Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Easy 55 gallon drums

I was in Home Depot looking at electrical connectors when I saw these (intended for crimping bare ground wires together), and my 'scale eye' saw HO scale 55 gallon oil drums! 100 for about $8. (They also sell them in 10-packs for under $2). They have a little flange on one end, which makes a nice base so it will sit flat. You can also get them from Amazon. You can make either open or closed drums.

1. Copper Crimp Sleeves, 18-10ga.

2. Paint the inside brown. A Q-tip is perfect as a brush, just insert and turn it around.

3. A pencil makes a good painting handle. Insert it with the flange toward the pencil point, so you can just tip it off the pencil after painting.

4. Paint it up.  Craft store acrylic paint goes on nicely and dries to a flat finish. An initial white coat followed by color top and bottom bands will give the impression of a ridged drum. Here I am using a "lip liner" disposable cosmetics brush (source).

5. Touch the top rim with the brown Q-tip to cover any shiny copper remaining on the edge.

6. Drums in place on the loading dock. 

Now I had some open drums. I wanted to make some closed drums. I tried several things, but best results were with auto body spot putty. Goop some in and let it harden. It may need some light sanding. It settles and shrinks slightly as it dries, creating a nice "rim" around the top. 

The final product, seen here in between some (LED Christmas light) gas cylinders and (sewing bobbin) cable spools.

At 100 drums for $8, you can create your own hazardous waste site in no time!


  1. Great ideas with the drums as well as the spools and Christmas light gas tanks. Thanks