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best steel for fireplace grate?

Caspian

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Location
ohio
i was hoping to use stainless for my outdoor fireplace grate because it would pretty much last forever. however, i put a 1/2" 303 stainless rod in the fire just to see how it handled the heat. it warped.

is there a stainless that won't warp with fireplace heat? if there are no options, should i just go with cold rolled? i'd really rather not use regular steel because it would rust and stain the bricks.

thanks
caspian
 

crossthread

Titanium
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Location
Richmond,VA,USA
Is there any possibility of getting an old sewer grate at the junk yard or something. In my opinion nothing beats cast iron for this application.
 

HuFlungDung

Diamond
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Location
Canada
Yes, cast iron is great for grates :D

Stainless is bad for warping because of its low thermal conductivity. This means the side facing the fire gets a lot longer than the cold side, and that upsets the metal permanently.

I had an idea: you can buy solid cast iron rods for brazing. They are typically cast in kind of a rough square cross section, maybe 1/4" square. I wonder if you could construct a custom grate from those? You'd need to use a bit of nickle rod to weld them.

Try to design a grate that is constrained on only one end. For example, weld all the bars of the grate at one end only, and allow the other end to be supported by a 'rest' which allows the bar to expand and contract as needed.
 

adama

Diamond
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Location
uk
Cast iron is the only thing that will hold up. It makes stainless look silly in this application. Old drain grates are some of the best.
 

mm58

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Location
Tucson, AZ
A friend of mine used a couple of short (2') pieces of railroad track in his fireplace. But then, he has a fairly large fireplace ;)
 

Caspian

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Location
ohio
Mine is 52" wide, so size isn't a problem. I like the railroad rail idea. Any ideas on where to begin when calling around?
 

Caspian

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Location
ohio
Poor communication on my part. This is for the logs. I'm "testing" rebar now and it seems to hold up without warp. It doesn't meet my anti rust criteria, but would be a nice runner up if I can't find railroad rail. I really like the industrial look of railroad rail.

CalG, you posted that when I was typing mine. Rebar will be the next option.
 

akajun

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Location
Brusly, LA
re-bar works.

Cheers


Yep, best material out there for this. I have been slowly replacing the warped/rusted out parts of my grate with 3/4 rebar as they burn out. Eventually Ill have a solid rebar grate. Its something how you can see the difference between the commercial grate rods that came with my fireplace and the rebar.
 

mm58

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Location
Tucson, AZ
Caspian: I have no idea where my friend got his track. But we have a big Union Pacific yard here in Tucson, and I'm guessing that might have had something to do with it.
If you have a terminal/switch yard near you, that's where I would start calling.
 

tailstock

Hot Rolled
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Location
Ontario Canada
Cast Iron is the grate of choice however rr track would work well and once hot would hold heat for an extended period of time. The secret of grates that last is don't let the ashes build up under the grate, they will hold the heat in like a forge and burn up the steel. :codger:
 

adama

Diamond
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Location
uk
Cast Iron is the grate of choice however rr track would work well and once hot would hold heat for an extended period of time. The secret of grates that last is don't let the ashes build up under the grate, they will hold the heat in like a forge and burn up the steel. :codger:

That's the secret with iron, anything a std gas cutting torch won't burn or melt well will make a good grate. Rail road track just buys time over smaller sections being so large.
 

kevin45

Plastic
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Location
Urbana, ohio
If it's just a grate for burning logs, rust shouldn't be an issue anyways. Weld up some large diameter rebar. It will outlast us all.
 








 
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