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Old 03-29-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
is One Chatty Farker
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Join Date: 01-13-10
Location: Houston, TX
Default Let the midi UDS build begin!! [ongoing... with pr0n]

My drum is here!

I looked high and low for a 30gallon steel drum. Nothing was available in Houston. Drums available from one supplier locally would cost $120 . Next option was an hour way, ~$30 and it would be lined, brand new, so would have to be burned out. Used and/or reconditioned drums were available near Beaumont, San Antonio, and Dallas, all 3-4 hours away. Fark! Then I found one supplier, Zoro Tools (, selling a new, closed head, unlined, steel drum for $63 and free shipping. So, I jumped on it, and 5 days later my drum was delivered. Has the standard 2 bung top. Flipped it over, and the 18.5" Weber lid fit perfectly!

Now as I start my build, I have some questions which I need help with. I've read the UDS threads and tried to learn what I could:

1. Was planning on opening the top (what used to be the bottom) with a sawzall. I've done this sort of thing with an angle grinder and hammer/chisel before, but think the sawzall will give me a cleaner cut. Although the drum is new, I will fill it with water first to diaplace any vapors which may be lurking inside. My wife will kill me if I blow up the garage cutting this thing open.

Would anyone recommend any other method? Looked for a deheader, but that is expensive to cut one drum.

2. What should the spacing be between racks? The drum is almost 29.5" in height. I was planning on placing bolts to hold racks at (measuring from the top) 2", 7", and 14". Will the 7" level rack be good enough for beer butt chickens? The 14" will give me the option of using a water pan or clay saucer as a diffuser.

3. The charcoal basket will be 8" deep, expando sides, charcoal grate for an 18.5" Weber kettle will form the bottom. Was planning on raising it 3", with an ash pan underneath. Will that give enough clearance from the top of the charcoal basket to the grates (about 10.5" from the top of the basket to the second grate)?

I would like to put 4 all-terrain type handtruck wheels for mobility (I think Skidder did that for his UDS in a past thread). Using 1/2" nipples and ball valve for the intakes.

I have built 1 55gallon UDS, and a SJ mini WSM. I would love to hear your suggestions or tips.


[could someone please teach me how to intersperse pics and text in a post??]
Attached Images
File Type: jpg drum boxed.jpg (22.6 KB, 679 views)
File Type: jpg drum unboxed.jpg (23.3 KB, 678 views)
File Type: jpg drum lid.jpg (38.8 KB, 679 views)
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