UDS Build in Progress

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by fudlight, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. fudlight

    fudlight Newbie

    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?
     
  2. fudlight

    fudlight Newbie

    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?
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. cobbq

    cobbq Newbie

    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?
     
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just thread mine in, then welded them to the drum. If you can't weld, use some JB weld on the outside
     
  7. It doesn't appear that the uds will get hot enough in that area to effect the galv coating, I'm using them
     
  8. fudlight

    fudlight Newbie

    Here are some pictures of my barrel after two coats of gloss black high temp heat
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  9. fudlight

    fudlight Newbie

    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!!
     
  10. cobbq

    cobbq Newbie

    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
     
  11. fudlight

    fudlight Newbie

    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?
     
  12. cobbq

    cobbq Newbie

    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
     
  13. cobbq

    cobbq Newbie

    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
     
  14. What is the advantage of having two ball valves and having them extended up from the bottom of the uds?
     
  15. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    None. Except you don't have to bend over to adjust.
     
  16. cobbq

    cobbq Newbie

    Agreed, as you get older the only bending should be the elbow with a beer .LOL
     
  17. Thanks for the info.
     
  18. fudlight

    fudlight Newbie

    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.
     
  19. cobbq

    cobbq Newbie

    Fudlight
    where did you end up getting your top vent from, that's all I'm lacking.
     
  20. fudlight

    fudlight Newbie

    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.



    Mike
     

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