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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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Unread 02-07-2014, 01:31 AM   #11686
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I am nearly at the same stage of progress as you are, so I can't contribute an answer to your question. But I'd like to pose a question to you - how did you determine/measure the correct length to cut the 2 x 1/8 aluminum. I keep coming up with lengths varying up to a half inch. It loks as if you hit it on the button. Nice job, hope you get quick answer to your gasket question.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 08:06 AM   #11687
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Newbie here, Ive read 200 pages so far and cannot find a method for cutting the top out of a 55 gallon closed drum, so it can be reused for a lid. it seems that most use a webber lid. I am cheap and don't want to buy one. If this is the only option the cheapest lid/grill I can find is home depot for $60.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Masterbui...6?N=5yc1vZbx8h
It is a Masterbuilt and not a webber…. will it work?
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Unread 02-07-2014, 08:16 AM   #11688
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Sensor, I suggest looking on Craigslist and a little patience. You should be able to pick up a 22.5" Weber Silver Kettle pretty darn cheap.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 08:49 AM   #11689
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensor View Post
Newbie here, Ive read 200 pages so far and cannot find a method for cutting the top out of a 55 gallon closed drum, so it can be reused for a lid. it seems that most use a webber lid. I am cheap and don't want to buy one. If this is the only option the cheapest lid/grill I can find is home depot for $60.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Masterbui...6?N=5yc1vZbx8h
It is a Masterbuilt and not a webber…. will it work?
You cut around the outside of the lip of the barrel. I took my time and worked through a little at a time to keep from cutting all of the way through.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 09:17 AM   #11690
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knitmar View Post
I am nearly at the same stage of progress as you are, so I can't contribute an answer to your question. But I'd like to pose a question to you - how did you determine/measure the correct length to cut the 2 x 1/8 aluminum. I keep coming up with lengths varying up to a half inch. It loks as if you hit it on the button. Nice job, hope you get quick answer to your gasket question.
Practice and patience. Originally, I ordered the 1.5" x 1/2" size as I had seen this used as well but I got a little too eager and didn't factor in that my drum has a rather substantial lip and that might potentially be a pain to deal with when inserting the screws so that 1/2" of the aluminum rose above the drum. It was at that point that I realized that the extra 1/2" was crucial and and I moved on to the 2" size and took my time. Lesson learned. I even drilled the holes in the aluminum first, so I have a guide for the drum.

I deliberately made it a tad too big to start, then shaved it down slowly; first by taking roughly 1/8" off of each end with the jigsaw, then switching to a file for fine tuning. Now it looks nice...with just the slightly loose lid.

I could probably hold off, bolt it down, then seal it with Permatex and see how it holds up when I go to season it but I was curious if anyone has tried something other than fiberglass, as that stuff is a pain to work with and I'd rather not have the safety risk.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 09:52 AM   #11691
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Thanks, 068 What did you use to make the cut? I have a 4" grinder but I am thinking maybe a cut off wheel would be more surgical. Smells, yeah if I can get the top cut to reuse it till I find a deal. Thanks!
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Unread 02-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #11692
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Sensor I bought the backyard grill brand from Walmart. Used the lid and hinges (you'll love the hinges) the grate and the wheels.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 11:23 AM   #11693
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knitmar View Post
I am nearly at the same stage of progress as you are, so I can't contribute an answer to your question. But I'd like to pose a question to you - how did you determine/measure the correct length to cut the 2 x 1/8 aluminum. I keep coming up with lengths varying up to a half inch. It loks as if you hit it on the button. Nice job, hope you get quick answer to your gasket question.
3.14167 X the actual dia.= the circumference This is the length of the Strip
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Unread 02-07-2014, 11:25 AM   #11694
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensor View Post
Thanks, 068 What did you use to make the cut? I have a 4" grinder but I am thinking maybe a cut off wheel would be more surgical. Smells, yeah if I can get the top cut to reuse it till I find a deal. Thanks!
I used a rotozip saw to make the first cut and followed that with a 4" angle grinder, using the thinnest cutting blade that I could find.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 11:44 PM   #11695
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq1980 View Post
Practice and patience. Originally, I ordered the 1.5" x 1/2" size as I had seen this used as well but I got a little too eager and didn't factor in that my drum has a rather substantial lip and that might potentially be a pain to deal with when inserting the screws so that 1/2" of the aluminum rose above the drum. It was at that point that I realized that the extra 1/2" was crucial and and I moved on to the 2" size and took my time. Lesson learned. I even drilled the holes in the aluminum first, so I have a guide for the drum.

I deliberately made it a tad too big to start, then shaved it down slowly; first by taking roughly 1/8" off of each end with the jigsaw, then switching to a file for fine tuning. Now it looks nice...with just the slightly loose lid.

I could probably hold off, bolt it down, then seal it with Permatex and see how it holds up when I go to season it but I was curious if anyone has tried something other than fiberglass, as that stuff is a pain to work with and I'd rather not have the safety risk.
DO you have any pictures of this? I'd be interested in seeing them. My weber lid doesn't fit perfectly. It works, but I can easily slide it around on top of the drum.
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Unread 02-07-2014, 11:48 PM   #11696
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In all honesty, are these things that great? I have only used traditional smokers and Webers.

I would defiantly be open to something cheap and awesome, that is efficient and does the job.
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Unread 02-08-2014, 12:58 AM   #11697
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensor View Post
Newbie here, Ive read 200 pages so far and cannot find a method for cutting the top out of a 55 gallon closed drum, so it can be reused for a lid. it seems that most use a webber lid. I am cheap and don't want to buy one. If this is the only option the cheapest lid/grill I can find is home depot for $60.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Masterbui...6?N=5yc1vZbx8h
It is a Masterbuilt and not a webber…. will it work?

Take a 4.5 " angle grinder with a grinding wheel and carefully grind the outside edge off. You will notice a point where the lid and drum meat each other. once you get down to that point all the way around, a little tap with a screw driver and hammer and the lid will come right off and is still 100% reuseable.
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Unread 02-08-2014, 05:17 AM   #11698
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTex View Post
In all honesty, are these things that great? I have only used traditional smokers and Webers.
I would defiantly be open to something cheap and awesome, that is efficient and does the job.
It depends on what you want and how you like to cook. If you want a lot of grate space, no need for messing with trying to hold a temp for hours on end. Like the flavor of cooked over a real fire. Then yes they are great! I'm selling one of my other style smokers and building a 3rd UDS which I will modify for doing not only the low and slow, but also cooking pizza's, just my next version of UDS as I can do all those thing now.
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Unread 02-08-2014, 10:58 AM   #11699
bbq1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronPo View Post
DO you have any pictures of this? I'd be interested in seeing them. My weber lid doesn't fit perfectly. It works, but I can easily slide it around on top of the drum.
Yeah, no problem. There were some in my earlier post, but here are 2 shots of the lid, plus a shot of how the aluminum bar literally rests right up against my grate bolts, plus a pic of the template I created to drill the holes in the aluminum. Grates are 1.75" down per the Norco build.

From the pics, the lid looks like it fits ok, and it does, and it might very well seal up better after I run Permatex around it or have done a seasoning burn where some gunk accumulates, but despite the pics, the lid is definitely not snug so I think I can improve it, though I'm probably over-thinking but perfection is awesome. I saw someplace else where someone actually put a 1/2" wide piece of aluminum on the 1/2" area that protrudes from the drum, so that was why I thought that the 1/2" x 1/8'" thick nomex might seal the deal.

The template I used was a scrap from the first piece of 1.5" aluminum that I farked up. After some experimenting, I found that screws to attach the aluminum are best 1/2" off the bottom so I marked 1/2" on my template, then it took me 2 tries to drill a hole that's centered on that line. I then clamped and aligned the template on top of my 2" wide piece, figured out how far apart to evenly space the 8 screws, then had holes that were all even since I figured an uneven piece of aluminum would create an uneven lid.

I'll eventually have an easier time attaching the 2" piece to the drum, and I'm going back and redoing the grate supports with acorn nuts on the outside.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg UDS Lid.jpg (49.2 KB, 407 views)
File Type: jpg UDS Lid 2.jpg (51.7 KB, 407 views)
File Type: jpg Close up.jpg (62.4 KB, 409 views)
File Type: jpg Template.jpg (46.7 KB, 408 views)
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Unread 02-08-2014, 02:30 PM   #11700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebijack View Post
It depends on what you want and how you like to cook. If you want a lot of grate space, no need for messing with trying to hold a temp for hours on end. Like the flavor of cooked over a real fire. Then yes they are great! I'm selling one of my other style smokers and building a 3rd UDS which I will modify for doing not only the low and slow, but also cooking pizza's, just my next version of UDS as I can do all those thing now.
Yea, sounds great. I'm interested in that for sure.
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