Fireplace grates are an essential part of the real fireplace feel. Grates were traditionally used to keep the fire away from the bricks of the surrounding room, and also away from the floor, reducing the risk of fire. Modern grates are more likely to be used as supports for logs or coals. If you are building your own fireplace, then it makes sense to try and make your own fireplace grate. It can be daunting at first but following a few simple steps can help you to make a magnificent metal grate.
Step 1 - Preparing the Metal
Your metal will have to be sawed, and the ends sealed before you can convert it into a fireplace grate. If you are not able to mold metals yourself, make contact with a blacksmith or hobbyist who will be prepared to bend your metal to the ideal shapes. If not, measure your fireplace and work out the area of the largest metal length you need.
Take a piece of metal and cut it so that you have the length of the fireplace with the addition of an extra 8 inches. Do this for a second piece, and then measure the back of the fireplace to the front. Cut 5 or 6 lengths of metal to this length, plus around 8 inches. You will also need 2 more pieces of metal, which will be bent to produce legs.
Step 2 - Make the Lengths
Take the 2 longer piece of metal that you have cut, and mark 2 lines on each bar, around 6 inches from each end. Take your heating tongs and use them to curl the metal around until it bends at a 45 degree angle from the main length. Do the same with the other end. You should then pierce 2 small holes at the edge of the curve. Repeat for the other length.
Step 3 - Make the Widths
Now take the smaller pieces of metal, and mark 6 inches from each end. Bend the lengths in the same manner as the lengths, and then pierce holes along the bend. Try and get the holes in a similar position on each length of metal. Place a set of nuts and bolts in each hole.
Step 4 - Make the Legs
Take the 2 pieces of metal which you set aside for the legs. Place them next to the nuts and bolts, making sure that you leave around 2 inches on either end, and then wrap a piece of solder between the bolt and the metal widths. Use the soldering iron to melt the solder onto the leg. Do the same for each of the widths, until your leg is soldered to each of the widths. Bend the leg down 2 inches on each end, using the heat tongs. Repeat for the other leg.
Step 5 - Finishing
Place the lengths on top of the widths, and then add a nut and bolt to each hole. Wrap solder around each bolt, and then use the soldering iron to weld this to the widths. Your grate should now be complete.