The only reason there are 8 screws there is that I found 22" grates for 6 bucks each. That half inch difference between the 22 and 22.5 inch grates meant a lot of extra room in the drum. The extra studs were to help keep the grate from moving around too much and falling into the coals. And no problem getting the coals or the grates down there. They are still a little shaky and may need longer bolts.
I was surprised how quickly that thing cooked! At 225 the pork was done in a little over 4 hours and the brisket in about 6. And the meat was great. I was really impressed. I am now a drum convert. My neighbor has already asked me to build him one.
Thanks again, Jerry!