How to Fabricate Speaker Grill Covers for Car Speakers

Written by jan benschop
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How to Fabricate Speaker Grill Covers for Car Speakers
Custom speaker grilles are the best way to finish your installation. (grille rouge image by Strikker from Fotolia.com)

There is no doubt that creating a beautiful custom look for car speakers outshines using the stock grills that came with the drivers. It will take more time, but you can make your own with the right materials and tools. Using half-inch medium density fiberboard (MDF) keeps grill frames from warping, and makes it easy to tool to the right shape. Using inexpensive stretch cloth and rubber spline saves money, makes it easier to finish, and gives you a great look.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • A sheet of 1/2-inch MDF large enough for all grilles Table saw
  • Window screen spline
  • Spline roller
  • Single-knit stretch cloth
  • Saber saw
  • Scissors
  • Automatic pencil
  • Electric drill with 5/16-inch bit
  • Half-round wood rasp

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Lay the speaker for which you are making a grill on its face on top of a sheet of MDF. With the pencil point touching the speaker flange, trace a line around the speaker. Make a rectangle around the tracing, at least 3/4 of an inch larger than the flange.

  2. 2

    Drill a hole inside the flange tracing to fit the sabre saw bit. Saw out the speaker hole, staying inside and not touching the flange tracing. Saw the rectangle out of the MDF sheet. Use a quarter to trace rounded corners on the rectangle, and sabre saw the corners.

  3. 3

    On one side of the grill frame, use a table saw to kerf recessed grooves between the outer edge and the flange hole. The saw width should be slightly wider than the window screen spline.

  4. 4

    Push the grill frame on around the speaker flange. If the frame is too small, trim the hole slightly with the rasp, taking care not to remove too much. Try it until it fits just barely and it takes effort to push it on.

  5. 5

    Cut a length of spline long enough to fit the entire groove. Cut a rectangle of cloth 2 inches larger on each side than the grill frame. Center the frame on the cloth. Fold cloth over one side and over the groove. Push spline in and roll into groove. Stretch cloth over the opposite side and insert spline. Repeat with the remaining two sides. Trim excess cloth with scissors.

  6. 6

    Push the finished grill down over the speaker.

Tips and warnings

  • The frame must fit the speaker flange very tightly: This is called an interference fit.
  • You can spraypaint the frame before covering.

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