Where to find 30 gallon steel drums?

I am starting to collect the materials necessary to build my first wood gasifier here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Finding the 30 gallon steel drums with the snap-ring lids used with the WK gasifier has been problematic. Does anyone have suggestions as to where these drums may be found? What type of business uses and disposes this type of drum? Any help or suggestions will certainly be appreciated.

We gave up and now bend 20 gauge steel into any size container we want. Terry L did it for his Dodge build over on the premium side I think. He didn’t buy any special equipment.

I purchased mine locally from this company. www.dewittbarrels.com

30 gallon was a little more $ than 55. I think about $30 - 35 each; not certain I bought a few types at that time.

I am sure there are other companies that recondition and sell drums throughout the US. I was happy with what I received here and that I could jump in the truck and get them without having to deal with shipping.

I found mine on ebay about 25 miles from home. 6 barrels for $50.00. Had wax from making womens makeup (or mens if you’re so inclined) in them.


Thank you ALL for your helpful suggestions. My search here on the MIssissippi Gulf Coast and in LA (Lower Alabama) has yet to produce steel drums in my shop. Still looking. CraigsList has provided a few leads and there are 55 gallon drums all over the place. I’ve talked to drum manufacturers, steel drum reconditioners and have some promising leads that are costly. It may prove to be less costly to roll the cylinders we need as Woody suggested. We have access to that type fab shop… Alafab (just outside Mobile, AL) if anyone in this area has an interest. For anyone in Los Angeles, CA… Greif, Inc. sells manufacturers “seconds” there. Thanks again and rest assured that I really appreciate y’all taking the time to respond to my request.

WW Grainger has them/can order them for about $110 each, something like that. New, first quality barrels. More money, but faced with an impass, there is your source. There is a Grainger’s in most towns of size. Also, no freight, even though they may have to order it and ship it in. Finally, you might be able to find a discount - our Texas Farm Bureau has a discount for purchases from Graingers.

Martin is correct, Grainger carries drums, more specifically they carry the following;

Skolnik CQ0502Q - Drum, Open Head, 5 Gal, w/Leverlock Ring (Grainger item 19K301) These are 14" in diameter with the leverlock rings. These are ideal for use in making lids for the hay filter, heat exchanger, and hopper fuel door. I have had no luck finding other reliable sources of 14 or 18" diameter lever lock lids of this type. These are however (in my opinion) very over-priced at $73 each.

If anyone has a reliable and affordable source of these they would be a great gasifier store item. The lid, lock ring, and about the top 3 inches of the drum! - Ready to weld on lids!

Thank you Henry & Martin…

Your inputs gave me another avenue of investigation. I Googled the Skolnik drum and found the item on the Skolnik website. It has been my experience that most of these big companies/manufacturers will not deal with small orders so I called a sales rep (Bill Fitzgerald) and discussed our requirements and asked for a referral to a distributor in my area.

Of course he has never heard of wood gassing. Until 3 months ago, neither had I. I told him some of the things I knew and like most folks, when you mention this subject they either yawn or become very interested. Bill was very interested and I told him about the “DriveOnWood.com” website and he said he is going to visit the site. I told him how hard barrels are to find and how I had been searching and Bill told me he would be happy to ship me some barrels. The 5 gal. Henry mentioned will cost $28 plus s&h. He is putting together a quote for me tomorrow.

I also mentioned that there are a lot of guys looking for barrels as a component in their fabrication process. They will also ship as few as 2 or 3 via UPS. I will provide further updates as they become available in my ongoing quest for the elusive steel drums. They may have other stipulations yet to be discussed, but, we shall see.

If anyone in the Chicago area (home of Skolnik’s Manufacturing operations) is wood gassing… the potential exists that the barrels may be purchased “off the dock”. I don’t have the full details on this yet.

Thanks again for your inputs,


Interesting, their website clearly states that they do not sell to the public! - This is a positive development.

Ask your rep if you may post a contact # for him here. As it happens I found this today and haven’t ordered my 5 gallon lid donors as of yet and $28 is way better than the $73 Grainger is charging - You may have just saved myself and some others some money!

Dear Harry,
Many times with these big companies… this is THE policy. I’ve spent a lot of my life doing material procurement work for the construction industry and know many reps live at their desks doing their daily monitor jockey work. Be friendly, tell them something new or interesting, and BE SINCERE. I sincerely need those barrels, can’t find them here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and I’m building this gasifier on a shoestring budget.

I also discussed the needs of the MANY members on the DriveOnWood and let his sales acumen develop the idea of a whole new vertical market. It is not uncommon for large manufacturers to “drop ship” for distributors or large organizations such as ours. That may be our loophole. Maybe business for many large manufacturers is getting tighter. If you add up all our needs, the DriveOnWood membership would probably buy more product than some of their distributors.

Rest assured, I’ve gotten my foot in the door and will be doing my best to get the best price for me and y’all too. I will also probe for other products as well. I hope this is the answer to our needs.

On another note… Your firetube… All I can say, Harry, is WOW!!! That is a thing of beauty.

As ever, Steve

They are really hard to find here in New Zealand too. The reason here is health and safety. It is not too easy to lift a full 55 gallon drum but there were too many injuries from people lifting full 30’s. they have mostly been phased out form our market. In saying that I have hardly ever seen one with a removable lid here.

I was having the same problem. Passively looking and then one day I saw a barrel sitting under a parts washer. The company that services these units is called Safety Kleen there are other companies that offer the same service all over the country. They were kind enough to let me buy one for $65 each. Not cheap but easy to find

Found this one at Fastenal 10gal? They sometimes get structural bolts in them

Stephen, I found 30 gallon barrels at Drumco, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. PHONE number, 1-800-961-3786, or Memphis, Tennessee, Phone, 1-800-960-3786.
You can talk to David Russel. He is familiar with the wood classifier. He can pick out the barrels for you. The barrels are about $12.00 and they have the tops and rings. Give them a call.

Lots of luck

I found 30 gal steel drums with lids and rings for $15 each from Tallent Drum Company in Gastonia NC (30 minutes west of Charlotte NC). The drums were used but nearly new appearing. They also have other sizes. 704 824 1807