American Welding Society Forum
Ok, someone asked in my previous post about what I was going to make out of stainless steel. I'm thinking about whipping up (yeah, right!) a simple replacement cooking grate for my grill. Of course, they make replacement grates for Weber's, but the only choices are ceramic coated or cast iron (for my model, at least). Anyway, the ceramic one hasn't held up well, and I know from experience cast iron will rust quickly if not meticulously cleaned and oiled after cooking.
So, I'm thinking some like probably 1/4" square stainless bar, if it's available. I'll attach four pieces across the bottom for support, then run pieces perpendicular as the actually cooking surface (probably 1/4" between each piece or so). What do you think?
What stainless alloy would be my best bet? I'll be using TIG and a small floor bandsaw. I don't really care if the welds discolor a little. But I an looking for 1) corrosion resistance, and 2) not incredibly difficult to weld (which I'd assume is true of any stainless alloy). Also, I guess resistance to any unusual flexing when heated during cooking food would be good, but I doubt it will be a problem with 1/4" thick square stock. (I was originally thinking of using small stainless square tubing or solid stock to make a frame, then welding 1/16" or 1/8" thick stainless expanded mesh to it, but I think the expanded mesh would shrink and expand enough to "pop up" when it was heated while using the grill to cook food. I certainly don't want the grill tossing my steaks on the deck...I can do that well enough myself! <g>).
Any suggestions on the specific alloy and filler? Any sites that might help me pick the right alloy and filler?
For a bbq. I think 301 stainless with 308 filler (assuming GTAW) will be just fine. For hight heat applications the general choice might be 321 stainless with a 347 filler but I think Titanium/niobium stabilized materials are a overkill in your case. In the navy we once made a bbq. for the base commander out of an old scrap Allison TF40 jet engine compressor case. I think we prolly welded it with Hastelloy W. What a thing of beauty it was!
You might want to consider using flat stock standing on edge -- say, 1/8 by 1/2. That's how I've seen most really nice grills made. This would make it stiffer, too.
P.S. Thanks for all your advice on the TIG power supplies. I got me a Lincoln Invertec V205 and will be in (happy) poverty for a long time.
Hmmm...good idea...I'll measure it when I get home and see if that would make the cooking surface too high....
Cool deal on the Lincoln! I don't know if I'd call what I gave you "advice"....just sharing what I learned when I went through my own search...for a home workshop type of application, it just seems like an inverter-based unit has some compelling advantages that are hard to ignore.
So, you're just getting started with TIG? Were you using another process before? If so, which one?
I made one that was stainless, what grade, I'm not sure. I made mine out of two peices of flat bar 1/8" thick x 3/8" wide and the width of the grill long(short direction in the grill) and 5/16" diam. round bar.
I drilled holes in the flat bars and tapped the ends of 5/16" dia. round bars and bolted the rounds to the flats. Two flats on the ends and about 25 (estimated, don't remember the exact amount) or so rounds, and spaced them so the rounds are about 1/4" apart.
Cleans up nice, just fire it up and get it hot and wire brush it clean. You could weld it instead of bolting. Makes a great grill!
My previous welding experience has been on a torch and a GIANT tig. These inverters are really amazing.
By the way, I think that you should do your grill in a SPIRAL. Maybe you could convince your wife that you need a bender!
I have built numerous grills over the years. I've found that good old 308 works very well. Yes, 308. When I build a grill surface, I normally get
1/4" 308 in 36" lengths from a local welding wire supplier (Natweld) and put together with tig.
The temperatures encountered are relatively low (200-400 degreesF).
At these low temps, there is no need for superman alloys.
If you are not going to use welding filler as the grates, 304 (standard 18-8 stainless) should give similar performance.
300 series stainless does not act funny until you get out in the 800-900 degree range. Imagine how fast you could cook at 900 degrees!!
Hope this helps
Hey Dave, I think the best alloy for what you are doing might be 316 Stainless, it's one of the most corrosion resistant one's around. I used that on a project for a ship, for a drinking water, gray water, and black water tank.
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