Dave Beery Making a Bass Pan:
If you’ve been thinking of trying your hand at making your own Hang-inspired instrument, or HandPan, before you even begin thinking of investing huge wads of cash into research, and development, one of the few things that most involved in the creation of these instruments seem to agree upon, is that the first thing you need to do, is first learn how to tune steel, the old-school way. Because without first mastering this very specific skill, all of your later efforts will be in vain.
The drums (or barrels) used in the creation of traditional steel pan are 208 litres as standard (55 U.S. Gallons), and can either be new, or used. However, before you go buying the first 55 Gallon Barrel you stumble across, there are a few other factors to take into consideration. All of which you can learn about: HERE.
In fact, if you're serious about going down this road, before doing anything else, if you want to teach yourself how to make a steel pan, you're going to want to read the entire online version of "Steel Pan Tuning: A Handbook for Steel Pan Tuning and Making", from start to finish. As there really is no better resource to be found, either free, or paid for. And you can even download the entire thing in PDF format, and print it out for more casual reading offline.
Additionally, Dave Beery offers some great instructional DVDs over at his website:HERE.
* For tips and advice more specific to creating a HandPan, rather than a steel pan, after you've learnt how to tune steel like a pro, you may find the following post of some use: Learn to Make a HandPan.