Going to build my UDS - Can't wait (punch list inside).

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by forcedsquint, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. forcedsquint

    forcedsquint Fire Starter

    So, I posted last week that I have 10 free drums coming my way that are being shipped from Italy with EVOO in them. Found out yesterday they will be on a ship soon and it will be 6-8 weeks before I can get my hands on an empty one. If you're in the Philly area and want a free drum 6-8 weeks from now I can hook you up.

    I don't want to wait that long to get started on my UDS so I've found a place 30 min. from my house that will sell me a brand new one with a bolt ring for $59. I'm just going to do it.

    Here is the "punch list" for my build, if anyone see's any problems or errors please let me know.

    Drum: 55 gallon, unlined, food grade, open head with bolt ring.

    Intakes: 4 3/4" steel pipe intakes, 3 with caps, 1 with a ball valve mounted 1" - 2" from bottom.

    Vent: Single 3" pipe in drum bung hole.

    Charcoal Grate/Ring: 13" x 6" made from expanded metal, 3" from bottom. Build a smaller ring for shorter cooks.

    Food Grate: Mounted 24" above fire, should fall between 6" - 8" from top.

    Grate Mounts: Stainless steel 3/8" bolts, nuts, and washers.

    Season like any other cooker (pam & 300 degree burn-in)
    Weber 22.5" grates are a good fit.
    Use stainless steel when possible, do not use galvanized metal (zinc).
    Mount thermometer at grate level, center of grate could be ~30 degrees hotter.
    On a "non weld" version can use high temp silicone around the holes on outside to help seal.
    Pain outside with high temp paint, get creative.

  2. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Take lots of pics along the way [​IMG]

    Have fun [​IMG]
  3. jazzspot

    jazzspot Fire Starter

    Looks like you're on the right track to me. Possibly place the intake vents at 2" from the bottom. But between 1"-2" from the bottom may be good as well. More experienced UDS builders will chime in I'm sure with their expertise. Your parts list looks good though.
    For the expanded metal, I would go for the 3/4" spaced size. That way the ash build-up shouldn't be an issue. A quick shake of the charcoal ring should cause any ash build-up to fall to the floor of the drum. You don't want the ash build-up to mess with maintaining your long burning temperature control.
  4. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with 1894 on this - please post pics if you're able with the steps mentioned. This is something I know will be referenced for all of us that are thinkin' about building a UDS, but may not have the visual pic of what's needed in their head (such as myself) [​IMG].

    Good luck!!
  5. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Depeding on how strapped you are for cash, I've found that most toilet bowl cleaners strip the zinc plating from a grade 8 steel bolt. Those cost about 1/10th the cost of stainless. If money isn't an issue, go for it, and rust won't ever be an issue.

    Also, I'm using a standard Weber bottom grate for my basket mine, with stainless expanded metal on the sides. Use heavy wire to "stitch" the expanded metal together in a ring, and mount to the grate. Less than $20 for the completed basket. Not sure how long the wire will last. Will just have to see.

    Also, I thought I'd use the clamp ring as well (mine was free), but it's a pain in the butt to take off and on, and really serves no purpose as the lid seals just fine without it. Not saying don't use it, but just my opinion.

    One last suggestion, and it sounds obvious, but just be aware: Make sure your bottom basket is smaller in diameter than the clearance needed for the upper grate supports......don't ask me why I mention that....I'll never admit it.
  6. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    geek, that should also werk for anything zinc coated?.......like the railings i want to use for my tuning plates?
  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Looking forward to pics of the build please post a bunch
  8. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm impressed, you've got a great gameplan, can't wait to see the finished product!
    FYI...If the drum isin't bare metal inside, i would advise burning it out first!
  9. forcedsquint

    forcedsquint Fire Starter

    Thanks so much for all the replies. I will take lots of pictures and post them along with the materials list and specs. I'm really looking forward to doing this.
  10. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like Master Drum Builder bbq bubba gave ya everything you need to get you straight on with building that drum. Good luck with your build. Looking forward to those pics along the way.

    BTW, if you need a calculator to get you the proper length for your diameter on the baskets try this link out...


  11. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Now that is sweet!! Thank's Pig's! [​IMG]
  12. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    only problem I see in this is the Punch list-in my line of work a punch list is a list of things that need fixed! what you have showed is a material list-big differance-all else looks great.I real close to building a drum and will fallow your thread if ok.

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