I’ve planned for the rear storage in the truck to be in a 3-piece modular design – meaning I can unbolt it and remove pieces independently. This will help greatly for when I want to take it out for maintenance or repairs, and means I don’t have to built it in-situ in the truck. Briefly it will consist of:
- Module 1 – drawers. These will be three drawers opening out of the back of the truck
- Module 2 – “wardrobe”. A vertical clothes storage cupboard on the RHS of the truck fixed on top of module 1. This will also incorporate a fourth drawer.
- Module 3 – worktop. Two large, compartmentalised storage bins with opening lids which also form my worktop in the back. This will be bolted on top of module 1, next to module 2.
The first task was locating suitable mounting points. The primary mounting for module 1 needs to be strong, seeing as the other modules will be fixed to it and rely on it for a lot of their strength.
The rear seat mounts were in the perfect position, and should be more than strong enough. I just needed to find a suitable way of using these whilst retaining a flat (no protruding bolt heads) floor in module 1 to prevent interference with the drawers.
I decided to make up some U-shaped brackets which would clamp onto the inside of the drawer module and hold it tightly in place. I cut some 3mm steel flat and marked out where it would be bent.
I used a slitting disc to partially cut through the metal and then bend it in to shape.
This is how they will sit in the recess for the seat mounts
I drilled bolt holes and welded up the cuts to give the bracket back its strength
I also welded in some strengthening bars to the bracket to make sure it wouldn’t bend in the event of a shunt.
Here you can see how the brackets will clamp down onto the inside of the drawer cabinet with a couple of pieces of scrap wood for illustration.
After making the brackets I started looking at the drawer cabinet carcass. I bolted down a strip of angle ally onto the boot floor to use as a datum point and guide as I’m test fitting the progress as I go.
I decided to go with 12mm hardwood plywood for the construction, I think this will give the best compromise between weight and strength. I started by measuring up the sizes for the drawers, wanting to keep them symmetrical but allow the left drawer to be slid out with only the small barn door open. The plywood lengths are just balancing at this point to allow for fine tweaking.
I’m using nylon strips as for the drawer base to slide along instead of actual metal drawer runners, going down this route will mean that I can maximise storage space, and metal runners tend to rattle when going over bumps. I don’t like rattles!
I got 8 strips of 3mm nylon cut to 30mm wide and the appropriate length, I’ll wax the bottom of the drawers to reduce friction even further. I’m hoping for a fairly smooth glide when its all assembled.
After deciding on the drawer dimensions I temporarily screwed the carcass together and placed the nylon runners in position. I could then start making up the drawers.
Drawers in progress.
With the drawer sizes set I could permanently fix the carcass together, I used wood glue and a load more counter-sunk screws for extra strength.
And fixed in place with the brackets. I routed out 2mm from the base so that there is plenty of clearance between the bottom of the drawer and the bracket.
Continuing with the drawers, adding front panels.
And some lockable slam latches.
It was quite tricky finding these at a sensible price, especially in the UK – but Wixroyd had just the thing.
They’re fairly light-duty but should be more than strong enough for what I need.
I made some catches out of ally angle
And screwed them to the inside of the carcass.
Drawers in place.
LHS drawer opens out of the small barn door.
Very pleased with the result. A little bit of fettling with a belt sander made sure they ran smoothly.
I ordered some lining carpet to cover the drawers, and cut it to size.
I decided to line the inside too so help stop rattles.
A bit of trimming to get the carpet to size and shape.
I also painted the sides and top edges of the drawers grey to help them blend in.
All three done.
Just need to finish off the edges of the carcass.
Quite pleased with the result. Its far from perfect, but will certainly do me.
Plenty of storage space!