Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Discussion about Ugly Drum Smokers (UDS)
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MattTucker
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Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by MattTucker » June 18th, 2015, 7:03 am

I finally bit the bullet and decided to build a few UDS smokers, while waiting for some shop time to build a couple of Gravity Fed Dual Pan Cabinet Smokers off of Frank's plans that we purchased. Seems those gravity fed smokers might end up being a winter project at this point. And with that, the original OzarkSmoke smoker is a breeze to use and cook on; but it is really too big for home use. Which led me to a quick UDS build.

I purchased the drums from a company just outside of St. Louis, Missouri in Venice, IL called Container Distributors. They charged $60 for a brand new open top unlined drum with lid (here is the link http://www.containerdistributors.com/). These drums give me 33" of interior drum height to deal with, and for these we will be using a flat lid.

Here is my initial design and a rough sketch:

Drum Interior Height = 33"
Location of Top Rack from Top of Smoker = 8"
Location of Lower Rack from Top of Smoker = 14"
Charcoal Basket Overall Height (Including 3" Standoff) = 13" (10" Charcoal wall)
Charcoal Basket Inside Diameter = 15" (using 3/4 x #9 Exp Metal)
Quantity of Air Intakes = 2
Size of Air Intakes = 1-1/2 Standard Pipe
Location of Air Intakes From Outside Bottom = 3" to Center of Pipe
Size of Exhaust On Lid = 3" Standard Pipe
Location of Exhaust On Lid = Unknown

So I have a few questions, given the specifics above and the rough sketch:
1. Location of exhaust on lid?
My lid doesn't have a bung hole, so i can cut the hole where ever i want. Is there any preference to a specific location?
2. Location of Diffuser Plate & Thickness
How high above the top of the charcoal basket should i weld the clips to hold the diffuser plate? What thickness of plate would work best (I could go from 3/16" to 1" without issue)

Would love to hear your input and thoughts?

--Matt Tucker

=================
Added on 2015-06-28:

Well, we finished 2 of the 4 UDS smokers this week before Jeff Fitter and I took off for the Tri-County BBQ Championship in Festus, Missouri. We didn't cook our competition on the drums, but it gave us something to play with during the down time. I have to say, I am really really impressed with the drums.

Here are some photos from the process.

Photo # 001 (New, Un-Lined Drums)
Image
I bought these drums from Container Distributors in Venice, IL for $60/each.

Photo # 002 (An inside look at the layout)
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You can see the layout lines for the 2 shelves, the diffuser shelf, and the hanging racks at the top.

Photo # 003 (Fitting up the lids.)
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Time to fit up the exhaust on the lids. A 1ft piece of 3" Standard Pipe fit the bill.

Photo # 004 (The Cook Chamber)
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Almost all fitted up and ready for welding.

Photo # 005 (Welding Time)
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Time to get it all welded up.

Photo # 006 (Lid and Handle Design)
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I did not want a hinged lid, but also didn't want a hook to just hang the lid. Some small tubing and round rod did the trick nicely.

Photo # 007 (Grinding)
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Lots and lots of grinding.

Photo # 008 (Charcoal Baskets)
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Without a doubt, the Charcoal Baskets took the longest to complete. Cutting 3/4 x #9 Expanded metal with a torch is tedious work.

Photo # 009 (Almost Complete)
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Almost complete.

Photo # 010 (Bling)
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Exhaust covers and some "bling" are painted up.

Photo # 011 (Phatso's BBQ UDS)
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A look at the first one painted up for Phatso's BBQ, a friend of mine. We used Dupli-Color Engine Enamel for the paint in aerosol cans (it took 3 full cans per UDS).

Photo # 011 (OzarkSmoke's UDS)
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A look at the first one painted up for OzarkSmoke, this one's mine. We used Dupli-Color Engine Enamel for the paint in aerosol cans (it took 3 full cans per UDS).

Photo # 012 (A look at both smokers.)
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Both UDS's together. We have 2 more that are almost done, but weren't quite ready for photos.

Photo # 013 (OzarkSmoke Bling)
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I really like the look of the stand-off for the logos, and the alternating colors.
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Last edited by MattTucker on June 28th, 2015, 3:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Enasnidx
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Re: UDS Build # 1

Post by Enasnidx » June 18th, 2015, 10:16 am

I don't use a flat lid on mine, I use the Weber kettle lids, but I would venture a guess that you still want the exhaust offset to one side vs. right in the middle. Otherwise your draft will pull too much heat towards the center of the drum and not enough around the sides...unless you use a diffuser like you're suggesting. Now the reason I still bring up the offset exhaust in spite of your plan is because I prefer to not use a diffuser. I've been told it takes a lot more charcoal to get to temp with it. Instead I use a "spacer" in the middle of my basket to prevent a hot spot. I think my basket is 18" wide and 9" tall, then I took a piece of the expanded steel and rolled it into a 4" diameter cylinder shape that I just set in the middle of the basket. The charcoal fills the basket in a basic donut shape and it works incredibly well. I bet I get 12+ hours on a 1/4 bag of coal without any hotspots at all. Plus I didn't have to fab a diffuser and it always smells sweet when the food drips on the coals!



MattTucker
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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by MattTucker » June 28th, 2015, 3:01 pm

I just updated my initial post with photos from the build and the finished product. Holy crap am I impressed with these. Needless to say, I am going to be sporting an army of them soon.


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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by Rev.Mike » June 28th, 2015, 3:33 pm

thats the fun of a UDS, you can make them any way you want, as long as they are sealed good, they perform like champs! burn for what seems forever, and produce a great product! :beer:



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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by nanuk » December 26th, 2015, 11:38 am

Enasnidx wrote:.....Now the reason I still bring up the offset exhaust in spite of your plan is because I prefer to not use a diffuser. I've been told it takes a lot more charcoal to get to temp with it. Instead I use a "spacer" in the middle of my basket to prevent a hot spot. I think my basket is 18" wide and 9" tall, then I took a piece of the expanded steel and rolled it into a 4" diameter cylinder shape that I just set in the middle of the basket. The charcoal fills the basket in a basic donut shape and it works incredibly well. I bet I get 12+ hours on a 1/4 bag of coal without any hotspots at all....

New guy here, and apologies for necroposting but I have a question... do you light your coal in one spot and let it burn around your ring? or light the bottom and dump fresh on top, or light 'er all at once?

thanks, trying to wrap my head around this technology



MattTucker
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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by MattTucker » December 26th, 2015, 12:03 pm

We have now built 13 55gal UDS and 3 30gal UDS. We light each the same way.....about 8 briquettes that were previously lit in the charcoal chimney are dumped onto the top of the charcoal in the charcoal basket and then some of the chunk wood is thrown around the top for the smoke. We light each of them the same way.....haven't had an issue.


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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by Big T » December 26th, 2015, 3:23 pm

:yth:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by Rodcrafter » December 27th, 2015, 9:43 am

Questions are always appropriate!


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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by Frank_Cox » December 27th, 2015, 12:31 pm

Just now getting to this post and the pics wont load. anyone else having this issue?


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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by Smurf » December 27th, 2015, 12:41 pm

:yth:



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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by Frank_Cox » December 27th, 2015, 3:36 pm

it looks like the IMG code is from a different website from what I can tell. Have you used it on here before Matt?


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Re: Tucker's UDS Build (Build # 001 - 004)

Post by 44Charlie44 » January 3rd, 2016, 5:11 pm

Frank_Cox wrote:Just now getting to this post and the pics wont load. anyone else having this issue?
No pictures for me.



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