Thanks for your help, Norco! I did one thing differently on the valve. I used JB Weld in the connector nut to epoxy it to the valve screw, rather than tap the connector for a set screw. It seems to work, and since I had already welded the connector to the allthread, it allowed me to rotate it until the flats lined up for the control handle.
Highly recommend the Rustoleum stove paint in quarts, especially if you have a spray gun. Makes them look almost store-bought (at least until we ruin it later).
These were the best ones so far, thanks to all the mods developed on this site. Thanks!
Double-Barrel Smoker (DBS); Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS)