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UDS Build in Progress

fudlight

Newbie
10
10
Joined Nov 5, 2013
Hi,

I am currently building a UDS from a 55 gallon drum. Picked up a 55 gallon drum a few weeks ago and did a couple burns in it to remove as much of the paint as I could. Built a charcoal basket using a replacement grate for the lower grate in a weber grill, I believe it is 10.5 inches in diamter. Will this be large enough or should I make a larger diameter one? After I burned the barrel out a couple times and washed it clean I drilled 4 holes for 3/4" ball valves for my intakes. I have also purchased one 22.5" replacement grate with the flip up sides for a cooking grate. I just ordered two 2" thermometers that I will install at different heights and a 6" Polar Array BBQ Grill, Smoker or Pit Air Venting Damper kit that I will be installing on the flat lid of the UDS. Last night I sanded down the outside of the drum and painted it with some grill paint in a gloss black. I plan on buying a pizza pan to attach to the bottom of my charcoal basket as well. If I have time tonight I will attempt to post some pictures when I get home. One question I have is the placement for my damper I just purchased. Will it make any difference if it is not centered on the lid?
 

fudlight

Newbie
10
10
Joined Nov 5, 2013
The charcoal basket is 12" in height and I have attached 4 bolts on the bottom as feet to raise it up from the bottom for air flow. The next step I plan to do is drill holes for 3 bolts to support my bottom cooking grate. What is the recommended height for this?
 

vagunsmith

Newbie
18
10
Joined Nov 6, 2013
I'm also building a uds smoker. I finally rounded up everything. I'm waiting on my ash pan that goes below the fire basket. I ordered a heavy duty 18 inch cake pan 14 gauge from off the net. It was cheaper than building one from steel. I'll just reinforce the bottom some and go from there. Im also using 1/2 inch threaded rod connectors for the 2 inch spacers and legs for the fire basket. They are 1/4 short but I'll screw some short 1/2 bolts in them to add height.
 

vagunsmith

Newbie
18
10
Joined Nov 6, 2013
I also bought a new Weber charcoal grate for under 10 bucks for the bottom of the fire basket. It was 16 inches in diameter. Just right and heavier and cheaper than than the $24.00 PC of expanded metal from the blue store. The orange store was better priced on the basket mesh at $9.95 x 2 for 24 x 12 mesh.
 

cobbq

Newbie
17
11
Joined May 10, 2013
Question to anyone, I see that almost everyone building uses conduit nuts to fasten the air nipple vents to the uds, those seem to only come in galvanized from what I'm able to see at HomeDepot, gathering parts for a build and was wondering about this?
 

dirtsailor2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
21,620
3,319
Joined Oct 4, 2012
Question to anyone, I see that almost everyone building uses conduit nuts to fasten the air nipple vents to the uds, those seem to only come in galvanized from what I'm able to see at HomeDepot, gathering parts for a build and was wondering about this?
I just thread mine in, then welded them to the drum. If you can't weld, use some JB weld on the outside
 

vagunsmith

Newbie
18
10
Joined Nov 6, 2013
It doesn't appear that the uds will get hot enough in that area to effect the galv coating, I'm using them
 

fudlight

Newbie
10
10
Joined Nov 5, 2013
I want to drill the holes for the bolts that will support my cooking grates tonight. What would be a good height for this? I plan on putting one towards the bottom, one closer to the top and possibly a third one in the middle. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!
 

cobbq

Newbie
17
11
Joined May 10, 2013
I would think from everything I've watched and read, you could put one close to fire but it would be used for a heat deflector only, I would and am putting two towards the top, 1 three inches from the top and the second one 8 inches from the top keeping them fairly close so they will be similar in temps when smoking. I plan to use my lid off my weber when using both.
That's my .02$ from reading different forums and YouTube watching.

Don
 

fudlight

Newbie
10
10
Joined Nov 5, 2013
I would think from everything I've watched and read, you could put one close to fire but it would be used for a heat deflector only, I would and am putting two towards the top, 1 three inches from the top and the second one 8 inches from the top keeping them fairly close so they will be similar in temps when smoking. I plan to use my lid off my weber when using both.
That's my .02$ from reading different forums and YouTube watching.

Don
Thanks Don. At this point I am planning on still using my flat top. Would this make any difference for the grate heights? Another question I have about my UDS is would it be fairly simple to modify my drum to accommodate for a weber lid?
 

cobbq

Newbie
17
11
Joined May 10, 2013
This was the best guy I have seen so far on YouTube , I watched all his videos on his build and learned the most, he is very personable which makes watching easy! He goes by sneakee1

Watch "Building my first Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS); from beginning to completion!" on YouTube
 

cobbq

Newbie
17
11
Joined May 10, 2013
I'm a newbie but he also addresses that and says the weber lid fits close enough for the cook and only uses it on big cooks otherwise he removes the top grate and just uses the one 8 inches down from the top.

Don
 

vagunsmith

Newbie
18
10
Joined Nov 6, 2013
What is the advantage of having two ball valves and having them extended up from the bottom of the uds?
 

pc farmer

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
14,415
3,585
Joined Feb 17, 2013
What is the advantage of having two ball valves and having them extended up from the bottom of the uds?
None. Except you don't have to bend over to adjust.
 

cobbq

Newbie
17
11
Joined May 10, 2013
Agreed, as you get older the only bending should be the elbow with a beer .LOL
 

fudlight

Newbie
10
10
Joined Nov 5, 2013
I got my two thermometers and my lid vent in the mail last night. If I don't get home too late from work tonight I plan on mounting those so I can do one final burn before I season the whole inside. I will also put up some pics when I get everything mounted on the UDS.
 

cobbq

Newbie
17
11
Joined May 10, 2013
Fudlight
where did you end up getting your top vent from, that's all I'm lacking.
 

fudlight

Newbie
10
10
Joined Nov 5, 2013
CObbq

Below is a link to the one I bought which is the 6" one, this company also makes a 4" one but I figured I would go with the bigger one just to be safe. I also bought my thermometers from this company, they had very high reviews on all of their products.

Does anyone know if this style of vent needs to be centered in the lid or can it be off centered? Because I would like to put my handle in the middle of the lid and put the vent a little off to the side.

amazon" style="max-width:120px">
Mike
 

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