RE: Mod comments
After looking thru the thread a little, I realized that a lot of people are confused/insulted by the changes I've made to what's called the "classic UDS design" so I thought i'd quickly go through my reasoning for doing things the way I did and give you all a lil background.
I live in a small, upstairs apartment with no garage or shed. The only way I could protect my investment was to make it mobile. Since I usually start cooking early in the morning while everyone else is asleep and have a bad back from years of heavy lifting, I can't really just heave the sucker out from under the carport alone. Also, wheels seemed like one of the most basic and instinctive things a person would want to add to a heavy object.
2) The hinges
A hinge is a hinge is a hinge... Didn't see a huge problem with adding this. The lid itself isn't that heavy, but after adding the 6" exhaust and elbow, it was a little unwieldy. I also thought that simply adding a hook to hang it off the side of the drum might damage the paint job or the thermometers or annoyingly make me walk around the unit to get to the back, and I think we all feel the same way about being forced to do unnecessary exercise... It swings open the way it does because I'm right handed and it makes it much easier to load the meat in from the side table.
3) Air intake
It's not really all that different from other single intake designs I've seen. Mine just goes thru the bottom of the barrel instead of the side. My thinking was that the fire might burn more evenly. Does it actually make a difference? I don't know. It might not. But since I have the extra clearance underneath (which I think might be why more people haven't tried it yet), I figured it was worth a shot.
4) Coal basket
Just like every other coal basket I've seen, with two small "mods" to allow the air intake to come up thru it. Not a big deal here.
5) Shaker Bar
My design for this is actually way less complex and involved than i've seen on some other smokers. I wanted to get the same results they do without having to weld a bunch of stuff or make additional holes in the drum. I think I've accomplished that nicely. It also takes advantage of having the air intake come up thru the middle, which serves to keep the basket in the middle of the drum while shaking it.
As for my first build, Sean "Puffy" coals, I do still intend to use it. I don't view it as a failure or obsolete. Did I deviate too far from the basic concept? Probably, but again, I had reasons for why I made the changes I did. It just turned out that those changes didn't really solve the problems they were meant to or didn't function the way I thought they would. As I said earlier in the thread; lesson learned, moving on.
Thanks again for reading. Hopefully this helped someone outh there. Good luck with all your future builds and keep on Que'ing!
"Eating 'Que isn't making me fat- it's the beer I drink while lounging by the pit."