Garden Waste Incinerator with Grate

(This is the continuation of Part 2)

A grate is defined as "a frame of iron bars to hold a fire". In the garden and yard incinerator that I built, there was no grate. The garden waste twigs and branches held up the dried foliage that was to be burned. That is until the branches and twigs burned completely and the burning material start to fall into the incinerator bottom. I then needed to use a stick or rod to prop up the burning garden waste up so as not to suffocate the fire.

This is where an improvised grate will help hold up the burning material so it does not collapse and fall into the pit below. An improvised grate for this garden and yard waste incinerator is quite easy to do. You only need a piece of steel matting material to cut, bend and form. Actually, any scrap piece of metal that resembles some kind of a grill will do.

How to Fabricate a Steel Grate for the Garden Incinerator

  • Steel matting or wire mesh - 12" x 12", 1 piece

    Shown below is a steel matting that has 2" x 2" squares. Steel matting may come in other-size squares.

    You may use any metal grill-like scrap material for this purpose.

  • Chalk
  • Metal hacksaw
  • Pliers or Vise-grip
  • Hammer

  1. With a piece of chalk, draw a circle with a diameter of roughly 12" on the steel matting.

  2. With a hacksaw, cut the steel matting circle. This will become the grate.

  3. Position the the grate on the incinerator's mouth. Mark points on the grate that can be folded so that the whole grate can be inserted inside the incinerator.

  4. Use a pair of pliers or vise-grip to bend on these points of the grate. By bending these points, the overall diameter becomes smaller and will allow you to insert the grate. If the steel is too thick to bend, cut away a bit on the steel with the hacksaw and then retry bending it with the pliers.

  5. Insert the grate and find a location inside the incinerator so the grate stays at a height roughly 1/3 of the incinerator's total height. Use a hammer and jab the sides of the grate to jam it inside. Be sure it's stuck so it stays in place, as shown below. Notice the green support blocks inside. These were fabricated to provide air vents for the garden incinerator.

Here's the setup showing both the grate inside and the green support blocks outside.

By having a grate inside the incinerator, the burning garden and yard trash stays midway the height of the incinerator. The grate holds and keeps the fire burning without touching the ground. There is no need to continually prop up the burning garden trash with a stick or rod.

The grate can be removed easily by using the claw of the hammer to hook and pull it up. This will allow easy cleaning of the incinerator in the future. The steel grate holds the pile of trash, provides air circulation and facilitates burning as shown below.

In summary, here's a video clip of the steps for your reference:

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