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:
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.
More to come