Grille Fabrication III

2/2/00-2/3/99 Grille Fabrication III

This is the new buck design that Rudy decided to go with instead of the one I made a week ago. After thinking about it, he decided that cutting a whole block of wood would not be accurate enough along the straight sides of the grille, not to mention how %$&?*^ heavy my solid block of wood was! Rudy came up with a much more elegant design, with a lot less wood, so it’s a bit more manageable. We’ll mark a radius on each end to copy the original grille, and cut the ends on the band saw. There will be a lot less sanding involved, and a much more accurate piece. As you can see the original grill piece fits perfectly to the width of the buck, and once the ends are marked and cut, it should fit fine.

I don’t exactly know what I’m going to do with the old buck,  but does anybody need a nice heavy doorstop?

The second day at the construction shop, I began filing all the vertical pieces of the new grille now that Rudi cut them to the right width. The edge of each piece has a slightly distressed mark from the cutting machine that needs to be filed and sanded so when the piece is buffed, it will have a nice smooth finish. I set up my work area, and began filing. It took a few tries to get a good technique of removing enough material to loose the marks, all the while keeping the cuts even and smooth. Luckily Rudi cut enough aluminum for errors, and imperfections! After the filing process, I sanded each edge with 220 grit sand paper on a sanding block. This removed the small striations caused by the file, and would prepare the edges for buffing.

The next step was to prepare the face of the vertical pieces for buffing. This involved simply rubbing the surface with some steel wool, so any minor scratches would be removed. As I examined each piece, I found several with scratches too deep to remove with the steel wool. These were added to the growing reject pile. Sanding these pieces with a 320, or 600 grit sand paper would have eliminated the scratches, but as long as I still had extra pieces, I would keep these pieces relegated to the reject pile!

When I first started to set up my table for the steel wool step, Rudi looked over, and began making a template for my pieces. He screwed a couple of similar pieces of aluminum stock to a scrap piece of plywood so that my grille pieces would be held firmly in place as I sanded them with steel wool. This kept the parts from sliding around and scratching the other side as I sanded. Leave it to a machinest to make more great tools!