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-   -   Ugly Drum Smoker (https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23436)

Chavo27 04-20-2010 11:05 AM

new barrel is all burned out.. except for the lid it still has the lining on it....
looking for suggestions on the intake and the lid..
what would be the best way to drill the wholes..

My last one just had 4 1" capped holes...
hard to say how well it worked because it wasn't air tight.. this one I hope to build better

McGurk 04-21-2010 08:43 AM

Got some more done tonight.

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/1788/smalluds22.jpg
Rack mounts

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/4537/smalluds23.jpg
Racks, all from donor grills. Need some cleaning.

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/1668/smalluds24.jpg
Outside, not much to say.

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/8564/smalluds21.jpg
Probe mount

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/4936/smalluds25.jpg
Hardware used, needed to drill it out with an 1/8th inch bit, and now it's a snug fit.

Gotta do some last-minute things and some final prep, and it's initial cook should come soon!

McGurk 04-21-2010 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chavo27 (Post 1256675)
new barrel is all burned out.. except for the lid it still has the lining on it....
looking for suggestions on the intake and the lid..
what would be the best way to drill the wholes..

My last one just had 4 1" capped holes...
hard to say how well it worked because it wasn't air tight.. this one I hope to build better


It sounds like this your second build, so what did you use the last time to drill your holes? And when you say it wasn't air tight, are you referring to the intake holes or to the lid? If you were talking about the lid, it isn't as critical as the intake holes. If you had (4) capped holes on your old drum, you could just buy a ball valve to thread onto one of the nipples and continue to use the other (3) caps for intake control. Browse through your hardware store's plumbing department and see waht fit. They usually run around $9-$11 for a 3/4" threaded ball valve.

Chavo27 04-21-2010 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McGurk (Post 1257780)
It sounds like this your second build, so what did you use the last time to drill your holes? And when you say it wasn't air tight, are you referring to the intake holes or to the lid? If you were talking about the lid, it isn't as critical as the intake holes. If you had (4) capped holes on your old drum, you could just buy a ball valve to thread onto one of the nipples and continue to use the other (3) caps for intake control. Browse through your hardware store's plumbing department and see waht fit. They usually run around $9-$11 for a 3/4" threaded ball valve.

this was what happened with my old drum.. I didn't have a big enough drill bit and didn't want to pay the 40$ they wanted for the step bit.. So I bought the cheapest thing, a concrete bit.. this didn't work at all! So I decided to weld them in the not so round hole.. That didn't work either burned holes right through the barrel.. So the I took a brazing rod and tried to seal them up the best I could..

As for the lid it was just a board that became more warped over time.. I feel like I was doing more grilling than smoking..


So If I understand this right... Do I still need 4 intake holes or just 1 with a valve?

McGurk 04-21-2010 10:28 AM

The intent of the intake is to have absolute control of the volume of air going into the smoker for temp control, from all open (hot) to completely shut (cold/dead). There are many methods out there but they all come down to that. The "industry standard" (but not necessarily the best method) that can be pulled from this lengthy post is to use 3) holes that will hold 3/4" iron pipe nipples. They require a 1" hole to be drilled, either using a 1" hole saw ($7) or a large "step bit" ($30-$40). Ask your hardware store about them. Then, get 3/4" caps for 2) of them, and a 3/4" threaded ball valve for the third one. Now you have 3) holes in your drum, so thread the 3) nipples in. Either weld them in or use conduit nuts and washers to hold them in. Thread the Ball valve onto one of them and leave the other two open. These are now your completed intakes.

Now for the smoking: Leave all of the intakes open for your initial warmup after you've started your charcoal/lump, and watch your temps as they rise. When you are getting to 180 degrees or so, you'll want to cap the two threaded intakes. Leave the ball valve open, but get ready to start manipulating it to reach your desired temp. It is easier to bring your heat up to your desired temp (close them early), than to go past and try to bring it back down (close them late).

Other variations of this use ball valves on each nipple, more holes and nipples, just open holes and flat magnets for control, or one LARGE intake that can be controlled with some sort of valve.

I think you need to READ MORE OF THIS THREAD!!! The answers are all there, but are mixed in with a bunch of back and forth between creators. But, it's all there.

Chavo27 04-21-2010 12:26 PM

know the answer are all there, this is where I got the idea to build my first one.. I have a step-bit now, I picked it up at arbor freight for like $4 and it worked like a knife in butter when I was installing my temp gauge.

Chavo27 04-21-2010 12:30 PM

I think I understand a little more now, last time I had 4 holes with conduit nuts and caps. This time I only need 3 holes one with a valve? I guess I'm confused on if you still have intake holes with caps their either open or closed... does the valve really let you adjust air intake that much?
or is the idea to have them open to get you heat up. cap them back up then use the valve to fine too your temps?

Rodney 04-21-2010 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chavo27 (Post 1258199)
I think I understand a little more now, last time I had 4 holes with conduit nuts and caps. This time I only need 3 holes one with a valve? I guess I'm confused on if you still have intake holes with caps their either open or closed... does the valve really let you adjust air intake that much?
or is the idea to have them open to get you heat up. cap them back up then use the valve to fine too your temps?

I think of the pipe caps and the ball valve like a three-speed transmission. First gear: All caps on, adjust flow with ball valve. Second gear: One cap off, adjust flow with ball valve. Third gear? Yep, 2 caps off, adjust flow with ball valve. In first gear the ball valve will give you adjustment from 0 to 100%. In second gear, the ball valve will take you from 50 to 100%. In third gear, the ball valve will take you from 66 to 100%. So yeah, it adjusts intake air significantly.

What I've heard, although I haven't tested it, is that three open 3/4" pipes will run at about 400 degrees. If you don't want to go hotter than that, it doesn't make much sense to have a huge intake. Three 3/4" pipes (0.82" inner diameter) have about the same open area as a single 1.42" inner diameter intake. A 1-1/4" pipe fitting has an inner diameter of 1.66", which is almost exactly the same as *four* 3/4" pipes, and is PLENTY of open area. Based on this, a 1.5" diameter piece of exhaust tubing would be a nice size for a single intake (it's almost exactly the same open area as 3 3/4" pipes). Going much bigger than this would seem to me to result in an intake damper that is VERY sensitive to adjustment at the low end, i.e. if you're trying to run the smoker at 225, since it'd flow a lot of air even when barely cracked open.

Those with 2" or larger single intakes: Does this happen to you, or does it work out just fine?

McGurk 04-21-2010 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chavo27 (Post 1258199)
I think I understand a little more now, last time I had 4 holes with conduit nuts and caps. This time I only need 3 holes one with a valve?

Short answer; Yes. 4 would work though: 3) with caps and 1) with a valve.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chavo27 (Post 1258199)
I guess I'm confused on if you still have intake holes with caps their either open or closed... does the valve really let you adjust air intake that much?

Yes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chavo27 (Post 1258199)
...or is the idea to have them open to get you heat up. cap them back up then use the valve to fine too your temps?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

h20loo 04-21-2010 02:54 PM

Rodney- it doesn't matter if its a 6 inch hole- it only matters how much is open. My car has more HP than I could ever use but all that matters to my wife is how much I open 'er up. Justa touch and she stays happy. I don't find the 2" hole on my barrel hard to use and infact I prefer it to multiple holes and caps. I have the same intake on the egg and I don't find it hard to control on there either.
The neat thing about drums is you can do what ever you like and if it doesn't work then you can adjust it.

woodbutcher1 04-21-2010 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h20loo (Post 1256438)
I don't think you should have 100 degree difference between the two. I usually find 40 and then that goes down to about 20 on a long 225 cook. I would pull the 12" guage out 9" and see if it reads the same as your 3". 3-2-1 is long for ribs on a UDS. The UDS are like their owners- quicker than most!! At 250 I do 2 1/2 hrs and start checking. I seldom foil and when I have nice pull back and flex- then I'll sauce some of the ribs to taste and mop mine with a scotch/cider a few times.
UDS are easy cookers but liek anything good, they still do have individual quirks. Experience on them usually solves that.

Ok,i followed your suggestion bu pulling the 12" gage out by 9". The temps did not match. So last night i removed both gages from the drum and did a boiling water test. Water boils at 212* right? The short stemed gage read 210* and the long stemed gage read 180*. So i adjusted it to also red 210*.

Today i pluged the hole for the short stemed gage with 2 washers,a nut and a bolt. i drilled a small hole, enough to insert the probe, as close to the center of the lid as i could without interfering with the exaust pipe. I als wanted to one of my didgitall gages in a block of wood at the same level as the 12" gage. The didgitall gages (the 2 that i bought)are only good from 0* to 250*. AAAARRRRRG.
Started some coal and watched both Gages. I was pleasently rurprized with the end result.

Both gages within 5*to 10*.

Rodney 04-21-2010 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h20loo (Post 1258359)
Rodney- it doesn't matter if its a 6 inch hole- it only matters how much is open. My car has more HP than I could ever use but all that matters to my wife is how much I open 'er up. Justa touch and she stays happy. I don't find the 2" hole on my barrel hard to use and infact I prefer it to multiple holes and caps. I have the same intake on the egg and I don't find it hard to control on there either.
The neat thing about drums is you can do what ever you like and if it doesn't work then you can adjust it.

If you don't care about having all of your usable intake throttle adjustment in the first 10% of the opening of the damper, sure, it doesn't matter if the hole is 6" in diameter. I'm just talking about adjustability here. It doesn't make sense to drive a car around daily and never be able to exceed 20% throttle without ripping the tires loose, and having to ever-so-carefully tweak an inlet damper because the fully-open damper area is much too large is no fun either. That's the only point I'm making.

Personally, I'd like an inlet setup where 50% open resulted in no more than 325 degrees or so. This would make damper settings more repeatable and less of a pain to adjust. Reason enough to revise an existing UDS? Nope. A worthwhile consideration when designing and building one? Definitely, IMHO. If a 2" inlet does this, I'll put a 2" inlet on the next one I build. If not, I'd go smaller. I do like the single inlet design, but didn't do it on my UDS because I wanted to be able to "compare notes" with other people while learning fire management.

h20loo 04-21-2010 05:58 PM

"Personally, I'd like an inlet setup where 50% open resulted in no more than 325 degrees or so. This would make damper settings more repeatable and less of a pain to adjust. Reason enough to revise an existing UDS? Nope. A worthwhile consideration when designing and building one? Definitely, IMHO. If a 2" inlet does this, I'll put a 2" inlet on the next one I build. If not, I'd go smaller. I do like the single inlet design, but didn't do it on my UDS because I wanted to be able to "compare notes" with other people while learning fire management"

Never thought about that, I guess because that is pretty much what I have. After using the UDS for a while now I can pretty well set it and hit the temps I want as its coming up. Now that the weather is warm I find that the intakes for the drum and the egg are very similiar.
The 6" comment was not realistic but to make the point that it only matters what you have open to get the temp. I read on another forum where somebody had their lid off and could get 400 but when the lid was on they found the temp was dropping. They were convinced it was too small a fire mass and nothing to do with the 1/2" tapped intake.
Anyway, I hope you have as much fun and food success as I've had with my barrels. My son came home for the summer last week and he made his mother stop to pick up ribs and peppers (for ABTs). We stood around the barrel for 5 hours just catching up.... and many brown pops. Then we had some gooood food!

Skidder 04-22-2010 07:44 PM

UDS #4 for me. This is a flip lid with 3 Weber daisy wheels for exhaust. Tel-Tru thermo,Maverick digital and casters to get around.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...der1/004-2.jpg
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...der1/005-1.jpg
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q64/Skidder1/007.jpg
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q64/Skidder1/002.jpg

dgassaway 04-22-2010 08:58 PM

Hey Skidder,

I'm diggin the caster set up. Very nice!


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