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Stop me from wasting time and money!!

jay6896

Fire Starter
48
11
Joined Oct 6, 2015
First post since joining. I just snagged a 55 gallon drum with removable lid and am ready to get going on this UDS build. My questions are mostly centered around the lid. I've read the ids can warp and while mine has a groove for a large o-ring the o-ring is not in there. I REALLY don't want to use a weber lid, I want this UDS to look like a tricked out drum so keeping the top is pretty important for me. Is there a something I can do to keep this lid straight and making a good seal? I looked at nomex gasket material too so it's that or the red ATV sealant to replace the missing o-ring.

Let me hear some opinions/experiences with these tops. You gus are the experts.

Thanks, Jay
 

jcollins

Smoking Fanatic
580
32
Joined Dec 16, 2014
I hate to be the one to tell you but nothing will turn out completely perfect there will be little flaws here and there as far as a good seal on the lid there are a few options i can think of... 1st you could take that high temp rtv gasket and put a bead around the lid and place a layer of plastic suran wrap on the drum where the rtv would form to the drum without it sticking to the drum as well to the lid. but so that it will form to the shape of the drum. and let that sit overnight.   2nd you could use that nomex gasket but i would think you would have issues with that lid not weighing enough to get a good seal but to fix that you could attach some clamps that would hold the lid down.. the same with those rope woodstove gaskets...
 

bmaddox

Master of the Pit
1,705
143
Joined Jan 5, 2015
Have you tested it as is? How tight is the fit without the o-ring? I would build it and do some test runs before sinking $50 into nomex. On my UDS I used a weber lid and hammered the lid to the drum. It is sort of a pain since it has to go back on the same way every time but it works and it was a free fix. 
 

jay6896

Fire Starter
48
11
Joined Oct 6, 2015
I like the clamp idea. I also though about putting a nice exhaust stack and a hefty handle to add weight to help seat the lid. Any idea what those clamps are called or where I can get them from?
 

krj

Smoking Fanatic
400
276
Joined Mar 23, 2009
Toggle clamps are generally the type people use. Don't know what style of toggle clamp is best on a UDS lid, I actually posed the same question in my UDS thread.
 

jay6896

Fire Starter
48
11
Joined Oct 6, 2015
I found some box chest clamps online. light duty and a slight hook on the end that I think will hold the lid down nicely. Once I get to that point i may order them if this thing tests out to be quite the little leaker.
 

jcollins

Smoking Fanatic
580
32
Joined Dec 16, 2014
like bmaddox said you should test to see if it will leak before you go spending money....
 

jay6896

Fire Starter
48
11
Joined Oct 6, 2015

The smoker is almost ready to go with the exception of the charcoal basket. That will happen this weekend. The top is slightly warped and there is no gasket that will seal that. I ordered these and I think this should fix the problem with the top. 
 

va_connoisseur

Smoking Fanatic
338
13
Joined Dec 13, 2007
 

The smoker is almost ready to go with the exception of the charcoal basket. That will happen this weekend. The top is slightly warped and there is no gasket that will seal that. I ordered these and I think this should fix the problem with the top. 
How did it turn out? Do you have pics?
 

ranjer59

Newbie
15
10
Joined Sep 6, 2015
Don't get anal about how "sealed up the lid is.  Where you see "leak"- I see "a  tad more exhaust"

TBH it is really just gonna matter when you shut the drum down and try to snuff /save the coals.

    If it's not too warped, you can set a pc of plywood and a weight on top to make it flatter when you go to shut it down.

    or you can put your latches on- those should work just dandy.
 

jay6896

Fire Starter
48
11
Joined Oct 6, 2015


I guess I did KINDA leave y'all hanging so I took some pics yesterday to show how it came out. I fashioned the charcoal basket after Sneeaky1's basket but the expanded metal I used was a beast. I bough a 4x8 sheet of the good stuff so I could also make a grill grate for a pit I have. It was rough getting it bent and once I had it close I tack welded it. As for the clamps, they worked perfectly!! The lid was too warped to even make an acceptable seal and the coal would have to run out not be put out after a cook. There is still a tiny bit of smoke coming out in 1 spot but it doesn't bother me. I run with the exhaust wide open so .... no worries. I love the exhaust flap. It's cheap and functions perfectly. I can rotate it to closed and put the magnets over the holes and the fire is out. This spring I am going to build another one, position the grill grates a little differently.
 

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