The desire to return to smoking, but the bad memories of fighting with my cheap offset smoker to maintain temperatures got me looking at other options. The series on About.com got me interested in the big drum smoker, but the high price and shipping sent me looking for other options. It was this thread that made me want to try to make my own UDS.
Well, it's nearly done. Knowing I can add extras after the fact (love that aspect of the design), I'm keeping it basic. Flexible magnets for moderating the intake air. I bought a new unlined drum and a BBQ Pro 22.5 in kettle grill from Kmart for donor parts (yeah, I found out they're poor quality so I don't expect the grills to last long). I burned out the drum, then srubbed and sanded it out, drilled holes for all the hardware and painted it silver (cheaper than black). But then I got stupid and torched the lid to burn off the paint and 'rust inhibitor' with far too much heat for far too long. The thing warped like a tortilla!
So... the wavy lid and the dome top from the donor grill are now at a welder to be wed. I should get it back tomorrow evening or Friday morning and will paint it to match. I'll post pics when I have it together. Without pics, it doesn't exist, I know.
Anyway, thanks for keeping this thread alive to inspire unskilled lunks like me! Now to decide what to do for the first cook (after a seasoning burn to start figuring the thing out). Hmmm... brisket has always kicked my butt in the old offset. Maybe I'll swing for the fence first. Or maybe a fattie to get more greasy smoke seasoning on it. Decisions, decisions...
Bruce - Weber Performer, UDS up and running.