Post any questions you have, lots of friendly people here. You'll find my post from about a year ago with this information in it (doing another I would just get 2" nipple that's threaded all the way across and use it);
First I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who helped me out and answered all of my questions before my build. Thanks especially to “bbq bubba” and “BBQ Enthusiast”.
I put my UDS together last week and have been meaning to post a picture. I'm VERY happy with it. I did ribs last Sunday and they came out great using Billy Bones original rub and cheery wood. I had no problems at all maintaining 240 for 5 hours with very, very little babysitting. I only had to check/adjust the main intake (ball valve) every hour or so. I checked it again two hours after I pulled the ribs and it was still at 200, and I only used one chimney of charcoal with about 12 unlit pieces added in. I totally love it and plan on mounting a handle on the top and a tray on the side.
(1) 55 gallon steel drum
(3) 4" pieces of 3/4" black pipe threaded 2.5" on one end. You can find this in the plumbing section of Home Depot. They will cut it and thread it for $1 per cut. Total price was $5.11.
(6) 3/4" locking nuts to secure the intake pipes. You can find these in the electrical section of Home Depot.
(2) 3/4" caps for two of the intakes.
(1) 3/4" ball valve for the main intake.
(4) Stainless steel bolts, nuts, and washers to hold the food grate. The bolts are 2.5".
(1) 22.5" Weber grate that I already had.
(1) 2" black nipple screwed right into the bung hole in the lid for exhaust.
My charcoal "basket" is made from the bottom of an old Brinkman smoker. I just drilled 1" holes all in the bottom and sides. This already had 2" legs on it. I plan on having a 13"X6" basket with 3" legs made from expanded metal soon.
My food grate is mounted 27" from the bottom and gives me 6.5" of room to the lid. If I need more room I can use the lid from my 22.5" Weber kettle.
My intakes are mounted 2" from the bottom.
I seasoned it by spraying it down with Pam and getting it good and hot for a few hours before my first cook.
If you have a Unibit it really makes drilling the holes for the intakes very easy. I have no leaks anywhere. Can't belive how this thing holds temperature.