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UDS Build Stall (Build Stalls Over, We're Smokin' w/Qview!)

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 

Friday ended with some great scores...all "free" but not so fast!  Like a 15 lb brisket stalling, my UDS build has stalled for now!  Getting ready to leave work and a friend brings by an open head barrel in excellent condition.  After work I stopped by a car wash to spray out the barrel which appeared to almost smell like a cooking oil (maybe) had been in it...could have been motor oil...I have no idea really.  After the car wash I was trying to figure out where I could pick up some pallets to use for the burn off and there it was, a new still empty strip mall with a pile of  scraps and a couple nice pallets behind it. Score!  On a roll I'm thinking! lol




Got up Saturday morning and unloaded everything.  Broke the pallets down, measured out my 3 - 1 inch air intake holes and drilled those out in preparation for the burn later in the evening.  The one downside was the barrel has that red paint type liner inside it.





Got the burn done last night and thought I'd jump up this morning and start running my wire wheel to clean out the residue of the liner and this is where I hit my stall!  Using a half inch drill and a 4" wire wheel I go to town first on the bottom side of the lid.  It was proving to be pretty tough stuff.  I take a break from the lid and figure I'll hit the inside of the barrel and bam, this little wheel isn't much of a match for the task at hand!  argggggg Plus I don't think the drill I'm using has enough rpm's to really get the job done....I've done a lot of aluminum parts polishing in the past and I'm sure the lack of rpm's is killing my motivation! 


I'm going to make a couple calls tomorrow and check some prices on getting this thing sandblasted on the inside.  Thinking maybe if I spend a little more and get a wire wheel for my 4" grinder it may go better?  The barrel was hot as you can see in the following picture.  Any other suggestions short of sandblasting?



Edited by DeanNC - 8/1/10 at 11:00pm
post #2 of 76
Thread Starter 

Threw in a couple 2x4s I had laying around after the pallets burnt up...they provided some nice fireworks after it got dark...wish I'd have waited until dark to start the burn..but the threat of rain which later came in buckets made me start a little earlier.



post #3 of 76

Sorry to hear about the dreaded red paint fate!!!!


Please take no offense to this but. Sucks to be you!

Hope you get good news on sandblasting. I have never dealt with it but from what I have read it really sucks to clean out.


Hope to see more pics soon.

post #4 of 76

i'm interested to hear how you do with the liner. i have 3 barrels just like yours i would like to use . i started a UDS with a lined barrel one time and in the middle of my liner battle i found 3 barrels without liners that were brand new so i put the lined ones away for a while until i run out of these.

post #5 of 76
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Tom37 View Post
Sucks to be you!


I was thinking the same thing! LOL  I've been searching for some drums locally and all I was finding is stuff 4 and 6 hour round trip drives and I'm thinking not a chance!  And finally out of the blue I ask a friend a week ago...more jokingly than anything if he knew where I could find a drum.  He comes through with the above barrel and come to find out, he basically has access to unlimited numbers of these excellent once used barrels!  But now this liner crap is like a sucker punch! LOL  


I'll keep you posted on what I come up with. Figure if $20 or $30 for sandblasting (I'm hoping) would still be worth it since everything has been free to this point!  As much as I hate to do it, I'm about ready to just buy a clean new liner free barrel online but hate even more the $50 or $60 dollar freight charge!  Patience has never been one of strong points! lol

Edited by DeanNC - 8/1/10 at 11:38pm
post #6 of 76

i just built one, had the same liner that was untouched by the burnout.  I had it sandblasted inside and out for 30$, and it was way worth it to me.  it gets you a nice even finish to work with, and dont have to worry about gougeing the metal with the grinder, plus bending over into the barrel running a borrowed grinder for two or three hours only to be frustrated and deaf after being finished sounds like a crappy day for me.  I would charge way more than thirty bucks to grind it, so i'll gladly pay 30 for someone to sandblast and give me a better finish. If i had any advice after building my first, i would say budget for sandblasting for anyone building a uds from a lined barrel.

post #7 of 76
Thread Starter 

Wesb my thoughts exactly!  I've wire wheeled undercarriages of a few cars and polished a lot of tranny cases, manifolds etc, I started having flashbacks with just thoughts of wire wheeling the inside of the drum! LOL  I found a guy today and I'm dropping my barrel off tomorrow.  We didn't discuss cost yet because I found him through a local body shop and his a retired Army guy who ends up works a block away from me and does sandblasting as a side business so I'll report back on cost because I'm hoping to get a deal! lol


EDIT - but you're definitely right for $30 it would be worth every penny!

Edited by DeanNC - 8/2/10 at 1:08pm
post #8 of 76

nice score, i hope you can get a deal on the sandblasting because not only will it save you, but your neighbors wont hate you too for all the damn rackett grinding on it lol

post #9 of 76
Thread Starter 

The neighbors will be happy (lol), I'm getting the barrel blasted inside and out for $20!  Woohoo...I might be able to keep this project on the cheap!  Updates to follow now that this stall is about complete.


post #10 of 76

Awesome deal on the sandblasting. I was thinking about buying a blaster but with a price like you found I think I will stop by the local blaster/paint shop near where I work and see what they want for a good healthy blast.


I might suggest that you put some cooking oil on a rag and wipe the inside as soon as you get it from the blaster, then get a light coat of primmer on the outside since it will rust fast like after they blast it.


And dont forget, Have Fun building it.

post #11 of 76
Thread Starter 

I thought it was a great deal too!  Harbor Freight use to have a smaller 40 or 60 pound blaster I had but it was more of a PITA than anything and in this case it was surely worth the money rather than to have even messed with it if I still had the little blaster.  The guy who did my blasting was saying he'll do an entire car for $400 (we were talking about some of my old shenanigans in my car building days).  I wish I'd have known about him a few years ago for sure!


Ok, back to the topic...builds on!  Picked up a couple cans of primer on the way home and some sandpaper to smooth things out a bit.  Its hot as the begesssussss outside still but I'm motivated again.  lol   

post #12 of 76

Go Man Go!   Put Some Muscle Into It!!




post #13 of 76

LOL, the heat is no factor when you are on a mission.


I work outdoors so that helps alot, still gotta be careful tho. Had two guys almost fall-out from the heat yesterday. At work they sometimes refereed to me as a pit-bull, if I'm not going hard I'm going home. At 41 years old I would have thought the young guys would be able to keep up but I must have thought wrong.


Opps sorry for heading off topic there. The important part is, build your smoker and get to smoking some good eats on it. Careful, in the heat the malt beverage of choice does little to hydrate tho LOL. Oh wait, suck the juices off the meat and you should be ok.


Have a great build.

post #14 of 76
Thread Starter 

LOL Tom...I hear ya!  Yeah, the beverages flowed pretty quickly last night and made sticking my head in that drum with the wire wheel just to clean things up, just a little uncomfortable this morning! LOL  


Great productive day!  Have a 4 day weekend and took full advantage today of getting this near completion!  After wasting about 3 hours running all over getting all my hardware together was worse than wrestling that 3/4 expanded metal making the fire basket.  I'll calculate my cost later and almost choked when I bought stainless nuts, washers and bolts for the racks and handles.  Are the steel/zinc nuts and bolts ok?  I know I've read about not using galvanized, but I really didn't want to pay over $5 a bolt for the fire basket, so I used the steel/zinc nuts/bolts and washers for it.


First the fire basket....figured I'd tackle what I thought was going to the hardest part first.  It lived up to its billing and I have the blood on the basket to prove it! LOL  Anyway, I picked up a 16" Wally World pizza pan for $3 for the ash pan.  It worked out perfectly with the Weber (EDIT) 13.5" charcoal grate.  Also picked up a sheet of 3/4x24/24 expanded steel at Home Depot (Lowes only had the 1/2") which I cut in half and joined end to end (12x48"), and some 1/2 nuts and bolts etc. And an 1/8"x36" steel rod for the handle.  And I used rebar ties to secure the expanded steel to the grate. 



After installing the fire basket I measured 24" up from the grate and found my first rack would be 7" from the top of the drum and because of the 3rd ring around the top of the drum my second rack ended up at 1 1/2" from the top.  Figured I'd go ahead and install bolts for a second rack in case I find a dome top eventually.  Used stainless bolts, 1/4"x2" for the rack at 7" and 1/4"x1.5" for the top rack.



Here she is, just about finished!!! I've got to paint and mount a handle on the lid.  Should finish things up tomorrow and be ready for seasoning Saturday.  Ended up picking up a 2"x8" nipple capped off with a 2 3/8" fence post cap!  


Edited by DeanNC - 8/6/10 at 2:01pm
post #15 of 76

It's looking great so far, Just got my barrel and have a Tan liner, but same SNAFU. I will be calling for a sandblast price soon. I dont need to kill myself with the grinding route. Keep the posts going. Im following right along with you soon. GO UDS! 

post #16 of 76
Thread Starter 

SMC, thanks!  I've got another food grade barrel I picked up for $5 dollars that has the tan liner in it too. My original intent was to build 2, one for me and one for my son-in-law....not sure he's going to get this one! lol


Also, made a couple edits to my previous post...I think the cooling off beverages and heat was getting to me! lol  But a 16 inch pizza pan can only be 16 inches! DUH!!  Not sure why I put "but I think it's closer to 21 inches!" lol  And the coal grate I bought was 13.5" not the 18.5" one, guess that's why it fit the "16" inch pizza pan so well...haha


Thanks to everyone who has posted because many these ideas were of course learned from the many post I've read.  Just wish I could remember them all to thank each of you.  But anyway, again, thanks to you all!


Today I decided I'm going to put paint off until another time and get this thing ready to fire up.  Got a 7 lb butt out of the freezer today so I'm almost ready!  Installed my top handle and finished up a couple other little things.


I went with what I believe is called an "Open Hold" handle for the top.  I hadn't seen this before, but yesterday I was thinking I wouldn't want to set the lid on the ground or whatever when tending to the fixin's so I see this handle thought I'd give it a try.



The 8" exhaust nipple seems to work out good for maneuvering the lid off and on.  Not sure but I think it might work out good.


After I finished getting all the hardware installed it was time to hit the inside with the wire wheel one more time to clean out all the instant surface rust spots from my sweat dripping head leaning into yesterday.  After I ran the wheel back through it, I stole the dish soap and a bath towel (at least it was an older one) from the house.  Scrubbed it out a couple times until the water came out clean.  Dry it real good and finally got some PAM sprayed on to keep any more rust from forming.



Now if my son will return my truck (I'm going to choke him!!!!) I'm going to run to the store and pick up some coal and a chimney starter.  My barrel probe hasn't arrived yet so I figured I'd just use one of my digital probes for now.  Order an Old Smokey 2" thermo the other day on Amazon.  I'll post more later if I get to season this thing tonight.  I've got to get a welder!!!  Need to put some wheels on this thing!  LOL


Thanks again to everyone who has posted on this thread and to those who have posted their UDS builds and knowledge!  

post #17 of 76

Hey Dean, I like the idea of the handle to use for hanging the lid. I think I'll do the same. I hope you spent the extra few dollars to get the Weber Chimney. Its worth the extra $.

post #18 of 76
Thread Starter 

SMC, I did...I looked at the others and figured if I went this far, it's worth the extra $5.  Started my seasoning burn tonight and all I can say is this thing is incredible!  


Thanks pandemonium for the information on the coffee can to open up the center of the coals.  Worked great!  I put about 5 chunks of some sweet smelling hickory in after this picture.  Put about 10 briquettes in the chimney and got those fired up with some newspaper. Let them get started good and dumped them inside the can and then pulled the can....everything collapsed down over the hot coal to get things started!


At first I was like, wait, this is way to much smoke....just needed to relax and let things settle a minute, ok maybe about 10 minutes and I put the lid on...this ain't no gasser!



At 7 minutes in after the lid was on we hit 200*....started closing intakes.  Closed 1 and she kept climbing so I closed the second to settle the climb. Took this around 9 minutes after lid on.



Settling down nicely at 45 minutes.  Holding at 230*


The ^ gave me an idea for the handle....I'm going to trim a couple pieces of oak I have to cover the lid handle....it gets a little warm...lol


This was just at an hour...a nice TBS. I'm really going to like this smoker!  Anyone need a GOSM? lol I love the smell of hickory and of course the son and his buddy are wanting to throw some steaks on they went to the store and bought....sorry, put'em on the grill for now. lol



Just at 2.5 hrs in and she's holding so steady at 226*!  This thing is more stable than the gasser and I'm thinking it's going to become my primary machine!  Incredible!!

post #19 of 76

very cool.  I have one I need to finish.  I like your no weld tricks.  makes it handy for us not so handy with the welder folk :)

post #20 of 76

Dean looks great ! ! I cant wait to get mine going. First Day Smoke looks so cool. Is your thermo probe going under the lid? My idea is i'm going to drill a hole on the side about the size of a dime to feed the probe and wire in and take a fridge magnet soft version and cut a slit or hole in it the size of the wire to feed the probe thru, and have the magnet seal the rest of the hole. Does that make any sense. I had a few cocktails tonight.  

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