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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default My UDS build, questions/comments/suggestions encouraged!

    Hey guys. I don't know if everyone a) does a build thread b)if it is encouraged to do a build thread or c) discouraged. If C, please delete this one if needed.

    First of all, we tore out that 24' round money pit that hasn't been used for 2 seasons and hasn't been functioning for 1.

    So I have a pretty blank slate where I'll be setting up a Q area in the back yard:

    sorry for the big pic, re-sized in photobucket, .....hmmm

    Where the deck is, I'm going to reclaim the wood and create a 3 walled cooking area, leaving room if needed for additional smoker/smokers. The area under the deck is river rock, so I will move some of that and add some patio blocks as needed to place the UDS upon. I'm also going to make some benches out of the 4x4's and some mason blocks.

    My neighbor is an auto mechanic, hooked me up with this antifreeze 55g closed lid drum. Cost: $0

    my biggest concern is the flammability of antifreeze!

    I also got hooked up with a Weber kettle lid: $0

    I have a few questions down the road but need to get to work. But my biggest question is for the seasoned UDS users:

    What would you do differently today if you made another one and why?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Texas Hill country


    I'd go with 1 2'5" raised intake and pot the exhaust holes on the drum around the top edge.
    Why Because I'm to lazy to bend over to adjust the temps I need more air because I cook everything above 300 and i intake is simple. Equally spaced exhaust holes will equalize the grate temps and help keep to water out if it rains on a cook.
    Be kind to me, it's not my fault I'm a "PORK-A-HOLIC"!!
    MY Blog:Http://
    Chargriller Smokin' Pro/SFB
    Webber 22.5"
    Memorial UDS Big Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    After knocking around The Joint, seeing what the seasoned vets are saying, I've pretty much come to the concept of using 2 1" holes covered with magnets and 1 1" valve, possibly putting the ball valve on a riser.

    I also had a few questions in regards to the Weber lid:
    My drum is a sealed lid, so I plan on using a grinder to take the edges off via the how to cut off a lid on a closed drum thread I found. But if I do this, taking the sides off the rolled edge, will the Weber lid fit? Is that enough of the edge removed to fit snugly?

    also, another option I looked at, was possibly just cutting off the lid below the rolled edge? Would that be sufficient in removing the lid and still getting a nice snug fitting?

    Finally, the drum is black, lid is Cubs blue. I hate the Cubs, and I don't want a Cubs blue UDS, so can the lid be painted with success?

    Thanks in advance!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Pattison, TX


    a) No not everyone does a build thread. But many have; myself included.

    b) Yes it it is encouraged! We love this stuff!

    c) Not gonna delete.

    If the lid doesn't fit the rim of the drum as is. it may after you grind off the outer rim to remove the top. Otherwise, you may want to use a jigsaw to cut out the top.If need be, you can weld or rivet a band of metal around the inside with just enough sticking out for the Weber lid to sit on.

    Some guys have cut off the top inch or so from a Weber Kettle and pressed it down inside the drum with just the top bead sticking out for the lid.

    Finally, painting that lid shouldn't be a problem.
    "Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken."
    Tom, smoker of meats and fine cigars
    UDS, Vicking grill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    Dropped the pool off at a local recycling joint. Cash $$$ to go buy a grinder and some parts for the build

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    St. Petersburg, Fl.


    Before you go grinding on the drum, turn it upside down and see if the lid fits on the bottom. Sometimes the rolled lip is a little smaller on the bottom. Then just cut the metal from the inside and save the cut out disk for latter use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Carthage, MO


    It's all good K.L. Glad we can help. We love creativity but don't mind anyone asking questions. Getting it right the first time is everyone's goal. Now lets get that drum born!

    No chickens were harmed in this statement. But it doesn't mean I didn't want to.
    Plank Owner ..................
    I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    I've made several poker tables, mine being the first. I hate playing on it, as compared to the other one's I've made. All the flaws and mistakes and such drive me nuts. Everyone loves it, but it drives me insane. Thus my wanting to do as much research before I start dumping money into things that a) I won't use or b) won't work.

    That being said, I've been cleaning up the garage....aka the Keresone Lounge....and I found a box of crap we never unpacked from the move 8 years ago. It has a big huge cutting board that hasn't been used in well 8 years. I'm gonna turn that sucker into my mounted shelf.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Tulsa, Ok


    Now that's what I'm talking about.
    Master Cabinetmaker,KCBS Certified Judge,Student of the smoking arts,All around gear head
    Ugly drum smoker,Chargriller,Custom Backwoods Chubby,Bellfab backyard model

    "I love what mine cause, whats mine is all mine. Gives me a reason to go get more"- John Popper, Blues Traveler.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    Anyone ever paint their UDS to look like a cigar? Bottom 1/3 ash grey, middle 1/3 cigar band, top 1/3 and lid looking like the cap?

    Pretty much going to paint It up like that. Probably black, with a Drew Estate Undercrown band. At minimum. Black with the UC label.

    I have torn out 5/6th of the deck this weekend. Making slow progress in the backyard.

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