Gather as much info as you can and build your dream. Show your wife this thread: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...&highlight=bds
My wife rolled her eyes when I started gathering parts for mine. When she tasted the goods she had a change of heart. I actually heard her bragging about "our new smoker".
Read the description of the BDS. lots of good info. I cooked the butts on mine with 1 load of 12# of kingsford. I still had time to cook when meat was done. Also keep in mind the I live off interstate 15 where the semi trucks blow over and the wind was so strong that day it blew all the potted plants and trees over on my patio. I have wheels on mine and I had to chock them because it was rolling away and I held 220-250 deg.
I prommissed to make up a word document on my build but have family emergency and not able to get to my tools to measure hole size I used for fittings(see pics.). The holes in top are 8 1/2" holes. Do yourself a favor and get a step drill to make holes. If you ever drilled thin material you know the holes are not round but will be with a step drill.
My costco had them as a set. Little bit of money but they come in handy.
To answer other questions from the other thread. I have no door, I was waiting to see If I needed one. I loaded up on coal, lit, then threw on hickory chunks, Seemed to be a good combo. I have to dump mine out. Plan to make a scoop like Thirdeye did, pretty cool. I think the most difficult part of my build was the charcoal basket. Here is where I got my nickname "Norcoredneck" by my friends for my hillbilly engineering. I got a log (stump) about 13" in diameter. I got a piece of expanded metal 9 in"X43" I think. (circumference + 2" overlap) I used drywall screws and washers and screwed 9" width to log. I rolled log and tack welded when it overlapped. Remove log - ! ring. I used a piece of expanded metal and used 2 10" pieces of 1X2" tubing for standoffs and tacked it to ring.
Hope that makes sense.