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  • Joe

Should You Build or Buy a Radiator Cover?

As a 'maker' I tend to think it is better to build something rather than buy it. But is that always the case? Is it cheaper, more time efficient, better quality to Build or Buy? In this post I'm going to explore if its best to Build or Buy a Radiator Cover.


The Carpenters Daughter has a great step by step post showing how she made her radiator cover. Check it out here: http://thecarpentersdaughter.co.uk/diy/diy-radiator-cover/


Here's how I made mine...

Tools used:


Materials Used:


I wanted to make sure that it was in fact cheaper to build the radiator cover compared to buying one. I created a list of prices to compare the 2 options. I found it was cheaper to build in my case. While price is often the biggest factor to consider its also worth noting that building gives the ability to make the radiator cover fit your space perfectly. Of course it takes your time to build one but its a nice quick process and definitely not beyond an Average Joe.


Above is the cut list for the Radiator Cover I made. Of course the measurements will need to be adapted to fit your radiator.


I started by cutting the MDF into the series of widths I would need. I did this on my table saw. It is a simple repetitive process but remember to wear the relevant safety gear. Eye protection and a respirator is a must when working with MDF.



Once I had the widths I needed I moved over to the mitre saw to cut them to the correct lengths. I ticked of each piece on my cutting list so I could keep track of my progress easily.




Once all my pieces were cut, I laid them out how they would be assembled. I was using a biscuit joiner to join the pieces together so I used a pencil to put marks where I would cut slots for the biscuits.





I could then use the marks to cut the slots ready for glue and biscuits.






For the legs of the cover there is a 10mm reveal so I adjusted my biscuit joiner higher by 10mm to give me the reveal I wanted. I then cut the slots in the legs.







I glued up the front panel first and left it to dry overnight.





I was going to add 2 panels to the front of the cover. Just a simple striped pattern. I wanted to create a groove to bring the panels closer to the front and also give me a place to glue them in.





I use my router to create the grooves all the way round the 2 openings in the front panel. I could then glue on the leg pieces.






I opted to use dowels to attach the top as I feel they are easier to line up than biscuits.

I drilled 6mm holes in the top of the radiator cover at each of the points where the top would meet the cover itself. I then put in the dowel centre points.



I lined up the top and made sure it had