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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Broken Arrow Oklahoma
    Posts
    881

    Default A couple of pre-build questions

    Since I won a UDS shelf at the Oklahoma get together this year I am now REQUIRED to build a drum smoker. Tim was able to get me a drum without a liner so that's a good thing. I've been looking at a few different builds on here and have some questions:

    1. Since it's an unlined drum, will I need to burn it out?

    2. I see where most folks drill 3 - 1" holes as air intakes. But, they only put a ball valve on one of them and leave the other 2 closed with 3/4 inch capped nipples. What's the purpose of this? I guess I just don't understand. Why would you drill 3 holes then turn around and plug up 2 of them??? I also THINK I remember Donnie saying at the get together that he can get his close to 600 degress with maybe 2 valves open. Does that sound right?

    3. I see a lot of really good logo's put on the side of the drums. How do you do this without them burning up? I'm planning on using the high temp paint but the logo's have me confused!

    That's it for now. Hopefully I'll get this build going soon!
    BellFab Smoker
    Weber Performer grill
    OSU - UDS Smoker
    KingCooker fish fryer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill country
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    1. Since it's an unlined drum, will I need to burn it out?

    No just build it season & cook.

    2. I see where most folks drill 3 - 1" holes as air intakes. But, they only put a ball valve on one of them and leave the other 2 closed with 3/4 inch capped nipples. What's the purpose of this? I guess I just don't understand. Why would you drill 3 holes then turn around and plug up 2 of them??? I also THINK I remember Donnie saying at the get together that he can get his close to 600 degress with maybe 2 valves open. Does that sound right?


    You answered your own question the more air you allow into the drum the higher the temp. I cook most of my stuff at 230 chicken I cook hotter 325-350 so by removing 1 cap I can ramp up the temp and fine tune it wit the ball valve. If I need to go hotter for say Pizza I pop of both caps.

    3. I see a lot of really good logo's put on the side of the drums. How do you do this without them burning up? I'm planning on using the high temp paint but the logo's have me confused!


    You can have a custom Vinyl decal made up But if you going to cook hot I think it would melt off. Just for a low & slow cook they seem to hold up ok. And the same for the Paint Rustoleunm, Krylon, Duplicolor, regular paint are good up to 350 or so.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    4,976

    Default

    Greg, I have 2 3/4" ball valves at 180 fro eachother and I can do anything you might want to do. Why the nipples and caps? they are cheaper than valves. That is the only reason.

    I like the idea of high temp paint, especially on the bottom just in case the temp gets away from you, as it prolly will from time to time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Broken Arrow Oklahoma
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Thanks gentlemen. Looks like I can make a list, make a trip to Lowes after work tomorrow then get this thing started. I might wait till my son's back home so we can build it together!

    Where can I find the material for the charcoal basket?
    BellFab Smoker
    Weber Performer grill
    OSU - UDS Smoker
    KingCooker fish fryer

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

    Default

    That is the tough question. I know that in other parts of the world Ace Hardware or Lowes carries expanded metal, but last time I checked, they don't around here. You might call around.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Broken Arrow Oklahoma
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Thanks Tim. I'm sure I can call around and find some. There's a little bit of work before I get there anyway.
    BellFab Smoker
    Weber Performer grill
    OSU - UDS Smoker
    KingCooker fish fryer

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    40

    Default

    I got my 48 x 48 expanded metal from Amazon for under $30, delivered.
    I made two large baskets for my UDS out of that and still have enough material to make another 17" diameter basket.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    1,052

    Default

    For my fire basket, I called a local steel distributor and asked for what I needed made out of SS 3/4" expanded metal 8"x57". Makes an 8"high x 17"dia. basket with overlap to use short bolts and nuts to hold it together to make a ring. Cost was $20 including bolts and washers and nuts all SS. Use baling wire to tie the basket to the coal grate and also made a handle for the basket with the .090 baling wire!
    Bill

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

    Default

    I couldn't even get the local distributors to cut a sheet in half for me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    1,052

    Default

    May have been the economy here. My area is heavy manufacturing and things have been slow for everyone. The smaller shops may have done it just for some business. Not sure cuz that was last year, Gonna do another build before winter with an unlined drum this time so I'll let ya know about price increases!
    Bill

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