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View Full Version : Finally built my UDS!!!


Rodney
03-21-2010, 04:05 AM
Yay... it's another "I built a UDS" thread... ;-)

I finally quit planning and started building, and got it done today. Here are some pics: (WOW... they're huge... sorry about that!)

The new unlined drum. The lid was pressed by the drum dealer the day before I bought it, and they left the gasket out for me and didn't put paint on it, which is good for me!
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2087

The charcoal basket. This was actually really fun to make... I got to dust off the welder, use my air-powered abrasive cutoff saw, etc... The mesh is 9-gauge 3/4" size. How did I bend it? I took a video of me doing it, and will update this caption with a link after I put it on YouTube.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2091

A view inside the UDS
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2093

I mounted the turkey thermometer in a drilled-out 1/4-NPT pipe plug in the side of the drum. It simply slides out when I need to remove the charcoal basket.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2094

Inside the drum, also showing the "wiggle rod" that I made from 3/16" zinc-plated rod. I welded it up by the handle too... I felt like such a rebel. ;-) I held my breath, don't worry...
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2097

Completed UDS. I still need to buy handles (Home Depot didn't have any stainless ones), and I actually painted the lid after I took this photo, so it's black now. I have a 6" long 2" pipe nipple to attach to the 2" bung hole (insert Beavis and Butthead laughing here). As for the inlets, even though people usually distribute them 120 degrees apart, I can't see a good reason for this. I figure that if a single 2" inlet works well, three inlets 45 degrees apart should work fine too. I plan on mounting the UDS to a side table structure, so I don't want to have to go behind it to play with inlet caps.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2092

Gonna probably season it tomorrow!

-Rodney

N8man
03-21-2010, 05:37 AM
OutStanding Build!!! Now, get it dirty!!!!:clap2:

palmcoastbob
03-21-2010, 05:41 AM
I like your thinking on the intakes. Let us know how it works out.:eusa_clap

mav
03-21-2010, 07:06 AM
nice build, getting ready to start my own soon, might do the inlets the same, waiting to hear how it works. Now time to get dirty!

CUTigerQ
03-21-2010, 07:37 AM
is that turkey therm mounted? If so, you are going to have a few problems like I did. I have to turn my basket sideways to get it out, which means I spill some. Cant get it out because the therm is blocking it. So, I took the therm out when I got my et73's. Also, my turkey therm worked pretty good until it got all smoked up and got some creosote on it...now it doesnt register like it should. Its about 75 degrees off from the et73's.

Just my experiences with the turkey therm...YMMV

Rodney
03-21-2010, 08:41 AM
is that turkey therm mounted? If so, you are going to have a few problems like I did. I have to turn my basket sideways to get it out, which means I spill some. Cant get it out because the therm is blocking it. So, I took the therm out when I got my et73's. Also, my turkey therm worked pretty good until it got all smoked up and got some creosote on it...now it doesnt register like it should. Its about 75 degrees off from the et73's.

Just my experiences with the turkey therm...YMMV

Thanks everyone! Glad you like it. I too think it looks too clean... Gonna dirty it really soon!

About the thermometer: it just slides into a hole drilled in the brass fitting, and easily slides right out whenever I need it out o the way. ;-). Thanks for the warning about accuracy... I'll be sure to keep it relatively clean, and I'll check it against boiling water from time to time. I'm going to pick up an ET73 too... I just like to have a sensor on there that can get wet, etc...

-r

BruceB
03-21-2010, 09:36 AM
Just an FYI guys, if you get some of the spray Clorox Bleach in the bottle, it takes that gunky stuff right off the therms.

Ron_L
03-21-2010, 09:49 AM
Nice job! It's not Ugly yet! Go get it dirty!

Derek
03-21-2010, 09:51 AM
Nice build Rodney, 1 thing though please make sure your photo's are not too large next time. I had to scroll to see them....

BlkJeep
03-21-2010, 10:34 AM
Great build! :clap2: now post up some pron! :becky:

NoviceBBQmovinUp
03-21-2010, 12:11 PM
I mounted the turkey thermometer in a drilled-out 1/4-NPT pipe plug in the side of the drum. It simply slides out when I need to remove the charcoal basket.

do you mind taking a picture of how you did this. i have been trying to find a good way to mount mine, as well as have the option to remove the thermo when i need to

Shotgun smokers
03-21-2010, 12:31 PM
That is a nice Build! :clap2:

peppasawce
03-21-2010, 12:47 PM
Bravo Rodney I'm subscribing to you thread...I have one drum waiting for burn-off, and Another one comming....It won't hurt to have two

sdb25
03-21-2010, 12:50 PM
aNOTHER DRUM IS BORN!!!

You obviously read through the entire thread before embarking, CONGRATS!!!

Instead of drilling out the fitting for the thermo, just get a brass mpt x hose barb fitting in the appropriate size.

Rodney
03-22-2010, 01:25 AM
Alright... so in trying to replace the images in the original post (which I found out I can't edit AFTER I deleted the images that are inserted into the post), I basically screwed up the original post. Here it is with resized pics:

The new unlined drum. The lid was pressed by the drum dealer the day before I bought it, and they left the gasket out for me and didn't put paint on it, which is good for me!
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2113


The charcoal basket. This was actually really fun to make... I got to dust off the welder, use my air-powered abrasive cutoff saw, etc... The mesh is 9-gauge 3/4" size. How did I bend it? I took a video of me doing it, and will update this caption with a link after I put it on YouTube.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2109


A view inside the UDS
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2112


I mounted the turkey thermometer in a drilled-out 1/4-NPT pipe plug in the side of the drum. It simply slides out when I need to remove the charcoal basket.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2117


Inside the drum, also showing the "wiggle rod" that I made from 3/16" zinc-plated rod. I welded it up by the handle too... I felt like such a rebel. ;-) I held my breath, don't worry...
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2110


Completed UDS. I still need to buy handles (Home Depot didn't have any stainless ones), and I actually painted the lid after I took this photo, so it's black now. I have a 6" long 2" pipe nipple to attach to the 2" bung hole (insert Beavis and Butthead laughing here). As for the inlets, even though people usually distribute them 120 degrees apart, I can't see a good reason for this. I figure that if a single 2" inlet works well, three inlets 45 degrees apart should work fine too. I plan on mounting the UDS to a side table structure, so I don't want to have to go behind it to play with inlet caps.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2111


I also took a pic today with the painted lid, but didn't get a chance to season it yet.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2120

-Rodney

Rodney
03-22-2010, 01:28 AM
aNOTHER DRUM IS BORN!!!

You obviously read through the entire thread before embarking, CONGRATS!!!

Instead of drilling out the fitting for the thermo, just get a brass mpt x hose barb fitting in the appropriate size.

Glad you like it! I didn't read the whole thread, but I did look at about 3/4 of it. ;-)

I looked into using an NPT to barb adapter, but there was no appropriate hose barb fitting. The hole needed to be 5/32" for this probe, and there's no barb fitting with this ID...

-Rodney

Rodney
03-22-2010, 01:29 AM
Nice build Rodney, 1 thing though please make sure your photo's are not too large next time. I had to scroll to see them....

I fixed it. ;-)

Rodney
03-22-2010, 01:36 AM
do you mind taking a picture of how you did this. i have been trying to find a good way to mount mine, as well as have the option to remove the thermo when i need to

I'll take a pic next time I have a chance, but here's what I did:

1) I drilled an appropriately-sized hole through the center of a plug like this one (except it was square drive, from Home Depot): http://www.mcmaster.com/#9171k47

2) 1/4" NPT threads (as measured by my caliper) vary from about .49 to .51" along the taper

3) I just drilled a 1/2" hole and screwed the fitting in.

That's all there is to it! I was afraid the steel would just carve off the brass threads, and I didn't check to see if that was happening, but it's in there really tight, so I don't really care. A stainless fitting would probably work better, as it would be able to (maybe) cut into the drum as you screwed it into the unthreaded hole.

-Rodney

AJP
03-22-2010, 02:54 AM
What paint did you use that is so shinny, I really like it.

frognot
03-22-2010, 03:13 AM
Great lookin' UDS!

Rodney
03-22-2010, 09:18 AM
What paint did you use that is so shinny, I really like it.

Rust-Oleum black 500-degree engine enamel from Home Depot. If you use it, be sure to use primer... I'm wishing I would have.

Yleekyoti
03-22-2010, 09:35 AM
Nice pretty drum smoker . Nice Intake setup. :cool:

Rodney
03-22-2010, 09:44 AM
One thing I did think about last night is that since I put a handle on the charcoal basket, it'll be more difficult to put a smaller ring of expando in there for a lighter load of charcoal. I think what I'll do is take the 8x24 chunk of leftover material and make a small ring (should come out to 7.5"). I might have to make it slightly smaller to fit it alongside the handle and down into the basket. Fortunately, I already thought of that subconsciously when I mounted the handle slightly off-center. :becky: Yep, did that on purpose... LOL. Should just squeeze in!

-r

Phubar
03-22-2010, 11:28 AM
Nice drum!

Rodney
03-22-2010, 12:52 PM
Glad you like it! I didn't read the whole thread, but I did look at about 3/4 of it. ;-)

I looked into using an NPT to barb adapter, but there was no appropriate hose barb fitting. The hole needed to be 5/32" for this probe, and there's no barb fitting with this ID...

-Rodney

Alright, sbd25, here's what I did:

Thermometer fitting, outside. Square-drive 1/4" NPT pipe twisted into unthreaded 1/2" hole in side of drum. Fitting has a 5/32" hole drilled through it.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2121

Thermometer fitting, inside. Inside of fitting came from Home Depot already drilled out about 2/3 of its depth, but had enough solid material (about 5/16") left to make a decent thermometer bore. I'll probably replace it with a stainless part that I can put a deeper bore through next time I place an order at McMaster-Carr.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2122

-Rodney

peppasawce
03-22-2010, 04:28 PM
nice tutelage Rodney I'm learning a bunch from this thread

BobBrisket
03-22-2010, 04:31 PM
Very nice drum! I likey!

Rodney
03-22-2010, 05:53 PM
I was just talking on another thread by "whynotnaveen" about cooking lamb in a smoker, and thought of a better way to do a thermometer fitting. McMaster-Carr sells brass hex head bolts in many sizes, and a 1/2" dia x 1" L bolt drilled out to 3/32" would work great. Put a nut on the inside, and you're golden. Not quite as low profile as what I've done here, but I think it'd look decent.

Rodney
03-23-2010, 12:56 PM
I put together a "how I built my charcoal basket" video and posted it in a new thread:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1224095

-Rodney

deguerre
03-23-2010, 01:15 PM
Must be an "upright" cuz that thang ain't ugly 'tall.

Rodney
03-23-2010, 01:34 PM
Must be an "upright" cuz that thang ain't ugly 'tall.

Thanks! U is for UNUSED at this point... that must change to at least UNCLEAN, as soon as I get some spare time! :rolleyes: Since I don't have time this afternoon to roll up a decent fatty, I think I might try my hand at a chuck roast on the seasoning run. Might toss on some Johnsonville brats and a slightly flattened log of Jimmy Dean. :thumb: Don't wanna be up all night waiting for meat to get done, but I also don't want to wait til this weekend to fire this thang up!!! :cool:

Oh, some stainless handles should be coming in the mail tomorrow from McMaster-Carr. You'd think they'd carry at least one utilitarian (not cupboard) handle made of stainless steel at Home Depot...

-r

Paulmark
03-23-2010, 01:43 PM
Very nice work, good job.

Rodney
03-23-2010, 06:22 PM
Alright, it's on. Tonight, I'm seasoning my UDS. I'm also going to cook a beef chuck roast to 190, some ABT's, and a slightly flattened out log of Jimmy Dean original sausage with some rub on it. ;-) Gonna use Kingsford Comp as fuel, and some chunks of manzanita for flavor. YUM! I'll be sure to post pr0n tonight, even though it'll probably be a late one!

-r

Rodney
03-24-2010, 09:17 AM
Okay guys, I ran it last night... Here's the low-down:

I decided to try a chuck roast, a pound of Jimmy Dean with some rub on it, and some ABT's. The rub is Grill Mates for steak. The ABT's are made with a link of breakfast sausage, a mixture of cream cheese, grated colby jack and grated mizithra cheeses, jalapeno peppers, and bacon.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=296&pictureid=2135

I was going to use briquettes, but it turned out that what I had thought was a bag of Kingsford Comp was actually Charwood. Oops! So, I went at it with lump. I think I lit too much... it was a solid half to 2/3 of a chimney.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=296&pictureid=2133

I filled the charcoal basket with lump, and then stuffed in two ~4" dia. x 1.5" rounds and about 6-7 golf ball sized chunks of manzanita.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=296&pictureid=2132

And the fire's going:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=296&pictureid=2134

The fire flared up to 400, and I choked it down to 150 or so, and then let it warm back up to 250 and get stable. At this point, it's 7pm, and the food is on:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=296&pictureid=2136

At about 9:30 or so, the ABT's are 170 inside, so I took them (and the breakfast links I tossed in at about 8:00) out of the smoker. They were mighty tasty, but the peppers weren't done enough. Back in the smoker they went until 10:30, and after I took 'em out, they were REALLY GOOD. :thumb:
Here they are at 9:30:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=296&pictureid=2138

Also at 9:30, the fatty came off the grill. I had flattened it slightly so it'd cook faster. It was REALLY salty with the rub on it. I shouldn't have used so much rub. The smoke ring didn't go very deep either. Here it is:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=296&pictureid=2140

As for the chuck, it was a loss. I had to get up early this morning for work, and I just ran out of time to babysit the smoker. Having to get in and out of it so much for the ABT's, etc. really killed any stability the thing could have had, along with my probably excessive intake adjustments. If there's one lesson I learned here, it's that until you really get a feel for how the smoker behaves, don't try to cook multiple things that will result in opening the smoker a lot. I went to bed at 11:30 with the smoker at 250 and the chuck at 150, and I woke up at 4:30 to the smoker and the chuck both at about 120, with the chuck as tough as my shoe. Next time I'll be cooking it by itself.

As for the manzanita, now that I have a more effective smoker and can get more smoke into the meat (compared with my dad's electric ECB), I'm not a huge fan of the flavor. It was alright, but I'm going to try other stuff and see how I like it.

-r

wayner123
03-24-2010, 09:29 AM
Why did you put all 3 intakes on the same "side"? That may have an effect on how the air flows.

Rodney
03-24-2010, 09:48 AM
Why did you put all 3 intakes on the same "side"? That may have an effect on how the air flows.

I put them that way for accessibility, since I plan to build this into a table. I too had my doubts, but I have a feeling that we all just think way WAAAAAY too far into these things. First off, when I was running at 250, I had two caps on and the valve opened almost all the way, so the air was only coming from one side anyway. Secondly, people have great luck with a single 2" intake on one side, which is as lopsided as it gets. Finally, the actual air flow rate through that thing is so low that I don't think it really makes a difference from which direction it blows. The flow rate seems about on par with my breath when I exhale gently. I can tell you that when I looked down at the coals, they always appeared to be burning at the very center of the basket. I was thinking that if I did see lopsided burning, I could just put a vertical air baffle in front of the intakes to diffuse the jet of incoming air and even out the burning, but I don't think it's necessary at all. I mean look at the BGE vent... it's a gaping hole on one side of the pit, and it works great.

Thanks for the input!

-r

wayner123
03-24-2010, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Why do you think it got down to 120?

Rodney
03-24-2010, 11:56 AM
I don't know. I had one valve about 90% open and the other two caps closed, which had been just fine for maintaining at least 250 earlier in the cook. I also jiggled the charcoal basket before I went to bed. I didn't look to see if it had run out of coals, but I don't think it had. I'm gonna try Kingsford Comp briquettes next time... at least I know that 10-12 briquettes is the right load for the chimney, based on several accounts I've heard. That'll eliminate one of last night's failures. The other thing I'll do is cook ONE roast, and I won't even look at it until the ET7 says 170. ;-)

One thing that blew me away is how moist the smoke is when it comes out of the chimney. I knew that water is a product of combustion, but it's interesting to see such a slow-burning fire create relatively cold smoke that feels moist as it comes out of the smoker.

-r

bigabyte
03-24-2010, 05:37 PM
She's a real beauty!:cool:

Rodney
03-24-2010, 06:35 PM
She's a real beauty!:cool:

Thanks!

Oh, one thing... I now know why you guys go on and on about your super fast thermapens. Time is EVERYTHING when it comes to getting in and out of the smoker!

bacardi2001
03-24-2010, 07:06 PM
Yay... it's another "I built a UDS" thread... ;-)

I finally quit planning and started building, and got it done today. Here are some pics: (WOW... they're huge... sorry about that!)

The new unlined drum. The lid was pressed by the drum dealer the day before I bought it, and they left the gasket out for me and didn't put paint on it, which is good for me!
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2087

The charcoal basket. This was actually really fun to make... I got to dust off the welder, use my air-powered abrasive cutoff saw, etc... The mesh is 9-gauge 3/4" size. How did I bend it? I took a video of me doing it, and will update this caption with a link after I put it on YouTube.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2091

A view inside the UDS
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2093

I mounted the turkey thermometer in a drilled-out 1/4-NPT pipe plug in the side of the drum. It simply slides out when I need to remove the charcoal basket.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2094

Inside the drum, also showing the "wiggle rod" that I made from 3/16" zinc-plated rod. I welded it up by the handle too... I felt like such a rebel. ;-) I held my breath, don't worry...
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2097

Completed UDS. I still need to buy handles (Home Depot didn't have any stainless ones), and I actually painted the lid after I took this photo, so it's black now. I have a 6" long 2" pipe nipple to attach to the 2" bung hole (insert Beavis and Butthead laughing here). As for the inlets, even though people usually distribute them 120 degrees apart, I can't see a good reason for this. I figure that if a single 2" inlet works well, three inlets 45 degrees apart should work fine too. I plan on mounting the UDS to a side table structure, so I don't want to have to go behind it to play with inlet caps.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=291&pictureid=2092

Gonna probably season it tomorrow!

-Rodney
what pics

bacardi2001
03-24-2010, 07:07 PM
nevermind good job

sdbbq1234
03-24-2010, 07:41 PM
Read the whole thread. Very nice indeed!

wallace

Bluesman
03-24-2010, 09:30 PM
Very cool Rodney...........Nice UDS. Now!! get a RED, Faster than the Speed of Light, Thermonuclear, Thermapen :clap2:

Rodney
03-29-2010, 05:30 PM
Very cool Rodney...........Nice UDS. Now!! get a RED, Faster than the Speed of Light, Thermonuclear, Thermapen :clap2:

Thanks! I think I'm actually going to get the $30, 6-second thermometer that Thermoworks makes. If 6 seconds isn't fast enough, I'll spring for a thermopen. If that 6 seconds is from room temp, it'll be much faster from ABT to ABT to fatty to MOINK to fatty. ;-)