My first UDS:
I scored a Weber kettle off Craigslist in Clarkston, WA on Thursday, and a barrel from work on Wednesday. Started this yesterday.
Here's a great idea to cut the top off. Flip the barrel over so what you want for your top sits on a smooth floor--preferably concrete. Hold your mini angle grinder so the guard sits on the floor. This will hold a cutting disc about 1/4" off the floor....or 1/4" down on the ring. Grind through the outer layer of lid all the way around the drum. Flip it back over, and you have a smooth, level cut, without having to buy a drum deheader or building a jig. Tap upward on the lid with an old screwdriver and a mallet and drive it off the barrel.
Torched the bottom holes with the plasma.
Burned the barrel last night. Not enough air gets in the bottom holes to get a really hot fire. I noticed that by tipping the barrel over at a ~30º angle, the fresh air comes in the low side, and the flame/heat runs up the high side, and lets the paint on the inside blister in 5-10 minutes. Roll the barrel around after it blisters where it's at, and in 1/2 hour, you can get heat to all sides.
Hit the barrel with a knotted wire wheel in my 4.5" angle grinder (4.5" angle grinders are on sale at Harbor Freight right now for $16.99. Get the orange ones; I've been beating on mine for a year, and it's still going strong. It's noisier than my DeWalt, but 20% the price.)
Some paint wasn't all the way off, so I hit that with my oxy-acetylene torch, and the remaining paint came right off.
Cut 1.25" x 1.25" x 0.125 (1 1/4 x 1 1 /4" x 1/8") angle into 2" pieces. Welded them inside the drum.
Used the one from my Weber donor. Duh! :D
Still need a second grill. Here's the first in the lower spot.
The Charcoal Basket:
Used the charcoal grate from my Weber grill; welded 3" tall 1/2" pipe legs to the grill. Set the legs so they'd fit through the ash pan from the Weber grill. Still needs sides.
Needs barrel handles and a thermometer.
Will oil the inside tomorrow.
Still trying to decide whether to oil or paint the outside. Kettle lid is a nice charcoal black.