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I dont recommend a drum for the firebox. they are really quite thin and would be difficult to weld, and would probably not last very long. I don't use any kind of grate, the fire is just built on the bottom. I let the ash build up quite a bit and then scoop some of them out when the fire is low. Fire never goes out completely until spring.
Yes, the firebox is still holding just fine. I see no indication of trouble, so I guess it will last for a long time yet.
Great! Show us how it turns out.
Do you participate on the drive on wood forums? If not you really should. Gary is a member there, and a lot of other really smart and helpful people.
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