.. i love BBQ as well.

for the temp control issue, does you pit has vent holes on both sides of the drum. most of the good grills i have seen have those on both sides and they can be closed/opened fully or partially to control the heat.

and as for the rust, what i did when i was using one is to clean the thing tray right after using, wash, dry and apply a baking lub spray.

and if u have time, you can try applying a think coat of high temp paint on it. the paint will hold very well, but i dont know how long it will last :)

Thanks. Re: heat control... i was thinking of having a 6" inch diameter circle with four 40mm holes. It's the standard model you get where when you rotate the wheel you can go from full open position to fully closed position. The barrel will have the 4 holes and the disc that comes on top of it will either fully open or fully close the vents. These will come in either side to have even air flow if i want to or have one side more hot than the other.

The top lid is not fully air tight once it's closed, so moisture, fumes etc will have a way out. But i thought of adding a single vent on one side with four 20mm holes, on the same disc adjusting method.

I checked panchi shops for hole saws and they aint cheap. AC paul quoter 5k something for a 40mm hole saw with the mandrel. i only have woodworking hole saws in my tool chest.

So got one off ebay for less than 2k but the darn thing still didn't show up

As for rust. what happens to me after each bbq session is that i top up quite a bit on beer and others end up having to close shop after a session. So maintaining the grill doesn't quite happen the way it should. And for sanity in all fronts, having the stainless still grill is a huge relief for me. Gotta see how the thing holds up though.

I heard SS tend to buckle easier at higher temps so that's why i went for 8mm rods instead of thinner ones. Also i used them across the shorter gap and ran two rods underneath too.

i read all over not to use any kind of paint inside the unit, certainly not a on the grill. So gonna stick to that

Only going to paint the exterior with high heat paint.

I got some from slave island paint shops...matte black that's intended to be used on exhausts.

Not gonna bother painting the firebox as it will come into direct contact with hot coal and i doubt any paint can hold upto that. And there's a good chance of fumes getting released as the paint breaks down. can't risk that.

I read on other diy forums about how people just clean things up properly and spraying the interior bits with simple vegetable oil. Gonna try that option and see how it goes.

If mild rust shows up, i can always attend to it. And if it's the firebox, re-welding another one after a few years of usage is no biggie.

Gonna do the stand, mount the top lid, firebox and hopefully the woodworking stuff too over the weekend :)

Drilling temp control holes are stalled until the darn hole saw arrives.

Edited by Ripper

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Brilliant!...Nice to see these DIY projects done properly.

Thanks MD. And thanks for the support in my queries to find everything from heat paint to ratcheting gears :)

Super work Ripper :action-smiley-033:

Thank you!

Great work there Ripper. Admire your thought through planning and attention to detail.

So when is the grand opening BBQ? :P

Looks like the first usage will be in nuwara eliya. Nothing like good company, cold beer and some grilled meat in a cold place

Good question, Davy! I too support a trial run by the autolankans. I mean who better to test this right?

Heh heh... there's the super special, "bbq chicken wing's at MD's house" group. I doubt this little unit is enough to cater to anything larger than that sadly.

Might have to cut open a tanker truck to serve autolankans

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Early start. cutting 1.5" square pipe for the stand. 45 degree cuts with the angle grinder is a bit hard. Chop saw is still at the motor shop so no choice but to use the grinder.

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cuts are not very accurate. gotta fill it up when welding.

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Drilling a pilot hole for the bench drill to grab onto. Used a punch to guide the smaller bit too.

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The big boy gets to work

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Two SS bolts holding it in place.

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Used some cut off 2x4's from a saw horse project to raise the stand up and tie the legs with rope. This is to get the height right before i weld a support brace in place.

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All levelling up

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Celebrating little victories. It's great when things fall into place right.

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Center locking brace clamped in for welding

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fully welded and folded.

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Locked in place and more than capable of handling a heavy load

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Top lid tack welded in with 3 hinges

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Grill with handles welded in. will need to use oven gloves when handling this

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two weld magnets holding a handle piece

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bench drill chuck can't hold smaller bits. using a smaller chuck i got off a parts shop to hold smaller bits.

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Handle welded in place. Plan is to cover the front part of the handle with wood. Two wood strips will have a center groove to allow the steel bit to fit in and hopefully epoxy should hold them together. If that fails, can use a screw...hence the center hole

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Temp gauge off ebay. test fitted this in. thinking of having a metal surround to this so the dial wont get bust up when transporting etc.

Will have to get in oxy welded in from a shop as my arc can't handle sheet metal.

Gotta wait for the weekend to sort out the rest.

next on the list...

Firebox, vents, top lid holding mechanism, wood working bits, finishing and painting.

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looks great man.. by the looks of it i assume that the Damn Hole Saw has no arrived yet. hope it shows up soon.. keep it up..

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looks great man.. by the looks of it i assume that the Damn Hole Saw has no arrived yet. hope it shows up soon.. keep it up..

Thanks mate.

yep...no joy on the hole saw :( If it doesn't arrive within the week, i'm gonna try and use the wood hole saw on a piece of sheet metal and see how it goes. Since these are thinner gauge metal it might go through. I can buy a couple and sacrifice them if need be cos they are cheap. Wanted a nice finish and i feel the metal hole saw would be the best bet though.

Noticed a small error on the handle today morning so gonna have to cut that out and re-weld it in place. It's slightly slanted to one side...by like 3-4mm.

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This turned out to be monumental waste of time.

I wanted the top lid to stay securely held once lifted up and was trying to make two collapsible arms.

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made all four pieces with drilling, cutting and grinding but found out it wouldn't work.

i was trying to copy the design that keep the tail gate in place on the truck...but didn't really think how things would be different for two curved pieces.

On the truck it's between two flat panels.

Little frustrations of DIY :)

Gonna now replace it with a stainless steel chain. It wont look the best, but without major surgery i can't see a way out.

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The handle i welded last weekend was off alignment by 3-4mm. I cut the thing out, made a new one with perfect 90 degree angles and welded the thing in place.

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First time using a chemical paint stripper. Wanted the original paint out so i can put my heat proof paint on it

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This is really strong stuff. i was initially thinking of spraying it but luckily didn't got that route and used a brush.

When you get it on your skin, it really burns. Long gloves, pants, shoes all needed to handle this

It's worth it as it works beautifully

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Most of the paint out, needs a high pressure wash down

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After the rain my garage floor had got wet and only then i realized the stand legs sitting on the ground straight might not be the best.

Did a quick shopping run at arpico and got these rubber inserts. 1.5 inch square blocks that loosely go into the 1.5inch square pipe.

I drilled a small hole on the pipe to drive a screw later so it will hold the rubber in place. Will also use epoxy on top of the rubber when i'm installing it into the pipe

these four pieces will get welded onto the bottom bit so it will stand on these rubber blocks

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These weld magnets are really becoming handy.

Welding the brackets in place on the bottom of the stand

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Finally starting on the coal tray

The bottom "L" frame will have a full sheet metal cover. This will serve as an ash pan.

The four vertical "L" pieces will be covered from bottom and sides to hold coal.

This should be pretty solid but the draw back is the weight. pointless making it out of thinner gauge material as the heat will eat through it fast.

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Looking more like a "tray" now.

Once in the barrel, the top of this sits 1.2 inch below the grill surface. The coal can go upto 4 inches deep.

3 layers of briquettes i'm guessing...

Since i chose the smaller barrel, interior space is limited... So i had to ditch the idea of trying to make a coal tray with adjustable height.

Should be able to get some level of heat control within the grill by moving the briquettes to one side

Overall temp can be managed by the two air intakes.

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