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The beginning of the UDS Build

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
This is my second attempt at using photo bucket so here goes.

I don't know how some of you folks can finish these in a weekend. Maybe its the engineer in me.
I found a drum at the local bakery, it contained "honey" high fructose corn syrup. It is perfect. The lid I found while I was driving with my bro, it was pokin' out of a dumpster...STOP I said!

Before the "burn" the liner has to come out

Had a few friends over and had a ragin' fire and a "few" beers
Got er burned out

The lid fit real nice on the bottom so after revieing many uds builds I decided to make the bottom the top and the top the bottom (if that makes sence. So I chiseled the bottom out and pounded the sharp edges flat, should work great!

And the lid fits like a dream!

Gonna need to do one more fire in her to get the paint that didn't come off the bottom (now the top)
Still lots to do: Find a lid handle, drill and weld intake pipes, charcoal basket, wheels, handle, well you get the idea.
Pretty fun stuff, hope I get her painted before it gets cold. but if not oh well.
Thanks for looking and thank you all fellow UDS'ers for your help getting me started.
post #2 of 21
Nice start. Keep us up to date.
post #3 of 21
Looks good so far.
post #4 of 21
Looking good so far keep it up and make sure you have plenty of Qview please
post #5 of 21
Looking good! Your gonna love it!
post #6 of 21
Looks like you are off to a good start, Keep the Qview Coming...
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just dropped the drawings off to the welding shop, they owe me a favor. I am having a 16" sq by 12" high basket made up. Also it will have a bucket style handle, and they are making a t-handle hook so I can retrieve it outta the drum. Couple of questions if my intakes are 2" from the bottom how far off the bottom of the drum should the bottom of the basket be? Next question is...I am doing two racks, what is the minimum distance I could get by with for the bottom rack to the bottom of the basket, I have read 24" but I am wanting to get by with 22" any problems with that?
post #8 of 21
Bottom of your charcoal basket only needs to be about an inch and a half off the bottom. 24" from bottom of basket to grill is ideal, but I think I've heard guys say they've gone with 22 or 23 inches and haven't had a problem, but I couldn't say from experience..
post #9 of 21
My basket is 1.5 from bottom.
post #10 of 21
Mine is 2" off the bottom of the drum but I have seen it recommended to be 3" off the bottom.
post #11 of 21
PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif What he said. Gotta have some room for the ash to fall without blocking the intakes.

24" is recommended between bottom of first grate and charcoal basket. If you want to go 22" that's up to you. Just realize that 24" is the recommended distance.

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Then the second rack just goes as high as possible?
post #13 of 21
Or as high as you're comfortable with.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

You've got a domed lid with a pretty sweet fit from what I can tell from your pictures. biggrin.gif I would put the top rack bolts an inch or so from the top and put the bottom rack 24" from the bottom of the charcoal basket.

Also, if your intakes are 2" on center from the bottom of the drum, I'd put the charcoal basket 3" off the bottom. I know some people may have gone less and if you're only using lump on short cooks that would be fine. But if you use Kingsford or RO briquettes or something which makes a lot of ash and you're going to do long cooks like with a low 'n slow brisket (18 hours maybe), you're going to want some extra room so the ash doesn't pile up underneath the grate and mess with your airflow. With the domed lid you've got PLENTY of room up top so I wouldn't skimp any on charcoal grate height or first grate height.

Just my two cents.biggrin.gif

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dave, I drilled all the holes last night, this is exactly how I plan on setting up the UDS. I am hoping to get 18hrs outta her. The lid fits perfect, you are correct. I also figured that a 16" square basket doesn't fit OOPS, so I am having it made 14" sq x 12" high, hopefully this isn't too big, I figure worse case I can make a smaller ring outta expanded steel to sit inside that, probably wouldn't hurt anyways for short smokes.
Thanks again for your (and everybody elses) input. Pictures of the basket to come pretty soon.....stay tuned.
post #15 of 21
That size basket will be fine. Souds like it's coming along well!
post #16 of 21
My basket is 13.5" x 8" and I can get 18 hours with a 2/3 full load of Kingsford Comp.

I have also done it with a full load of Royal Oak briquettes but there was so much ash I had to shake the heck out of the drum to dislodge the ash and it didn't want to fall through the pile of charcoal very well.

post #17 of 21
Here is a link to my build with basket specs. Mine in 13.5" X 12", it burns forever!

post #18 of 21
My basket is 14"x14" square. It fits just fine.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
I cut a piece of cardboard last night to those dimensions and it looked like it will fit good, glad I checked it, the 16x16 was too big, glad I checked. The shop wasn't done today, oh well, gotta wait till next week.
post #20 of 21
you are going to be glad that you built it "upside down". If you think that the drum lid (now the bottom) leaks air, just take some tin foil and roll up some "snakes" and make a gasket for the bottom lid. Clamp it on, and after a few smokes, the seasoning drippings will fill up the air gaps on the bottom. It sure is easier to clean it out when you can take the bottom off.

Go for around 24 inches from the coal basket to the lower grill. It's not critical.


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