I am up to page 228, but started gathering materials after about 115 pages and finished my UDS last night.
I found a barrel reconditioner in Detroit that old me an open head heavy duty barrel for $27, Took a bunch of notes during my studies and with a few trips to HD and Lowe's had all of the components. My lovely wife allowed me to cannibalize the 15 year old Weber we have . . err, had.
As a guy without many tools or much experience with metal, cutting the holes was pretty intimidating, but the step-bits were a godsend and much easier than I had expected.
I had to bend out the lip of the Weber lid and rehammer it to form it to the drum. I assume that is because I bought the heavier drum? The guy at the barrel place told me it was a 17h drum. It also has a 2" bung in the side, about 6 inches from the bottom. I briefly considered using a single 2" pipe intake, but ended up taking the advice of many to KISS and build the standard recipe before venturing too far afield.
My only other problem was finding a good source of a strip of expanded metal. I didn't want to have to cut it myself. I ended up using a couple of shelves from HD, chopped a bit, bent a bit and wired it together. No off smells during the seasoning burn, so hopefully it will work.
I found a good online source for custom expanded metal, and although shipping is about the same as the metal, cost, I'll likely remake the charcoal basket when a buddy and I build his.
I sealed up the intakes and lid seal with Hi-temp RTV, and everything went smoothly. Seasoned for about 5.5 hours last night and am ready to throw a couple of butts on tomorrow! I had some fun letting out my iner geek during the seasoning run, learning how the smoker reacted to changes, lip removals, etc. I probably need help:
Wish me luck!
So many thanks to all of you who have created this thread to help those of us coming along behind. I first saw a drum at Bubba's rib burn, and have been toying with the idea of building one for a couple of years. This thread finally got me to do it!