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Build Your Own Upright Drum Smoker
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dlinzey81



Joined: 18 Nov 2010
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri May 06 11 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw plans for a UDS that called for 3 holes 7/8" to be drilled, 2 holes with vent tubes capped and 1 with a 3/4" ball valve. Why would the 2 hole be tubed and capped, why not just drill 1 hole for the ball valve? Anyone have an answer for this?
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SVonhof
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Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 1399
Location: Central Valley, Ca

PostPosted: Fri May 06 11 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes you need more air than a single valve will allow and in cases like that you can simply remove a cap or two and then manage the air flow with the valve from there. It's cheaper than buying three ball valves as well.
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Scott V.
My BBQ's: Weber Silver B (grill), -UDS-, MUDS/Weber Smokey Joe
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MacEggs
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Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 1740
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 15 11 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got my drum. $20 tax included.
It is in excellent shape, unfortunately it has a liner - it had soybean oil in it.

I have not priced out getting it sandblasted, but money is tight right now, so I will likely do a burn on it.

Once that is done, building the UDS should not be a problem as the info on this forum is incredible with everyone sharing their trials and builds. Thank you to everyone for that.

It seems common that the lid warps when it goes thru the burn process.
Is there a way or method to help prevent this?

The diameter measured from the outer lip is 23".
Here are a couple links of some cheap kettle cookers at Sears.
Do these lids fit the drums better than the Weber lids?
I know it states the measurements, but I am just asking, as the width may be that of the base instead of the lid.

http://www.sears.com:80/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07116310000P?srccode=cii_10043468&cpncode=00-608459-2&i_cntr=1305391794004&sid=IDx20070921x00003c

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07160073000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003c&srccode=cii_10043468&cpncode=25-50319986-2
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"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
Pickled Eggs

The cookers (so far).
Some Weber kettles of various age, color and size
UDS & Mini UDS
Abby Normal ECB
Napoleon Propane Grill
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MacEggs
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Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 1740
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 15 11 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anybody used this paint for a UDS build? It looks like good stuff.

http://www.stovepaint.com/
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"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
Pickled Eggs

The cookers (so far).
Some Weber kettles of various age, color and size
UDS & Mini UDS
Abby Normal ECB
Napoleon Propane Grill
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SVonhof
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Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 1399
Location: Central Valley, Ca

PostPosted: Sun May 15 11 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like that paint would work fine. Or the regular Rustoleum graill paint or engine block paint...
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Scott V.
My BBQ's: Weber Silver B (grill), -UDS-, MUDS/Weber Smokey Joe
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MacEggs
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Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 1740
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 17 11 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SVonhof wrote:
Since I was not happy with the magnets for air control, I made my own vent adjustments:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v612/SVonhof/Smokers/2010_1013_UDS_0001.jpg


I like these vent adjustments you crafted.
Do they work well?
That looks like aluminum? What thickness?

Thanks,
Mark
_________________
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
Pickled Eggs

The cookers (so far).
Some Weber kettles of various age, color and size
UDS & Mini UDS
Abby Normal ECB
Napoleon Propane Grill
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SVonhof
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Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 1399
Location: Central Valley, Ca

PostPosted: Wed May 18 11 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did make them on my own. It is aluminum and the thickness is 1/16" and is 1 1/4" wide. I can say that I would prefer some metal that is a little thinner. In order to get the correct profile to get a good seal, I had to get a nice, smooth bend and it would be easier with thinner metal and it doesn't need to be thick. If I were to do it again, I would go with steel that is thinner.
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Scott V.
My BBQ's: Weber Silver B (grill), -UDS-, MUDS/Weber Smokey Joe
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upinmaine
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Joined: 17 Apr 2010
Posts: 38
Location: wells, maine

PostPosted: Sat May 28 11 10:32 pm    Post subject: Lids and Liner Reply with quote

The lid does warp somewhat when you burn it and can kind of spring over time with the heating and cooling of cooking. The best cure for this is to make sure to get the band which secures the lid with the barrel. The one that I have has screw which pulls it closed. When my lid becomes too warped to seal properly, I put the band on and tighten it down while I'm cooking for a little while. I think the heat helps to persuade the metal into the right shape and the screw allows me to apply a lot of pressure all the way around the edge of the lid/barrel.
Good luck with the liner. I have done a lot of miserable jobs, but few compare to the hot and dusty work of removing the liner from two barrels. That's two afternoons that I won't get back. I think I burned the barrels three times in two days and spent hours with the wire wheel to get it to work. If you can get someone to sandblast it, it is totally worth it.

Once done it is awesome though!
Matt
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staylor711



Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03 11 10:41 pm    Post subject: Gas UDS Reply with quote

I have built 3 UDS so far with gas and the work great. It stays at the temp you set it at and no need for adjusting. I cooked a 15lbs ham in the one I use in 11 hours and when the skin was taken off I pulled the meat off very easy. Here is what I done.

4- 3/4in holes evenly spaced 1 1/4 up from the bottom of the drum
1 -1 1/2 hole in the lid
1- hole for the burner on the side
1- small propane burner ( I make my own burners 3/4 black gas pipe)
1- wood chip basket
4- 1/4" holes evenly spaced for the meat rack 9" from top of the drum
Get the same meat rack as a regular USD. Put the burner 1" off of the bottom of the drum.
Light the burner, put the chip basket in, and watch the smoke rise.
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MrMike
Newbie


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 38
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05 11 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alien BBQ wrote:
This might help you out a bit...............



Hello there, I'm new here to the forums and have a few questions about the included pic for my first build. What are the optimum distances for the spacing between the grills? My drum has a flat top, so how far should my top grill be down from top of the drum? Is the heat diffuser necessary and if so how far from the bottom should it be?

Thanks in advance
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MacEggs
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 1740
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05 11 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the ring MrMike!

I'm in the process of building one of these.

My suggestion is to read this thread from the beginning.
That's what I did, and it is extremely helpful.
It should answer most if not all of your questions.

Good luck, dude.
_________________
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
Pickled Eggs

The cookers (so far).
Some Weber kettles of various age, color and size
UDS & Mini UDS
Abby Normal ECB
Napoleon Propane Grill
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MrMike
Newbie


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 38
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05 11 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome, I'll read this post and post up some pics as I go along.
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Soapm
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 2087
Location: Mile High City

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05 11 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12TH AV SMOKERS wrote:
Thought I'd post this here too. Maybe it'll help someone. Pictures worth a thousand words, right?



peace


MrMike = Look at this post for measurements...
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MrMike
Newbie


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 38
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05 11 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect, ty much.
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isuhunter



Joined: 01 Nov 2010
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06 11 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome thread!

So I'm ready to build my own UDS. I do have a few questions before I get started...

So a friend of mine has some 55 gal drums, more than likely oil drums from hydraulic oil or oil for their tractors. Those are ok to use as long as we burn it out 2 or 3 times, correct?

I have a feeling the barrels will have the attached lids. Would you guys recommend getting a weber grill lid for the top? We will have plasma cutter and torch to get the top off. How tight of a seal does the lid need to have? similar to weber grill?

Also has anyone smoked deer sticks or summer sausage in their UDS? Curious how it works
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SVonhof
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 1399
Location: Central Valley, Ca

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06 11 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those barrels would be fine being burnt out once.

Drill the holes in the bottom and of course, take the tops off first.

The Weber lids need to fit like a normal Weber lid does. So, basically, leave the rolled edge on there and cut out the middle part. Grind away any excess metal on the inside.

As for deer sticks or summer sausage, I assume you want a low temp smoke for that? You may want to make a different kind of basket for low temp smoking or cold smoking.
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Scott V.
My BBQ's: Weber Silver B (grill), -UDS-, MUDS/Weber Smokey Joe
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mgoldey



Joined: 10 Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Fairfax, VA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22 11 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been a few months since I joined the ring, but I finally finished a UDS and thought I'd post a few pictures.

I built this mostly to teach myself MIG welding. Completely unnecessary, of course. And, I'm going to junk it and build another one soon. But it was fun to do, and maybe these pictures will help someone.

Here's the inside of the UDS, looking down. The fire pan is an old wok that a neighbor discarded. The other pieces are scrap steel pulled from the trash on collection day. So, the only cost was the drum (which used to hold tennis court paint).



The rack rails are 9" long, and hold a standard, round Weber grill perfectly. The L-shaped piece in the top left was to give a margin of error to keep the grills from slipping, but this would have worked fine w just another piece of straight iron.

Here's a shot of the final product:



Since it's going to be junked, I didn't bother with a drain hole, or removing all of the rust, or a fresh coat of paint. It's just leaky enough that it doesn't need an intake vent. With the door propped open, and the lid on w/ both bungs removed and a thermometer sitting in the top hole, it hit 400 degrees with a load of lump charcoal and some scrap wood. With the door closed, it held 250 degrees in the hot sun for about 4 hours. Put it in the shade, and I think we have a winner.



I'm going to test it with a chicken or two, and if all goes well, cook up a brisket for a crowd, before sending it to smoker heaven.
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upinmaine
Newbie


Joined: 17 Apr 2010
Posts: 38
Location: wells, maine

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26 11 9:24 pm    Post subject: vent pipe question Reply with quote

I have built two UDS so far and they both had different vent styles. One had 12 1/2" holes in the flat lid, the other had two 6x1-1/4" vents. I wouldn't do the two vent style again, because one always draws to feed the fire when I need to knock down the fire to control temperature after closing the lid. I ended up making beer can vent caps that I can shut down as needed, but it still isn't ideal.
I'm going to be building several UDS with some friends and I was wondering what size single vent pipe people use for optimal vent/control?
Thanks
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upinmaine
Newbie


Joined: 17 Apr 2010
Posts: 38
Location: wells, maine

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26 11 9:43 pm    Post subject: a tip for stoking the fire Reply with quote

During my last cook I let the fire almost go out in my UDS and I found that my air mattress pump worked great to stoke it back up. I have a coleman battery powered air mattress pump (I think it is called the 4D quick pump). The mattress adapter threaded neatly into the 3/4" IPS ball valve and it is below the fire so it never got hot. When I flip the switch it starts pumping smoke out of the vents and pretty soon the fire is roaring. It is a good idea to turn it off before it gets to your target temperature, because the temp will keep coming up for a while after you shut it off.
It got me back up cooking a lot quicker than opening all the vents and waiting.
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SVonhof
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 1399
Location: Central Valley, Ca

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27 11 12:24 am    Post subject: Re: a tip for stoking the fire Reply with quote

upinmaine wrote:
During my last cook I let the fire almost go out in my UDS and I found that my air mattress pump worked great to stoke it back up. I have a coleman battery powered air mattress pump (I think it is called the 4D quick pump). The mattress adapter threaded neatly into the 3/4" IPS ball valve and it is below the fire so it never got hot. When I flip the switch it starts pumping smoke out of the vents and pretty soon the fire is roaring. It is a good idea to turn it off before it gets to your target temperature, because the temp will keep coming up for a while after you shut it off.
It got me back up cooking a lot quicker than opening all the vents and waiting.


Sounds like a good way of doing it but make sure you don't have any food in there or you might get ash all over it from the airflow. If you had a less powerful fan, that would work better as that is the same idea as the "stoker".
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Scott V.
My BBQ's: Weber Silver B (grill), -UDS-, MUDS/Weber Smokey Joe
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