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23 Uses for Steel Drums

As ubiquitous as a common housefly, but as useful as the wheel, the 55-gallon steel drum is both everywhere and multi-purposeful. You may have one in your garage or just sitting in your yard and never thought about what you could do with it. If you don’t have one hanging around, you might go out and get one after looking at these 23 uses of steel drums.


With a little ingenuity, you can turn a steel drum into a wheelbarrow by cutting it in half and attaching a wheel with some handles. A steel drum canoe is another vehicle possibility. A snowplow can be crafted and attached to a truck for those up north. Though not a vehicle itself, a half drum can have slits cut into the rounded part and used as a bike rack.


Who doesn’t need extra places for tools? With a door cut into a drum, you can craft a toolbox; just add a few shelves to hold even more tools. If you are a woodworker, a barrel dust collector system even uses drums to collect the dust and shavings. While your working in your shop you can listen to tunes by converting a barrel into a stereo with wholes cut for the speakers. No more accidentally smashing your exposed radio when it is protected by a steel drum!


Everything from a pet bed to a chair or a water fountain to a table can be crafted from drums. With just a drum lid, a sleek clock can be made. The drum can host a light bulb and hung from the ceiling for an accent light.


Kids love to play on horse style swings. Drums connected end to end can be suspended as a fun swing. A simple open drum can collect rainwater. Deer can be fed easily out of open drums. Compost bins and even trash cans are helpful uses of the common drum. The bottom half of a drum buried halfway in the ground and surrounded by landscaping bricks makes a great fire pit for roasting marshmallows.


If you like to bar-b-que, take a drum, cut it in half, put hinges on it and place it on a stand as a grill. Similarly, the wonderful smell of smokey meat can be produced from a drum smoker. Maybe pizza is your favorite. Cut a hole in one end of a drum, line the inside with oven bricks, open a smoke release and you have a perfect pizza oven. Finally, a simple wood stove can be created for heating any space.

The versatile steel drum has many more applications too.  Be creative and come up with your own ideas!