After some homework and forum reading I did decide on the Ugly Drum Smoker. Headed down to a local oil distributor and picked up a drum used for hydraulic fluid for 20 bucks. Sealed top job, and the lip on top is closer to fitting my Weber lid than the larger rolled top.
Got right to work with my hi-speed with cutoff wheel.
There was still about half gallon of hydraulic fluid in there. Look at those nice clean sides with no coating!
I cut three 1" holes 2" up from the bottom.
Picked up a hardwood pallet and burned it in the barrel to clean out the oils.
Stopped by a welding place and had him make me a basket for the charcoal. It's 16" diameter or so (we bent the expanded metal around a 16" wheel) and about 6" tall. He charged me 30 bucks for it. Then I fasioned a handle out of some very heavy wire I had on hand.
Made some legs out of 3/8" bolts that hold it up about 3" off the floor.
Picked up some hardware
Cleaned out the drum after the burn, used the wire wheel on the Makita and brush & hot soapy water. Boy was I a mess after that!
So then I wipe down the inside with Crisco and burn a chimney of briquettes to season it. With the air ports fully open, it went to 375 degrees, and burned a couple hours hot before working its way back down.
Painted it last night, and this morning began assembly. Put a flange in where the ball valve will for for some strength.
My grill support ended up at 8 inches below the top, which made it 24 inches above the bottom of the charcoal basket. I used stainless bolts about 2" long.
Here it is with one grill on the bolts
Now, one of the main uses for my smoker is making jerky (deer). I need all the square inches of rack space I can get. With these Weber grills and the square handles, I can rotate them 90 degrees and lay them on the one below, stacking them. I bought 3 of these grills and they lay in there nicely. Leaves maybe a little more than an inch between grills.
Installed my ball valve and pipe cap fittings.
For my turkey fryer cheapo thermometer, I picked up this fitting at the hardware store. It fits nicely through there and I can pick up temps 1" below the bottom grill.
That's it. She's done and ready to make jerky, slim jims, ribs, chicken, and a whole host of other interesting culinary delights. I have around 150 bucks in it I guess, if I count every nut and bolt, not including the Weber lid I already had. The lid doesn't quite fit down over the lip, it's very close, and this spring when kettle grills come out on sale I'll get another one where I can bend the lip all the way around and fit just right on this, so I don't mess up my good Weber lid. I'm pretty happy with how it looks and am anxious to get barbequein'!!