1. As far as expanded metal goes for my charcoal basket Home Depot doesn't carry it (near me). I called numerous metal work shops. The best price I can find is $80. This is for a whole 4 ft by 8 ft sheet of expanded steel. The guy said he'd cut it down to whatever I'd need. From my rough calculations, it looks like I'd be able to get multiple 44" x 8" cuts. Hell, I could even get creative with a few taller ones. Thoughts on the $80 for all this expanded steel?
(I plan on doing the no weld method on top of a charcoal grate)
2. For drilling through the drum is a step bit the only way to go?
I do not have have this type of bit so I'd need to buy one. I read that the Unibits are high quality but they are $50 or so bucks. I saw one on Amazon for $13 that gets decent reviews but I'm not certain that the reviewers were going through steel. I'm referring to a 1 inch step bit.
3. For the lid I like the look of the "smoke stack" but I read that some folks think that this creates cold/hot spots. Rather the multiple 1 inch holes on top are preferred by some. Is there issues with putting out the fire after a cook when you have 8 or so holes open on top with no ability to close?
My drum lid does not have a 2 inch bung opening. It's totally flat.
4. Is it worth adding some extra bolts down lower in case I want to add a water pan/heat shield? I just read someone with a grease fire b/c of dripping down fat. Before I paint I'd like to have the holes drilled if this will be needed down the road. Originally I was just going to stick with 1 grate (7 inches down) but now I'm wondering if I'll want to have the option to have a water pan/ diffuser. Thoughts on the water pan / diffuser option?
Thanks in advance! This forum is clearly superior to all in the UDS build world! I love it!