I'm starting a SS UDS- today, in fact! That's how I found this site- doing research about a drum smoker. I think the SS UDS needs a name of it's own- it definitely doen't fit into the 'Ugly' category!
I paid $40 for my SS drum- craigslist. I have most of the other stuff on hand. I'll start with the fire box first. I'm not going to cut the top out until I zero in on a cover. My Weber cover is just a little too small, although I can balance it on there. I've researched all over, and beside the arctic lids, I also found SS bowls and wok covers in the 22 to 22.5" range. If I go that route, I'll leave a lip inside the bead for the top to rest on. Another idea I had is to take a strip of 1/8" SS and wrap it around the inside of the bead, and have it stick up enough for the lid to sit on. If my Weber lid will work, I won't spend any more money on anything else.
Couple questions for you, Paul. Did you polish your drum, or did it come that way? Mine's not that shiny. Can you give me an exact inside measurement on the arctic lid? I'd hate to order one and have it not fit. How did you buy it? Their site said something about no direct sales- you have to go through a dealer? I tried rolling the bead inward on the drum- yeah, right! That SS is tough stuff!
The stainless steel should last forever. I have a friend with an offset smoker he made out of two SS drums, and it looks brand new after 10 years of use.
I'll try to take pictures along the way, especially if I do anything 'unique' on my build.
I'm very intelligent, but I mask it by doing stupid stuff.