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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 08-10-2011, 07:49 PM   #1
bbqchicken
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Join Date: 07-23-11
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Default UDS build to sell?

I was just wondering if any of you guys have done this. I wouldn't mind having some extra cash in the pocket. maybe its a bad idea because the wife would just spend it!!
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:35 PM   #2
redneck allstar
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there is a guy that always has them listed on our local Craigslist. he takes orders and does them with custom colors and options. I wanna say he starts out at $225. So there is at least one person that does it.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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I can't see how you could make any money if you are using new parts. If you can find salvaged junk to make the drums you could make some money but I don't think people want to pay money for used grill grates, etc.

I believe the value of a nice UDS with a fitting Weber lid is around 200 bucks. My opinion.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:55 PM   #4
Carbon
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They'll be a hard sell in my region. Not many people are into smoking in this region where I live.

Building single speed and fixed gear bikes from spare parts are a different story. They're everywhere and if I put my mind and energy to it I can build and sell them. :))
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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For all new parts aside from a Weber lid, I think you could do it and make some profit. However, it all depends upon what you have access to. Here is a rundown of what I could get the parts for.

Reconditioned Drum: $30
Used Weber for lid and charcoal grate: $20 (Yes you can find them around here for that on CL)
Pipe Nipples: $2.50 or so (I buy the 2-3" ones and cut them in half)
Ball Valve: $8 I believe at Harbor Freight
Ash pan: $3 at Walmart
SS hardware: $5 at Harbor Freight for assortment pack that could do multiple units
New Grates: $32 for 2
Paint: $12 for 2 cans

So, $112.50 or so for a very simple two grate build with a domed lid. I hope I didn't forget anything. Now, around here and as others have said, a 2 grate model (without a weber lid) usually runs at least $225 on CL. You do the math.

Edit: I forgot two things. First, call up a local metal fab shop for expanded metal. I have gotten drops of 12"ish by 4'ish for $10. Granted they usually have the heavy duty #13 stuff so its a bear to roll but for the price it's worth the extra effort. Second, spice up the drum with some super fancy handles from Marty! Granted, this is an upcharge so you just pass the cost along to the customer.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:04 PM   #6
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I'm gonna try to sell one sometime in the near future. I think I can build one for $150 or less and maybe make $50 on it. Won't know until I try...
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:38 PM   #7
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Anybody looking for stainless bolts, I found a great deal on ebay at albany county fasteners. You can buy straight from their website but you can go to their ebay store and find good prices. They are reasonable on shipping. I got 25 allen head bolts and washers for $6
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:01 PM   #8
Capozzoli
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Ive sold two "heavy duty" UDS and got $600 each, I think I have two more on order soon. All welded construction. They are strong enough that you can stand on the grates and jump up and down. I also build the grates too. They have welded ports for therms and cold smoke generators

It is a lot of labor though, Im gonna say around $400 my cost for materials and labor.

I dont think I will ever sell a lot of them though. Most people dont care if you can stand on the grates and jump.

If you make them custom, colors, cool lids, ports for electronics, hangers for tools, cool handles, stuff like that you can get more than $225.

Its like anything though. You have to get it to the market.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:09 PM   #9
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There are some selling them for $150 on CL and on Ebay. How-some-ever.....my own personal experience is that $150 is a reasonable price..... for a very basic drum. Honestly, I don't know if there is a market there or not. Would they crank out some good eats? No doubt. Just don't know what the market is for bare bone basic drum smokers.

I know that my UDS builds have cost me more than that...but they are more than just basic. My goal was to build a backyard smoker that is easy to operate, will crank out good Q, last a long time and look like it belongs in the yard.

Still, there may well be a market for the lowest priced UDS and basic features. Who knows?

For myself, I plan to build them for friends and family and for charity auctions only. Unless I had some inside wholesale pricing for all the resources I don't see a lot of margin for profit in it. What a lot of people fail to report is the overall cost, such as consumable items and the wear and tear on things like grinders, drills, etc. While we may have them in our shops and they may not cost us anything to use (at the moment), once we transition from a one time weekend warrior build to full production mode....things will wear out a lot faster and consumables will get...consumed!

I recommend saving every receipt for every part and material used and take notes on what tools were used as well. Make a list of every single thing needed to take the drum from zero to final product. Save receipts for everything purchased and try and calculate the cost of consumable items and tools in your shop. You have to arrive at some bottom line cost to build value. That would at least let you know what you have into each one.
The market will determine what will sell and at what price.
Wanting it to sell it and knowing that it is an awesome smoker won't sell it.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:33 PM   #10
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I know that people want these smokers. The question is do they live close enough to come pick it up? You sure aren't going to ship one anywhere.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:19 PM   #11
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At the time it takes to build one of these even if you are "making" $50 over what you invest, you aren't accounting for the time and labor it took you to build them. Is your time worth that little?
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattOphotog View Post
At the time it takes to build one of these even if you are "making" $50 over what you invest, you aren't accounting for the time and labor it took you to build them. Is your time worth that little?
I'm used to working for minimum wage or less :)
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #13
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A guy around here sells them on Cl for $180. Here is the listing http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/app/2534244063.html

I built mine for about $40 with lots of freebies and stuff I had laying around. Not enough of a profit margin for me if I were to have to buy most of the parts.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:36 PM   #14
Capozzoli
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JM, Your a business owner too huh?
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:14 AM   #15
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Just another thought. What about insurance? You would think usage of a bbq grill would be idiot proof but just wait until some farker puts it in his house on halloween because he wanted that special smoke effect for his party. Or your burnout missed 1" of the dreaded red lining and now the 95 y.o. former mensa president grandma can not remember her name after eating food produced on your smoker that day. Yeah, yeah I know its crazy but growing up here in Chicago has taught me that people will sue for any reason under the sun. If they think you have a little more than they do you may become a target. After all you are the rich UDS building man.
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