I already posted a separate thread about my new UDS but thought I should post some thanks in the mother/master thread as well. Sorry for the redundance.
A couple of months ago, I was looking for a reason to build a UDS as Iím completely happy charcoal water smoker guy. You guys urged me on and I finally found some time to build it while raising 2 toddlers and being blessed with newborn twins. I read about the first 200 pages of the master thread (plenty of time in the hospital) and took notes. I felt like I had a pretty good idea of what to do. It took a lot of time to get through, but the reward was that the assembly was pretty painless.
Some of my observations on the build:
∑ Costs can add up. Man, stainless gets expensive! I was still able to build a smoker Iím proud of for less than $200.
∑ The Harbor Freight stepped drill bit lasted at least this one build. I feel like I got my moneyís worth.
∑ A jig saw going through porcelain coated steel of the Weber base is as LOUD as all get out. Glasses and earplugs are necessary.
∑ The burn was fun because fire is cool! However, I thought Iíd want to sit around and watch it but the burning exterior paint fumes suggested otherwise.
∑ The most complicated part of the build is the charcoal basket. Tying the expanded metal with rebar wire is a slight pain. Welders probably have an advantage here. I also had a hard time finding expanded metal and think I ultimately overpaid for it at Metals Supermarket.
∑ The UDS moved pretty well on the wheels. I need to add some handles though.
∑ I was surprised by nothing. The thread was extensive and I was confident that what I was doing was going to work. And it did.
∑ Pointing out to my wife while watching BBQ Pitmasters that a BBQ champ like Bigmista was using a UDS, just like the one I was building, was pretty cool.
∑ I definitely felt a sense of pride in making it myself. I am excited to show people pictures of it.
The next planned mods are a large White Sox logo and a shelf with hooks for tongs and a beer opener (of course). The shelf can act as a handle for me to push the UDS around on the big wheels. I also need to put a handle of some sort on my charcoal basket.
I smoked a fatty Sunday to season it. Found that the dial thermometer on the side read about 15į hotter than the temperature in the center. Had one ĺĒ plug removed and the ball valve opened ľ of the way to maintain a 240į for a couple hours. It was a short run but I was impressed with the consistency.
I canít wait to get more experience with it.
Big thanks to the Brethren for the expertise. Iím really glad that I found your site. Besides the UDS, Iíve learned about MOINKs, ABTís, Chuckies, etc. Man, I didnít know what I was missing. Thanks for the knowledge!