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Home Improvements

Fire Dog

A Clean-ish place to work is always a good start. But I really put this pic in to make a point about welding on a non metal surface. My table top has a replaceable press board top. It is great for woodworking, but you'll see welding takes it's toll (grin).
I bought firewood from a guy over the phone and when it got here, it was not the best quality. It was all hardwood and knotty as all get out. The first thing that popped into my mind was "Damn! That would have been AWESOME for making furniture! And they just turned it into firewood <sad sigh>" I asked the guy if they had milled any into planks and he just stared at me. Ah well... Anyway, the wood is very difficult to split, so I had to burn it with lots of other pieces to get it to burn. So I figured on a new way to handle it. My father helped me cut up a bunch of metal, as you see here in the box.
Here are all the pieces laid out on the table. Yes, there is rust on them. And yes, I sanded them all down before welding.
This project required (grin) that I purchase a new tool. It is a craftsman professional grade grinder. It was the largest one I could pick up with one hand (grin).
I welded up the two sides of what, essentially, is a box. The welds do look pretty cruddy (this is the first project with my new welder (it is a 110 v welder by the way)). However, they grind down pretty clean.
The only clamps I had were from woodworking (my primary medium) and they worked fine here since I did not have too many tight places. But I will have to get metal clamps for the next project. I have a list already (grin) which includes vice grips, 3-way clamps, magnetic clamps and corner clamps.
Here is an example of another weld. It is not as clean as I would like, but... I didn't have to re weld after I ground it down so I can't complain too much (grin).
My room air filter didn't always keep up with my welding, especially when the table top caught fire (grin). Just a little fire. It actually took me about 4 seconds to realize there even was a fire (when you can still see through the welding mask, even though you are not welding, chances are you have a fire (dopey grin)).
The two welds on the right are early ones, and stink. The two on the left were MUCH better. But even the ugly ones were solid enough to hold me up. I even tried jumping up and down on it (grin). Can't be too safe when fire is involved (cough, excusing the table top fire of course).
The bottom layer has more, tighter spaced, thinner cross pieces to support smaller diameter wood. I put them in the short way to make them more secure. After I actually started using it, I realized I should placed the cross pieces the long way instead to make it easier to add firewood..
Here is the beasty itself. The top pieces are angle iron to handle more weight. They are spaced to encourage pieces to fall to the lower level.
Here you can see lots of little burn marks from flying metal. But all in all, it survived rather well.
You can see here the worst of the damage. Nothing to terrible. I actually designed the table so that the top is easily replaced. And the wood edge piece is held on with screws so I can replace it too. But really, there wasn't enough damage to warrant it.
Here you can see the placement of the firedog.
And now, you can see it in action. The hard, knotted firewood goes on top with the easier burning pieces on the bottom. All I have to do is add the easier burning wood to the bottom and it keeps the hardwood on top going. Beats the heck out of messing around trying to get push the hardwood around to get the easier burning stuff under it.
I totally admit that this project is way over engineered. And I do have to be extra cautious when putting wood in the bottom so I don't touch the metal. And I would never burn the softwoods on the top because it is too far off the ground and the flames run the risk of getting into the chimney. I am thinking about a second version already (grin). In the meantime, I do think it was worth it for me. Oh, and anyone thinking that it would have just been easier to get better firewood, doesn't get me at all. But that is ok (smile) few people do..




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