So I finally built my UDS. I have not made it through every post in this thread but I read the first 250-300 pages worth and was able to get the basics down. All the input here is awesome and I appreciate it a lot. I found this thread because I wanted something better than the $10 Char-broil grill I picked up at a garage sale (although I did learn a lot cooking on it, it was time for something a little better). I didn't want to break the bank so when I found the UDS I knew I hit the jackpot.
After spending plenty of time reading I started gathering parts. I talked to my Dad, "he's got this ultimate set of tools". I will admit up front he did a lot of the work/fabrication, but I was the brains behind the operation.
So here it is from start to finish:
Oil drum, closed top
Top cut off, cleaning out the excess before the burn out
Burned out, pressure washed, and dried out
Intakes added, along with some angle iron and wheels
***At this point it was getting late and I didn't get pictures of adding the side tables but you can see them in the final pics.***
Charcoal basket before the intial burn the following night
Side tables added and some paint the next day (it was raining and I wanted to get it sealed up)
Finished product! Sorry it's a little dark, best pic I have right now, by the time I get home from work there isn't much natural day light and the lighting in my garage is bad. Being a Notre Dame fan and living nearby I went with the ND color scheme (complete with Golden Dome). Side tables are stainless, big belly mod on the ball valve on the right, bottom therm is a 12" through a stainless bolt. I will be posting some pr0n soon!