Originally Posted by /dev/bbq
I'm also thinking of building a charcoal bin/basket and ash tray for longer times between reloading fuel (maybe a stoker or guru too), but that's probably another thread.
I would use Rebar rod for the fire box grate instead of expanded metal, it will last trouble free for many years.
For the Bandera fire bin/basket, I used 1/2 inch diameter rebar spaced on 1 inch centers, which gives 1/2 inch gap between bars and that worked great for both charcoal and stick burning. It also gave longer burns because of the smaller gap than expanded metal.
For that bad boy you are rebuilding, I would guess that you will be using much hotter fires and a wider span than the Bandera, so I would use 3/4 inch diameter rebar spaced so that you still get a 1/2 inch gap between bars.
Below is the Bandera design I built and sold to Brethren on this site.