Hey all. I have been lurking on these forums getting ready for my first UDS build and have already gathered a ton of useful information from this site, especially from this thread, so first-off thank you.
I want to make sure I am being safe and going about it the right way, so I have a few questions before I begin:
1) I am planning on cutting my airflow holes before the burn-in to increase the fire's efficiency, but I am following norcoredneck's plan, so the holes need to maintain the ability to be threaded by nipples. I am assuming this won't be an issue, but I just wanted someone to verify before I risk ruining a drum.
As for getting the fire going... just lots of hardwood? I saw HD has 5 lb bags of hickory and cherry wood for $7/bag... would a couple of these bags be enough wood, or should I just use scrap wood from somewhere if I can find it?
2) Is there anything I should/can do after the burn-in to increase the longevity of my drum's useful lifespan? Also, I have read about people painting their drums after the burn-in period. If I were to do this, is there a specific type of paint that should be used, or is painting a bad idea altogether?
3) What are people using for handles? I searched at HD and Lowes, but everything I could find lacked an insert to shield the heat. I have a couple of handles I pulled off the ECB this will be replacing, but they are pretty beat-up and I would just assume use new ones if I could find them.
4) Is there any argument for/against using a bung smokestack on the lid? I was thinking I would opt for the bung smokestack option all things equal. If I were to go this route, should I still add a few holes around the top of the lid, or would one to two smokestacks be sufficient?
5) Of the smoker thermometers I can get for > $20, is there any one recommended over the other, or is it basically apples to apples?
6) Are there places that might drill some of these holes for me? I have the basic drill bits to create holes for the bolts to hold the grates, but I had to pay close to $30 for the bits used to create the 3/4" and 1" diameter holes, and was hoping to not have to use them so I could return them.
7) What are the previously contained materials that are hazardous and will not be remedied by a burn-in that I should be weary of when purchasing my drum? For instance, I located a guy with drums locally for $15, but they had a concrete curing compound in them previously and I'm not sure if it would be safe to use.
Last edited by jordan85; 08-21-2012 at 02:05 PM..