Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pimp My Van Continued

The insulation and paneling mentioned in the previous post made for a quieter vehicle, but it still was a bare bones beast. This-mind you, was what I was looking for.  The excesses SUV's and even pickup trucks came with were irritating on general principle and function. They resulted in vehicles meant to transport people in comfort with screens and cup holders up the wazoo. It's funny how one's prejudices can work against you as I would have never considered a Mercedes Benz to embody utility together with a Spartan sensibility.
So I like bare bones, but not having a place to store stuff out of sight other than a glove box is asking to have your car broken into. Thus I looked for after market storage solutions on Google and in the Metris Forum; none of the solutions fit my needs or aesthetics. The options were a cheap looking metal box designed for file folders or plastic consoles with- cup holders. I wanted something that could store my gym/work bag so that it not be visible from window view. Locks were not needed as if someone broke into the car a padlock would not stand up to a crow bar. So back to the shop.
One of my 2017 woodworking resolutions had been to learn dovetails and this was an opportunity to practice that skill. The BCTW Jointmaker makes the task easier but not by any means fool/newbie proof. A modification specific to the project was to make a taller fence attachment (the purpleheart piece) to hold the panels of the console securely.

 The design had to accommodate an uneven floor, thus the cuts on the left hand side on above photo, and be able to clear the armrest. It should also be able to work as a writing or laptop surface. At the same time sufficiently tall to hold my backpack. Other jigs made themselves useful in the project
My Moxon vise made the fret saw cuts and tracing the tails to make the pins.
It also was invaluable in the glue up of the Cosman wood hinge. This was my third project using this  hinge and, while still having room for improvement, was much better than the previous two.
The La Forge screw jack is one of my favorite woodworking toys- an aesthetically cool object and way useful.

Here it served to help in planning a awkward piece to hold- the part used to wedge the console to the lower part of the dash area

Here is the piece used to secure the console to the front. and another piece as shown below allowed the console to be install without drilling any holes to the interior.

The finished project prior to installation
While not a trunk, there's much more room for concealed storage.
Two weeks later, while filling up at a local gas station, the attendant remarked that my van had a Home Depot smell. More specifically what he was smelling was Watco.

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