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Old 12-18-2006, 05:47 PM   #1
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 01-05-06
Location: Katy, Texas
Default Fire grates - Life expectancy & materials

My pit is a little over a year old and the fire grate is just about gone. The grate is made of about 10 pieces of 23" x 1" heavy duty steel "slats", connected by 3/8" rebars. I thought this thing would last forever, but the metal slats are coming apart in layers. After each cook, I see at least one or two thin layers of metal are falling off of the slats. The iron in the middle of the grate has deteriorted to very thin metal. The iron on the very ends is pretty much the same thickness as when new. I'm thinking the quality of the steel must be low for it to "flake" apart like this.

I would like my next one to last a long time. Any suggestions on design and/or materials?

PS- My firebox is 20" round by 26" long by 7/16" thick.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:56 PM   #2
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this grate is going on 3 years,of pretty heavyuse.

3/4 inch expanded steel, supported by 5/16x1" flats.

the one i made most recent,I doubled the expanded steel, layed 2 sheets togeter at 90 degrees and supported it with 1inch channel. This will hold up forever.

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Old 12-18-2006, 10:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: 09-17-05
Location: Mooresville, NC

This is the firebox grate on my Pitts & Spitts.... It's quite heavy...maybe 25lbs ?? Ash falls through the top slats and onto the solid bottom base and can be scooped out as needed...
XL BGE (#2) & Performer Platinum

Former owner: Jambo Backyard, Klose BYC, Lonestar Vertical offset w/ Insulated Firebox, Medium Spicewine, Pitts & Spitts, XL BGE (#1) & (2) Medium BGE's, 22" WSM & (2) 18" WSM's, 18" & 22" Weber Kettles

Last edited by MilitantSquatter; 04-13-2007 at 09:33 PM..
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:31 PM   #4
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Location: Dexter, MI

I had my firegrate fabricated from expanded metal and 1/4 x 1 1/2" bar stock about a year ago. It is holding up fine, with the only problem being warpage of the expanded metal.

I did have a problem with flaking layers on the cast iron grates on my Weber gasser. Based on these two data points, I would suggest that the problem described is due to the oxidation resistance of the material used. The relaxation of the steel tarriffs just announced should help with the availability of good cheap steel for the BBQ and automotive industries.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:11 AM   #5
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Location: Lake Ponderosa-Montezuma, IA

I noticed a week or so ago something was amiss with one of the burners on my Aussie gasser. Dug into it yesterday and the whole damn backside of the grill body had rusted away. This thing is only 4 1/2 years old and should in no way have fallen apart already.
I'm going to have to go into work while on vacation and make some temporary galv. brkts to hold my burners in place until I can raise some hell with the manufacturer.
Oh by the way Aussie is made in China. not "Down Under". Farkers!!
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:31 AM   #6
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 04-14-04
Location: Choctaw, OK

My grate is virtually identical to Phil's and it's held up well in the year or so I've had it. A hot fire with heavy load of wood will tend to bow the metal a bit, but it straightens right out. A double layer grate would be right fine.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:09 AM   #7
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Join Date: 04-02-06
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my firegrate looks JUST LIKE the one pictured - seriously, it's a little scary :). Expanded metal, 5/16ths flats, anchored together with nuts and bolts. Works like a champ.
NB Bandera. Baffle w/water pan cutout, custom firegrate, spicewine charcoal box.
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