Ok, so after making my way through over 6,000 posts, I finally decided to start my UDS build. (I'm not going to go for the "I Read the Entire Thread" merit badge.)
A local oil company has reconditioned open-top barrels for $45. These have been through a caustic dip tank, thoroughly washed and repainted. No rust inhibitor lining, just bare steel on the inside. They say they keep some of these on hand at all times. In fact, the guy I got it from is looking to make a cold smoker with one.
Anyway, after picking up the barrel, I swung by Steel Mart here in Dubuque and they had cutoffs of 3/4 x #9 expanded steel that I could look through. I found a nice piece and they cut it to size for me. Cost me $13 with tax.
Now it's off to the hardware store for the various and sundry parts I need for the rest of the build.
Thank you for all the informative posts you folks have made. It was interesting to see all the advancements in UDS tech over the years. I'll posts photos of my build when I get farther along.
I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?xrbrct