Asked on May 31, 2013

How to cut steel drums

Debra Peters
by Debra Peters
I've got two steel drums that I would like to slice in half (the long way) and make planters. We have serious ground critter problems and so I am hoping to use these drums to foil the pesky beasts. But the question is, what's the easiest way to get them cut? My husband says he can use his reciprocating saw but when I explained I wanted them sliced the long way so I can put the two open ends together and make long planters, he balked. Can't say I blame him. So, question is, how do I cut those drums?
  7 answers
  • Sawzall reciprocating saw will do the trick. Be sure that you wear eye protection and gloves and a good quality metal blade. Should make quick work of the drum. Once cut take a small hand grinder and round the edges as they will be sharp. Then take an old garden hose or some vinyl hose and split it lengthwise. Place the cut edge over the drum and use epoxy glue to hold in place. This should help prevent cuts and injury from coming into contact with the metal should you slip when working around them.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jun 01, 2013
    You could also cut these with a grinder set up with a "metal cut -off" wheel. Another option is a plasma cutter. Most welding and fab shops will have a plasma can call for rates.
  • Debra Peters Debra Peters on Jun 01, 2013
    this is great info - thank you both!! The wheels are turning now!! i will post pictures when the project is done!!! Any other ideas out there? (always open for more!)
  • Frances Hoffman Frances Hoffman on Jun 02, 2013
    when you cut the drums in half, you would also need to cut one end of each half , that way the lay inside one another to make up one long trough
  • Debra Peters Debra Peters on Jun 02, 2013
    Thanks, Frances. I forgot to mention that one end of the barrels is open - so, no need to worry about cutting an end off. Whew!!
  • LeeAnn Gerleman LeeAnn Gerleman on Jul 26, 2015
    I planted 200 daffodil bulbs a few years ago, and they were beautiful that summer. Next summer? Nothing came up. so I started digging around in that area and there were no bulbs there at all. But there were peanuts in the ground. Darn squirrels had come and taken all of my bulbs and left peanuts! So I planted my daffodils the next year in with some peonies in a tractor tire planter (big truck tire). And I looked out that next summer to see the squirrels eating every darn petal off the peonies and digging up the daffodil bulbs. I gave up. I think I could do it if I put down mesh or chicken wire so they couldn't get through it. But instead I plant peppers in there. They don't like the peppers. haha
    • Alan Alan on Jan 16, 2016
      @LeeAnn Gerleman Wait, what, they took your daffodil bulbs and left you some peanuts, lol just kiddin'. I found this info about squirrels, hope it helps. This site reckons not to use chicken wire as its too thin they can gnaw through it!! Best Tricks to Keep Squirrels Out Of Garden Beds and Pots 1. Wire Mesh - This is the best method. Use strong, tightly woven wire mesh weighted down with bricks, till the new planting has settled down - especially if you've planted bulbs.Remove it when the seeds or bulbs start to grow. Squirrels only seem to be interested in newly planted things - once they've been there a while and settled, they lose interest. 2. Give Squirrels Water - This works really well too. Keep in mind that squirrels eat things in the garden many times because they're thirsty. Keep a couple of bird baths full of water for them. 3. Make A Decoy - You can also set up a feeder away from the area you want left alone and fill it with nuts and seeds. They will eat that, and stay away from your planter beds, pots and trees. Good luck with your planting.
  • Ave9691573 Ave9691573 on Aug 07, 2016
    What if you only want to cut top open for burning