I can get free drums so now I need to pay YOU to make an UDS

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by cromag, May 29, 2010.

  1. cromag

    cromag Smoking Fanatic

    I live in east Tennessee and would pay for someone to make a UDS for me. Any takers? I can get free 55 gal drums with the lids that were only filled with candle wax material so nothing toxic inside
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Why don't you want to make one yourself it's not hard at all? [​IMG]
  3. cromag

    cromag Smoking Fanatic

    I can't weld..
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There is no welding needed. I made mine with zero welding involved.
  5. cromag

    cromag Smoking Fanatic

    I'll give it try after I find some in depth directions...How's ND rbranstner? I move to TN from Grand Forks the summer of the 1997 flood
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ditto that. [​IMG]

    All you need is a drill, a step bit, some wrenches, pliers, wire cutters, and that's about it.  Don't try and add a door or use a water pan as the current wiki article states.  It just makes it more difficult to build and adds an air leak which is why that design also need a water pan to hold temps down.

    Get a drum.  Drill three 1" diameter holes evenly spaced around the drum 2" from the bottom.  Thread three 3/4" close nipples into the holes.  If they seem a little loose, get some conduit nuts to tighten them up.

    Get two 3/4" pipe caps and one 3/4" valve to use for air control.  (Or skip the caps, nipples and valve all together and just use flexible refrigerator magnets over the holes to control air flow.)

    Get a charcoal grate from a small Weber.  They are 13.5" in diameter.  Get a 44" x 8" piece of expanded metal.  Wrap it around a propane tank to form the circle then wire it to the grate in a circle. Put three 3-1/2"x1/2" bolts double nutted on the grate for legs to hold the charcoal grate 3" off the bottom of the drum.  Use wire or a 1/4" rod to make a handle for the basket and your done.

    Measure 27" from the bottom of the drum and drill three 1/4" holes for the bolts that hold the grate. (You want the first cook grate 24" from the BOTTOM of the charcoal basket.)  Put three 2"x 1/4" bolts through for grate holders.  Get a grate for a 22.5 charcoal grill for the cook grate.  Get one of those cheapo table top grills and throw everything away but the charcoal pan.  Use the charcoal pan for an ash pan and your done.

    See, no welding.[​IMG] I can post some pics later but am kind of pressed for time now.

    mgnorcal likes this.
  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We are still here I guess. haha Still flooding every year but what can you do. When you build a city on top of a river that floods every year you can expect to be fighting the flood every spring. I found a few good pages with directions on how to make up a UDS I will see if I can find them but they may be saved on my work computer. Funny thing is my brother is coming to town this weekend and I think we are going to make him a UDS as well since he likes mine so well. Google UDS or how to make a UDS and you will find some good sites with directions on making them.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  8. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is the ABSOLUTE, HANDS DOWN, BEST thread anywhere on the Internet about building a UDS.




    On Edit: Ooops rb beat me to it. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  9. cromag

    cromag Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks guys I guess I'll be giving it a try. I have a horizontal with SFB already so in your opinions which smoker is the smoker you'd choose.. Drum or horizontal?
  10. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have never cooked on a Horizontal so I can't really comment on the two but if you want to talk about set it and forget it for many hours that is what you can expect with the UDS.
  11. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    Wal Mart had large grates for 12 bucks, not as heavy duty as the ones from Ace/Westlake but about 6 bucks cheaper.

    Thanks for giving a step by step for the basket, I was over thinking it! 
  12. cromag

    cromag Smoking Fanatic

    So minion method I'm assuming and since there isn't a side door I'm guessing you place wood in places to gradually burn as the outer coals catch?
  13. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep.  Load up your basket interspersing 4 or 5 fist sized chunks of wood with the charcoal.  Light 10 to 15 briquettes and let them get white hot.  Place them on top of your charcoal pile in the charcoal basket and let her go. 


    You really don't need to fill it that full.  This was a test.

    It will take a bit of practice to learn how soon you need to cut back on the air as the drum warms up.  You want to catch the temp on the way up.  It is very difficult to get a drum back down in temp after it has snuck away on you.

    Once you get the temp dialed in, sit back and relax -- for up to 15 hours on a single load if need be.
  14. cromag

    cromag Smoking Fanatic

    the problem I have been having with my offset is the wood chunks catching a blaze and spiking my temps above 300. My air intake is almost closed and still the huge flair up
  15. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I just choke down the valve and temps drop way low if I need to, havent' yet because it runs at 250 steady as a heart beat.  I have the pan for easy cleaning and yes water and the door to add fuel. It works for me. [​IMG]  The wiki is only a suggestion as there are many styles and they all work. [​IMG]  Good luck with your build cromag!


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