Im calling it the USM(ugly smokey mountain) until I think of something better. I started with a 60 gallon air compressor tank that I got in the fall and didn't make up my mind on what to do with it until about the start of December. Thought about an offset or reverse flow, but since it already had feet, I figured they shouldn't go to waste. Most of the ideas I used from UDS builds, and It's going to slightly resemble a WSM when done, hence the USM name.
Started with this.
Cut the top off and started a fire inside that ran about 12 hours with a bunch of scrap wood laying around the shop, which took care of the stickers and majority of the paint.
Cut the tank into 3 sections, lid, middle and bottom, had some 1"x1/8" flat steel to use as a rim around bottom of lid and middle section
Made use of a hole already in the tank and welded a nut inside it to screw my therm. into
Here it is all back in once piece again. You may have noticed quite a few handle on this rig, well I put 2 on the lid, which weighs upward of 20lbs and 4 on the middle section which is easily over 60lbs so if someone is around they can help me lift it on and off. It's really more awkward than heavy, but still heavy.
welded a 1" pipe nipple and ball valve at the bottom, and after first test/seasoning run, added another directly accross from it
Built a charcoal basket out of a Weber 18" charcoal grate and expanded metal, and added feet to keep it higher off the bottom.
Used some 1/2"x1/8" flat steel to make a cooking grate rack, I really didn't want to drill any extra holes or weld to the inside of the tank so I devised this little idea. The parts that hang down are welded on the inside, and if you look at the picture of the middle section, you can see a strap around the inside just under the top that the round part of this contraption rests on. More pegs have been added since this picture, all in 4" increments.
This picture was taken after seasoning the tank, I got as much loose rust off as possible, soaked in spray butter and let about 6lbs of charcoal work their magic and leave a shiny black finish behind.
The only cuts I made in the tank were the ones to separate the sections. I didn't add a food or fire access door, and this thing does not leak one bit. I decided I will rely simply on the fuel I start with and air flow control, which is why the charcoal basket is so big. I did my first smoke on Saturday night, 5lbs of yardbird. Started a chimney and added about 8lbs of coal with apple chips, used the minion method. Held temp between 275 and 290 and in about 3 hrs the breast was at 165 and pulled. Closed up intake vents and plugged exhaust when I pulled the chicken, and the next day easily half of that 8lbs was still in there...in single digit temp weather! Rested for about 1/2 hour before I cut it up. It didn't last long, as you can see i didn't even get a picture before this bird was attacked. Used the brine and rub from the competition chicken wiki, I've used this a few times, and it really is hard to beat.
Hope you all enjoyed. This project is definitely not finished, but I wanted to get something posted and finally had time to do so. Coming up in the next few weeks will be paint, better looking handles, and a sweet exhaust pipe. Thanks for looking! I look forward to any questions or input!