101 UDS build questions

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by bcm3, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    I’ve been reading a lot about the UDS and have questions to ask from the group. I’m looking build 2, 1 55 gallon and 1 30 gallon drum. Okay maybe 3 as I have 2 15 gallon drums without lids. Should I look for drums with the removable tops and has the locking ring on the outside to hold it in place? Or just start from the standard drum and cut the tops out of them?

    I noticed that most very one is looking at food grade drums, what about one that has motor oil in them. For me I have a better chance at those then the food grade barrels.

    I have seen a lot of great ideas and plan on using a lot of them; it is just getting a few little questions out of the way before thing take place.

  2. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Locking rings only needed if your lid is warped. Oil drum will burn out fine..no worries.
  3. brgbassmaster

    brgbassmaster Meat Mopper

    ya oil drum is fine. I already have a drum made outta that and i just started building another UDS. Cant wait to finish it. Been under the weather though the last 4 days.
  4. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    Thank you for your help. I did find 1 55 gallon drum with out a lid on in The inside has some rust and the bottom has some rust as well. I’m going to pick it up after work tonight. If the rust is too bad then I'll move on to another drum.
  5. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Sealed drums are no issue either. The top grinds off in about 3 mins. No Problem.
  6. hangin1

    hangin1 Fire Starter

    What about a drum that had hydraulic oil in it? 
  7. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    I would game as long as it is not synthetic fluid. For me, the things I tried to was it out of always had some left on it. I'm sure someone will have a better answer then mine.

  8. Man, honestly?  I would be very hesitant to use any drum that's contained anything hazardous/toxic.  Heat has the potential to release carcinogens only to be absorbed into your food.  Maybe I'm a bit too paranoid, but I wouldn't take any chances with food that my family and friends will be eating.  I found a fairly new (date stamped 1 year old from the time of purchase), but once-used unlined drum that contained food-grade coconut oil.  That's another thing, if you aren't already aware, I'd find one that's unlined.

    As far as the lid goes, mine came with a solid lid (no valve opening) and a locking ring.  I scraped out the sealant from the inside of the lid and replaced it with felt gasket.  Some smoke comes through, but with my locking ring tightened with a wing nut, it's leak proof.  My lid appears to be in completely perfect condition, but the leaks would lead you to believe otherwise, so even an unwarped lid will leak just a bit.  I've seen some people weld the ring to the lid and use the bolt hole openings on the ring to use as a hinge mount attached to the backside of their drum, so that they can just swing the lid open komado grill style.

    I live close to a drum recycling company and my drum was a whopping $25 and I had the choice between 50+ unlined, coconut oil drums. I chose the one with the least amount of rust inside.  It took me not even 30 minutes to wire wheel the inside to perfect condition.  If you have to, I'd spend the cash on a brand new unlined drum before I bought a used motor oil drum.  I know that defeats the idea of a cheap smoker, but non-toxic food justifies the costs.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  9. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    Terry, I do understand what you are saying about using drums that has had oil in them at one time. I also know that with all the cast iron pots and pans that we use in are kitchen not including the Dutch ovens, all these are cast in oil base sand. I love the way things taste when the wife and I cook with cast iron.

    As for being paranoid, in my eyes I don not believe you are. You do bring up a valid point and I will keep that in mind.
    terry hesticles likes this.
  10. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    Was able to score a free 55 gallon drum to start the build. It is a oil drum that has been store cleaned out for a few years. I plan on burning it out just to be safe. I'll remove the top in a and try and get it burned out this weekend.

    So is there anything not to do at this point?  
  11. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Drill your bottom vent holes and fire away
  12. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    After a few things beyond my control this weekend, I did not start on the UDS. I did smoke some pork chops on the hill as we were working on a repeater. Sorry, no Qview as I did not have my phone with me. I'll have to remember next time.

    Anyway, I was thinking about the lid for it. I have some 1/8 steel plat that I was thinking about using for the lid. I am looking at welding a ring on the inside of the plat and that will fit outside the drum. Then use a gasket to help seal any air leaks.

    Any thoughts on the lid idea?
  13. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    If your lid wasn't removable then they can be cut off and reused.
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is an idea.......     Dave

    ........click on pic to enlarge........

  15. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    The lid is still on, so I'm able to do what ever I want to with it. Dave, I like your idea. What about using a second barrel and cut it off just below the 1st ring and flair it there to slid over the lower half of the drum?
  16. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Bc why not use the flat lid? Nothing better than using the lid that was made for it. You can also make both the flat and dome lid fit.
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Using the extension allows for additional racks to be bolted to it....    Using a "tall" lid section will give extra room for the top rack....   6-1, half dozen the other......   all depends on how you want your racks to fit and how many....  the extension can be thin stuff you can flex/bend by hand...  or you can get heavier metal and have a fab shop roll it...  I like that method of cutting the drum....  No need to find a manufactured lid.... saves $$$$$$$$......   

  18. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    Okay, if I go with the extension, what is the recommended material? If I was to reuse the lid from the barrel and the extension, it would work out like using a Webber grill top?

  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bill, morning...  Mild steel works...  anything that is close to the material thickness of the drum.....  measure the circumference of the drum and add an inch or 3....  that will give you an overlap to bolt together... bolt the extension together at the top, checking the circ/dia to the drum lid for a good fit..... then put the extension in the drum to check the circ/dia for a good fit....You can make the lip on the lid as long as you want for a weber type lid and make the extension as tall as you need for grate room etc....  

    When you cut the lid from the drum, you can measure down the side of the drum 6-8 or 10 inches and cut it off...  add that much or more by use of an extension.... 

    Build the charcoal basket, raise it up 4-5" from the bottom for ash...  add a diffuser plate, (perforated pizza pan works) ... figure the number of racks and their spacing.....  rib rack maybe....  when all the insides are figured, you will know how tall and the lid configuration you will need.....

  20. bcm3

    bcm3 Newbie

    Back in the land of having internet for a few hours. What are the pros and cons using a propane burner in the bottom of a UDS? Have a basket for wood to smoke with?

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