Making the escort square reader.

By November 5, 2018 No Comments

The idea about making this model car came a few months ago when a friend referred me to a crafty page that made really nice holders for the square reader. You could get all sorts of wooden displays that looked wonderful. I was nearly considering buying one when the idea of a small fabricated car that would hold the reader came to me.


sides are cut and roof being tacked on

The idea at the start was to cut 2 sides of a Ford Escort, make a little roof and then have the card reader as the bonnet.

So the first thing I did was cut the sides. I basically got some scrap 3mm mild steel from work and sketched out the silhouette by hand. (by all means I cannot draw, so the outcome really surprised me here) guess frothing over cars has paid off a little bit!


With the sides and roof done, it was pretty much as I had pictured it and ready to go. but I couldn’t help myself. lots of my friends and people who came into work were asking about the styling of the car had pushed me to add more to it. The image I had now was to put some wheels on facing full lock to resemble the familiar image of a drifting escort.

I cut the rims out of some scrap 50mm stainless tube at 30 mm wide. it just seemed to be in proportion to the car.

Then the centers were cut out of some flat 2mm stainless sheet. And drilled to match the front wheels that I’m running on my panel van. I spent the most time die grinding the centres to shape.

When they were done I could tack the wheels to the body. This was an exciting part because it starts to resemble a ca even more. even though it definitely needed bigger wheel arches!

Around the month of may, I did a big mirror finish stainless job at work and got to grab some of the leftover material for the car. Convenient for sure.

The first mirror I used was the arches. A cut of 10 mm strip at 80mm long and small incisions on one side so that it was workable around the wheel and guard. Once the round profile was tacked onto the body, the arch could be tapped down to give it that hella flush clearance to the rim yo!

The next night I spent working on it consisted of filling in the bonnet panel, front panel and boot panel, which were just flat sheet pieces and tack welded to the shape of the body. Then all the windows were cut out. It looked more aggressive and less like a baby whale.

The next mirror stainless addition was the front kit. I started out with a 90 degree angle and started trimming off pieces as trial and error led the way. I really like the 80s formula one aggressive wing so I think that’s what was in the back of my mind at the time. As for the rear, I chose a drag wing. The flat horizontal plane with 2 end caps. I think because it makes the car look less stumpy. That was just a piece of galvanised 1.2 sheet. The end caps are polished stainless shaped with very acute ends.

I went to town with the perforated stainless mesh! This makes up the windscreen and the 4 duct rear diffuser. I have to say, TIG welding the triangle pieces for the diffuser was a little frustrating. especially with the scratch start. Most of the time I spent unsticking the pieces and re sharpening the electrode.

At this point I thought I was nearly finished, but it sort of annoyed me that it has massive front and rear wings but nothing up the sides. prior to that, I had started to cut the fire wall out off a full-sized escort and noticed one of the sheet profiles would Make a cool side skirt on the little escort.  so that’s what I used.  And was really happy with it.

The following jobs were relatively quick. I thought it looked weird with out a Rollcage. But with everything welded in place, the best thing I could come up with was bending a welding rod to shape and just managing to weld that in there.  Then  put some led lights in the headlight spot, welded a long exhaust out the centre of the diffuser, and tacked some horizontal grille pieces on the front panel.

It was then spray painted black and I cut some gold stickers for the livery. (fanboy alert) What’d I say about 80s f1? Yeah Senna JPS lotus colours inspiration right there.

I made a 7 video build series on youtube if you would like to check that out.

It seemed to be a lot of effort for a square card reader holder, but I totally enjoyed building it! My favourite part is when clients ask if I have eftpos and they get to see the bonnet bulge is the tap to pay reader. For me it adds to the experience. Thankyou square for making all of this possible with the small machine.


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