How-To scratchbuild an egg crate grille

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Hey guys here is something I've been working on. Egg crate grilles have been seen on many vehicles through out the ages so if you need to make one here is how to do it. The shape and size is up to you.

Whatchoo need.
Pencil, paper, ruler, marker pen (texta)
Super (CA) glue and thin liquid cement.
Saw and mitre box with grooves in the inside.
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You'll also need evergreen 8106 for the grille slats and 157 for the spacer jig. I used 8106 strip because it's the same width as the saw.
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The first thing you need to do is figure out the outside dimensions of the grille you want to make as well as how many slats it needs and then draw it on paper. This one has vertical slats 3mm apart and the horizontal slats are 1.5mm apart.
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Then cut the strips with about 2cm extra length than the final result requires.
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Bundle the strips of the same length together and superglue the ends. Make sure that you glue THE ENDS ONLY.
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You should end up with two neat bundles.
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Put those aside and start work on the spacer jig. The spacer jig will allow you to cut grooves at an even and consistant spacing.
Cut about 1 inch of the evergreen 157 strip and mark the width of the slat onto it.
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Put it in the mitre box and cut it to half way deep.
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Lightly glue a piece of the 8106 strip into the slot and turn it over to add another chunk of 157 to the back to be a handle.
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Posted · Report post

p1050052s.jpg
Put the first bundle of strips in the mitre box and saw a groove in the middle. GENTLY saw it to a little over half depth. CHECK YOUR WORK CONSTANTLY if you over cut it you will have to start all over again.
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This is where the spacer jig comes in. Put the spacer jig in the first cut and return the part to the mitre box.
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Gently push the spacer jig against the saw blade and start sawing again. Once again- check your work as you go.
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You should have the idea by now so continue cutting either side of the original middle cut untill you have the amount of the grooves you need.
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Make the spacer jig for the other slats as before and repeat the cutting steps.
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Put the spacer jig in one of the outside slots and cut all the way through. Clean up the end with a sharp new blade and mark the end with a marker pen. You only need to mark ONE END of the slats. Now cut the other end off and clean it up too.
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With the ends removed and cleaned up you can separate the slats.
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Join one each of the vertical and horizontal slats at the marked end and one each at the unmarked end and tape them to a square edge of a metal surface. I am using an old carpenters square. Apply some liquid cement to the join.
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When the glue sets, remove them and join them together with more cement to make the outer slats a frame to help the other slats .
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Continue by adding the centre slats first and gluing as you go.
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You should end up with this.
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At this stage the liquid cement will have softened the whole lot up and it will begin to bow outward. To counter this I put the grille between the ruler and the saw blade and weighted it down with the glue bottle overnight for the plastic to re-harden.
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Badabing she's done.
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I developed this technique to make a grille for a Morris 850 a couple of years ago.
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One word of warning though be careful with how wide you make the slots between the slats as the thin styrene can't handle the liquid solvent cement too well and you end up with something that's not too straight.
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Well there you go. Happy scratchbuilding.

If you have any questions or want me to clarify anything please let me know.

Cheers

ShawnS

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Posted · Report post

Very well done!

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Posted · Report post

Excellent tutorial but what a pain to make that grille.

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I have found that the slots in my miter box had too much play, with as much as 15 thousandths variance in length of cut pieces. Bought a new box and saw; same thing. I corrected it by sliding a steel mechanic's rule down between the blade and the box, and everything was cut the same length. Make a habit of always placing the rule on the SAME SIDE of the blade....Works fer me !

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Posted · Report post

The jig you made was a stroke of genius. I have been consistantly fighting my miter box, but that jig will now correct that. Thanks for the tip.

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Posted · Report post

Very labor intensive, but pretty slick! Nicely done. B)

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Posted · Report post

Nice!!!

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Lotta work in that, but it sure shows in the end. More of your brilliant thinking shown through that jig, fantastic :D

Thanks Shawn, I learned a few things there. And as always, it's a pleasure to see your great work.

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Shawn , I have looked at that grille many times since and simply not been able to understand how you made it , now I can see how you made it but am still amazed by it and can't believe the detail .

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Thanks guys. I don't need to tell you all that this isn't a Shake'n'Bake hobby and everything we do is labour intensive and takes time and effort. If I didn't have to keep taking photos it wouldn't have taken me more than 1-2 hours to get the end result.

Ian, that was just the beginning for the Mini grille. There was still a fair bit of work to get it thin enough for the Morris and to put the surround around the outside and to get the right curve to fit the front of the body was a pain too but it all worked out in the end. I'm glad you like them.

Cheers

ShawnS

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Posted · Report post

Very cool and thanks for sharing this tip. It looks killer. Nice work

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Thanks for the tip. I am going to use it to rebuild the grille of a 1986 Monte Carlo that I messed up.

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wow thank you so much for sharing great tut and excellent photos thanks again.

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