Radiator Covers

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Project by pendledad posted 10-23-2012 05:46 PM 5736 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed to build 4 radiator covers for the upstairs rooms. We have steam heat, and the radiators can burn within an instant if you grab them. Anyways, this project was a lot of fun. It goes hand and hand with my review of the Kreg Jig system, because I used pocket holes for all the joinery.

Luckily all the covers were the same height, so I only had to adjust the measurements for the depth and length. I decided on the metal grates over the wooden slats because it would save me a lot of time as the cold weather is approaching.

I am putting foil reflective insulation against the walls and the underside of the top so the heat comes out the grates. They’re all attached to the wall with a 3/4” plywood french cleat that I made with my circular saw.

Unfortunately, my table saw and band saw bit the dust during this project … read more about it in my blog.

1.) Finished bathroom cover. Nice tight fit to the wall.
2.) Paint complete, ready for metal grates.
3.) A sneak peak at the joinery.
4.) Glue up on the TS surface.
5.) Test fitting my son’s room.
6.) Union jack style decorative mesh for our bedroom. Kids got finer mesh screens so they can’t stick their fingers through the holes.

8 comments so far

View redsox9's profile


105 posts in 2430 days

#1 posted 10-23-2012 05:51 PM

Nice work – simple and clean form, should mitigate safety concerns with the radiators and little hands

-- Jeff, North Andover, MA

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2979 days

#2 posted 10-23-2012 05:54 PM

Nice job, having been burned by these and cracked my skull on one when I was really young I can see the value in what you’ve done there especially in the kid’s room. They look real good.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View patrad's profile


51 posts in 2455 days

#3 posted 10-23-2012 08:58 PM

What did you use for the screen? I just finished framing some (my wife is starting a day care out of our house) . . I got some fiberglass screen stapled on, but I think it looks like crap. All that I could really find at bigbox though.

View pendledad's profile


190 posts in 2233 days

#4 posted 10-23-2012 09:03 PM

At HomeDepot and Lowes, in their sheet metal section (usually same area as threaded rod). They will have these aluminum/sheet metal decorative panels. They are thin gauge metal and come in 24”x36” panels. They’re about $26 a pop. I needed 4 of them … I drew up a cut list to get the maximum use from each sheet.

We liked the union jack style for looks. But we went with a finer mesh style for the kids rooms because the union jack style holes were a little too large for little fingers, and could lead to cuts or scrapes.

Here is an image of the Union jack style:

View patrad's profile


51 posts in 2455 days

#5 posted 10-25-2012 09:34 PM

aww man. I should have asked there, it usually does not good! The sheet metal section eh?! Thank you!

View patrad's profile


51 posts in 2455 days

#6 posted 10-25-2012 09:38 PM

Also, I’m curios about this plywood french cleat. How does that work?

Did you consider putting insulation beneath? I heard it you don’t the hot/cold differential could warp the wood.

View pendledad's profile


190 posts in 2233 days

#7 posted 10-25-2012 09:50 PM

I bought foil insulation from Lowes… It is about 3 isles down from the sheet metal. I’m putting it on the wall and the covers to force the heat out the front.

French cleat is painfully easy concept. Just rip a piece of stock on a 45degree bevel. Google french cleat system… Tons of resources on how to do it.

I used my circular saw and a guide to get a straight rip. I used plywood because it holds screws nicely and was cheaper than buying more pine.

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4078 days

#8 posted 10-26-2012 09:47 PM

I love the Kreg system as well. I use mine every chance I get, because, despite how much I’d love to do more mortise and tenon joinery, I usually need to knock a project together as quickly as possible when I get some shop time.

I really like your covers; they have very clean, almost Shaker lines. Good work!

-- Robb

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