Saturday, September 15, 2007

Beginning the Grate

I had planned to build the actual grill body first, but we were low on sheet steel, so I have to wait until next week. Same with 1-1/4" square pipe for the frame. So I decided to start off building the grate.

I can't remember the name of this tool, but it sure can bend 1/4" rod.

Unfortunately, it's a bit hard to figure out exactly where the bend will come out... I made one side about half an inch too long.

Straightening it out to try the bend again. Thanks, vise!

There we go.

I welded and ground the gap. It's not the most beautiful joint ever, but it'll get the job done. Now I've got to cut loads of 17-inch rods to make the cooking surface.

I improvised a jig to stop the rod at the correct length, so I can cut them all without measuring every time. The abrasive disc chop saw is not the most elegant tool- it leaves a rough edge and throws off tons of hot sparks. On the other hand, it's a lot faster than a band saw or bolt cutters. I measured the rods a quarter-inch too long, so I can get them down to exactly equal length with the grinder.

Awww yeah.

That was it for my shop time on Saturday. I was hoping to get the whole grate welded together, but I will have to finish it next time. After I put these rods on, I will make some handles for it and then move on to the grill body.


Blogger James said...

That was a nifty bit of work straightening out the frame and re-bending it. Does a "do-over" like that have any consequence on the strength of the metal afterwards?

Why does grinding off the lengths of rod take less time than using a bolt cutter?

12:43 PM  
Blogger James said...

It probably makes it a little bit more brittle, but it's inconsequential because this isn't a load bearing piece. I could fix it with tempering (heating the metal up to a certain temperature, generally before it starts glowing red).

The abrasive disc saw is faster because I can use a jig, so I don't need to measure it every time. There isn't an easy way to do that with bolt cutters.

12:59 AM  

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