My first UDS build help

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by toonarmy, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Hi all,

    Long time lurker on these forums from the UK.  As the title suggests I am looking at making a drum smoker with a few friends. Unfortunately finding a drum over here does not seem to be as easy as in the US.

    I have managed to get a drum today, however I have a concern regarding it. I am not 100% certain what has been stored in the drum in the past or if it is lined on the inside. 

    Is there a way to tell if a drum has been lined? I do not know what I am looking for to tell if it has or not.

    Here is a picture of the drum which may help.  Also with regards to what the drum stored in a previous life, will it be safe to use. Judging by the marking of the drum it likely housed cutting and grinding fluids or oils.


    Any help of suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If all goes well I will post the progress of the build.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    The biggest mistake people make when choosing a barrel is to get a food safe one, food safe does not mean ready to BBQ in. Food safe means it has a nasty, nearly impossible to remove chemical liner in there and who knows what that stuff is made out of. In my experience petroleum Drums are the best to get as they are almost always unlined. It really makes no difference what was in the vessel as you will be taking it all down to absoloutely bare metal anyway. Now it looks to me like that lid may not come off without cutting it off. This can be a concern, but it is not as big of a deal as you would think. Preferably you would find an unlined barrel with a removable lid with the two bung holes like that one in the pictures has. That is ideal. If I am wrong you have the best barrel you can get for this. If I am right you will have to do a little cutting and bending to make the lid removable and functional. If you can find an unlined open head barrel, as that is what they are called. Great! If not this is your second choice. Now, if you are planning on using a 22.5 inch Weber lid then this barrel will do perfectly. Hope I didn't confuse you more than help you. Any more questions, Fire away!

    This is the barrel I used for mine.


    It was unlined and open head. Very easy to make into a really good smoker.
     
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    @timberjet  is a wealth of knowledge on UDS builds. The only thing I would add is that to tell if yours is lined you would need to use a flashlight and look into the opening. If it is any sort of color (red, tan, brown) and looks like it has been painted then it is lined.
     
  4. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Hey that is a great help, iv done a fair bit of reading up on this so that made perfect sense to me. Unfortunately the lid on this drum does not come off so I will need to cut it off and makeshift a new lid. 

    Hopefully then this drum should not be lined. I was a little concerned this barrel was not food grade and I would not be able to use it, but it may actually turn out to be better. I will be burning this barrel out and sanding it down before use also.

    Thanks 
     
  5. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    I will try this before I begin any cutting thanks
     
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I used a Weber lid so this is where I cut my lid off:


    You can see the brown liner. It came out but was a pain. Two burn outs followed by grinding and sanding.
     
  7. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Thanks that helps me know what to look for. Your build photographs are extremely useful too.

    Also how did you find the best way to get a tight seal around your lid and middle section door opening. What materials did you use?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Still in progress [​IMG]. That has been harder than I thought. I completely redid the lid last night and resorted to hammering the weber lid around the lip of the drum. I was careful enough when I cut the hole for the door that It doesn't leak (although the consensus seems to be that the door was overkill and probably won't be needed but that is still to be determined).
     
  9. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    I like the door it looks like a crossbreed between a bullet smoker and a drum. Could come in handy instead of taking the lid off.

    Im still researching the best way to remove the lid. I see a guy in another thread managed to grind around the lip and keep the original lid intact to use throughout the build
     
  10. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I'm sure you could grind off the lid in a way that allows it to be reused but I don't have steady enough hands for that. The drums are pretty thin so if you aren't careful you can mess up the cut with a grinder. That's why I cut the door opening with a jig saw.
     
  11. manfjourde

    manfjourde Fire Starter

     I like that shelf - how far out does it stick out and what was it before being a shelf?
     
  12. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Ok I have got the barrel home and it looks like it is not lined thankfully. Next step getting the the lid off it. 

    I think i am going to try and cut under the lip of the lid like this method below to try and keep it. Wish me luck

    http://scalawagbbq.com/2013/08/my-new-smoker-a-uds/

    Also I found out what it used to contain:

    "TRIM® SC415 is a lower foam, semi-synthetic coolant specifically formulated for machining and grinding of cast iron and steel. This unique formulation ensures low levels of foam not generally seen with other semi-synthetic products especially in soft water areas. This clean running formulation also prevents the loading of grinding wheels, ensuring good surface finishes and minimal burning"
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    It is just plywood I had laying around. 5/8 inch I think. It is only 12 by 12. and my next one will be bigger. Like a full table on a weber performer big with shelves and wheels to roll the whole thing around. I just screwed that shelf on through the drum with grabber wood screws and it is really solid. I did pre drill and use a little marine wood glue. I then used some clear stain to help it in the rain. It has been on since 2012 when I built it and it is as tight and straight as the day I put it on. It serves as a handle for lifting too. I only put it there to hold up my Mavericks.
     
  14. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    That method looks to be your best bet. I have seen guys cut a couple of inches down the side all the way around and bend the lip in a little so the lid sits down over it. I would think your way would seal much better. You can always keep your eyes open for a kettle lid second hand for cheap or free in the future. But it should work just fine the way you are grinding it off like that.
     
  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Yes, it really does not matter what was in that barrel, Just make sure you don't blow yourself up when you burn it out. Also, make sure you drill your inlet holes before the burn so it can get good air flow. 
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  16. manfjourde

    manfjourde Fire Starter

     Cool, nothing fancy then, thanks!
     
  17. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Thanks I will do it in that order. Iv burned out barrels in the past just to get rid of old wood I did not need. I still have my eyebrows and hopefully that will continue.

    Do any of you guys use a digital leave in thermometer probe with your meat?  Iv looked around on the internet and cant seem to find to many thermometer probes that I can leave in the meat for a long period of time so that I do not have to remove the lid
     
  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Maverick ET series. I have the ET 732 but they have two newer models now. One with Bluetooth. check it out.http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/126310/maverick-model-et-732 The vast majority of us use mavericks. Igrill makes good ones too as well as thermoworks. I have no experience with those though. I love my mavericks. 3 plus years of hard use and no problems yet. I had the predecessor of these before that and it was great too.
     
  19. I like smoker builds

    Gary
     
  20. toonarmy

    toonarmy Fire Starter

    Thanks I will take a look at those. Hopefully they are easy to get in the UK.

    Tonight I cut the lid off the drum unfortunately the method I posted above was not possible with the type of drum I have. So instead I cut the lid off from inside the lip.

    Right now I am trying to think of ways to use this lid with the build as I do not have a webber lid. So far the best option seems to be fitting brackets on the inside for the lid to sit on and running a think insulation tape around the circumference of the lid rim to try and get a good seal against the side of the drum. If anyone has any other methods for the lid im all ears.

    Pic below of the current condition:

     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015

Share This Page