I know this topic has been covered many times, but I haven't been able to find it. I built a pocket rocket to burn out a 55 gal drum. but it will only remove the paint on the bottom 1/3. the bottom temp reach 900 deg F and 400 on the lid. any help would be appreciated.
I treat mine like a burn barrel. Fill it with scrap wood and let it burn! Of course I live way out in the country ... nobody to complain. With this method the top 2/3 of the paint burns off quickly. Works very well... Stay upwind while burning.
Insulating the barrel will do the trick, as Satamax indicated. Wrapped mine in some scrap R11 fiberglass (foil layer to the outside), then a section of "chicken wire" (could use bare wire etc.) to hold the R11 in place. Set it up as a Pocket Rocket and used a scrap 5' section of HVAC duct for a makeshift chimney pipe. Lit it off one evening just after dark, burning small pine limbs, twigs, cones, etc. Just a small fuel load adding more material as it burned down. After about 20 to 30 minutes the whole barrel was glowing a dull cherry red.
Fill it full of wood and light it up. If you are worried about toxic fumes or other gick off gassing, some folks wrap it in newspaper that has been soaked in clay water like paper mache. The clay water soaked newspaper will absorb most of the toxic stuff and then you just throw it away after.