I have my (2) 18" & (2) 15" support section pieces cut.
Now do they overlap and bolt together or just buddy up and the expanded steel piece bolts it all together?
I cannot clearly tell by the pics.
· The FIREGRATE: The stock grate is small and very low, allowing minimal airflow under the fire. The first and most simple mod is a new firegrate made out of ¾ inch expanded steel. Available in a 24x24 inch piece for 11 bucks at ACE hardware, 20 bucks at home depot. Cut the expanded steel to approximately 16x20 to fit the firebox and rest on the supports for the cooking grates. Get some 5/16” inch thick, 1 or 2 inch wide flat steel sections. You need 2 18 inch sections and 2 15 inch sections. Attach the 19 inch sections to the expanded steel with stainless steel bolts and fender washers. Then attach the 2 15 inch sections across, sectioning the expanded steel into thirds. These supports will stop the expanded steel from warping and last much longer. Keep this grate on the second or third level. It will significantly improve airflow and allow a small fire to supply enough heat to maintain 225-250. Put the existing grate and ash pan on the bottom, preferably raised up on a ceramic briquette or the like to allow airflow under the ashpan*. This assists in keeping the bottom from rusting out in case water gets into the firebox. Firebricks can be used also in the firebox. Don’t use bricks or pavers in the firebox, as they will disintegrate at ~1300 degrees. This is discussed further later on in the document.
Grate can be made with or without support strips. The supports increase the life of the grate significantly. Without the supports, the grate will warp and burn thru over time.