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UDS-XT Extra Tall (Updated 1/21/10)
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mwillis
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13 10 12:25 pm    Post subject: UDS-XT Extra Tall (Updated 1/21/10) Reply with quote

I got my drum today. The company I work for was ditching some old barrels and has just bought some refurbs that are sandblasted and bare. I was able to score one of those and one of the old ones. The sandblasted barrels are only $15 ea., with lids!

Let me know what you think about my air inlet situation. I have seen a lot of you that have 3 intakes, but plug 2 of them and put a ball valve on 1 of them. If I understand correctly, you remove the plugs when lighting it, then plug them again as you are coming up to temp. I have chosen to use 2 intakes with gate valves on each one. It appears the gate valve will have a more linear action than a ball valve, and with multiple turns can be adjusted more precisely. See pic below.

Gate valve about half open.


Gate valve almost closed


I am planning on using the other barrel for an extension. I will cut the barrel about an inch below the second bulge and insert it into the UDS barrel, and weld it in. This will make the UDS about 46" tall. I can use the flat lid and have room for 2 or even 3 cook racks.

Donor barrel


Air intakes extend into the UDS 4"


The bottom of the charcoal basket in position


UDS with kettle lid in place


The charcoal basket is a weber charcoal grate with expanded metal tacked on top. I haven't got enough expanded metal to finish the basket yet. Should get that late this week. I added some 3" legs to the bottom of the basket to give it some breathing room.

Now for some questions:
How deep should my basket be? I am planning on 6" or 8". It is 17" diameter.
How high above the basket should I put a grate for a water pan?
How large should the water pan be? Diameter? Depth?
How high above the water pan should the first cooking grate be?
Does anyone have a link to thermometers for grate temps? I plan to use KAM's drill-through bolt idea for the thermometers.
Do I need to have a gasket for the lid?
Does it go on the lid, or the barrel? I plan to be able to use either the flat lid or kettle lid.

That's about it for now. I should get this finished up this week, and maybe can paint it this weekend. I am just planning on using an industrial polyurethane paint and either spray or roll it on. I have used it on engine blocks with good results, should be about the same. May blister a little near the bottom. I am working on a plan for a cart that includes a stainless countertop to prep food and storage below the counter top. I'll update more later.

Willis
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Last edited by mwillis on Fri Jan 22 10 12:40 pm; edited 4 times in total
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13 10 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mwillis, your UDS is looking fantastic. Very Happy Your intakes look to go under your basket, how are you going to keep the ash from covering the intake holes?
#1- 6'' to 8'' for basket height is Ideal
#2 My water pan sits just below my second grate, allowing enough room for the thermometer to be between them.
#3 a lot of members use disposable roasting pans, I have a large stainless mixing bowl that I use. I have set mine up pretty much like a WSM.
#4 if you go with my bolt idea then you can drill the hole to accommodate a turkey fryer thermometer that is what I use. They are accurate easily available locally and not very expensive.
#5 I believe most people remove the factory seal, I no I did. I am running steel on steel.
If you want some pics of the pan set up let me know and I will shoot you some pics.
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Teleking
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13 10 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought but you may want to add to more intake vents just in case. When you need them, you need them, when the planets align and the twilight zone sets in.

On most cooks I have one vent Ľ to ˝ open chugging @225. Then there are days when I have all 4 open and struggles to stay at 225. YMMV.

Cheers
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13 10 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: What? Another UDS build? Oh Yeah! Reply with quote

mwillis wrote:
It appears the gate valve will have a more linear action than a ball valve, and with multiple turns can be adjusted more precisely.


A gate valve would allow better control over throttling but it's hardly linear. The first few turns and the last few turns accomplish almost nothing. Think of it like your garden hose... the first turn or two produces little flow. As you crack the valve open you start getting the full force and it comes on quickly. As you continue opening the valve you hit a point where it doesn't seem to make any difference whether it's all the way open or only 2/3's open. To keep track of all that you're going to have to count revolutions and remember that the sweet spot is between x and y turns of the valve. Something like that would drive my ADD mind crazy trying to remember if I positioned the valve properly. A ball valve on the other hand gives you instant visual feedback based on handle position. My two cents and YMMV.
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mwillis
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13 10 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KAM,
I placed the air intakes 2 1/2" to center, from the bottom of the drum measured on the outside of the drum. The inside measurement is 2" to the center. If I have a problem with that I can cut them off.

My current plan is to allow 4" between the top of the basket and the bottom of the water pan. The bottom grate is going to be about 1-2' above the water pan.

What do you think about the extra height? I know in another thread you said Mrs. KAM's was a bit of a fuel hog. DO you think it was because of that. I know a lot of people use kettle lids, I would imagine yours was twice the volume of a kettle lid.

I will remove the existing gasket. Just wasn't sure if I needed to add a rope seal as I have seen others do, although I think that was mostly on Brinkmanns, etc.

Do you run your top vent fully open most of the time? Is the damper on it more of an on/off operation or do you run it partial sometimes?

I got my steel for the cart and the expanded metal to finish the basket. I bought through our purchasing here at work. 1" x 1" X 16ga. @ $0.43/ft, and #9 x 3/4 x4' x 8', flattened for $30/sheet.

Teleking,
I am going to try it like it is for now. It's easy enough to add a couple of nipples and plugs if I see I will need them. The placement of them may interfere with the location of the drum on my cart.

Willis
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12TH AV SMOKERS
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good.. you'll love it!!
I've made 2 so far and currently working on 4 more. I have (3) 3/4" intakes, one with a ball valve. 2" up from the outside of the barrel. The intake with the valve has an 3/4" pipe on the inside that extends nearly to the center of my basket. Seems to work really good when using the Minion method.. maybe it's my imagination too Confused No problems with ash buildup....yet

Here's my setups.

How deep should my basket be? I am planning on 6" or 8". It is 17" diameter. Mine are 17" dia x 10"- 12" tall Holds enough that one basket ran for 36-40 hours... in cold weather

How high above the basket should I put a grate for a water pan?
Mine are 6" & 8" above the top of basket

How large should the water pan be? Diameter? Depth?
I use a disposable pan...not sure about the size...12" x 16" 3-4" deep. I've only used a pan once though. I'm still trying to decide what I like better. With or without the pan Confused

How high above the water pan should the first cooking grate be?
Honestly, I have no idea how far mine is. Not as close as KAM's I know that

Does anyone have a link to thermometers for grate temps? I plan to use KAM's drill-through bolt idea for the thermometers.
I use the same setup and therm as KAM. I've even dropped that cheapo turkey therm a couple of times and it still checks out exactly 212°. I bought mine at Menards. $7.99!

Do I need to have a gasket for the lid?
I've only used a Weber lid so far. No need for a gasket with that one. I'll have to see how the lids fit on my next 4 because I'm using the barrel lids

Does it go on the lid, or the barrel? I plan to be able to use either the flat lid or kettle lid.
Remove the original seal. If you need one I'd put it on the lid. Less chance of tearing it off or damaging it

Keep the pic's coming. Like I said you will LOVE your UDS!
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12TH AV SMOKERS
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oops forgot this question.....

Do you run your top vent fully open most of the time? Is the damper on it more of an on/off operation or do you run it partial sometimes?
Top vent is always 100% open. as far as the air intake I normally run one intake completely open and I use the valve to regulate it from that point on to hold it in correct smoking range 200-250

When I begin: I put the lit coals in the basket with 2 intakes a 100% open, leave the lid off for a few minutes. Put the lid on, close the valve and soon after it'll be 225-270°. That is no science though. You'll find what works best and I've noticed wind has everything to do with it. I think they are easy smokers to learn the tendencies of quickly.
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T-Bones



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't built my UDS yet, but have been reading for a week, and almost everything I read says to NOT use a water pan.

Personal preference?

Also, it seems the most critical measurement is that the cooking grate be 24" from the BOTTOM of the charcoal basket. Seems a little weird, as with different height charcoal baskets, the grate will vary from the top of the coals. I assume the thinking is, at the end of the burn, you would still be within a reasonable distance of the last coals.

I dunno, just trying to soak it all in. Very Happy

I have 2 drums, both closed head, hope to try to get started this weekend.
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Teleking
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

T-Bones wrote:
and almost everything I read says to NOT use a water pan.

Personal preference?


Yes, I run a water pan in mine.
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BluDawg
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Maybe it is just me call me thick headed if you will. I cant get it through my brain why some of you folks think that you need to install a water pan or a baffle of a diffuser plate in a UDS. The beautiful thing about a UDS is the awesome flavor that you get from the rendered meat juices dripping in to the fire and returning it's smoky goodness to the meat.
I don't know an ECB is $39.00 even with mods about 20,00 more in materials So your out of pocket $60.00, My UDS I'm out of pocket 85.00 and 4.5 hrs of my time At 25.00 per hr. It seems to me that the ECB is the way to go if you want to mess with a water pan for a lot less money and time.
Looking at your design I think that you will not be getting enough air to support proper combustion. 2 3/4" intakes with 90's will cut the air from 1 1/2" to 3/4" when the valves are completely open. Also I think that the extensions are to long And you will not get a good draw( the intake is to close to the exhaust). Just my two cents.
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mwillis
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It seems to me that the ECB is the way to go if you want to mess with a water pan for a lot less money and time.


I guess it is the capacity of the UDS. It's something to do.

Quote:
Looking at your design I think that you will not be getting enough air to support proper combustion. 2 3/4" intakes with 90's will cut the air from 1 1/2" to 3/4" when the valves are completely open. Also I think that the extensions are to long And you will not get a good draw( the intake is to close to the exhaust).


Huh? I see a lot of folks around here with extensions to make for easier access to the adjustment. I don't bend as well as I used to. From what I read, most people use only one intake when cooking at 225. The draw is created by the fact that warmer air is less dense, therefore lighter and it rises. This creates a lower pressure at the top of the exhaust and a higher pressure at the intake. Flow happens because of a difference of pressure, it flows from high pressure toward the low pressure. It doesn't have anything to do with the altitude or proximity of the intake and exhaust.

Anyway, it's all easy enough to change if it doesn't work as well as I need it to.

Willis
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I could find a picture to show here, but one of our 'Ringers came up with a neat way to install his UDS intake valves that puts the valves right on the nipples without an intervening elbow, and puts the valve controls at waist height.

He took the handles off the valves, connected the valve stems to all-thread risers with single stand-offs near the top ends, then attached the handles to the top of the risers.

Very cool mod - and definitely the way I would go should I decide to build a UDS...

Cheers!
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mwillis
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I saw that and thought about it, but I like the valves I have and being mounted at the top of the risers I can see the amount of valve opening. I think it will be easier to duplicate the setting. I was talking to a guy at work today and it shouldn't be a big deal to mark the knob and count the turns out and then judge the amount of rotation by fractional parts.
Willis
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Teleking
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14 10 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BluDawg wrote:
OK Maybe it is just me call me thick headed if you will. I cant get it through my brain why some of you folks think that you need to install a water pan or a baffle of a diffuser plate in a UDS. The beautiful thing about a UDS is the awesome flavor that you get from the rendered meat juices dripping in to the fire and returning it's smoky goodness to the meat.


Been there, done that. Wink

When I first fired mine up I did not have a water pan and the boss (errr ahhh wife) did not care for the flavor compared to my off set. I didn’t mind but she liked the sweet smoke flavor from the traditional off set.

As such I put a 5 qrt sauce pan on a grate 18” off the bottom. It catches most of the dripping grease but not all.

Again, personal preference, YMMV.
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mwillis
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15 10 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I got my steel tube and expanded metal today. The tube is for a cart/work table for the UDS, and the expanded metal is for the charcoal basket. I'll have to carry my trailer to work tomorrow to get it because I ordered 20ft. sticks of tube. That's the standard length.

I couldn't wait to test fire it, so I used the basket I made for the offset and put a couple of pounds of lump in it for fuel. I wiped the inside liberally with veg oil to season it. Then lit about 3/4 chimney of lump to get things going.

I tried to start it slowly and control around 225 and I think I have a handle on where to set my intakes to get that. It seems that about 1 1/4 turns out on each valve does the trick. Will probably change with water or sand. I don't have any grates in it yet. I did go ahead and put one bolt in for temp probe access, and used the ET-73. My shop is about 100 feet behind the house and it picks up good until I come in the house. It works while standing at the back door, but dies when I move into the house any at all. Anyway, after I ran at 225-250 for about an hour I opened the valves all the way and ran it up to 394 for a half hour and then choked it down for about 5 mins, and set it for 225 again. I'm going to watch it for an hour or so until I go to bed, and see what it looks like in the morning. I don't expect it to still be going in the morning, but who knows??

Here's a couple of pictures when I first got started.

UDS doing what it does


The Maverick


I apologize for the crappy pics, I took them with my iphone. It is real sensitive to any movement. It does pretty good if you're really steady.

Updates coming tomorrow night.

Willis
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mwillis
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16 10 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got the basket finished tonight.


In the UDS.


I made it 6" deep because I'm guessing I got about 8 hours out of a single layer in the 13" x 15" basket from my offset last night. And that was with a good bit of time over 300*.

I also installed the supports for my racks. I used 1/4" all-thread because I wasn't sure about the length. Tomorrow I'll cut the other barrel down and try to fit it into the top of this barrel. That will give me room for a 3rd rack if I want.

I scored a piece of stainless 2" pipe from the scrap bin at work today, and threaded it to go into the 2" bung on the lid. I'm debating on bead blasting it, or polishing it. It's a little dinged up, but still polished up ok. I just polished the top 4" or so to see what it looked like. The area below that has been bead blasted. It gives it a matte finish. I may get a guy at work to chuck it up in a lathe and remove some of the dings with some emory cloth. Which do you think will look better? Not sure how much you can tell from this picture.


The story continues tomorrow.

Willis
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16 10 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Polish that bad boy up!!!!!
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16 10 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mwillis, your cooker build is looking fantastic. Very Happy I look forward to seeing some more updates. And congrats on the 2'' pipe score Cool

day_trippr, the builds you are thinking of were built by Jimbob, .
Here is the link.
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=296574&highlight=#296574
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mwillis
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17 10 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, I'm beat. I worked out in the shop all day, just came in about 7pm. I got the section cut off the other barrel and welded onto the UDS. I couldn't go with the additional 12" because the barrel was too tall. I couldn't reach the bottom cooking rack to load or unload. I cut the section down an additional 4" and ended up with 8 3/4" additional height. I used a couple of ratchet straps to pull the section down evenly, then tacked it in place.

I have the possibilty of 3 cook racks and a water pan. I can also use just the top two racks without a water pan. I am not going to use the Kettle lid. I have plenty of room above the top rack to just use the flat top. I'll get a guy at work to clean up the stack for me, and I'll polish it at home.

After I finished with the UDS I started clearing out the back wall of the left bay in my shop. I had several small work areas that were just not working out for me. I built a 12' x 3' workbench along that back wall to the right of the compressor. My FIL has a 6' x 3' welding table he's giving me, so that'll make some fabrication a little easier. I have been using a little Craftsman workbench for that and it's too small and wobbly to work on. I'll post some pics of the changes in my workshop when I get done.





That's all I got for now. I should be cooking on this thing this coming weekend.

Willis
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22 10 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I am finally finished...sort of. I have to get over to Academy to pick up a couple of grates.

I got the paint on it, the stack is polished, and I put a bail type handle on my charcoal basket and made a hook to grab it.

Our guy at work that polishes the stainless has an apparatus for holding and turning round parts while sanding and polishing. It is basically a 4 jaw chuck mounted to a base with a motor and gearbox drive. It turns about 40 rpm. I gradually worked my way up to 400 grit and then started the compound. Could have went to higher grit before polishing, but I figured that was good enough.

I am taking off a little early tomorrow and will do another seasoning for an hour or two before throwing some birds on there. I have a couple of cornish hens, and I may add a chicken to the mix for good measure.

The finished UDS. Paint is still wet on top.


View of the polished stack.


Charcoal basket


Willis
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