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RMH Barrel Choices  RSS feed

 
Posts: 44
Location: New Hampshire, USA zone 5/6
4
food preservation homestead wofati
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Hi All,

I recently came across a catalog with steel and stainless steel drums for sale. This piqued my interest as I plan to one day build a RMH. The ad raised a number of questions for me. I don't plan to purchase anything now, I just figured these answers would be of use for others as well and I couldn't find them elsewhere in the forums.

1) Does it matter if I get a 55gal or a 30gal barrel? The 30Gal is $150 cheaper not including shipping

2) The steel drum is rated for 250F whereas the stainless steel is rated for 600F do you need to use the stainless for this reason or is 250F enough for the barrel?

3) The removable lid has a rubber gasket, I imagine this is across the board for steel barrels so how does that work with the heat from a RMH?

Thanks for your help and input.

Jackie
 
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Posts: 252
Location: Stevensville, Montana; Zone 5b
36
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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1) 55 gal is standard for a RMH, you need enough space around the stove's riser for gases to flow easily.
2) regular steel drums are what is commonly used and won't burn out. I think Ianto has been using the same one for like 30+ years. Stainless would look pretty cool though.
3) The gasket needs to be removed as it will melt. rip or chip it out and replace it with a bit of refractory wool or stove rope

4) Have fun!
 
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Hi Jackie,

Jackie Frobese wrote:
1) Does it matter if I get a 55gal or a 30gal barrel? The 30Gal is $150 cheaper not including shipping


On my local classifieds of a rural area of population ~100,000, there are two sellers each selling 1000+ used 55 gallon food grade steel barrels, for $10-13 each ($13 for lid w/ handle). Try local metal scrapyards.

If you're going to spend $100+ on a barrel you may as well buy a cost-effective merchantable good and sell the contents locally.

And as to your question, yes it matters... that should follow from all the other information available to you. But I'm guessing the intent of your question was about cost.

Jackie Frobese wrote:
2) The steel drum is rated for 250F whereas the stainless steel is rated for 600F


Steel can handle far more than 250F and 600F. Look up their melting points, which differ depending on the alloy. I expect they're talking about the paint/lining and not the alloys themselves. I'd seen elsewhere on this forum they burn off the paint then season the exterior drum with an oil, much like seasoning cast iron.
 
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