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SavageQ 06-29-2012 04:22 PM


Originally Posted by brewerjamie15 (Post 1753435)
Working on mine right now. I got a drum for free, I forget the height but it was supposed to be used for oil waste. It is Dept of Trans certified, which means it is thicker metal, has an extra rib for strength, and a hell of a lid. It was not used much at all, mostly sat in my step-dad's warehouse.
I burned it out twice, (man that thing is heavy as heck) and sanded it to bare metal. If I were to do another build, I'd pay to have it blasted clean. The money spent on sandpaper the time I put into it, and the filth caked all over me says blast it.
I have the holes drilled out for the intakes. I made them 7/8" and placed them every 18 inches. My drum measured out at 6' total diameter, so that's 4 intakes. I'm using the 3/4" pipe nipples with caps.
I am going to have my top grate 4" from the top, the second grate will be at 10". I drilled those holes and will use stainless screws and nuts and washers as the pins to hold the cooking grates.
I have two coats of paint on the drum so far. This drum will be two colors- green and gold. the ribs of the drum will be gold as will the lid. Flat parts are green. I want the smoker to work correctly so it'll be Green Bay Packer colors.
I think I'm going to use a sheet of rolled aluminum as the smoke stack.
I still have to build the charcoal basket, a heat shield (probably wait for that until after a few cooks) and tweak what ever needs doing.
I think I'll use a valve on one of the intakes for closing valve half way or less)


Lessons learned the hard way:


Do NOT rely on the "guy at Home Depot" to tell you all the right bits for yer pipe nipples. Rely instead on THIS HERE THREAD.

Do NOT sand the snot outta your drum and then wait two days to apply paint. Even though it's in the garage, the humidity will put some rust on there.

Perhaps most importantly-
This thread is a guide. Not spoken gospel. (ok maybe it actually is gospel) Do what YOU think is best for YOUR drum. All of us are doing the same general thing, but there are neat differences. My drum is not like yours. Yours is not like that dude's. His is not like mine.

If you don't want to spend a lot of time carefully taping out lines for your smoker, paint it all one color.
Taping took me a long time and I still loused it up I bet.

More to follow as I progress.

Oh- maybe the hardest lesson for me in this and in all things. BE PATIENT. Ya can't get ahead of yourself and expect not to make mistakes. I get all bent outta shape and want to see progress. I make dumb errors that way. GO S-L-O-W-L-Y.

Hey! I'm the "guy at Home Depot" and i read these threads. lol Some of us you can trust to know what you need. :boxing:

Soulcoffr 06-29-2012 04:52 PM

Ok, so after making my way through over 6,000 posts, I finally decided to start my UDS build. (I'm not going to go for the "I Read the Entire Thread" merit badge.)

A local oil company has reconditioned open-top barrels for $45. These have been through a caustic dip tank, thoroughly washed and repainted. No rust inhibitor lining, just bare steel on the inside. They say they keep some of these on hand at all times. In fact, the guy I got it from is looking to make a cold smoker with one.

Anyway, after picking up the barrel, I swung by Steel Mart here in Dubuque and they had cutoffs of 3/4 x #9 expanded steel that I could look through. I found a nice piece and they cut it to size for me. Cost me $13 with tax.

Now it's off to the hardware store for the various and sundry parts I need for the rest of the build.

Thank you for all the informative posts you folks have made. It was interesting to see all the advancements in UDS tech over the years. I'll posts photos of my build when I get farther along.

I am here:

Phillstone 06-29-2012 11:47 PM

Enjoy yourself in creation!

Soulcoffr 06-30-2012 08:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 66920

Completed charcoal basket with attached ash pan made from cheapie tabletop grill pan.

Sent from my iPhone using My Fingers.

Soulcoffr 06-30-2012 08:41 PM[email protected]/7475987094

Completed charcoal basket for UDS using 3/4 x #9 expanded steel, Weber charcoal grate for 22 inch kettle, rebar ties and a cheapie tabletop grill pan for the attached ash pan.

Sent from my iPhone using My Fingers.

Soulcoffr 06-30-2012 10:28 PM

I've got my charcoal basket built. Weber charcoal grate with 3/4 x #9 expanded steel. Cheapie charcoal grill pan for attached ash pan. Used rebar ties all the way around to fasten the expanded to the grate. Three bolts with fender washers at the seam.

Sent from my iPhone using My Fingers.

Soulcoffr 07-01-2012 09:24 AM[email protected]/7475987094

Just completed the charcoal basket!

Sent from my iPhone using My Fingers.

Soulcoffr 07-01-2012 09:27 AM

Just completed the charcoal basket![email protected]/7475987094

GreenDrake 07-01-2012 09:31 AM

OK, so the drum was finished last week, had time to do a couple cooks on her and get her loaded up for the comp this weekend. I was unsure of the overnight butt cook but I brought a spare anyway so I just opened one nipple cap, ball valve full open stuffed the basket and hoped for the best.

When I got up in the morning, there she was, in all her glory, dead on at 225 and working the butt through the stall. Had lots of comments from folks that wanted to build their own and just plain loved the concept. Fun cooker that lays down excellent smoke.

GreenDrake 07-01-2012 10:54 AM

Has anyone used firebricks in the base of their UDS? I was thinking of bringing up my basket a little bit and retaining some heat while at it by putting a base of fire bricks under it. I have the heat deflector resting on top of the basket so my temps no matter how full open I have it, rarely ever approach 300 degrees yet.

Soulcoffr 07-02-2012 10:07 AM

Sorry for the multiple posts guys. I was having trouble getting my posts to show up. Now I don't seem to have the ability to remove them. There's not even an edit button available.

That being said, I've pretty much finished my build and I'll have pictures in a bit once I figure out what happened above. Thanks for your understanding!

orange_pork 07-03-2012 03:12 AM

1 Attachment(s)
i just finished mine

jetfxr27 07-03-2012 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by ropeti (Post 2108271)
Thank you for the compliments!
This is what i have made today:

Looks great. I too am attempting to add an ATC without all the mess of wires. Can you give some details?

akjerry 07-04-2012 01:19 PM

New UDS user and new to the group
4 Attachment(s)
What a wealth of info available on this site, thanks to all who have contributed.
Finished my drum, if I can figure out how to attached pics, I'll do so.
Initial burn with royal oak last nite, temp went to 350+ in no time at all,
with all intakes open, time was 5:40 pm
started choking it down and temp stabilized at about 250 by 6:15 with just the riser intake fully open, went to bed at 10:15 after opening one additional intake and temp stabilized about 310. Got up this morning and the drum was cold, still some heat in the embers, don't know what time it went out, this was with about 4lbs of lump.
Going over to some friends this afternoon for the 4th, but tomorrow, there's rib's for dinner.
Some info about the build:
The riser intake is a stainless steel hand rail for the bathroom, cut down to size, and scored for free, had it for 5-6 years, knew I kept it for a reason, still have one more.
The charcoal basket is ss and material also was scored for free, size 10" high, 11.5" dia, still have the better part of an eight foot by four foot sheet left. Those are 1/4" holes in the material, so this was an easy put together. I was concerned the basket would not have enough draw to stay lit, but I think those worries are behind.
Again, thanks for all the info, now I'll be looking at recipes.

Kullas 07-04-2012 02:11 PM

I posted it in another thread but i thought i would put in the UDS thread for others to see. Its made of a SS drum and the color is from the heat of the burn out. It left it a nice golden color

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