As many of you know, there's a serious need for storage in these trucks. Sure, you can just throw stuff behind the seats, but wouldn't it be nice to have a dedicated, covered storage area for things like laptops, fire extinguishers, MagLites, tow straps, etc.?
This is one that I started when i first got my Ranger in '04, but I wasn't happy with the progress, so I shelved it--for 7 years! It is an updated version of one that I built for my '00 that went with the truck when I sold it. This one is made out of 3/4" MDF for the main box, and the lids are 3/4" AC plywood.
I really love this box--it works really well, it holds all of my crap, and it looks great--but it's a little too big, so I cant slide my seats all the way back. Since the PowerDome project is on hold until warmer weather hits, I decided to tackle Version 2.0.
This is an on-going project--I've gotten a lot done this week, but some of the "finishing" work might be put off for a bit, depending on weather.
For this one, I used 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood; it's a little on the expensive side, but it is so much easier to work with than MDF. One 5'x5' sheet is plenty.
I used some rounded MDF corners that I got from Rockler.com when I built the first box--they add a bit of style, but certainly not required. It would have been much easier to just butt the sides and the front together, and then round the corner with a router.
You'll also need: 2-12" piano hinges, some magnetic catches (I used some 1/2" rare earth magnets), a bunch of sheetrock screws, some angle braces, and some miscellaneous bolts. I will be polyurethaning the inside, and on the outide, I'll do the same thing that I did on the old box-Rustoleum Spray-on Bedliner and speaker box carpet.
Power saw of some sort--table saw, circular saw with clamp-on guide or what I used:
Greatest saw ever--Festool TS55EQ plunge saw with guide rails and CT26E dust extractor--we sell Festool at work, so I borrowed the demo.
Router with plunge base and guide, roundover bit, mortising bit.
Drill with driver bits, countersink, and assorted drill bits
One of these is handy to have, but not required:
Kreg pocket jig
Tape measure, square, speed square, a sharp pencil, sawhorses, clamps, lots of patience, and average woodworking skills.
1-12"x44", 2-5-1/4"x42-1/2", 2-5-1/4"x12", 2-5-1/4"x10-1/2" for the box
1-20"x44-1/2" for the lid
You'll also need some of the leftover pieces for the mounting brackets-specs will be listed when I get to that part.
Cut all of your parts from the cut list first; that way you can just start assembling.
I started by squaring-up the back with the sides. I used a 90-degree corner jig and clamps, then drilled pilot holes, applied wood glue, and screwed them together. It's super-important to keep everything square.
Lay the 12"x44" panel on your work surface--this is the bottom panel, but it will help you with the layout. Measure 18-1/2" (maximum) in from both sides and marl a square line; these are the layout lines for the inside edge of the center dividers. This is a pretty critical measurement, as this is where the bottom, front, and back of the box will be notched to clear the transmission tunnel. Align the back/sides assembly on the bottom panel. Square-up the 10-1/2" divider panels, keepeing the panel on the line that you marked. Double-check that the dividers are located properly-the dimension from the inside edge of the divider to the outside edge of the side panel must be equal to the measurement chosen earlier. Clamp it square, drill pilot holes through the back panel, glue it and screw it. Align the front panel, drill pilot holes, glue it and screw it. In my pics, there's a pretty big gap. No, I'm not that bad a carpenter-that's for the rounded corner blocks!
OPTIONAL: Corner blocks intalled using glue and pocket screws
Flip the box frame over on your work surface, then align the bottom panel, getting all of the edges as flush as possible-they should be pretty close if you kept everything square while assembling. Drill pilot holes through the bottom panel and drive a few screws on each side. I didn't glue mine at this point since I will need to take the bottom panel back off to apply carpet. Measure in 18" to 18-1/2" from each side and mark a square line. Transfer these lines to the front and back panels using a speed square. Measue a minimum of 1-1/2" (2" is better) from the bottom panel on the front and rear panels and make a mark, then connect the marks. These are the layout lines for the tranny tunnel notch. Drill a 1/2" hole in each corner marked; these will be pilot holes for the jigsaw. Clamp your saw guide in place, set your depth of cut to the dimension chosen above, and make your 2 cuts on your layout lines on the box bottom. Use the jigsaw to finish-off the notch front and rear.
Next up is the box top. Mine will actually be 2 lids with a stationary panel in the middle, but it's easier to do all of the milling and mock-up with it all in one piece, then cutting the lids to size afterward. I rounded the corners with a jigsaw first, to better match the rounded corners of the box. Next, I used a 1/2" radius roundover bit and rounded-over the front and sides. For some extra style, I routed a 2" wide mortise about 2" in from the front and sides; this mortise is about 1/4" deep, and once the carpet is applied, it will create a nice transition from the border to the carpet, plus with the "step", it adds a little interest to the panel. Definitely need the router guide for this.
Transition detail (old box):
While I had the mortising bit in the router, I cut some mortises in the front edge for clearance for the piano hinges, then mounted the hinges to the top.
Drilled some 1/2" holes with a forstner bit, then epoxied 4 "rare earth" magnets in place to keep the lids closed.
That's it for now, but that should get you started. Next-up is poly and carpet on the inside, bedliner and carpet on the outside, and the mounts that utilize the existing jump seat mounting points--oh, I didn't mention that this is a "bolt-in"? More pics and tutorial to come then.