Homemade fireplace tools

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whtl4856

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
29
SE Michigan
Please share pictures/designs if you’ve made your own (or had them made) hearth/fire maintenance tools. Pokers/ash rakes/etc.

When I got my stove last year my instinct was to go out and buy a fireplace tool kit with a stand, but I was unimpressed with the quality of the tools at the local stores. In hindsight I’m glad I didn’t buy a tool set because I don’t feel I would use most of the tools that come with them.

All I use now is a cheap ash shovel that I got on clearance to clean out the ash and move the coals for a new fire. The problem is that the ash shovel isn’t meant for hot coals (the paint caught on fire on me the other day which was smelly and exciting) so I am looking for a quality tool to move coals and remove ash but don’t like the available options.

I’m sure some people on this site have some clever designs they’ve made and would like to see them to inspire me to make my own tool. I’m thinking I can get by with 1 or maybe 2 tools, as all I need it for is moving coals and ash removal.

So let’s see them!
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,203
Palmyra, WI
I spied a simple hand made fork years ago, and use it now for moving logs and coals around. That and a garden trowel - that's about it. The fork was just a pc of 1/8 x 1/2 x 16" bar stock, split twice on one end for the forks, and split in the middle on the other end to hang it by. I guess I like the simplicity of it. Plus it was hand made - not something off the shelf.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
504
Central MA
Not homemade, but I find this tool indispensable and it would be easy to make
ash-rake-1501923682_l.png
 
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whtl4856

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
29
SE Michigan
Not homemade, but I find this tool indispensable and it would be easy to make
View attachment 268358
I was thinking something very similar - I used to use a tool that was almost identical to rake metal chips from CNC machines and I thought how useful it would be for the stove. I think I would make something at a little more of an angle for moving the coals to the front because I only use the side door on my stove.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
504
Central MA
I was thinking something very similar - I used to use a tool that was almost identical to rake metal chips from CNC machines and I thought how useful it would be for the stove. I think I would make something at a little more of an angle for moving the coals to the front because I only use the side door on my stove.
Absolutely, if you are making it yourself why not customize it for your stove. The one I have was found in the barn when I bought my house... Could be 100 years old and I have no worries about it breaking or bending out of shape like newer tools.
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,974
Marshall NC
XrnWaRXl.jpg


Here are some fireplace tools made for me by Jeff Mohr of Mockingbird Forge. Pretty, and work well.
 
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TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
936
SE PA
It's not pretty but it works very well, and no welding was required. Two hose clamps and various pieces of scrap metal I had lying around.
Not visible in this picture is the slight bend in the shaft, it's remarkable how much harder this was to use when the shaft was straight.

Sifter.jpg
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,203
Palmyra, WI
You guys seem to get a lot of use out of those scraper like units. I'll need to bolt one together and try it out.
 

BamaRama

Member
Apr 18, 2015
143
Colorado
I made a similar sifter from a paint roller tray grid, a piece of 1/2" conduit, nuts, bolts and fender washers. Sorry no pics, left it in the house I sold.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
504
Central MA
You guys seem to get a lot of use out of those scraper like units. I'll need to bolt one together and try it out.
It's good for spreading out coals especially on a front loader
Edit: typing is hard
 
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RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,236
Whitmore lake, MI
A piece of bark embossed rebar that I heated up and bent the tip to a 90. I just need to finish it off with a nice wood handle.
 

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brazilbl

Burning Hunk
Aug 24, 2017
116
El Dorado County, CA
I use a fryer utensil that one would use to cook chicken nuggets/etc. Made out of metal and has that metal “mesh” that is perfect sifting out coals from the ash.
Hasn’t failed me yet...
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
For a shovel I use an old metal dustpan. In a pinch it also works as a dustpan. For pokers I have some simple rods with a 90 bent on 1 end. I like the shovel made with expanded metal mesh. I can see where that would be real handy.
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
694
Southern WI
Modified poker.
 

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NickW

Minister of Fire
Oct 16, 2019
520
SE WI
It's not pretty but it works very well, and no welding was required. Two hose clamps and various pieces of scrap metal I had lying around.
Not visible in this picture is the slight bend in the shaft, it's remarkable how much harder this was to use when the shaft was straight.

View attachment 268373
There are commercially available versions of this, but I think this one is better... good job!
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
It's not pretty but it works very well, and no welding was required. Two hose clamps and various pieces of scrap metal I had lying around.
Not visible in this picture is the slight bend in the shaft, it's remarkable how much harder this was to use when the shaft was straight.

View attachment 268373

That is the shovel I have been looking for, AND I already have rebar and an old piece of that same extruded cap mesh just sitting around... though I actually think that it won't last long, because that thin wire will be red hot after a couple scoops and start bending.

Gonna try it anyway!
 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
936
SE PA
That is the shovel I have been looking for, AND I already have rebar and an old piece of that same extruded cap mesh just sitting around... though I actually think that it won't last long, because that thin wire will be red hot after a couple scoops and start bending.

Gonna try it anyway!
I've had that expanded metal sifter for many years, the mesh must allow enough cooling because it's as strong as ever. The original handle broke last year, it was attached with bolts that looked nicer than hose clamps, but the metal eventually fatigued where it had been hammered flat. This new style might outlast me.

TE
 

vatmark

Member
Jan 5, 2017
94
Nebo NC
We had our set made by The Bearded Blacksmith of the Blue Ridge. Both decorative and useful.
 

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sadpanda

Member
Oct 15, 2015
82
Ohio
My favorite is a childrens garden rake and hoe from local Menards.

2655783_KGRM_Kidsbowrake.jpg


Cut length down as needed, wrap the end with a piece of automotive adhesive backed foil heat shield to protect the wood and GTG.

Be careful if you have recently replaced firebrick... the fingers can catch the edges of brick and lift them until you get a good ash pack between them.
 

ole

Member
Mar 4, 2015
50
Wisconsin
One of these used to be a musky rod handle
One of these used to be a hand garden tiller thing

54388135-6B1A-49B8-A39D-4D957F50F6C2.jpeg

its all I need
 

whtl4856

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
29
SE Michigan
My favorite is a childrens garden rake and hoe from local Menards.

View attachment 268630

Cut length down as needed, wrap the end with a piece of automotive adhesive backed foil heat shield to protect the wood and GTG.

Be careful if you have recently replaced firebrick... the fingers can catch the edges of brick and lift them until you get a good ash pack between them.
That’s awesome, never would’ve thought of that. Did you burn off the paint before using?
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
852
Northwest Lower Michigan
I made a similar sifter from a paint roller tray grid, a piece of 1/2" conduit, nuts, bolts and fender washers. Sorry no pics, left it in the house I sold.

I made a coal sifter from one of the two shovels I had. Drilled a bunch of 3/8 holes in it. No pics here either, sold it along with the house.

I also used a bent piece of flat bar to reach into the secondary burn chamber and clean out the crud.

For my chimney brush handle, I used four 5 ft sticks of steel conduit. For the couplers I drilled into the conduit so the sections wouldn’t come loose in the pipe. Connected and disconnected them with an old butter knife, which was also handy for scraping the 6 to 8 transition. One of the conduits I welded on a pipe coupler, which was correct to thread on the 6 and 8 inch brushes.
 

Osage

Feeling the Heat
Nov 3, 2011
277
kansas
Made 2 sets of these. 1 for in the house and 1 set for the room in the shed.
The rake was made from a garden rake cut down with a 1/8" pipe and nipple,the other is used to start the fire from coals. It is made from a steel hydraulic line with the end tapered down by heating it on the forge with a 8 penny nail in the end to produce a uniform hole. Both of the wood ends were turned from a hedge post.
 

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