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Author Topic: Kenny's custom front grille project  (Read 16771 times)

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Offline Kenny

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Kenny's custom front grille project
« on: August 08, 2009, 10:06:20 AM »
So, I've been inspired by the RPI Sky in the photo below and have decided to do my own custom grill project.



So at the mod meet I saw spiky's sideskirt and fender from Norm Fiberglass, and the grille in there was really nice. So I contacted Norm about how to get a sheet. He directed me to D&W Inc who he buys it from. They normally sell two small sheets, which are just barely large enough to fit the front grille if you turn it sideways, but I calculated that if I had a full sheet I could make 4 or 5 grilles instead of just two incase I make mistakes. They were able to sell me the larger sheet. The price either way is $60 and can be found here:

http://dwincorp.com/product_info.php?cPath=65&products_id=329&osCsid=090a03d5dd74ee340b6654eed4852dc3

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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 10:16:43 AM »
So I received the grille, it looks great, but unfortunately there was some shipping damage. Hopefully DW will do something about that. It's very difficult to ship something this large and flexible without it being bent.

I should still be able to get some good pieces out of this though. Going to make templates today









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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2009, 04:43:42 PM »
So is that stainless steel, aluminum, chrome?
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2009, 06:49:46 PM »
Good question. I have no idea lol. It's pretty light and flexible so my guess is aluminum.
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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 02:33:15 PM »
It looks pretty shiny so if it's aluminum you might want to have it clear coated so that they don't oxidize over time.  I guess when you go to cut it you will be able to tell if its aluminum, it will cut a lot easier then SS.  I assume that you took a magnet to it, low grade SS will still attract to the magnet.
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2009, 06:00:15 PM »
I'm planning on painting it. Haven't piked a color yet
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2009, 06:02:06 PM »
Any reccomendation on what to cut with?
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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2009, 06:48:13 PM »
I don't suppose that you have a sheet metal shear available to you so my next choice would be a set of aviation snips.


I was introduced to these through aircraft maintenance, my job for a number of years, prior to that I used to just use regular tin snips.  The aviation snips have a mechanical advantage over the tin snips and the jaws are serrated so the snips won't slip when you cut the material.  They are usually sold for the type of cut path you intend to do with them, straight, right, or left.  Don't waste your money getting a straight set as the only difference between them and one of the right/left pair, will be the color of the handle (yellow) where as the left (red) and right (green) set have the jaws as a mirror image of each other.  The left/right ones can also be used to cut straight so no need to have a third pair.

I have now purchased a number of pairs of these both for work and use at home.  The last set I bought was the offset ones which put the handles at an angle to the jaws and allows you to cut without having the cut material pass around your hands, these are by far my favorite set and as it turned out everyone in the shop where I worked too.  The ones in the picture above are the offset style.

Sears sells these, thats where I got the picture from, along with a lot of hardware stores sometimes sold individually or in sets.  Get yourself the set you will use them both.  Remember you get what you pay for and the cheep ones usually wear out fast and have the serrations on the jaws cut too deep which leaves the final cut part with a very jagged edge.

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Offline Critterman

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2009, 08:27:10 PM »
What do you have against yellow handles?
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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2009, 11:38:25 PM »
What do you have against yellow handles?

Not sure why but they remind me of the French :lol:

Seriously though the yellow ones will be the same, minus the color of the handle, as one of the others.  I guess you could get the yellow ones but then check to make sure which of the other ones is the same and then don't buy that one.  Usually they are sold in sets of either two or three just get the set of two.  They will do the same job as the set of three but it saves you money and you won't have to have a tool that might remind you of the French :poke:
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2009, 06:52:49 AM »
I would think that this would cause the edge to bend or flatten when you cut. the edge will be visible so it has to be a very clean cut. i was thinking a dremel or hacksaw, maybe even a jigsaw with a metal blade.
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Offline Frank I

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 09:32:37 AM »
I would think that this would cause the edge to bend or flatten when you cut. the edge will be visible so it has to be a very clean cut. i was thinking a dremel or hacksaw, maybe even a jigsaw with a metal blade.

Kenny:

If it is stainless, a Band Saw is your best bet.  If you do not have a Band Saw the Aviation Snips would be my second choice.  A dremel or hacksaw will take forever.  The Jigsaw may be OK but you will have to have a very good metal blade if used on stainless.   :2c:

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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 09:52:59 AM »
I just asked the vendor what it's made of. I really think it's aluminum since it's soft and bends very easily.

I have plenty extra material so I will try the snips
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2009, 02:24:42 PM »
He confirmed it is aluminum, and recommends the snips. I will get a set at Sears
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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2009, 02:52:09 PM »
Something else you might consider is bending the material, so that the cut edge is more hidden. Make it so there's a slight lip folded 90* over.
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2009, 05:12:26 PM »
Something else you might consider is bending the material, so that the cut edge is more hidden. Make it so there's a slight lip folded 90* over.

Great idea. I think I will have to get a plastic backing because under the stock grille is not flat.
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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2009, 09:42:04 AM »
I don't suppose that you have a sheet metal shear available to you so my next choice would be a set of aviation snips.
(Image removed from quote.)

I was introduced to these through aircraft maintenance, my job for a number of years, prior to that I used to just use regular tin snips.  The aviation snips have a mechanical advantage over the tin snips and the jaws are serrated so the snips won't slip when you cut the material.  They are usually sold for the type of cut path you intend to do with them, straight, right, or left.  Don't waste your money getting a straight set as the only difference between them and one of the right/left pair, will be the color of the handle (yellow) where as the left (red) and right (green) set have the jaws as a mirror image of each other.  The left/right ones can also be used to cut straight so no need to have a third pair.

I have now purchased a number of pairs of these both for work and use at home.  The last set I bought was the offset ones which put the handles at an angle to the jaws and allows you to cut without having the cut material pass around your hands, these are by far my favorite set and as it turned out everyone in the shop where I worked too.  The ones in the picture above are the offset style.

Sears sells these, thats where I got the picture from, along with a lot of hardware stores sometimes sold individually or in sets.  Get yourself the set you will use them both.  Remember you get what you pay for and the cheep ones usually wear out fast and have the serrations on the jaws cut too deep which leaves the final cut part with a very jagged edge.



I have a set of these from Sears, my Dad showed me how to use them when I was a kid, they are the same ones I inherited them. They beat the heck out of the other ones and mine are at least 40 years old, still work fine. Thanks Dad.

Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2009, 02:17:49 PM »
I'm buying a set tonight! Now I need to find a place to buy a sheet of black plastic. Any ideas?
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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2009, 02:30:58 PM »
Dimensions? How thick?

My first thought is hobby shop. Some sell sheets of polystyrene, though I've only ever seen it available in white.
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2009, 03:08:15 PM »
the grille is like 38 inches wide and like 4 to 6 tall. thickness... as thin as possible as long as it's strong-enough to be drilled into place.
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Offline Deep-GXP

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2009, 01:38:49 PM »
Black Plastic...?
I have some black plastic.....it came in a sheet of 10 feet X 25 feet not sure how many mil thick, I believe it also comes in 50 feet.

I got by the paint section at Home Depot / Lowes.

Just checked and it is Polyethylene.

Link: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100651803&N=10000003+90401+527886
« Last Edit: August 12, 2009, 02:00:54 PM by Deep-GXP »
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2009, 09:23:38 PM »
I've decided that the backing needs to be metal so I can create tabs similar to the stock part that slide into the slots. Bend them to stick them through, and either fold over or screw them.

Any better ideas?

So i bought a 3x3 slice of aluminum. Eli seems to like it :)



Here is a photo (at night) of the slots where the tabs go in.



For those who haven't taken this apart before. Here is what the back of the stock piece looks like. Hard to see detail cuz it's all black, but see the tabs that stick out.



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Offline Kelu

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2009, 09:46:09 PM »
Kenny please get a better camera and better lights,

I want to make myself a custom grille also and I like to copy the best  :thumbs:
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Offline Kenny

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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2009, 10:00:15 PM »
Yeah it's an iPhone. I will take more shots during the day saturday when i wrap up the install.
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Re: Kenny's custom front grille project
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2009, 07:16:55 AM »
I'll be interested in how this turns out as well. If it works, I might try it myself, though I have another slight change I might want to make...
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