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We see a lot of fabulous work on this Forum, so by way of an antidote, here is an attempt that didn't work out. It may save others from going down the same route.

I was attempting to construct a radiator grille for a Maserati 8CTL from wire, soldered together. The horizontal bars are single strands unwound from six strand picture hanging wire and the spine and outer rim are 15 amp fuse wire. The idea was to make it flat then shape it over the solid nose of the car and glue it into place. This would provide a solid backing for resisting shunts.

A paper drawing to the size needed was glued to a 1 mm ply backing and a series of holes drilled around the rim. The fine wire was threaded through the holes in a continuous length and kept as tight (=straight) as possible. Then the fuse wire was shaped to the outer rim and the centre bar made. The whole lot was then soldered together at each wire intersection. This was extremely delicate and tedious, and had to be done and re-done many times to get it anything like passable - hence the burnt paper!

The assembly was cut from the former by cutting the wires at the back and the trimmed to size before shaping. Needless to say, at this point several joints failed and the re-soldering was perilous in the extreme as the wires were now free to fall off.

In the end, I did not like the quality of the finished thing and worse, I could not get it to sit flush enough with the body so it would have needed fairing in, which would have altered the nose profile too much. It would have worked if it had been set into a hole cut in the front bodywork, but that would have made the front of the car far too fragile.

The photo's of the car show a rough trial fitting which was enough to persuade me to abandon it.

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No ha quedado tan mal. Seguramente si no lo hubieras explicado, al mirar el coche sería un punto de atención. A mi me gusta.

Intenté algo parecido para un 4CLT pero utilizando cianocrilato. No conseguí acabarlo.

A un Alfa Romeo 512 utilice plasticard muy fino y alambre.

It has not been so bad. Surely if you had not explained it, looking at the car would be a point of attention. I like it.
I tried something similar for a 4CLT but using cyanoacrylate. I couldn't finish it.
On an Alfa Romeo 512 I used very thin plasticard and wire.

f4191500.jpg


Salut

Frederic
 

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Gripping - I agree with Frederic - you're being a bit hard on yourself. If you hadn't condemned the metal grille, I think you could have carved out a recess for it and it would have been admired by most viewers for its detail. Still - we have to make the decisions while we're building, or else we'd never finish anything. The most important thing is to be pleased with it yourself!

Frederic - that Alfa Romeo grille is a beautiful piece of work - an inspiration.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Excellent job Frederic! I like the plasticard layer technique and would have used this, but I think there is too little clearance because of the guide position. The bodywork is wafer thin at the bottom. I am tempted now to use a wire surround and centre bar with a decal backing.
 

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Gripping and Frederic, They are both very well crafted pieces. The soldered grill was a challenge but I think you may have been closer to success than you are giving yourself credit for. Could you perhaps try making that type of construction using Solder Paste ?
 

· Alexis Gaitanis
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We see a lot of fabulous work on this Forum, so by way of an antidote, here is an attempt that didn't work out. It may save others from going down the same route.

I was attempting to construct a radiator grille for a Maserati 8CTL from wire, soldered together. The horizontal bars are single strands unwound from six strand picture hanging wire and the spine and outer rim are 15 amp fuse wire. The idea was to make it flat then shape it over the solid nose of the car and glue it into place. This would provide a solid backing for resisting shunts.

A paper drawing to the size needed was glued to a 1 mm ply backing and a series of holes drilled around the rim. The fine wire was threaded through the holes in a continuous length and kept as tight (=straight) as possible. Then the fuse wire was shaped to the outer rim and the centre bar made. The whole lot was then soldered together at each wire intersection. This was extremely delicate and tedious, and had to be done and re-done many times to get it anything like passable - hence the burnt paper!

The assembly was cut from the former by cutting the wires at the back and the trimmed to size before shaping. Needless to say, at this point several joints failed and the re-soldering was perilous in the extreme as the wires were now free to fall off.

In the end, I did not like the quality of the finished thing and worse, I could not get it to sit flush enough with the body so it would have needed fairing in, which would have altered the nose profile too much. It would have worked if it had been set into a hole cut in the front bodywork, but that would have made the front of the car far too fragile.
I wish i could do the same
 

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Hi

Just an idea, the fuse wire will probably be copper but what material is the picture hanging wire depending what material it could be a problem I used thin brass rod to do a lot simpler Aston DBR grill and just by cutting some grooves in an MDF block it seemed to come out ok and by just tinning all the rods I did not have to paint it

john

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When we attend 'historic' meetings today, we see 'stickily' restored cars built to modern, immaculate standards. Most were not like this originally, especially in pre War days. People who own old racing cars are entitled to do whatever they like with their property, but toddling along to a VSCC meeting with the usual claims of "totally original" makes me want to shout: "pants on fire".

Many racing cars, right up until the 1960s, were, from a cosmetic viewpoint, as rough as the badger's proverbial. Some, from an engineering perspective, were even worse. With a shortage of time and money, racing cars were often banged together so that their owners could at least get onto the grid to claim starting money, which is one reason for the high attrition rate among GP cars of yesteryear.

If tin-bashers had made a grille as well as the one Gripping's fashioned for the Mazzer above, they'd open a bottle of Bolly in celebration... and I'd join 'em to enjoy it. Your very good health!
 

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I agree with Trisha about so called "historic cars" racing today - how can a Mclaren M23 be historic when it has been built around a "new tub" ( with only a few internal stiffeners from the original) ?. I had this discussion with a friend of a friend, who works for a well know historic car restorer, in the good old days when you could go down the pub, his reply was refreshingly honest - "mate, their all worn out and would be on static display otherwise". That is the price to pay to watch these cars race again.

Back to that front grill - I love it, it has an honest used look about it from an era where there was no "component life" plus it's a nicely skilled piece of work
 

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Well done Gripping for trying and thanks for sharing your attempt. It doesn't look bad at all, but of course we are often our own harshest critics. I hope you will continue trying and sharing your methods...so I can steal them
lmfao.gif
I also make soldered wire grills and they are tough!

For me, tinning the wires, as John couserslot does - crossmembers, vertical members, frames - before soldering is usually helpful.

For curved grills, I've had greater success if I bend the wires first and pre-assemble the entire grill in the final shape that I want, and then solder the whole thing at once.

When I have laid the wires out flat as the first step, soldered as the second step, and bent into shape as the third step, the shape ends up distorted and the solder joints may break.

Another thing that has already been mentioned is "solder paste". Not to be confused with "solder paste". Huh? There are two different products that I see referred to as solder paste. One is the rosin flux that is commonly used with 60:40 solder for wiring, PCBs, etc. It usually is packaged in small plastic tubs and has the consistency of a paste, which is what I assume to be the reason that many people refer to rosin flux as solder paste. That stuff ain't what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the other "solder paste". This is an actual solder (i.e., metal) that comes in a paste form. It combines a very finely powdered solder and flux in a sticky matrix that adheres to your joint. You can apply a very tiny amount to your joint and it won't fall off before you apply heat. Comes in a range of temperatures. Very helpful when soldering extremely tiny objects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
.When I have laid the wires out flat as the first step, soldered as the second step, and bent into shape as the third step, the shape ends up distorted and the solder joints may break.
Thanks for telling us your technique Aurora. It sounds as if you have learned the same lessons as me, but progressed with more success! I did tin the wires beforehand but with conventional solder. I must get some of this paste as it sounds ideal.

I must say I was very tempted to waft a flame over it but was too afraid of a conflagration and a total loss.

Thanks for your encouraging comments everyone - I may re-visit this and see if I can improve things. The camera is a beast when it comes to stuff of this size and makes things look ten times worse than they appear in the flesh. This grille is only about the size of a finger nail.after all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Joel. Thanks.

The wire started out straight! I pulled it through the closed jaws of pliers to stretch it, straighten it and work harden it a little before use. I think that if the wire grid had started out with a much wider base and spanned over a hole in the former, then the rim could have been dropped on to it and a flame used. Part of the problem was that the wires turned downwards through the former, so bends were introduced and it was not possible to tension the wires enough to keep them straight.
 

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Solder Paste is best used with a hotplate or a flame. This way you do not disturb anything and you can heat it all simultaneously. Wait to cool obviously before checking results.
 
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