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I recently finished my rrsc mikado,runs great, and having a lot of fun with it. ..one thing, I wish I had put more thought into when building it, is the grates. ..I made them strictly to rrsc plans, where you push down in the middle of the grates, that makes them stand up on edge, and everything dumps down the ash pan. that works ok I guess, but it can be a mess cleaning out the firebox, and if any clinkers, get under the grates, you have to get them out, otherwise the grates won't lay down again.....I'm thinking my winter time project might be to pull the ash pan and grates out, and build a new set of grates that can be hooked, and pulled out thru the fire door instead. ...has anyone else has experience with this and the mike.
I have a Pacific with a 10" boiler which will be roughly equal to a Mike. The grates are supported on two 1/4" stainless rods that run left to right under the fire box. The rods pass through small brackets welded to the bottom of the mud ring. The grates were made in three sections that fit through the fire door. To clean the fire box I reach in the door and pull out the debris I can reach. Rake more to the door and reach in again until it's cleaned well enough. I pull the grate for the annual boiler inspection but that's about it. To get the grates out the center one is hooked with the poker and lifted up so I can grab it by hand. If I had to drop the fire in a hurry I could pull it out with the poker. The grates were fabricated from stainless bar and bolted up using threaded rod and nuts. The center sections has the rods offset from the left and right sections so they nest together. The screw arrangement to the right in the photo carries the ash pan (also made in three sections).