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New to UDS building.

cjclemens

Fire Starter
32
11
Joined May 20, 2016
Well, I had some soybean oil come in at work and it came in 55 gallon drums. Naturally, I had to swipe an empty for a UDS build. Unfortunately, they are the liquid type drums with the solid top, but it cut off easily enough with a sawzall and, with a little tweaking, I think the lid off an old 22" Weber grill might fit pretty well.

Here are the questions: I was gonna use 3/4" black steel pipe for intake vents - will 3 intake vents be enough? I was gonna have 2 with caps and one with a ball valve on it. Also - will the exhaust on the lid of the old Weber grill lid be sufficient?

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

hardcookin

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,210
677
Joined Aug 13, 2015
On the UDS I built I had 3 intakes that you mentioned.
Once I got up to temp. I would only use the intake with the ball valve 1/2 open. That seemed to be enough.
On the Webber lid the exhaust setup it worked but I would have liked to experiment with adding another. Weber sells the exhaust vents.
I used an old milk crate for my charcoal basket.I lined it with 3/4" expanded metal.
 

desertlites

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,803
68
Joined Dec 6, 2007
I also have 2- 3/4 intakes along with a ball valve and yes once it gets going I pretty much use the valve. Built mine outta a pressure tank along with the lid grates and baskets so not sure on the webber top but many people use them. good luck on the build.
 

SmokinLogs

Smoking Fanatic
864
335
Joined Dec 5, 2017
I have 3 3/4 inch intakes, but for some reason once I’m up to temp I usually have 1 open all the way and another half way open.
@daveomak is a good resource for advice on UDS building and tinkering!
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,388
638
Joined Jan 7, 2017
I run about 1 - 1.5 open valves when I run mine on low draft mode as well. Sometimes in low wind situations in have to add a 3 ft or so length of 4" pipe to increase draft. Not sure how to increase that with a Weber style lid exhaust. But I know people do it
 

cjclemens

Fire Starter
32
11
Joined May 20, 2016
Thanks for the info! My next step is to drill the intake holes and burn the liner out of it. I think I'm gonna try it with 3. I have noticed that some builds have the extended up close to the lid. Is that to help with draft or is it just a cosmetic choice?
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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638
Joined Jan 7, 2017
Having the longer intakes will theoretically promote better draft. I have them up close to the lid for two reasons.

Reason 1: it puts the valves at waist level , so no bending over for my lazy self.

Reason 2: Big box stores sell the 3/4" pipe in two foot lengths, pre threaded on both sides. Much easier to just use those than having to cut and thread a longer pipe.
 

cjclemens

Fire Starter
32
11
Joined May 20, 2016
Unfortunately, I haven't had time to finish up my build, so I thought Id use the opportunity to ask one more question:

How high above the fire basket do you place the diffuser plate and the grates? I bought one of those pre-made baskets. It's 12x12x9 with an ash pan 3" underneath it. The diffuser is just a thick plate of steel with holes drilled in it.

Thanks again for all the help!
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,388
638
Joined Jan 7, 2017
My diffuser sits right on top of my fire box.

My bottom shelf is prob 4-6" above that and my top shelf is about 10" above the bottom
 

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