I've been meaning to build an UDS since first reading this thread (when it was considerably smaller) 3 years ago. My 2 Webber kettle BBQ's are still at my sister's after the post-wedding BBQ
I did for her, and my daughter wants some ribs cooked for her birthday ... so that was a good incentive to finish off the UDS. The drum has been sitting in the back yard since being burned out last year (or so).
Battery on the cordless drill didn't want to last all that long:
But the corded drill did a good job of cleaning out any remaining paint and rust:
I can't find any of the expanded mesh around here (in small/cheap quantities anyway), so the fire-box build was the biggest problem holding things up. When cleaning up my BBQ yesterday I found the old cast iron grill plates, and cut them in half using the angle grinder:
And used a few bits of nichrome wire to hold it together:
The ash-tray is also from the old BBQ:
... hopefully it will be large enough.
Lots of the folks around here don't seem to like/keep their Webber kettle BBQ's, so the lid and rack's for my UDS were all donated (after they put them out on the nature-strip to be thrown out).