Using a charcoal cooker as an impromptu forge
Written on Sunday 01 February, 2009
When we had completed the first wireless network mast, I realised I needed to come up with a quicker way to build the bracket which supports the mast at the top of the wall, before fabricating the next two.
Instead of welding lots of little plates together to make a clamp for the pole, I realised that a U-bolt and a flat plate would be just as effective.
The problem is, you can’t get U-bolts here. Even in Kampala they’re elusive. So I made my own.
Margaret, our housekeeper, uses a charcoal cooker (an asigiri) to boil things which take a long time (beans, water for drinking, Christmas pudding, that sort of thing). Charcoal is cheap and available locally. Gas is neither.
By poking some 10mm galvanised studding through the holes in the asigiri, covering with charcoal and fanning the fire like crazy, I was able to get the metal to a bright red, which made bending it to shape around an offcut of the pipe pretty simple.
The necessity of DIY here is often pleasing. And I didn’t even set fire to the oven gloves.