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Belaurora 05-08-2013 09:57 AM

I got the UDS bug Last week...
6 Attachment(s)
Hi all,

I have been thinking about getting a smoker for about a month and while doing research I came across the mother of all UDS threads last week. I read it all in 2 days last week and and started on my own. It is about 80% complete now. I have to hand it to some of you guys. Man you have done a great job. I only hope mine is worthy of being here.

So I found an unlined closed head barrel for $20 and a Uniflame kettle grill that included a charcoal chimney for $30. I really wanted a weber for the lid but I decided to just get the Uniflame since it has hinges so I can hinge the top.

I read in one of the threads where the guy cut the head off by grinding the top of the rolled over edge. I thought about it and decided to grind the outside of the edge to retain the top of the curl for a good seal. It took maybe 20 mins with a Harbor Freight el cheapo grinder. I ground a notch so I could realign the top after I got it off. Once the lid was off I carefully used a flap disc to clean up the edges. They were VERY sharp. now they are nice and smooth. The top fits perfectly and has a nice tight seal.

I drilled some holes and got to burning it out. It had some sort of solvent in it. :shock: I made sure to wash it out with soap and water before I started grinding off the lid.

Anway I was already doing some welding work on the UDS I decided to weld up some tiki torches too. :cool: Made out of old wine bottles.

I will post the fire basket and grate and nipple placement later. It is already done I just don't have pics with me.

I got a Maverick and an IQ110 to go with the UDS. They should be here by the end of the week. I plan on my first smoke this weekend. I am doing on of those stock car driving expereinces saturday so no BBQ that day but Sunday is wide open. Any ideas on what I should try smoking first? My wife said duck...:confused::confused: I have a brisket in the freezer right now though...

Happy BBQing

aawa 05-08-2013 10:24 AM

Very cool pictures! I might have to make some wine bottle tiki torches. Lord knows i have a bunch of empty bottles!

NC-Q 05-08-2013 10:37 AM

Looks great! What did you use as the ring that holds the neck of the bottle? I may have to make some of those tiki torches!

cowgirl 05-08-2013 10:44 AM

Looking great, I really like those wine bottles too. Nice!

Belaurora 05-08-2013 11:16 AM

The thing that holds the wine bottle is a split ring clamp. They are threaded so you can use them with hangar plates too. THere are a couple ways to build these. The way I did it was so I can just stab them in the ground. I have a welder so I just grind off the galvanising and weld them up.

If you had a deck a better way would be to use threaded rod with the split ring and a hangar plate on the other end. You can get the split ring clamp and hangar plate in the plumbing section at HD or Lowes and then you just need some threaded rod. Then just mount the hangar plate to your deck railing or wall or support posts. Google it and you will see what I mean.

One note on the size of split ring clamp is that there are different sizes of wine bottles. Many wine bottles need a 1' clamp but the ones in my picture use 3/4' clamps. Also you can use any kind of bottle; Whiskey, ketchup, wine, use your imagination...

The wick holder is a copper reducer 1/2" to 3/8". It was a little small for the hole in my bottle so I wrapped it with teflon tape. I used them for 4 hours at a school fundraiser last weekend (I grilled hotdogs to sell). They worked great and everyone was envious. I even sold one. :cool: You can get replacement wicks for Tiki Brand torches in HD or Lowes. They are like 9" long which is what you want for something big like a wine bottle.

Belaurora 05-08-2013 11:22 AM

So any ideas on what I shold cook my first time out with the UDS?

I was totally thinking some ABT's. I have been doing those for years on the grill just never heard the ABT term. Heck, I thought I invented them!!! :doh:

She insists on a duck. I have made several ducks so that is fine with me but I also want to do something else...

cowgirl 05-08-2013 11:55 AM


Originally Posted by Belaurora (Post 2474356)
So any ideas on what I shold cook my first time out with the UDS?

I was totally thinking some ABT's. I have been doing those for years on the grill just never heard the ABT term. Heck, I thought I invented them!!! :doh:

She insists on a duck. I have made several ducks so that is fine with me but I also want to do something else...

I like duck on the UDS too. How about a fatty?

NC-Q 05-08-2013 12:07 PM

Duck and a fatty! Or maybe a fatty with some duck and hoisin sauce a'la Peking duck?

RustyPup 05-08-2013 12:17 PM

This is just me talking here, but I'd say the ABTs and some MOINKS would be perfect for the inaugural run.

Nice work on the drum too! I guess I either missed the post about grinding the lid rim where you did it, or I haven't gotten to that post yet. I'm only on page 471 of the Mother of All UDS Threads, and I've been reading for a week. How you read the entire thing in 2 days is way beyond me. My drum's rim is already ground to fit my Weber lid, but I'll keep your method in mind for future builds.


71-South 05-08-2013 01:44 PM

Nice drum, very cool tikis! You could sell those online and make a nice side profit.

Belaurora 05-09-2013 08:43 AM

10 Attachment(s)
Here are some shots of the lid. All nice and smooth after grinding it off. I used a flap disc to clean it up. BTW I am brand spanking new at welding, so no laughing at my poor welds. I am getting better. Flux core is hard to do with thin metal...:blah:

The uniflame is all cut up now for donor parts. I got a chinmey included with it. I used the Uniflame charcoal grate for the bottom of my fire basket. I welded 2 12"x24" pieces of expanded metal to it. I was a 1/2" short so I used some scrap to cover the gap.

I used some 3/8" rod for the uprights and legs. I welded the whole basket to an old pizza pan I found behind my ac unit when it got replaced last month. The basket is 15" diameter by 12" tall. I figure that is plenty. I still need to make a handle for it.

I used 3 pieces of 3/8" rod to weld on the cooking grate supports. Nice and sturdy. I had some blow through I had to fix...:doh: The cooking grate is mounted about 6.5" from the top and just over 24" from the fire basket grate. I want to add 1 more grate for more capacity.

I cut the top ring off the Uniflame where it is crimped to hold the grill grate. I set the grate in it and will use it as a ring to keep smaller items (like ABT's) form falling off the grate. I plan putting handles on it. I think I am just going to leave it as a separate piece so I can change out grates or opt to not use it when cooking large stuff. The grill grate sits in it nicely.

The Uniflame is donating the lid, hinges, charcoal grate, grill grate, probably wheels, legs for shelf supports, and top ring (it is the top 2" of the bottom, I cut it where it is crimped inward to hold the grill grate.) Lol there might not be much left over after I get done with it :biggrin1:.

Belaurora 05-09-2013 09:09 AM

4 Attachment(s)
I welded on 3 x 3/4" close nipples. 2 with caps and 1 with a pvc ball valve, HD was out of the brass one :twitch:. The HD by my house is not so great, they never have stuff in stock. :doh:

Anyway, I fitted up the Uniflame lid but that is a no go, my drum is just too big in the mouth. So I was thinking about using the original lid and welding the Uniflame dome to it. That would make for a very nice seal. That is if I can weld it without really fouling it up. I wish I had a bottle of shielding gas...

I could try to reshape the edge but the dome may not have enough extra metal for that. It is more than a 1/4" difference between the size of the drum and the size of the Uniflame dome.

I could also use the method where you add a strip of metal on the inside to make a new lip for the dome to sit on. I just really dont want to have to try to bend the metal or buy it at exorbitant prices at the BIG BOX store.

I am so close to having this done. I just have to decide what to do with the lid. I thought I would ask the opinion of the memebers here.

All I have left to do is figure out the lid, add handles to the grill ring and the fire basket, and strip and paint the darn thing. I also got my Maverick yesterday and my IQ110 is arriving today!! So I need to put in a hole for the probe wires.

All I need is 2 hours and I can have this thing done. So thoughts on the lid? I know someone welded the two together like I am thinking but I wonder if it is just too thin for my skills. :oops:

Happy Smoking.

RangerJ 05-09-2013 10:03 AM

Both of mine have the inside lip of flat bar welded on so that my Weber lids would fit.

I paid someone to do it as I'm not real handy with a welder.

jw177 05-12-2013 08:14 PM

I have not completed my uds, but what i did was straighten the edge of the uniflame lid, trim it some, then bolt it inside the rim of the flat top that came with the drum. Then I cut the flat lid inside that. good fit now. Thought about just straightening the lip of the uniflame lid and letting it sit on the drum. I have some pictures, never tried to upload any here though.

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