I've been reading for the last 2+ years about the awesomeness of the UDS and finally the stars have aligned and I was able to get a barrel and get going.
I happened to be in El Paso (the closest place I could find a barrel) and decided to use my trusty work-horse Civic to haul the barrel back. (seat belt's on for safety). Only $15 for the barrel.
According to the label it used to hold orange juice. I couldn't find un-lined barrels so I settled for this one. After reading all the horror stories of getting the liner off I found a local sand blaster to remove the inside liner.
I only asked them to do the inside but the guy said his wife got carried away and did the whole thing. Bonus! Only $25, which sounds like it was well worth it.
I drilled the intake holes and decided to do a burn out just to make sure it was clean (and mostly just to have a fire :-)
It's amazing how hot and quick a chopped up pallet burns.
I started making the fire basket but since I don't have a welder (or welding skills) I was forced to but a sheet of expanded metal during the burn out and try to attach it to the fire grate with rebar wire. Once I get it figured out I will add photos. I'm not sure I'm using the right size fire grate because it seems to fill a large portion of my barrel (I think it measures 18" in diameter). I was thinking about going down a size so that my pizza pan ash tray(16" diameter) will collect all of the ashes that drop.
I can't wait to start using this. I've been thinking/dreaming about it for a long time.