Next-level Skill: Build a Truck-bed Stor­age Sys­tem

Or­ga­nize the gear in your pickup—once and for all

Outdoor Life - - IN THE SHOP - —T.H.

1. MAKE THE FRAME PIECES

Rip two strips of ply­wood the height of the wheel wells and cut them to the bed length mi­nus 3 inches. Next, rip four strips of ply­wood 4 inches wide and cut them to the bed width. Some beds are ta­pered, so mea­sure each piece.

2. AS­SEM­BLE THE FRAME

Place the two long beams on edge in the bed. Next, lay the sup­port strips flat on top of the frame. One strip should be a foot from the tail­gate, another as close to the cab as pos­si­ble. Dis­trib­ute the other two equally across the re­main­ing space. Mark each sup­port strip lo­ca­tion, and notch the beams so each sup­port strip sits flush at the top. Then re­assem­ble the full frame in the truck bed to ver­ify fit.

3. MAKE THE DRAWER

With the frame in place, mea­sure the dis­tance be­tween the sup­port beams and sub­tract 3 inches. Rip two strips of ply­wood to the proper height, and cut to the length of the bed mi­nus 2 inches. Then rip two strips for the front and back of the drawer. At this point, you can cut di­vider strips if you want mul­ti­ple com­part­ments in the drawer. As­sem­ble with deck screws and con­struc­tion ad­he­sive.

4. MAKE IT SLIDE

At­tach the square tub­ing to each side of the drawer us­ing self-tap­ping screws and ad­he­sive. The drawer should sus­pend above the bed about an inch. Next, in­stall T-screws and bolts. A row of 20 bear­ings should be spaced evenly along the length of each sup­port beam with half the bear­ings rest­ing on the top of the space for the steel tub­ing and half below it. Each bolt should fit through the cen­ter of your bear­ings. Place a nut be­tween the bear­ing and the sup­port beam, fol­lowed by the bear­ing and then another nut. Once all bear­ings are in place, in­sert the drawer. Fin­ish off the build by cut­ting a sheet of ply­wood to cover the top of the assem­bly, which can be screwed in place if de­sired. You can even throw a pad or mat­tress on top for a camp on wheels.

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