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Another UDS intake question

SmokinLogs

Smoking Fanatic
864
335
Joined Dec 5, 2017
I have been cooking for a few years on my Charbroil COS, but it’s getting colder out and I have been wanting something better to handle the cold and wind. I’ve read a lot about how the UDS is very efficient and turns out some great bbq. Plus, they are pretty inexpensive to build. So I’m on board. Last week I checked around at work in the scrap metal bins. I’ve got my hands on a good clean 55 gallon barrel with removable lid, a couple of steel pans for making my catch pan and charcoal basket, as well as some 2 inch stainless tubing, 90 degree bend, and a 2 inch brass ball valve. I’m not much of a welder but my dad is the best I know. I want to keep the drum as air tight as possible. We are going to tig weld all the intake tubing, exhaust damper, charcoal basket, tabs for the cooking grates, handles and anything else that pops up. I know most people use multiple 3/4 inch intakes with 1 or 2 ball valves and 1 or 2 pipe caps. So the million dollar question is will I be ok with one 2 inch pipe/ball valve? I plan to have the charcoal basket elevated a couple inches above the ash pan, and that is the height we will mount the intake. Should I add a small nipple on the opposite side with a removable cap? I could even put an adapter fitting on the end of my ball valve to restrict the flow... does anyone else have experience here or have any words of wisdom? I’m all ears. Thanks in advance!
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,391
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Joined Jan 7, 2017
I used 3/4 black pipe. Between the threaded nipples, 90 elbows and ball valves there's no leaking whatsoever. No welding required. Just cranked everything tool tight.

I ran with 3 ball valves, as much for the look as anything else. I didn't want to have to unscrew caps.

20181008_184308.jpg
 

mattkm

Fire Starter
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27
Joined Jul 5, 2018
It wont hurt to have to other nipple (or 2) around the bottom, if you find you don't need them (which you likely wont after the initial start up), you can always just leave them capped.
 

SmokinLogs

Smoking Fanatic
864
335
Joined Dec 5, 2017
Yeah I think I’m going to give in and join the crowd. I scraped up some piping and some 3/4 inch ball valves. I want to make sure it functions well. I figure if that’s what works for most people than I should take the free advice.
 

kelbro

Smoking Fanatic
332
121
Joined Mar 22, 2009
Interesting. Thanks. I've been an offset guy and a WSM guy for a long time and used ECBs before.

Do you use the ball valve as a regulator/damper to control temps?

These look like a great idea.
 

mattkm

Fire Starter
50
27
Joined Jul 5, 2018
Yes, the ball valve controls the air intake. For initial light up, you uncap the two other intakes, and have the ball valve wide open, then as the charcoal settles in to temp, you put the caps back on and control with the ball valve.
 

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