So I jumped on the bandwagon and built one of these mofos. Keep in mind that I have all the mechanical ability of a jar of mayonnaise, so this thing is definitely heavy on the Ugly. In fact my fire basket is such a travesty I think it may qualify as an abortion in some states. Here's a picture of the finished product:
This thing does what everyone says it would do. It holds temperatures like a champ. I loaded up my "special needs" fire basket and let 'er rip in order to season the drum and experiment to see just how long I could get the charcoal to last. Got it settled in at 5:30 last night using the ball valve and it held between 230-250 until I went to bed. Got up in the morning and the temp had dropped to about 200, but a slight adjustment brought it back into BBQ temperature range.
This is a picture of my thermometer TWENTY SEVEN HOURS LATER:
Good lord that is efficient.
Thanks to everyone who posted in this thread. I just seasoned it using some scraps and some bacon. Gonna throw something good on there soon and will report back!