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So yet another I'm building a UDS (what do you expect in this sub?)

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 

I picked up my barrel today from work, sadly the only metal barrels we get hold a type of adhesive but the barrel is actually spotless...if you don't count the red linerThumbs Down.


Anyway, I also grabbed 4 pallets while I was at it, if I need more I can get as many as I need to do a proper burnout. I'll wait until this weekend for the burn so I have all day to do it. I also have a wire wheel and some good wire brushes to help out. I don't, however, have a weed  burner or propane so I'm going to try and avoid that.


I picked up the stainless steel bolts for the grate mount, still need to pick up the rest of the hardware, couldn't find what I wanted at Lowes. Closest I came was a couple garage door handles.


I'm still trying to source some good expanded metal, Lowes only had a really thin gauge and even it was $14. Gonna see if I can find some scrap I can get cheap. Thinking of using the expanded metal for the grate as well, thoughts on that? If not I'll be buying the 22.5" grill/grate.


Going back to the lined barrel, I'm gonna give it a try burning it out and using the wire wheel, if it proves to be more of a beast than I'm willing to mess with I'll be buying one for around $10, just wanting to try free first. Not worried too much about time, I don't charge myself much.


So for a quick parts list:


Grate (expanded metal or 22.5")

Expanded metal for coal basket

Pizza pan

3 - 4" bolts plus 3 nuts per bolt, one to hold the basket up and two to hold it up off the pizza pan and provide legs for the pan (bolt through)

3 handles, 2 for barrel and one for lid. I'll be going the flat lid route at first unless I end up buying a 22.5 kettle grill.

3 3/4" nipples

2 3/4 pipe caps

1 3/4 ball valve.


Sound about right?

post #2 of 59
I've been using the cheap expanded metal from lowes as charcoal baskets for 4+ years with no issues. All the heavier gauge scrap I was able to find here was bucks and wouldn't bend easy ( was going round for the basket).

Before your burn drill out all your holes. Helps get the flames cranking. If you can tip the drum about 45 degrees when doing the burn and rotate it every so often. If you do this be safe about it!
post #3 of 59
Thread Starter 

I'll see what I can do, might have something around here I can use to keep it steady. As for the nipples. How long should they be?

post #4 of 59
If you are going with ball valves and you are careful with drilling the holes so you don't need nuts to keep them on, they don't need to be very long. 1-1/4" will work. If the hole is drilled slightly under sized you can thread the nipple into it and self tap. Put the valve on the nipple first. Lay the barrel on its side with the hole facing up. Twist the nipple in.
post #5 of 59

I would get extra bolts and nuts for grate placement. They are cheap and you can use more racks if needed.




I also welded in pipe couplings with the orange plugs at grate level

for every grate. I can get my maverick probe in at that grate level.

I look forward to seeing your build.

Happy smoken.


post #6 of 59
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I have most of my hardware.


No luck finding a cheap used weber to use for parts so I'm having to buy new for everything. Here's what I have:


3- 3/4 pipe nipples

3- conduit locknuts

2- 3/4 caps

1- 3/4 ball valve

2 Garage door handles for barrel

1 stainless steel handle for lid (going flat lid for now, will keep looking for a kettle lid on the cheap)

Replacement 22.5" grate. Is wal-mart brand, they don't have the weber replacements in stock yet. Looks like decent gauge steel so hopefully will work for a while.


Still need to grab the 4" bolts to hold the basket off the ash catcher and the ash catcher off the bottom of the barrel. Forgot to get them tonight but I'm going by Home Depot tomorrow anyway so I'll grab them then.


Haven't got started on the build, was going to this weekend but (little bit of backstory) I was in a motorcycle wreck back in November of last year, messed up my back and my ankle. Ankle has healed pretty good, still the occassional pains and stiffness but its servicable. Back is a different story. Thursday I ate dinner and on the way back from taking my plate into the kitchen my back spasmed and down I went. After excruciating spasms for about 4 hours my wife finally talked me into an ER trip. They said nothing but gave me some relaxers and pain pills to help. Long story short I've been stuck on the couch all weekend until today when the spasms finally subsided enough I could walk. So hopefully I'll be burning the barrel out tomorrow and getting started on the build when I get off work through the rest of the week. If all goes well I'll have an inaugural smoke saturday.


One question about seasoning, once everything is done how do you recommend seasoning the barrel? Use some good hardwood and spray the barrel with veg oil or should I act like its a regular smoke and use charcoal or lump with some hickory chunks? Should I buy some cheap sausages or other type of meat to get some fat in the mix?

post #7 of 59

Sorry to hear you are down in the back. The way I seasoned mine was to just pick up a bunch of limbs and get a good fire going. After a while I removed the basket and filled it with KB. I sprays the inside with cooking spray and fired it up again. I then spent some time adjusting the air to see how it responded. Then that night I fired it back up with a brisket, dialed in the heat and went to bed. I woke up the next morning to find it still doing well.

This is the results of the 1st smoke.





Happy smoken.


post #8 of 59

I have heard there is a trick for that red liner. I think it was comet cleanser and brillo but I could be mistaken. It does not come off easily. I too got the screen door protector thin expanded metal from HD and it has lasted 3.5 years and I'm sure it will last longer than I do. I know you got a cheap grill but I would highly recommend you get a Weber with the hinged grates. That way WHEN you add wood or charcoal you don't have to take all the racks full of food out to do so. Plus, those Weber grill grates last forever. Well, unless you like to do pizza at 900 degrees in the drum. Here is a pic of mine and the charcoal basket. Good basket design is key. The first time I didn't leave enough room between the pan and the bottom of the basket so ash clogged up and the air couldn't get to the fire.

Here she is 3 years and change ago



post #9 of 59
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the well wishes about my back, it'll get better with time I'm sure (I hope). The worst of it is when the spasms start it feels like I have a kidney stone because its pulling my side muscles so much. Afterwards, like today, it feels like I just spent the weekend throwing up because my back and stomach muscles are so tired from spasms. On the plus side, I'm probably about 3000 situps closer to 6-pack abs.


I'm planning on giving the red liner a couple days and a few good burns to see if I can get it out, if not I'll just use it as a burn barrel and go buy another one. It was free so will only be time lost. I do have an endless supply of pallets.


I'll look into the hinged grates. The walmart brand looks exactly like the weber just not hinged. It'll do but I'll keep looking for a used weber.


I forgot, don't have the basket yet either. Both Lowes I went to were out of the expanded metal, will check at HD tomorrow.


Excited to get this build going!

post #10 of 59

If you will add your location to your profile it would be great. You never know you might live right down the road from me and I have a sandblaster and some expanded metal.

Happy smoken.


post #11 of 59
Thread Starter 

Location added. Don't think we're quite neighbors. Would've been nice! Thanks for the offer.

post #12 of 59
Originally Posted by Influencer View Post

Location added. Don't think we're quite neighbors. Would've been nice! Thanks for the offer.

:th_crybaby2: I guess I can't barrow your th_Slab_of_meat.gif Oh well! Maybe someone else is close.

Happy smoken.


post #13 of 59
Originally Posted by Influencer View Post

Location added. Don't think we're quite neighbors. Would've been nice! Thanks for the offer.

You might be surprised, there are some 70 some thousand members. You actually probably have a member within a few miles I would bet. Best wishes for the back. Been there done that. Not fun.. 

post #14 of 59
Thread Starter 

What do ya'll think of some shelf brackets so I have freedom to move the grates? Since I'll be going flat-lid at first until I can get a decent cheap kettle for parts I'll need the grate further down. Once I find the donor kettle I'll be needing to move it up. Instead of having extra holes if I can get the full range of movement needed with brackets I'd prefer that route.


I was thinking these, saw them in an instructables build:



its brass so not sure if its safe or not. But for $6 I could have enough parts for 4 shelves and close to 24" of movement.


I did see another user used kind of the same design but used different brackets that extended further under the grate to hold it stable (the one I linked uses small clips). Thinking that might be a good idea so I could raise the charcoal basket up too for grilling applications.

post #15 of 59

I don't know about the brass. I think I have heard it does off gas toxic fumes. I know someone did build a uds on here with shelf brackets a few years ago. Oh, I think one of the UK members did one fairly recently if I am remembering correctly. The main thing would be making sure the 22 inch grate still fits.

post #16 of 59
I used the non-brass shelf supports in mine. Burnt the paint off them modified them a bit too.

My phone won't let me paste anymore so I can't post the link to my build. It's called Craigslist strikes again. You can search it here.
post #17 of 59
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

I used the non-brass shelf supports in mine. Burnt the paint off them modified them a bit too.

My phone won't let me paste anymore so I can't post the link to my build. It's called Craigslist strikes again. You can search it here.

Ok, hahaha that was you. lol

post #18 of 59
Thread Starter 

Thanks dirtsailor. Little bit different direction than I was thinking but looks good! I might go that route instead. 


I got to start the burn out today but think it'll take another burn or two. Will take a closer inspection but it looked like the red liner came out pretty good from the first burn. Only problem was really uneven temps all over the barrel because it was quite windy today. I liked the burn so much I plan on one more just for kicks if nothing else.


I did read on another forum that the red liner is inert and actually safe to leave in (users posting this info say they have backgrounds in chemistry, one contacted companies that deal with the liner). Both agreed to remove as much as possible but some being left behind isn't bad. I'm still gonna hit it with another burn or two and a wire wheel.


One hiccup in the road already, my dad grabbed the holesaw to make the intake holes and grabbed a 1 1/8" holesaw. Not sure how huge of a problem that's gonna be. i had picked up a couple conduit nuts but now thinking I'll have to weld them in. Hopefully my neighbor can make it happen for me if I do need it.


I think I have everything I need now, just have to get time for another burn or two and to put things together. Work all week will keep me away from the project for the most part, I don't get home until its too dark to mess with anything. Then this weekend is my daughters birthday party and then Super Bowl so I'll be tied up most of the day both days. Thinking I may be able to grab a few more pallets from work tomorrow and cut them up when I get home. Then the next day start the burn as soon as I get home and let it go until I go to bed. Should give it a good 5-6 hours.


Speaking of that, would it be bad to burn untreated lumber scraps instead of pallets? We have an insane amount of scraps and I can bring home refrigerator boxes full of them (2x4 and 2x6 scraps mostly). Would that be sufficient for a good burn or will it burn up too fast to do any good? Would save me from cutting up pallets and fishing out the nails once its done.


Here are a couple (bad) pictures.



post #19 of 59

pine and fir dimentional wood scraps are fine. Or anything else as long as it is untreated. I wouldn't burn green board or anything with stain or paint on it though. It really probably does not matter because you scrub it out really good and season it really well though. But I wouldn't mess with the stuff I mentioned. Since you have 1 1/8 inch holes why not just trade your nipples in for that size and caps and all that. I am sure they will take it all back. You can use bigger and it shouldn't be a problem. You might get more flexibility on high heat stuff anyway.

post #20 of 59
Thread Starter 
It's all untreated and unstained/painted. Good, that will save me from having to tear pallets apart or cut them up, I'll just dump a bunch of scraps in and let it burn.
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