Grate Question

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
Dann757
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Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2012 9:45 am

OK here is my 14" grate busted in half again. This grate made by The Cowanesque Valley Ironworks, probably 32 years ago, is NLA.

After reading here, I see a lot of people use Tomahawk Foundry. I got in touch with them by email and the rep was great with fast answers to my questions. Price is acceptable, but since I dawdled on this the 4 week turn around time is tough at this time of year. Should have done this in the summer.

I can ask the rep, but looking for advice on if I could duplicate this grate myself into a pattern to send them. I don't know what kind of material they could work with. Maybe plaster or some kind of mold compound.
That's what I want to do, but I would need to learn how to make a mold for it.

As it is, I can take a little more time and try to get a braze to stick again. I tried nickle rod, I'm not skilled enough and it is mad expensive.

This grate is meant to shake in the back and forth circular motion, I have been OK with just poking the fire from underneath for a couple seasons.

Just wonder if it's do-able to make a pattern to send them.
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echos67
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Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2012 12:34 pm

Looking at the previous repair I don't think the grate was hot enough for the penetration to take place, but I am by no means an expert. Cast you should preheat to 350-400 before the repair and then let cool naturally and slowly, maybe you did this.

Can you locate another grate anywhere to use while you repair the broken one with bono to send off for recasting ? Not sure of the diameter of your grate but it looks pretty typical of several I have seen, I even have that style in my Summit stove, if it fits your stove your welcome to use it for awhile if you send yours out to get recast.
Keith V
Glenwood No. 6

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SteveZee
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Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2012 12:44 pm

Dann, You can make a copy out of any material and send it to be copied in cast iron at Tomahawk or any foundry for that matter. All they are doing is making a sand mold out of what you send them.
I used 1/4 plywood for a dump fork on a round grate I had recast. Just remember that you get back exactly what you send them minus a small shrinkage. I could even see the grain pattern from the wood, in the cast iron fork I got back. Obviously the easiest thing to do would be to take your grate and patch it up with JB Weld or Bondo whatever to get it to what you want, but if you don't have the time then make the copy out of whatever is easiest to duplicate it.

Dann757
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Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2012 2:01 pm

Echoes, thanks for your kindness. You're absolutely correct; I got lazy and just tried to braze it straight. I was taught how to braze cast and should know better. They got the piece real hot and set it in a bed of sand to cool slowly with nickle rod, and even peened the weld with a ball peen hammer as it cooled to stop cracking. This time I'll bake the grate in the oven with it cranked or it might get even hotter set on clean. I'll have to move the pieces 20' to the bench without dropping them on my sneakers :lol:
There's one spot on the grate where the brass took very well. If I bake the grate I hope it won't oxidize where I need to braze, but I could clean off the areas real quick I guess.
Steve, another good idea, I could probably work with pine somehow. I was also thinking of plaster of paris or some kind of hobby mold compound. Gotta hit Ebay to see what kind of kits are out there.
Thanks for the replies, and links to guys that used rebar or bar stock.

This Monticello was designed to heat way more than my little place; not a champion design anyway, you have to open the ash door to shake.

also looked at woodsmanspartsplus and they have a few grates that might work out. Inside my stove is a welded ring that the grate and the brick sits on, 12-1/4" hole with a slot for the shaker handle.

franco b
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Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2012 2:47 pm

I would not spend much money on a stove that is not sized right for your needs and is not that well designed. Why not splint up the old grate with some bolted on 1/4 by 3/4 steel and use it for this winter while checking craigslist for a more suitable stove. I have seen Surdiac and Franco Belge for practically nothing, sometimes with coal.

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michaelanthony
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Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2012 3:17 pm

Hi Dann, I have a pot belly that I tried using a few years ago, kept the basement warm and that was it. It's a cheapy vogelzang with a 10 inch round grate just like yours and it got me thinking. Could you get a 14 inch ring with a 10 inch hole and set the 10 inch shaker grate inside that?
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Dann757
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Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2012 8:04 pm

Thanks for all the "grate ideas". Richard, you're right, I have started to think about a smaller stove. There's a tall green stove I've seen, I think it's a Jotul. I've seen those go for 8-$900 bucks around here. I have an old ugly Sears barrel stove that might be better. smaller, taller firebox. I guess it isn't uglier than the one I'm using. also have an old green and yellow Umco #3. Those stoves aren't as beefy as the monticello for sure.
As of now , I'm going to braze the grate and hold off sending it out, it has a slight warp to it, why should I duplicate that.
and good idea with a different sized ring, I could set it over the old one. The stove grates available at woodsmanspartsplus are in a lot of different sizes, I suppose I could get one first and then have a steel ring fabricated.

Dann757
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Post Sat. Oct. 20, 2012 6:53 pm

I put the pieces in the oven at 550 for a while and got them on to the bench. I hack butchered another braze onto the grate and it's in one piece now. I had ground the split areas to clean fresh shiny cast iron. That oxidized in the oven. :mad: I had at it but the braze cracked open on the inner joints. :mad: I intend to grind the brazes, bake it again and see if I can get a second braze that will hold.

Maybe getting the casting to 550f was a two edged sword, the brass flowed a little better, but obviously the casting expanded and then cracked as it cooled. If I can get a little better "take" next time, I'll live with it. Maybe those two inner cracks relieved some stress and I can fill them up with brass.

On top of it all, my small oxy tank is just about out of gas....
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carlherrnstein
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Post Sat. Oct. 20, 2012 7:35 pm

Im just going to guess you brazed the joints near the new cracks first. When you heat cast iron it expands in all 3d and when it cools if also contracts in all 3d. When you braze a joint it is solid and then when you move to the next joint it starts cooling and getting smaller. Then you make the next joint soild and it starts cooling and contracting.

I really don't think you will have much luck with brazing the grate. If it were a leg, shaker handle or some part that stays cool id say it would be a really good repair. I think it would be a stronger repair if you could weld it with a nickle rod. But if you cant do that then I would suggest brazing one joint then letting it cool a little before I started on the next one to try to balance the stress between the joints. Also if you can make it cool slowly it might help. The braze metal moves so much differently than iron you might not be able to make it work.

Good luck
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SteveZee
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Post Sun. Oct. 21, 2012 8:57 am

Dann, Those tall green stoves are Jotul's and I would bet one of those would be about perfect for your set up. They are a great little stove too and some of the guys who have them really love em. The Green s were the most popular but they also made a rarer red model. I think they are called 507's?

Dann757
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Post Sun. Oct. 21, 2012 1:09 pm

Thanks, Steve, for some reason they looked really good to me, save a little space too. There was a guy on NJ craigslist that was trying to get $900 for one. My buddy in Maine saw one in need of work for $200.

This is the result, I got a lot of brass built up on the grate, but it's only a patch and I don't expect it to hold. I heated it in the oven again, and put it back in the oven and slowly cut the heat, but don't know about the stresses created by trying to join two dissimilar metals like that. Cast iron is ideal until it cracks!
I ran my hobby tanks out of gas doing all this. I had a full bottle of acetylene sitting around for years, well, it must have leaked out ,I was surprised it too was empty, valve was closed very tight too.

Thanks for all replies.
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echos67
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Post Sun. Oct. 21, 2012 3:32 pm

You may be just fine with that repair, one way to find out for sure though :D ,

I can relate to having an empty tank, my oxy is out and I hate unhooking them and loading them up to take and get filled for some reason :x I guess I will get it done one day this week.
Keith V
Glenwood No. 6

Op4_camper
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Post Sun. Oct. 21, 2012 5:11 pm

At work they stick weld cast with a certain rod.
Sticking it to OPEC one ton at a time. plus the money stays local.

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echos67
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Post Sun. Oct. 21, 2012 5:12 pm

Op4_camper wrote:At work they stick weld cast with a certain rod.
Nickel
Keith V
Glenwood No. 6

Dann757
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Post Sun. Oct. 21, 2012 9:05 pm

Thanks for all replies. I have nickel rod but I think I bought too small a diameter. $42 a pound. I was thinking of trying the nickel rod again, but last time it wouldn't take. DC reverse on my buzz box. I should have heated it then too.
I should really make a temporary grate and bit the bullet and get it duplicated. It's not badly warped.

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