A Start on the Speaker Boxes

The picture you see at the top of this post is a passenger-side speaker box from the “hero car” used in Batman Returns.  This is the same car that’s currently on display at Warner Brothers studios.

As you can see there’s a recessed area in both the hood and this speaker box so that a latch can be used to help hold down the hood.  I was able to pick up some accurate latches a while ago.

The goal after dinner tonight… make a speaker box that looks like the the picture.  The good news is that these are entirely for decoration so I don’t have to worry about functionality 🙂

Like everything else on the car, it all starts with tracing the shape onto some steel and cutting it out based on a template from measurements of the car.  Of course the passenger side isn’t the exact same size so I’ll have to make a different template for it.

I used a piece of 3″ exhaust pipe for the circle on the speaker box which looked pretty close to the proper scale.

After cutting everything out I also cut a 1/4″ thick piece of the 3″ exhaust pipe to act as the recessed area with the screen.  I then cut out a 3″ diameter circle out of the circular mesh and gave both the mesh and the initial cut out center circle a coat of primer.

From there I tack welded on the mesh to the one end of the 1/4″ thick 3″ exhaust pipe and then welded the cut out center circle to the back of the mesh and pipe.  This gave a nice sealed recess with the mesh inside and a solid backing.

From there I welded the open end of the 3″ pipe into the cut out face of the speaker box from the back surface so that I wouldn’t get welding slag onto the mesh.

I didn’t finish the entire box tonight because I had to stop running the grinder and cutting wheel since we have small kids in the neighborhood whom I didn’t want to keep up as they tried to get to sleep 🙂

The “crusty” area around the pipe will be filled in with body filler and then smoothed out.

I did however cut a fairly long 1/2″ strip of the 1/16″ steel to create the wall around the outside of the box.  I made it about 2/3 of the way around the perimeter before I ran out of material.

This process was one of welding up to a point and then bending and using a body work hammer to shape the steel around the box.  Weld a little… hammer a little… weld a little.. hammer a little… etc.

Here’s a couple pictures of the speaker box in-place.  One without the flash and one with the flash.  It’s hard to get a good picture when it’s a little bit dark in the garage.

The black vs. brown color on the mesh is just from the metal heating up and discoloring the primer.  I’ll also have to do a little bit of shaping of the recessed area on the body so that the speaker box sits nice and straight.

You can see that I’ve drilled some pilot holes for the pop rivets that go around the speaker.  I figured I’ll “pop” those in once I have the face smoothed out and ready for paint.

Overall I’m pretty satisfied with my progress so far 🙂

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