DIY Storage Unit

Thursday, Sep 29, 2011 at 19:32

Kevin S - Life Member (QLD)

I have become a bit tired of all that gear that seems to be permanently in the back of a 4WD sliding around and looking untidy. It was time to act.
I didn’t want a full width unit, as the Waeco was fine on the floor. Elevated, it would be too high to comfortably use. Enquiries on and the internet revealed that single drawer units were available but the best price was just south of $800 including freight and I didn’t want a draw anyway. What I really needed was a cupboard. Some forum members on encouraged me to look at building a unit myself. Member Mark G Gulmarrad, even phoned me to talk about the unit he had made for his ute. After that I was convinced that I could do it.
The frame is of 25x25x1.2mm aluminium with “Connect-it” plastic joiners. I used structural ply which was glued and screwed to the frame. All visible areas of ply were covered with commercial outdoor carpet. Then the corners were covered with 12x12x1.2mm aluminium angle for protection. Most of the material came from Bunnings with some special stainless steel fittings from BCF and the carpet came from Clarke Rubber.
The width was established by leaving just enough room on the left for the Waeco in its cover. The unit sits against the RH wheel arch with the deck extending almost to the right hand wall. I have fitted two wooden blocks under the deck extension to take the weight of a future battery box on the wheel arch. The left side of the unit is higher to form a “return” so that items on the deck won’t roll onto the Waeco. I have fitted ring bolts into the top of the return and the far edge of the deck so that items stacked on the deck can be secured.
The back of the unit is retained by four wing nuts so that I can easily reach the bolts that secure the unit to the floor. Because there is no draw, a base is required which is not secured, for the same reason. No draw meant that I needed a door, so a drop down flap serves that purpose and provides a small table for road side meals and snacks.
Commercial producers of drawer units should not feel that they have lost business through my DIY efforts. At almost $800 dollars I would have gone without. At about half that price I am more than happy. I think that a great deal of DIY work falls into this category. Build it yourself or go without.
The unit had its first work out on our recent trip to South West Queensland where it provided a table for road side snacks and held its contents in place and we slipped and slided along the Dowling Track.
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

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