cast iron stove grate

In an old Bearcat potbelly stove . It's broke , and I'm pretty sure brazing isn't the answer at the temps down there . This is the grate at the
bottom of the firebox , and if the stove gets red hot , damn sure that grate is just as hot . The "shaker" (separate piece in the center of the grate , you shake it to drop the ashes into the bottom) is also broken . My wife sez this thing has been in her family for quite some time , and she would like it repaired and installed in our living room . I'm not so sure I want that ash and soot spewing thing in the house , I'd rather use it out in the shop . Any suggestions ?
--
Snag
sometimes ya gotta
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On Tue, 2 Dec 2008 12:08:38 -0600, Terry Coombs wrote:

Get a new one made. I found this with the google search string "lathe amish foundry cast iron":
------------------ I have had very good service from Cattail Foundry in Pennsylvania. I've sent patterns and a check for something more than I expect it to cost and received back the number of castings expected and change from the check. It's in Amish country and difficult to reach by modern methods but mail works well:
Cattail Foundry Emanuel J. King 167 W. Cattail Road Gordonville, PA 17659
I think that if you google "cattail foundry" that you'll find similar positive comments, and he has experience in casting direct from the part (it's not that hard as long as some shrinkage can be lived with or accommodated in the ramming up).
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You're correct, you don't want this relic in your house, and I'm fairly certain that your insurance company doesn't want it in there either.
The ash dust and soot/smoke residue will be airborne and travel throughout your living space. A couple of examples of problems would be CD and DVD players/recorders. The additional ultrafine airborne contamination will likely cause problems with more than just those two examples. You'll also be breathing it.
When I was doing electronic service/repairs, you could always easily distinguish a piece of equipment that came from a household with a fireplace or wood stove.
I don't know if pellet fuel would be completely problem-free as far as additional dust is concerned.
Saw the bottom off (or remove some of the center) and make a floor lamp or end table outta the thing. If it was in perfect condition, it would be a different matter as far as a keepsake, or for antique value.
--
WB
.........
metalworking projects
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... I broke this piece on my coal boiler at the old place...
I put the two cast iron halves in a fixture and milled two slots to insert stainless steel rectangles on the bottom. 1/2" x 1" x 10" IIRC. I had a pro weld the casting where it broke with the stainless in place. I used it hard that way for 10 years. Told the fella that bought my house about the repair 17 years ago. He's never been over for warranty work.
Now that I have a CNC mill and laser digitizer, I'd make the whole dang piece out of stainless. Then it would last longer than this temp. repair.<G>
Karl
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Karl Townsend wrote:

As small as it is , no way I can repair it like you did . Guess I'll just have to make it into a lamp or something as Bill suggested . Oh well ...
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Karl Your laser digitizer sounds interesting. Please tell me more about it. I do a lot of designs for my CNC plasma table by taking a photo of the part and turning it into a .dxf file but accuracy suffers a little in the process and I end up checking all the measurements if it is a critical part. Artwork isn't too fussy but some of the machine and equipment parts I do need to be right on. Steve
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I bought an Omron laser displacement sensor off eBay. It puts out 4 - 20 milliamps over distance of 1.1 to 2.0" away. I mounted it in a taper 40 holder. I then go back and forth over the part in my CNC mill and record distances plus X,Y,Z dimensions off the control. You end up with a ton o' points. Then the hard part, make it into something usable. So far, I'm learning Rhino. I'm not too good at this step.
If you got time, there's also a point probe that you can build or buy. With that you move the mill to an X,Y location and then move Z till the probe touches; record point;repeat. Much slower and slightly less accurate. But still way more than you'd need for a plasma cutter.
I did the photo to .dxf thing with my business sign. Next time you drive by, look at the new signs. Took more time than if i had just started over from scratch.
Karl
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Karl Townsend wrote:

I've taken "lines" off of boat hulls using a few cheap laser leveling devices. Anything that will draw a bright thin line on the hull.
One set going "up" the hull and one set running lengthwise.
Then I level up in front of the hull on the load waterline and snap a digital picture. (Same for the aft part).
I play with the lazer photos a bit first. Kinda Pre-procesing. The idea is to get the line as thin as possible. Those lines show up brighter in the photos than they do in real life. I do this by playing with the brightness and gamma settings.
The thinner the lines are the more accurate the trace. These pics are then imported into my CAD software (no it ain't Rhino!) and traced.
While there may be some absolute accuracy lost in the tracing process, I can usually make it back up in the fairing process.
I'd suspect that proper fairing will help with even small parts. As long as you can get a good sied photo anyway.
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb/draft.htm
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I'm scheming about making one using a Leitz laser "tape measure" device and a homemade gantry -- big enough for a car. I've tried it with a similar instrument made for Stanley by Leitz (FatMax TLM 100 -- around $100), and the concept works. The Leitz-branded model has signal output; the Stanley does not, so I'll use the Leitz (around $400) if I get serious about it.
I made a similar gantry around 25 years ago, using a plumb bob and tape measure, and a wooden gantry aligned with a single stretched steel wire for the longitudinal level along the car's wheelbase. It took forever to take measurements at a 6" grid but it did work. The laser measurer could make the whole thing very practical.
-- Ed Huntress
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I have done this with the plasma cutting table but it works best with one person jogging the table another marking the points on the screen. Most parts I draw by coordinates but odd shaped stuff is a little harder to measure and those I use the camera method. I have been using the trace function in Corel Draw and saving it as a .dxf and it works quite well with a high contrast photo. I had a chance to buy a digitizing table a few years ago but didn't have the cash when I was first starting out so I passed on it. (still don't) Steve

I will take a look and try to stop in next time I go south of St Cloud. The last time we were there we stopped to have lunch in Dassel at the little cafe in town. After we stopped at your house and you weren't home I wondered if that wasn't you in the cafe. It is fun to wonder about what some of you guys look like. Gunner, I know he looks like a gangly hairy cowboy. Steve
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Terry Coombs wrote:

The trouble with old cast and heat is in time much of the iron burns out and leaves an iron core with a surface of little iron and lots of carbon.
If you just want it for the value (antique), then try to stitch it with 7018 or 7014 (yea it'll "tick", "plink" and have some underbead cracking). But it won't look the same, rust the same, etc.
If you want it fixed for strength then your stuck using bare cast rod and O/A. Bare rod is available in grade 30 thru 60 and is tough for some to use but it matches perfectly except for having a less porous surface than the usual cast iron.
Matt
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You can also TIG weld it using cast iron filler rod. (Damned expensive stuff for some reason) It takes a lot of current and it doesn't hurt to have somone with a OA torch helping keep the heat up to it. After you've finished welding it, throw it in a box of vermiculite or ashes for a couple of hours to let it cool down slowly. We did it recently on a centrifugal pump casting that was broken by an over enthusiastic fitter.It worked quite well, but distorted a bit and we had to open up some bolt holes to re-attach it. If you have time, bolt it to a piece of plate to keep it stable. Gouge out plenty of material around the crack site to get good penetration of the weld. If all else fails, look for a company called Metal Lock in the phone book. They have a mechanical process that is good enough that LLoyd's Insurance accepts it for cast iron repairs to seagoing vessels.
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Grumpy wrote:

Many thanks for all the suggestions from everybody . After discussing it with her last night , we have decided it will make a very nice flower pot . Flower pots don't need burner grates ...
--
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Sounds reasonable. a lot cheaper than Metal Lock!
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Cast iron for grates is far better than steel. Keeping it in the family will keep you in the family and yes, the shop is the right place for it. I love wood heat. Hard on everything though.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
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Wes wrote:

We decided to turn it into a flower pot ... I'll need to coat the inside to help keep rust at bay , probably some kind of epoxy .
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