View Full Version : UDS Help - Creating a Seal between Lid and Drum

04-23-2014, 11:00 PM

I was hoping for some advice on my UDS. Because the top of my drum warped a little bit while it was being burned out and then transported home to me I had to install a metal shim/ring around the top of my drum so the lid would be able to rest over it. However, after my first two smokes I fear that I am loosing heat from the gap between the rim and the drum. Are there any types of sealant or contact cement I could possibly use? I've read some people use insulation in their UDS', would that work and be safe? If anyone has any advice on the matter I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for reading and in advance of any help you may be able to offer.


c farmer
04-23-2014, 11:04 PM
With use it will seal better. Mine leaked some and now my lid fits tight.

04-23-2014, 11:05 PM
Leaking around lid wont hurt temp much....it'll get less and less as it it Gunks up. If you feel its excessive then choke exhaust some.

04-23-2014, 11:08 PM
The gap appears to be around a quarter inch in some places. And I can visibly see smoke leaking out from it. Are you sure it doesn't need to be covered?

04-23-2014, 11:10 PM
Ive never had the need to do it myself but I see alot of guys on here using aluminum foil to seal there lids

04-23-2014, 11:22 PM
The gap appears to be around a quarter inch in some places. And I can visibly see smoke leaking out from it. Are you sure it doesn't need to be covered?

Does it hold steady Temp? if so then no. if its large gaps use that for exhaust and close exhaust off or wrap with tin foil like HookedonQ said.....

lets see some pics.

04-24-2014, 12:03 AM
I used some woodstove gasket tape, as my kettle lid fitted just a little too big on my drum, and it did a pretty good job.

04-24-2014, 12:26 AM
Thanks for all the interest.

It does not hold steady temp. I will take pictures tomorrow, it's raining and dark outside now haha.

I've narrowed the issue down to two possibilities. During transportation it got a little damaged. The shipping company rammed a fork of a forklift through the drum near the bottom. I've kind of hammered most of it sealed and am using a magnet to control the size of the opening so I can use it as an additional intake hole. The heat is either escaping from this hole or from the gap at the top. However, since the hole was so close to the bottom of the drum I'm leaning towards the gap being the culprit.

04-24-2014, 07:31 AM
3/8" stove gasket glued in the lip of the lid with high heat rtv

04-24-2014, 07:34 AM
aluminum foil is your friend....


04-24-2014, 08:35 AM
I tell all who buy my units to check for out of round and correct as needed. A quick measurement will tell you where to put a large pipe clamp or something similar to even the number to the same. I use a big rubber mallet, and a tap or two, done. Easiest way is to use a heavy ring lock for the lid. When using the bolt type, usually a quick tighten and round again. We send all smokers out with the gasket for the lid still installed. No reason to remove when you keep things round. Steve.

04-24-2014, 10:08 AM
I use a silicon bead commonly used in industrial ovens, that I was able to buy per metre.

This just sits over the rim of the barrel, and once it gets some grease under it, it sits quite nicely in place. I considered gluing it on, but actually having some movement in it, allows me to seat the lid as necessary to fill any air-gaps:


04-24-2014, 10:13 AM
Here's the rope stove gasket in one of my lids....its basically the same in my UDS lid. It works awesome.

http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee407/Amerivet/Jimmy%20Build/P1010496_zpse738d0d4.jpg (http://s1226.photobucket.com/user/Amerivet/media/Jimmy%20Build/P1010496_zpse738d0d4.jpg.html)

04-24-2014, 10:17 AM
So are temps low? How many intakes of what size ? Exhaust?
Let's see pics of hole plus gap

04-24-2014, 10:34 AM
I'd find an add for one of them 1000.00 uds's and tell the shipper he needs to make good on it or you'll sic J Noble Dagget on his butt. Then build a 1000.00 worth of uds's and keep one sell the rest for beer & beef money. But I wired a little different.

04-24-2014, 11:07 AM
Try the foil method to see if it works & your temps hold better.
If it does & you feel you want something more permanent then look at gasket

I typed bbq gasket into google and the first link had a place selling all sorts of gaskets for BBQs

04-24-2014, 11:32 AM
My lid was warped a bit from the burn out. Red RTV to the rescue! But 1/4"? That sounds like a good time for foil as was mentioned for sure.

And if that were me, a shipping company or someone would be eating the cost of said drum for sure.

04-24-2014, 11:37 AM
Rutland Grapho-Glas rope.
Use Rutland high silicone RTV to bond.

Murray in N.Z.
04-24-2014, 03:31 PM
Mate. I wouldnt bother too much about an ill fitting lid, for many years we used a drum smoker with a sheet of fibre board across the top (before we ever heard of asbestosis) that was propped open a bit with a wedge. If'n I was you I would just hammer/bash/bend it out roughly into shape and forget about using the lid vents. Sounds like the issue may be more down with your fire if it aint reaching/holding heat.

Is the fire box raised off the bottom enuf so that it can give a good constant fire?

Did you used to be able to cook great Q on it before shipping?

Why dont you politely try get a new drum outa the shipper? His forky punctured/damaged the drum quite badly, if I did that with drums on my loads we would be facing a huge bill for environmental cleanup so he got away cheaply. heck he could be a source of free new drums if treated rightly. If'n he's a real man and you explain that you cant do great BBQ for your friends (including him) he might really be wanting to help a fellow man and make things right.

New locale = new firewood supply .... are there any issues with the sticks? (Maybe you cheat and use store bought charcoal)

Just use it and let the gaps crud up with smoke,tar n soot, forget the lid vents ..... it'll come right .... UDS's work best when ugly and not fussed over I've found.