Thin Drum warning

Continuing the discussion from Hay filter warning:

The saga continues… I’ve almost completely removed the thin steel pieces from the truck, as over the years every bit of it has failed dramatically. The one place remaining is the heat exchanger outer shell. I’ve resisted fixing this one because it’s so tied to the main body of the gasifier; however today’s discovery leaves me no choice.

This point on the gasifier takes a beating; it supports a lot of the weight of the gasifier and is forced to flex every time you hit a bump. Eventually the thin metal tore out around the weld. Anyone building a similar setup should have support feet on the heat exchanger, and weld some gussets around this critical joint.

At this point it looks like I’ll have to take this apart and beef up the whole area. I don’t have time to redo the whole unit the way I’d like to, so this will be a temporary fix, enough to get me through Argos and hopefully finish out 2015.

Bottom line - stay away from anything under 16 gauge metal! It seemed like a good idea, and has held up for a few years… but you WILL replace every piece of it eventually.

1 Like

Chris, how is the gasifier lower drum holding up? I always wondered if the soot buildup down in there would slow down the corrosion process.

I stopped using drums years ago and moved on to water pressure tanks which are around 4 times as thick … Ahhhh, life in the salt belt … not to mention how corrosive wood vinegar is … Werner in Sweden had to plug all his holes with RTV each year … Regards, Mike

I am planning on my hay filter to stay metal with all it’s easy to weld 2 inch spouts, but then taking it to a rent a blaster for a half hour to make the inner diameter lightly porous for a truck bed underliner spray. Pictures later.


Going to do the same with my next one Doug D.

Hi all, I have mentioned this before, there are 3 products that these drums can be coated with, that will prevent rotting. I use chassis saver silver, the others are master series, and silver bullet. After cured they are impervious to any solvents, or chemical. It can even be used to coat, and seal gas tanks. Very hard to scratch or chip. Good for hay filters, not sure how much heat it will withstand, 300 deg F I think. Al

There is a thing called galvanic corrosion …All it takes is one flying rock or a small scratch while cleaning things and it will create a change in potential there and it will nucleate and corrode out … I really like to use plastic where I can but it is subject to the heat shrinking issues … It’s all fun … Mike LaRosa BS, Chemical Engineering SUNY at Buffalo 1976 … My senior project was solvent refined coal …

Al Where can you buy the products you mentioned?TomC

Hi Tom ,I get chassis saver at local parts store. you can get all 3 on line. Do a google search they’re all on there. Al

Chris, there is a guy up your way who I bought used 304 stainless 55 gallon drums from. He gets these from George Dickel Bourbon. These are very resistant to rust and are thick walled. I have MIG’d and TIG’d them.


how much does he charge?

I have been watching out for some of those stainless drums so far there all to expensive.

$100 each without the bourbon : )

I think that is a fair price

Stainless drums are about the only type worth using in many places … I just use what I find but … Mike

I found a few of my water heaters are allready nice’ly powder coated on the inside,that seems a good place for the hay filter,after one paints glass whare the coating gets burnt off from welding.Or is the water heater powder coating inferier to the wood gas at the hay filter.Thanks

Hello Kevin .

The used water heaters have worked well fore me :relaxed:

Hey Wayne, I think that your pictures showing a multi hole bolt pattern flange on the top is probably the water heater tank. But don’t you miss the single latch clamping that the smaller barrel offers?

Yes Doug .

The single latch clamping was real handy but hard to find except in the very thin drums. With a cordless drill the flanged tops can be taken off and put back on pretty fast. I don’t have to take the lid off often . I have 1 1/2 years of driving on the Ram and just pulled the lids for the first time a couple of weeks back. The hay in the filter wasn’t very dirty but I changed it anyway . I also pulled the top off the heat ex changer and took a look inside

that is pretty impressive Wayne. I hope I can see that kind of time between service.