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Old 01-09-2010, 09:02 PM   #1
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 09-30-09
Location: Fort Smith, AR
Default Thelma and Louise build

well, this post is gonna be pretty long so be warned. Since building my first UDS I have wanted to build a few more but do things a little different. That being said....

List of things I wanted to do better on after my first build.

1. First off I HATED having a double decker cooking grate system. It was a PITA (in my opinion of course) due to having to due the super shuffle to avoid stoking the fire. Also, not being able to easily probe the meat etc.
2. Cleanup. I had no ashpan and tried various things, putting foil in the bottom of the drum, using an old lid for an ash pan, etc etc. All these "worked" but I wanted something easier.
3. The lid. I used a charbroil lid that acutally fit really nice, but it leaked condensation all down the side of the drum. That and the handle was on the front of the lid. Not a problem if used with the grill it came with that was hinged but kind of a PITA when lifting it straight up. (could have fixed it by putting the handle on the top but never did)
4. having my dang et 73 pit probe always in my buisiness. Trying to lift the grate out and having to deal with the wire hanging not to mention falling down in the hot coals to its death.
5. no shelf. I could have put one on mine but i wanted a lot bigger shelf than I think The drum would hold.
6. last but not least, taste. Yes i know but too much of that grease just ruins the taste for me. (mainly just the super fatty stuff).

All that being said I set out to build my new drums. In order of my "upgrades I wanted"

1. this one is two drums instead of having one with two grates
2. Build me an ashpan. I used the plasma cutter at work and cut me out a round piece of sheetmetal and then welded a 1" piece of flatstock all around. I then welded some 3" angle iron to that to hold the charcoal basket. (which I made a handle for) The whole thing now lifts up.
3. Another easy one, just opted for the lids that I got with the drums
4. I think this mod will be my favorite. First off I always use my et 73. Since I always use it there really is no reason to continually take my pit probe out. So, i needed a way to hold it in there. I made me a holder out of a cord grip and a set collar. I welded the collar to the cord grip and welded that in the drum. The top one is just a standard cord grip connector. The bottom one is the modified one with the collar for the pit sensor. It is located right under the grate. Also, I was thinking on how to keep the probe out of the way when Im taking the ash pan out or whatever...MAGNET..duh I went to lowes and bought a two pack of super strength magnets. I stuck them to the inside of the drum. When I need to hold the probes out of the way, i just stick them to the mag.
5. I built a cart with two big shelves and two small ones.
6. I am going to purchase two clay saucers like I use in my WSM. I foil the one in my WSM and it holds temps great and is super easy to clean. They will just sit atop my charcoal basket. (the basket is made of #9 expando).

Well without further ado, here is some pics. I didnt take any of the magnet (it looks like a magnet). You've all seen pics of the drums being cut, burned etc. The last pic is one I wanted to post but never did. Its a "smiley face" from my old razorback drum. Also, the shelves are made from a cut up table top I snagged from work. It was round at one time. Thats why the ends are not finished. The tops are laminate. It was free, I used it. Enjoy


Charcoal basket top view

Redbandit thermometer mount

The girls
mr smiley face

Last edited by redbandit98; 01-09-2010 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:12 PM   #2
JD McGee
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Nice improvements on your newest builds. I like the ash pan mod and the cart...nice job! Great idea on the magnet too...simple solution to a pita problem...
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:16 PM   #3
On the road to being a farker

Join Date: 09-07-09
Location: RWC Ca

Right on! Nice work. After building a few of them, its the little mods that make them easier to use that stand out in the long run.
UDS, XL BGE, and a pane burner.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:00 PM   #4
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 09-02-09
Location: Brookland, AR

That's a good looking set up there!!
Weber 22.5 OTG; UDS; knockoff Char-Griller sidebox smoker; Char-Broil RED gasser
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:21 PM   #5
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 08-01-09
Location: Transplanted in Ellijay, Ga.

Nice set of twins, in a stroller too!
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:28 AM   #6
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Join Date: 11-12-06
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

That'll work! Having the drums & shelves on a cart would be nice.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:35 AM   #7
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Join Date: 03-22-09
Location: Fredericton N.B. Canada

Great mods
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:50 PM   #8
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 09-30-09
Location: Fort Smith, AR

Does anyone know if the ET 73's are on sale anywhere? I need to order two of them.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:28 AM   #9
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Join Date: 04-24-09
Location: Utrecht,TheNetherPharkinglands

Nice looking set!
-WGA (3)
-UDS (S,M,L)

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:36 AM   #10
is one Smokin' Farker
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Join Date: 08-06-09
Location: Occupied State of Jefferson

I have to agree that my probe and its interactions with my lid drive me crazy. I have the drum lid as my lid and i stick my probe wires through the top of the lid. Such a PITA to open my lid...good think I only open it a few times during a cook, :) .

I will have to buiild a mount for it, and the magnet sounds like a great idea, thank you.

I kind of enjoy haveing the double rack though, i use the grate and lid from my Weber, and it is pretty awesome having that much space. I guess it could get tricky to have to access the bottom rack, although it hasnt bothered me yet.

I really like your charcoal box as well. I fdont have an ash pan yet...kind of stinks cleaning it out...I need to build one, and I love the cart you have those drums on!!! that takes the cake right there.

Thanks for sharing!
Custom Built Santa Maria Grill. ABS Pit Boss. UDS
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:32 PM   #11
is One Chatty Farker
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Join Date: 11-07-07
Location: Middletown California

Nice mods. Most have already been done by someone in the past.
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aka Barbarian

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Old 01-11-2010, 05:46 PM   #12
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 09-30-09
Location: Fort Smith, AR

yes that looks like a good setup for a standard thermo. I dont know how it would work with a remote probe. I guess you could drill and tap that and pupt a set screw in it to hold the probe. Without it I could see the probe just dangling inside the drum. I guess you could just barely stub it out and would work ok but It wouldnt be very far into the drum.
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