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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Sterling, Il
    Posts
    88

    Question OK, experienced smokers, here we go...

    Here is a design that I have pulled from what I have read. I want to weld a barrel (1/3 of one) to a full barrel. (1)In the mock up I have two intakes but I only want to use one. Is a 3/4 inch intake enough coming up one side? (2) If I make the charcoal holder almost as big around as the barrel how deep will it need to be? (3)Do I use a heat diffuser? (4)Two doors or one big one? (5)Door seal material? (6) Ideas on spacing everything since I will have the charcoal in the added on part of the barrel.

    I think that I am going to also figure out a flap on the end of the intake valve to cover and uncover the opening with an air cylinder to make this almost set it and forget it. I will leave the ball valve in there to kill the fire when I want to.

    (7)I have seen all kinds of exhaust welded to the lid of the top barrel. What size and height is better all around?

    Any opinions would be welcome. I do appreciate you time with this. This is kinda of an all winter when I get around to gathering everything kinda project. I am in no hurry at all. Its going to be zero around here soon so I will be building it, burning it out, and getting it ready but cooking on it will have to wait till it is a lil better than 20 degrees out.
    http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/...kerideajpg.jpg

    Thanks again, ME

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Jenison, Michigan, United States
    Posts
    769

    Default

    Rich,

    See this post. Lots of good info. A good place to start.

    http://www.theqjoint.com/forum/showt...um-smoker-(UDS)

    Here are a couple of my drum builds with some of my ideas.

    http://www.theqjoint.com/forum/showt...out-the-Barrel

    http://www.theqjoint.com/forum/showt...-55-Gallon-UDS

    I just took my last over for sand blast and paint. I will post some pictures of that one as well.

    Look through the posts under Vertical drums

    Good Luck
    Jerry.Hickory Grove BBQ
    20" x 72" Gravity Feed by Wasson
    Member GLBBQA http://www.glbbqa.com/
    Member KCBS and Certified Judge

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill country
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    I think your gonna have more issues than With air leaks than you will Know what to do with. Here is a link to a UDS built by TQJ member Tomshoots that he calls; The Topper http://www.theqjoint.com/forum/showt...ght=UDS+topper I think from your description this would be a better way to go for you. MY charcoal basket is 18" dia and 12" tall. Your air cylinder Idea IMHO is a waste; most UDS's are pretty much set and forget providing they are air tight. I use a 2" bung for my exhaust. I have 3 3/4" intakes 2 with caps and 1 with a 3/4" ball valve

    The UDS is a simple design that that just works and works well providing you don't go messing with it! K.I.S.S (keep it simple Stupid) "If it aint broke Don't try to fix it!!"
    Ya can't improve on perfection.

    Heres mine

    Be kind to me, it's not my fault I'm a "PORK-A-HOLIC"!!
    *
    *
    MY Blog:Http://acountryboyeats.blogspot.com
    Chargriller Smokin' Pro/SFB
    Webber 22.5"
    Memorial UDS Big Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Pattison, TX
    Posts
    6,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BluDawg View Post
    I think your gonna have more issues than With air leaks than you will Know what to do with. Here is a link to a UDS built by TQJ member Tomshoots that he calls; The Topper http://www.theqjoint.com/forum/showt...ght=UDS+topper I think from your description this would be a better way to go for you. MY charcoal basket is 18" dia and 12" tall. Your air cylinder Idea IMHO is a waste; most UDS's are pretty much set and forget providing they are air tight. I use a 2" bung for my exhaust. I have 3 3/4" intakes 2 with caps and 1 with a 3/4" ball valve

    The UDS is a simple design that that just works and works well providing you don't go messing with it! K.I.S.S (keep it simple Stupid) "If it aint broke Don't try to fix it!!"
    Ya can't improve on perfection.

    Heres mine

    It works. The Topper provides the simplicity of the original Drum design and increase capacity for cookin' big stuff like a whole turkey. Also, you can place your cookin' grate higher over the fire so you have less need for a diffuser. The only drawback as far as I'm concerned is the extra heft of the lid. I can live with it.
    "Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken."
    Tom, smoker of meats and fine cigars
    UDS, Vicking grill


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    4,976

    Default

    Listen to what they say. If you want to spend some$ and make a big honking he man smoker, then study up for a year and endeavor to design and build a nice sized stick burner. for starters and to have a functional smoker up and running in a day, build the UDS.

    You will see several variable and issues of personal taste here, but follow the basics, watch and pay attention, and before long you will now exactly how you want to build yours.

    My preference: The 2" standard bung that coems on the lid for exhaust-not stack-no need for a stack.

    Two 3/4" ball valves directly opposite each other for intake.

    My drums have a 17" basket and 12-13" deep. This basket design is cloned off the BDS smokers and works perfect. Build whatever size you want, but don't forget thatn you will need to lift the basket out on a regular basis, and you will have a thermo stem and grate supports sticking inward from the sides of the drum. Thbey will be a problem if the basket diamete is too large.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Sterling, Il
    Posts
    88

    Default

    Do you guys use water pans in these uds then? I really like the designs. Yes they are much simplier than what I was looking at what I was doing. So you guys just lay the charcoal holder on the bottom of the barrel and clean them out every two to three uses?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruskin, FL
    Posts
    6,290

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roc2it View Post
    Do you guys use water pans in these uds then? I really like the designs. Yes they are much simplier than what I was looking at what I was doing. So you guys just lay the charcoal holder on the bottom of the barrel and clean them out every two to three uses?
    There are several threads here on TQJ to build the UDS, here is one I wrote a while back on e-how.com
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5236478_build-drum-smoker.html
    You don't need a water pan at all. The UDS creates a really moist environment. Some folks like to put a 16" pizza pan between the heat and the meat to act as a deflector, but I don't use one and have had great results.
    ~Brian~
    BBQ Jones comp team
    KCBS Member
    KCBS CBJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Pattison, TX
    Posts
    6,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roc2it View Post
    Do you guys use water pans in these uds then? I really like the designs. Yes they are much simplier than what I was looking at what I was doing. So you guys just lay the charcoal holder on the bottom of the barrel and clean them out every two to three uses?
    A water pan defeats the purpose. Part of the allure of a UDS is the meat sitting directly over the fire with its juices and fat dripping on the coals. Those juices then vaporize and come wafting back up to deposit unique and wonderful flavors on the meat. No other smoker produces the same aroma or flavor.

    As for the charcoal basket, it should not "lay on the bottom", but be elevated to a level just above the intakes. If the center of your intake holes are 2" from the bottom, the bottom of your basket should beat least 3" from the bottom of the drum. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. I chose the simplest. Three bolts 3.5-4 " long with nuts and fender washers with the charcoal grate sandwiched between the washers. The bolts are the feet.

    I also recommend the use of an el cheapo pizza pan under the basket to catch the ash that falls through the grate. Drill holes in the pan for your feet bolts to go through. Make sure your pan is an inch or so larger in diameter than your basket. Add a loop of wire to the top of the basket for a handle for extra convenience. I used a coat hanger. When you lift the basket out, most of the ash that fell through will be collected in the pan for easy disposal. No need to turn the whole can upside down to clean out.

    Hope this helps. Keep asking questions if this isn't clear. We're all here to help. Good luck!
    "Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken."
    Tom, smoker of meats and fine cigars
    UDS, Vicking grill


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    4,976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roc2it View Post
    Do you guys use water pans in these uds then? I really like the designs. Yes they are much simplier than what I was looking at what I was doing. So you guys just lay the charcoal holder on the bottom of the barrel and clean them out every two to three uses?
    More like 10-20 uses for me, but then I usually use mine for shorter cooks. This is one of the main reasons for using good lump instead of briquettes. Most briquettes (not all though) are about 50% filler that doesn't burn.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Sterling, Il
    Posts
    88

    Default

    Thanks guys you have been great. Starting to collect the little things this week. I work a wierd schedule (5 on 5 off 2 on 2 off - 12.5 hour days) and just finished my first night back (6 pm to 6:30 am) So except for working and looking for stuff I am not going to get very far for the next 5. Oh, but on my days off that is a different matter. When you guys welded the rod that goes down to the 3/4 ball valve did you put an over sized nut on it then weld it? Did ya sand the outside of the barrel down before painting(I have a hand sander but not an air sander) Thanks again

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