My previous modified weber charcoal bbq was more like a mini smoker, it was only an 18" diameter cooking grid and I just didn't have the room to cook enough meat. I was going to make a full size UDS, but realized that I could store the charcoal bucket underneath if I made a short UDS. Plus I got hooked on having the fire box on the side (and not underneath) so this sort of just made the most sense for the type of smoking I do. Eventually I am going to make a drawer to put my wood in, so it is all right there. Also gotta add some kind of decorations to the legs so it doesn't look so bare.
One basket (which holds about 2 lbs of charcoal) will last about 5 hours at 220. At $0.35 per lb, that is only 70 cents worth of charcoal I am burning up. It does consume a little more than what my Weber kettle smoker bbq, but is still far less than a typical offset side smoker or conventional full size UDS. I think it is partially because this smoker seals so much better than a side smoker, so I can better control the amount of air flow through and thus reduce the amount of combustion. Plus the fact that it is a smaller area that I have to heat. A full size UDS will have 3 times as much air space inside that gets heated.
My original flat lid started leaking pretty badly, the thing warped and was letting the smoke out. I finally got around to adapting a lid from a weber grill to my shorty uds smoker - but I did it a bit differently than I have seen others. I took the original flat lid and cut the rim off, welded it on upside down and that is what I used to adapt the weber lid to it. I've got more picture at shortypen.com
Hey Shorty, do you still lurk around here? I've sailed quite a few of the PDR's here in Oregon, ans built two that I never registered! I spend a good bit of time around the wood boat forums but never knew you did Q. Cool little Q. I'd call it a DrumStick!