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My 30 Gallon UDS Build (18.5") UPDATED

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have two (Here are builds and mods) 22.5" UDS builds so far, but got the itch to build the 18.5" version after hearing about how fuel efficient the 18.5" WSM's are.


I went for a walk out behind the shop at work, and found an old Case IH No. 1 Engine Oil 30 gallon drum. This thing has to be about 15 years old. They haven't changed at all over this period of time either.


Here's what the new ones look like:




Here it is just after I cut out the top w/ a plasma cutter. My buddy is tryin to cut the lip even closer w/o burning a hole through the side walls



My dad (Craiger) was browsing Craigslist for Webers, and found a girl selling an 18.5" like new, for $10. So he went and picked it up for me. I drove to his house w/ fingers crossed hoping it would fit better than the 22.5's on a 55 Gal drum. This thing fits PERFECT. I think it's more snug/tight on this drum, than it is on the bottom of the kettle. So no lid mods for this build!




We began the burnout process in his backyard one friday night with a few cold Shiner Bocks and Miller Lites. This fire got HOT. Mesquite, and a cut down Sumac tree. Notice the disc blade on the left for a Wok that he and his neighbor are building. I'll post that next because it's pretty damn cool.



Here they are about 8 beers later. We actually left it burning and went to dinner. He said when he got back it was still burning well. We did this on a Friday, and on Monday morning the bottom of the drum still had super hot coals in it. Too ot to even touch the drum.


Mid week, I pressure washed the outside, but since the coals and ash insulated the bottom so well, the paint didnt' come off completely. So, I figured I'd give it one more burnout after I drilled the 3 intake holes so the bottom 3rd would get plenty of air and stay hot. I used a step bit and drilled three 3/4" intake holes.




Here it is about 5 beers later. This time I used a combo of mesquite and old citrus wood


After a day or two of cooling, I took my angle grinder to it w/ a flap wheel and got it ready for paint. Also smoothed out the inside lip where the lid was cut out.

Grinded Drum


More to come







post #2 of 11

Great job so far!

post #3 of 11

Looking good there!

I've also wanted one of those disk wok's forever.

post #4 of 11

more info on the disc wok please

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

We got my ¾ inch pipe welded onto drum. I found a couple pieces of black pipe to make the ideal height. Brace welded to the coupler. My bro-in-law hooked up the welds for me.



Couple close ups





I decided not to go with a theme for the drum, but something that actually looked a little nicer on the patio. I put a primer layer on the drum of high temp BBQ paint. Then I found this hammered textured brown paint that would match the patio pavers.



After one coat



Had to go w/ a new grate, and I cleaned up the donor lid a bit



Here it is after paint, pre-hardware



Holes drilled about an inch and a half down for the grate hardware. I went w/ ¼” x 1-1/2”. I may change these out, after installing, I realized they don’t need to be this long. This was another thing that fits better than the 22.5” builds. The grate doesn’t have a whole lot of slack inside the drum which is nice Photobucket Photobucket


Makin progress



Added a handle to the far side



Up next is the fire basket, then a good seasoning 


post #6 of 11

Awesome.  You guys are seriously inspiring me to build one or more of these.  Great job.  Can't wait to hear how it cooks and hold temps.

post #7 of 11


post #8 of 11

Awesome from a UDS junky. banana_smiley.gif

post #9 of 11

Ok, a few questions: What is the pipe for?? How do you load and lite the fuel?? Is there just one rack?? Is there a water tray?? Are the other pipes on the bottom for air??


post #10 of 11

Hey Slim, its not my build but I may be able to help ya out with a few of the questions.


The pipe is the extended version ball valve. Some of us like to have the ball valve up high so we don't have to bend over. 


Again, not my build but the fire should be in some sort of a coal basket.


There is a couple ways to fire um up. 

I light mine with a propane weed burner on one side of the backet.

Some guys light coals and when they are good and hot they add them to the center of the coal backet.


There are a few guys that have a water pan, not sure on this one.


And yes the other pipes at the bottom are also for air flow.

Some times just the ball valve is not enough air. So you could open one of the other pipe caps and then close the ball valve part way.

This way you would have more sir flow but still have the control with the valve.



BTW to Thunderdome.....Slick build man, I really like it alot. Thanks for sharing the awesome pics. 


When I light mine I have all three pipes open. After it levels out, most of the time I run one cap off and the valve almost closed.

This is different on every smoke since the outdoor temps and smoker load are never the same. 



post #11 of 11

Very nice build, you done well !!!

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