I say you are having fun! I use the bottoms on two of my UDS. I left the ash sweepers in place and use them as adjustable vents. However they are always wide open when in use. I only shut them to choke out the fire at the end.I have never understood the worry about a super tight fitting lid that has to have air vents in it? I don't care if a little smoke comes out around the lid. It has to come out some place. I have no use for latches except for in transporting it. The weight of the lid is enough for me. Have fun with your project! It is looking great!
3 UDS, One charcoal eating fire breathing home bulit trailer pit,