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Making a Grill Insert


I thought I'd have a go at making an insert for a grill shell I'm going to fit to my new T. It's a chopped 32 glass one. Plan was to try and end up with something like this. I wasn't going to have the insert going all the way down but just to the bottom of the cutout.


My plan was to make a surround from 5/16 stainless tube shaped round a ply former and weld the join. Then I was going to mill out a quarter section top and bottom (at the rear) so the uprights would fit in. I was going to fabricate the upright as a separate piece by welding/silver soldering the tubes at the very ends. This would then slot into the surround and the welds won't show.

So much for the plan.... I've made a ply former and have tried bending the tube to match but it just kinks. Done a bit of reading and it seems like thin wall tube is very difficult to bend. Did wonder about using solid but it would be too heavy. Also thought of aluminum but I'm not sure my welding is up to that and it also needs load of polishing to keep it nice.

Just wondered if anyone had any suggestions on tube bending or any other ideas for making an insert. I know you guys are full of bright ideas.

Thanks in advance Pete

You may think this is funny but what i did was went to lowes and bought a pet guard for a screen door i cut out the screen folded it around the grill on the inside and glassed it in :)
Pete, Try filling the tubing with sand and pounding it down with a small rod...then bend.
Orrrrr, how bout filling the tube with water and freezing it, then bending it...
Probably wouldn't take too much inside support to prevent the tube from "kinking".
You could maybe even try inserting a piece of rod stock the just fits the inside of the tube, that may work.....
Just a couple ideas, keep working on it, don't give up because I have to do the same thing and I'm waiting for you to do all the work so I can copy ya.....LOL:eek: "BH"
i was thinkind of doing pretty much the same thing.but instead of the surround i was thinkin just a couple of cross bars to tie everything together.i am just waiting to get ahold of some 1/4 or 1/8 stainless round bar.i have some stainles welding rods thinking of welding the cross bars from the back and sand and grill shell is also a chopped 32 but has been modified to fit over the radiator i used.
Thanks for all the replies.

Thought about mesh, that's what I've used on my old Model A grill, which is OK because it mounts from the rear. On the 32 it needs to mount from the front because there is recess that needs to be covered so if I go that way I still need to make a surround.

Just looked up the price of Aluminum bar, wow! I think I'll get some and have a go, even if I chuck it in the skip it won't cost me much (5 about 8 dollars will buy me enough for the surround and the vertical bars). Give me chance to practice my ali welding.

I'll let you know how I get on but it might be a few weeks while I get some metal in.

There is a place in Oklahoma City that has several sizes of chopped '32 shells and stainless inserts. do you want something custom or production? If you are interested, I try to come up with a name and number.
Thanks for the offer ORF, I thought I'd have a go myself for the experience and try try to save some money.

Managed to find some 5/16 Ali bar at work and I've made a start during my lunch hour. It's proving tricky to shape as it as a lot of spring in it. I'm going to re anealing it on Monday and see if I can get it better. I'll post some pictures up even if it does end up in the trash can:)
you could do as Henry did. a flat stock surround with folded sheet stock or round bars welded thru it.

Quick update as I don't think this is going to get finished very quickly like most things I do :lol:

Made a surround by bending some 5/16 ali bar round a wooden support.




Cut to exact size and TIG'd it together

It was only 2 dimensional when shaped round the wood so it had to be shaped in 3d to fit the shell.


Had to re anneal it and shape quite a few times but after a bit of effort it fits quite well.


Quick polish to see what it looks like


Turned out quite well and once I sort out how to fix it should be ok. I'm not sure about the grill itself yet, I wanted to use vertical bars but the surround is not rectangular (narrows at the top) so I think it's going to be too complicated. I'm going to look for some mesh at my DIY store next time I go. There is some nice mesh on UK Ebay but it doesn't come in large enough sizes.

I'll update when complete.

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