Building Speaker Grills

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Tab Nichols, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Tab Nichols

    Tab Nichols Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone got any suggestions for building grills? I am working on a set that needs grills covered with some sort of fabric.

    Firstly, where can I get "acoustically transparent" fabric for this, and do you think it is necessary?

    Secondly, any recommendations of how to approach the actual construction of them?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Go to a cloth store and look at single knit fabrics. It's real stretchy stuff. Hold it up to the light and it's reasonable transparent.

    Parts Express sells black and brown 'grill cloth'.
     
  3. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  4. Joe Ku

    Joe Ku Stunt Coordinator

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    Partsexpress.com also sells speaker cloth, standard colors as well as vintage looking stuff.

    Heres the easiest method I have found:
    First make your frame (1/2 MDF works well) then paint it the same color as your grill cloth, or something close anyway so the wood doesnt show through.

    Next cut an oversized piece of crill cloth and lay it on a flat surface away from the frame

    Spray the back of the frame with 3M super 77 adhesive spray and let it sit about a minute

    lay the frame (sticky side up) on the grill cloth and lightly spray the grill cloth outside of the frame with 3M adhesive

    wrap the grill cloth around the frame but do not push down on it until you have all of the cloth where you want it, it will stick quite well even with a lot of tension, but you can still pull it up and move it around, tighten it, etc until you push it firmly down to the frame. Don't worry about getting the cloth flat on the back of the grill, once the glue sets a little I just use a razor blade to remove any excess cloth.

    I also tried the spline method but found it takes longer to achieve the same results.
     
  5. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    With the suggestion of using MDF for your frames, you could also use a router to create some good tapered shapes to the frames - giving them a custom look.
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I used 1/2" MDF and used my router to round the tops and bottoms so I ended up with a nice shape. I then used a 1/4 round on the front edge to bevel that and then with a small 1/8 straight bit I cut in a spline groove all the way round the outside edge. This takes a but of practice but its easy enough with a guard in place.

    From there it's fairly simple to get the cloth tight and stretch it over the frame. I'd suggest starting with short sections of the rubber rope at the top, bottom and sides then slowly work your way around the sides until its tight all round.

    I ordered my neo magnets from www.creativesound.ca and the cloth from www.solen.ca

    Here's the back side of my grill for my M8a speaker
    [​IMG]

    And the front
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Tab Nichols

    Tab Nichols Stunt Coordinator

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    Great suggestions guys!! Im definately going to take the voice of experience that you guys have with this, rather than doing it another way....

    Thanks!!
     
  8. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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  9. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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