Made at 173: Radiator Cover - Part 2

Here's where we left off:

The frame was done and it was time to cut the slats.  I fretted forever trying to figure out the necessary width of the slats and the spacing between them.  I've always been a little shaky with geometry, so I looked up different calculators and formulas.  In the end, I chose 1x3s for the slats, and by using some leftover parting bead from the aborted window project, it turned out 1/2" spacing was perfect!

If you notice above, the fifth slat in is longer than the others, that's because of a few features that went into my final design of the cover...

Obviously I'm not much of an artist, but this gives an ideas of what the plan was.  I figured in a space at the top to allow war air out (heat rises after all) and a cold air return at the bottom.  Also, I want to be able to use this as a bit of a window seat, and that's where the long slats come in - just a little extra support!  Moving on, you know how everyone has their peccadilloes?  Well, as you may know if you've been following 173 for any amount of time, I have a tendency to over-build, and because I worry about the expansion and contraction of the wood due to the heat, I used some serious screws to attach the slats...

GRK Fasteners makes some great products!  Don't worry, this isn't an add - they don't even know I exist...but I used their architectural screws when I re-furbished the front stoop, and was amazed!  Sounds like hyperbole but seriously, they're tough as railroad spikes and, because of their design, I didn't need to pre-drill at all!  So when deciding on the screws for this project - it was an easy decision!

Here's something worth mentioning, I took great pains to ensure the slats were as near-perfect to perpendicular (look at me - using geometry terms!) as I could get them.  Only the very last slat needed to be skewed about a millimeter at one end to make it right, otherwise the slats went on rather quickly.

I really wanted to line the screws up nicely so the face looked nice from behind, but I was trying to not put a screw in a growth ring so as to aide in adding strength and avoid splitting.  It worked but the backside looks like a prison break!  And here's where we leave off today!

Now starts the details and building the ends of the cover...Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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