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BillywannaQ
04-06-2008, 07:29 PM
Okay guys...I've decided I'm gonna build my UDS and have started buying some of the things I think I'm gonna need for it. I do have some questions, and would appreciate any help you all can offer me. First of all, I dont know how to weld, so I'm gonna try building it without welding. Mostly gonna use a drill and screws. I already read the UDS build thread and got some ideas, but I still have some questions:

BillywannaQ
04-06-2008, 07:33 PM
Uh...Sorry. anyway...Will three 3/4 inch intake holes be enough to allow enough air flow to regulate temperature? And....I found some 3/4 x 2 inch long pipe today at the store which is threaded at both ends. Can I attach these small pipes to the drum using conduit lock nuts, or should i just use 3/4 in knock out plugs. (I bought both). I do wanna attach a ball valve for fine tuning on one of the small pipes. I was thinking of having them at 2, 6, and 10 o'clock around the drum. What do you guys think?

michiana mark
04-06-2008, 08:09 PM
I'm just starting on mine as well, no welding on mine also. I'm going to also use three 3/4 pipe at the bottom. I've been told to drill a round 1" hole with a step bit or hole saw, and the pipe will thread right in, no need for the nuts. I'm sure that the experts will be along to verify.

BillywannaQ
04-06-2008, 08:12 PM
The one inch hole won't be too big for the 3/4 inch pipe? Or do you have to drill the hole a little bit bigger for the pipe to fit in it?

N8man
04-06-2008, 08:14 PM
I'd still use conduit nuts to help lock everything down. 2, 6 and 10 o'clock positions should work fine for your pipe placement....and 3/4 inch pipe refers to the inside measurement of the pipe, the outside is closer to 1 inch. Good Luck with your build.

Barbarian
04-06-2008, 08:46 PM
The only conduit nuts I found fit 1" pipe. So I used 1" closed pipe nipples. If you use a step bit you can easily see what size the hole needs to be. I put a piece of tape at the right size and with a step bit you can easily enlarge in small increments to get a good fit. I put a nut on both the inside and outside and they are pretty stout that way.

I wonder if three 3/4" intakes will take a bit more time to get the drum up to temp. I use four 1" intakes and then shut two down and adjust the other two.

If your doing the ball valve I would get an elbow and short pipe and run the valve up instead of out. You also might think about using the ball valve up high like some on this site show.

I have a list of parts I used if your interested. Just send me a PM if you want them.

Bbq Bubba
04-06-2008, 10:39 PM
3 3/4" intakes are perfect. A 1" holesaw is a perfect fit for the 3/4" nipple, no lockers needed!
IMO, the raised intakes work like chit (6 drums now), simple is best as far as airflow, every drum runs a lil differently, you gotta learn YOUR drum and where she'll run!!
Good luck!

BillywannaQ
04-06-2008, 11:02 PM
Well, I gotta say, the first day of the build was a disaster! I've been to Lowe's three times, and I got the wrong pipe all three times!! I got the 3/4 inch, but I didn't get the closed nipples. I got 2 inch pipe with threaded ends and an unthreaded section in the middle. Came home, thought about it, and went back and got three inch pipe with threaded ends with an unthreaded section in the middle. Then I came home and saw Barbarian's post, and he mentioned CLOSED pipe nipples, did a google image search and guess what??? Now I understand!!! I have seen the light!! Gonna go back and buy the correct ones. If I cant find the black welded closed pipe nipples, will the brass ones work? I guess you gotta crawl before you walk. I am excited about this build, though. Thanks

smooookin
04-06-2008, 11:23 PM
I would recommend using two conduit nuts per nipple. Thread on the nipple and install it from the inside. tighten it against the conduit nut then put the second one on the outside. once you get them tightened up they wont go anywhere.

BobBrisket
04-07-2008, 12:02 AM
Alright, the drum fever has spread to El Paso!! You will love the drum, Billy. Where did you score the drum? I had a heck of a time finding one here.
Looks like you are going with pipe. I was going to recommend JD's tab design for the intakes. No welding and makes temp control a breeze. I can't wait to see it.
Keep us informed and don't forget the pics.

BillywannaQ
04-07-2008, 10:05 AM
If you can pm me those vent tab plans (and how to do them), I might just go that way Bob. I got the drum from a place in Sunalnd Park. New and unlined. A little pricey, but I think better sae than sorry. Gonna put the build on hold this week because of other things I gotta take care of. I'm sure I'll have time to head to Lowe's a time or to. Thanks.

BillywannaQ
04-07-2008, 10:08 AM
I haven't drilled any holes yet. Gonna buy all the stuff for the build, then put it together. Thanks for pm Barbarian.

BillywannaQ
04-07-2008, 10:40 PM
Well I went back Lowe's today and found 3/4 inch closed pipe nipple. I also bought the conduit lock nuts. My next question: I noticed that the threading on the nipples has a bunch of dings in it, and on one of them, it does not allow the conduit nut to be threaded on. Is there any way to fix it or am I SOL?

Bbq Bubba
04-07-2008, 10:52 PM
Well I went back Lowe's today and found 3/4 inch closed pipe nipple. I also bought the conduit lock nuts. My next question: I noticed that the threading on the nipples has a bunch of dings in it, and on one of them, it does not allow the conduit nut to be threaded on. Is there any way to fix it or am I SOL?

Dude, you have the worst luck.....take the drum with you to Lowes and build it there!!! :wink::biggrin:

BillywannaQ
04-07-2008, 11:24 PM
Sometimes you're the boxer and sometimes you're the bag, I guess. :-D Gonna see this thing through.

BobBrisket
04-07-2008, 11:34 PM
That drum is giving you a run for the money!! The tabs are easy. I cut sheet metal strips that were 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. I then used snips to round off the corners and then put a ruler about half and inch down for the top and then bent the metal. The ruler gives you a straight bend. Then I attached each one with a self tapping screw. I would recommend only three holes on the bottom but it sounds like you already did 4. By any chance were you at Lowes today in the pipe section around 3 o clock?
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg238/bobbrisket/udds002.jpg

jgh1204
04-07-2008, 11:34 PM
Billy, if I can build a UDS, 2 so far, anyone can. Keep at it. The fewer holes the better and plenty of room under the charcoal grate.

BillywannaQ
04-07-2008, 11:54 PM
It wasn't me there Bob. I went after work around five. Do those vent tabs seal pretty well. They look interesting. I haven't drilled any holes yet. I found a machine shop down the street from my house. I'm gonna give them a call tommorrow and see how much they would charge me to weld the pipes on the drum. I wanna mock it up before any final build a la American Chopper. Always measure twice and cut once right? Thanks.

BobBrisket
04-08-2008, 12:27 AM
They aren't a super tight seal, but they get the job done. If they charge too much for the welding then let me know. I'll weld them on for you . My welds aren't pretty, but they hold. Keep at it, it'll work out.

Bbq Bubba
04-08-2008, 08:03 AM
They aren't a super tight seal, but they get the job done. If they charge too much for the welding then let me know. I'll weld them on for you . My welds aren't pretty, but they hold. Keep at it, it'll work out.

Way to help out a brother!! :biggrin: With all the options given, welding is really not necessary.
I'm liking the simplicity of the tabs but would think they would leak some air??

h20loo
04-08-2008, 10:52 AM
Way to help out a brother!! :biggrin: With all the options given, welding is really not necessary.
I'm liking the simplicity of the tabs but would think they would leak some air??

I did my friends barrel with the tab. I did a 1 1/2" hole with a "shaped" tab covering it. I spring loaded the mounting point for the tab and it closed off tightly. I make the tabs out of electrical box covers and it is definitely heavy enough metal to hold its form

My next barrel isn't tab friendly as it has ribs around the bottom

capri man
04-08-2008, 10:59 AM
i used the 3/4 in. nipples. heck they are only about $1 each!!:wink:

BobBrisket
04-08-2008, 11:32 AM
I did my friends barrel with the tab. I did a 1 1/2" hole with a "shaped" tab covering it. I spring loaded the mounting point for the tab and it closed off tightly. I make the tabs out of electrical box covers and it is definitely heavy enough metal to hold its form

My next barrel isn't tab friendly as it has ribs around the bottom

How bout some pics of those tabs if you got them. The more ideas the better.

Bubba--When I did the brisket, I ran the drum with only two vents. One at half way and the other at about a fourth open. I can see a tiny bit of light from the iside of the drum when the tabs are closed but it's minimal. I'm thinking about getting some heavier gauge sheet metal and bending it a bit so that it's contured to fit the drum snug and be a tighter fit.

h20loo
04-08-2008, 12:02 PM
How bout some pics of those tabs if you got them. The more ideas the better.

Bubba--When I did the brisket, I ran the drum with only two vents. One at half way and the other at about a fourth open. I can see a tiny bit of light from the iside of the drum when the tabs are closed but it's minimal. I'm thinking about getting some heavier gauge sheet metal and bending it a bit so that it's contured to fit the drum snug and be a tighter fit.


I took some pictures but my wife took the camera on a business trip- I'll post on Friday.
My barrel has the intake extended to the inside centre of the barrel and I always had a nice even burn regardless of where I started my lump. He has only done two "cooks" on his barrel so far and sez he has an even burn in his basket. I will watch this as it seems to fly in the face of my thinking for an even convection heat.
I'm waiting for a new dual probe thermometer so I can check the temp across my cooking grate and how its affected by the chimney placement. It seems that the side with the chimney is hotter than the opposite side. I'll find out for sure. What I have learned is that the longer the chimney pipe( more draw) the more tempermental the UDS is to maintaining an even temp (especially in cold windy conditions).

Dr_KY
04-08-2008, 12:07 PM
What I have learned is that the longer the chimney pipe( more draw) the more tempermental the UDS is to maintaining an even temp (especially in cold windy conditions).
I found it easier to controll than the tight angle I use in the rain.

Meat Burner
04-08-2008, 08:49 PM
Uh...Sorry. anyway...Will three 3/4 inch intake holes be enough to allow enough air flow to regulate temperature? And....I found some 3/4 x 2 inch long pipe today at the store which is threaded at both ends. Can I attach these small pipes to the drum using conduit lock nuts, or should i just use 3/4 in knock out plugs. (I bought both). I do wanna attach a ball valve for fine tuning on one of the small pipes. I was thinking of having them at 2, 6, and 10 o'clock around the drum. What do you guys think?
Sounds like a good plan to me. Definately use the conduit nuts like smoookin said. That will keep them solid. Lots of good advise here. Keep us posted with plenty of pics!

JD McGee
04-08-2008, 09:50 PM
I used four 3/4 holes like this...my "non-patented" free to copy at will tabs...

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/BigGreenDrum003.jpg

BillywannaQ
04-08-2008, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the advice and encouragement everyone. Those tabs look like the easiest thing to do JD. They look nice and snug against the out drum. How did you secure them from the inside? I found a 3/4 inch by 1/2 inch threaded brass piece today with the hex head attached. I was thinking a couple conduit nuts, (and the hex head) would hold everything securely. My local welder said 20 dollars to weld the pipes on, but this is something I really wanna do myself. I will keep everyone poseted. Again, thankd to everyone for all the great ideas. Just gotta decide what I wanna do.

RW Willy
04-08-2008, 10:32 PM
What are the dimensions on your basket? I'm stuck between going wide or going tall? Have you decided?
Keep building, I have a drum and a valve in the garage waiting for spare time. Ha-Ha

watertowerbbq
04-08-2008, 10:40 PM
I was thinking of having them at 2, 6, and 10 o'clock around the drum. What do you guys think?

You might try them at 3, 7 and 11 instead (smart a** mod). :-D

Barbarian
04-09-2008, 01:40 AM
For Willy, I don't know how wide or tall your thinking but if you go narrow and tall I think you will have a hot center and not even temp at cooking grate level. I would go with the 18" Weber grate diameter. IMHO taller does not help.

For Billy, I agree with Watertower though I would just turn the drum a bit and still drill where you want to, lol.

RW Willy
04-09-2008, 11:39 AM
Thanks, sounds good.
Sorry for the minor hijack of the thread. I'll post when the UDS is complete.

BillywannaQ
04-09-2008, 12:31 PM
The more ideas (regarding all parts of the UDS) the better. :-D

Dr_KY
04-09-2008, 01:53 PM
Go wide young man. lol