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MY NEW UDS w/qview

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is my version of a UDS. Also with this being my 1st one I have some newbie ?'s
my free barrel

Drilling with uni-bit

1st burn out

made me an ash pan and charcoal bucket

ash pan painted

welded up a 6" tall lid

ash pan/charcoal bucket inside

I have 2 racks inside

done painting

added a nipple to allow therm. access. Mistake??

starting to season

This is my shelve I added.(notice the outside temp this is before I started seasoning)

notice diff.in temps (1/2 hour or so into seasoning)

so here are a few of my questions. I checked my external therm. (it has the typ. 2" probe) and it is accurate. As you can see in 1st therm. pic its in the low 50's outside. when I was well into my trial run (I had my digital therm. in the center of my top rack). As you can see I'm getting approx.50 Degrees different. Is this typical?
I'm also having problems holding my temps down. I've closed both 3/4 nipples when I hit 200 degrees.(which was almost immediate) now I only have my 3/4 ball valve open maybe 1/8" but still running @ 290 can't seem to lower the temp. Was adding the 1/4 nipple for therm access a mistake ? Is it letting to much air in that I can't control?

Thanks for looking at my Q-View .
post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 
man this is getting out of control. I had all air intakes closed including the nipple for therm. access. for over 1/2 hr and temps still climbing. I'm at 336 degrees. Is my 2" exhaust too big and letting air in??
post #3 of 24
Hey that looks pretty nice. I was just asking about building a UDS. Yours gave me some good ideas. Good job, nice and clean fabrication job it.
post #4 of 24
Im sorry I could not help you on your temp issues. Still a rookie at this stuff. I do have a question for you, is there some sore of drip pan or something to keep juices and fat dripping from landing on the coals and having flare ups?
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
As of this time I don't have a drip pan. This being my first UDS I don't know if one is needed. I'm sure someone will be along to answer both of us on that question.

Thanks for looking at my q-view
post #6 of 24
that's pretty trick! I dig the extensions and handles on the ash tray. Beats the crap out of rolling the drum over to clean it out, which is what I do.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks Josh. Getting old enough that I have to try to make things easier. lol
post #8 of 24
No, I don't think so. If you're burning that hot, there is only a stream of hot gas EXITING that vent...none coming in.

Did you have a lot of fuel that close to the combustion point? You may be experiencing that combined with a leak in your lid that will suck air in and straight down the interior sides of that puppy to where the fire is, then right back up and out of the vent. Check your exhaust. If that baby is pumping out a steady stream of hot gas, I bet that's your problem.

Without being there, course we can't be sure, but check into that.

Hope this helps!
post #9 of 24
more holes in the lid means more heat can escape.IMHO

i believe the normal is 6 or 8 3/4" holes in the lid
post #10 of 24

Your 2" exhaust is pretty standard. Some people use the 8 1/2" hole layout but many just use the 2" bung on the lid.

Using a nipple for therm probe access is probably a little big. I drilled a hole just large enough for the probes (and probe wires for the second probe) to pass through. But with the temps you are describing and the fact that you can't bring it down, I would bet that you probably started too much fuel or your lid is not sealing well. If you built the lid (which looks good by the way) you have to be careful and make sure it seals really good where it meets the drum lip. If air is leaking in around the drum lip, the fire will continue to creep. Also, if you are running the drum completely empty (with no meat) there is no heat sink so the temp will creep up also.

When you light it, you only need to light about 8 or 10 briquettes. Let the temp come up slowly and try to catch it (by closing the intakes) on the way up. It's a lot easier to bring a UDS up in temp than to get it back down.

It is normal for there to be a 30° to 40° difference between the edge of the grate and the center.

The UDS is differnent than most smokers in that they want to run hot and will sneak away on you if you're not careful. But they are very efficient smokers and once you get used to them are awesome in my opinion.

Hope this helps.


On Edit:

Oh, and you don't want a drip pan. You want the fat dripping into the hot coals and vaporizing thus adding to the flavor. Once you get the air control and from there temp control down, you won't have to worry about flare ups. Unless you're doing chicken and that's only when you lift the lid.

Here is another post you might find helpful in the future.

post #11 of 24
That is a beautiful drum you have built there! Quite impressed with some of the extras you've added.

As to you temp problems, the nipple the probe is in is definetly a air leak, need to do something about that.
Lose the riser on your intake, don't work for chit.
Other than that, is your lid tight?
Check those items and you'll be in good shape!
post #12 of 24
i was waiting for your expertise..lol

and in a week or so i will be asking the same questions... just finished reading the uds bible and got a line on unlimited drums around here..lol
post #13 of 24
About farken time you built a real smoker! tongue.gif
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input.
My lid seems to fit pretty good. I've got a lip on the inside that it sits on then it hangs down the outside 1/2" and the O.D. is only 1/8 bigger O.A. can't say if air is coming in or not. Think maybe I should buy me a gasket to help seal it?
I didn't think the ball valve up high would hurt, thought it was a good idea so I wouldn't have to bend down. That's an easy one to fix.
This was just a trial run so there wasn't anything in it for a heat sink, I didn't think about that affecting the heat.
As far as lighting I had charcoal basket not quite 1/2 full with premium wood briquettes then I use a full chimney of R.O. lump. It didn't take 3 minutes for it to hit 200 degrees. I closed both bottom nipples and about 15 min. later turned the ball valve shut about 1/2 way but it just kept climbing. topped out at 333 degrees before I got it to start dropping. Now for the last 3 hrs its been hanging in around 210 on the outside therm. and 245 on the inside therm. I can't believe after spiking like that (it took dang near 2 1/2 hrs to get it back down) its been 7 hrs now and still going strong. And I only had maybe 2/3 of my charcoal basket full. I can see where a 12 to 14 hr smoke won't be any problems.

Thanks for all the help.
post #15 of 24
yah i know it is..lol

i built a filing cabinet smoker that i can do some sausage and fish in the fall in. once its complete and tuned properly i am going to post pics of it
post #16 of 24
And there lies your problem!

Start with about 10 lit briquettes and catch the temp on the way up.
I still think that thermo hole needs to be sealed up but sounds like your good now!
post #17 of 24
I also tend to use briquettes and no lump in the UDS. Lump seems a bit too hot and burns too fast compared to briq's.
post #18 of 24
That's a nice looking smoker. Need me one of those
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Going to try re-smoking a ham for dinner tomorrow. I'll try a few different things at a time. Going to close off the nipple ,use just briquettes, and only start with 8-10 lit at the start. Figured ham would be a good choice, as it calls for cooking at 350 in the oven, so if heat gets out of control it won't hurt. Plus now I've got some kind of heat sink going on. No need to wasting good charcoal on another trial run.
Thanks again,
post #20 of 24
Sounds like a good plan.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif It sounds like you have a deadline (dinner) so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to let the drum warm up and get settled in.

Have fun with it and post some pics.

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