Tinkerer, do-it-yourselfer, tightwad, cheap, frugal... all these adjectives used to describe a temperate personality, yet they are excluding of the other attributes that accompany them. Creativity, usefulness, unwasteful, abstemious, artful - these too are positive traits.
I built my first barbecue grill out of recycled and waste materials about 17 years ago. Last year, the bottom had rusted out to the point I could no longer utilize it. The hunt for materials began. I needed a new 30 gallon drum and, by chance found, one last May. I haven't had any time to get around to taking apart the old grill and get into building the new grill until yesterday, 8/2/15.
The old BBQ pit was made from a 30 gallon drum with a 25 gallon drum as a firebox insert. I threaded the ends a couple of pieces of 1/2" steel rod to support the actual grill plates, which are the only parts I actually purchased for it. The cooking surface is the most important part, so I sprung the $54 for enamel coated cast iron grates made by Weber, way back in 1998. The supports for the BBQ are pieces of strut, commonly used for building and industrial sites to support pipes and conduit. Strut is basically the erector set piece that is most ubiquitous just about anywhere. I braced the base of the supports with a couple pieces of threaded rod and nuts on either side. A couple of simple hinges hold the lid to the base with some jack chain to prevent it from flopping over completely. Two handles, one on either side, allow for pickup and placement to a new spot in the yard, if need be. The handle was formerly a broom handle held on by a couple of EMT (electrical metal tubing) straps. I elected to use a beefier dowel sourced from the hardware store with some beefier pipe stand-off clamps, total cost about $6.
I had the new drum cut in half, drilled and fitted to the base in a couple hours. by 4:30 pm, I was starting the charcoal in order to burn it out a bit. I sprayed the entire inside with canola oil to season it and let it heat for an hour. I then grilled up some corn and chicken drumsticks that came out wonderfully. Time for a beer can chicken, probably Wednesday. Tonight is grilled portobellos and vegetables. It sure is nice to have the charcoal pit back. I missed it.