Not looking forward to replacing your fireplace grate? Rod Baker tells us how he gave his a – budget-friendly – longer lifespan.

My home’s fireplace grate has seen better days, with the bars across the base taking a hammering over the years. The trouble is, a new grate can hammer the wallet, so I decided to make the grate last a bit longer.

I bought a 3 m length of mild steel bar – 5 x 20 mm – and twenty 15 mm gutter bolts (6 mm diameter). I then measured off the width and breadth of the bottom of the grate and cut two longitudinal pieces each 380 mm long and ten crossbars each 210 mm long. Next, I drilled the necessary 6 mm holes, aligning the pieces to match the existing spacing as closely as possible, and assembled the grid.

It won’t win any beauty contests, but it works like a charm. And all in all it cost about R80 rather than the couple of hundred or more a new fireplace grate would cost.

Rod Baker, Fish Hoek

 

This tip was originally posted in the July issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.