The first step to building a custom centre console is the design. The console can be a cubby with a hinged lid, or a seat-to-dashboard console with audio speakers and cup holders. The finish is a consideration as well. You can make the console using MDF and cover it with vinyl fabric, or build it with hardwood veneer. Whatever your design, you need a template to transfer the contour of the floorboard and transmission hump to the base of the console. Decide on a design, compile the materials and build a custom centre console for your truck using woodworking tools.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Utility knife
- Masking tape
- Felt-tip marker
- Console materials
- Table saw
- Wood glue
- Finish nail gun or pin-nail gun
- Finish nails
Establish the width, length and height of the console. Make a template by cutting four pieces of cardboard to the dimensions of the console using a utility knife. Tape the pieces together at the corners with masking tape to make a working template.
Set the template atop the transmission hump at the floorboard. Mark the contour of the hump on the sides and ends of the template with a felt-tip marker.
Cut the marks on the template with the utility knife. Place the template on the hump and make revised marks and contour cuts as needed. Mark lines for the top of the console at the sides and ends of the template. Depending on your design, the top may be angled or flat. Cut these lines with the utility knife.
Label the sides and ends of the template for reference. Cut the masking tape at the corners with the utility knife. Place the template pieces atop the sheet material, such as MDF or hardwood veneer.
Outline the sides and ends of the template pieces on the sheet material. Mark each of the pieces for reference before cutting.
Set up the guide on a table saw and cut each piece in its overall square or rectangle. Make the contour cuts on the pieces with a jigsaw. Check the fit of the contour cuts on the transmission hump. Mark any cuts that need detailing and cut these with the jigsaw.
Assemble the console using wood glue and a finish nail gun or pin-nail gun. The size of the nails depends on the thickness of the material. Typically, number 4 nails are used with 1/2-inch material and number 6 nails with 5/8-inch material.
Place the console on the transmission hump. Establish the depth of a raised bottom and mark the inside of the console at this depth.
Measure the inside of the console each way and cut the raised bottom for the console. Install the raised bottom using wood glue and finish nails, nailing from the outside of the console into the edges of the raised bottom.
Tips and warnings
- Refer to a website or custom truck accessory magazines for design and finish ideas.
- Attach a lid using self-closing mechanical cabinet hinges.
- Mitre-cut corners of hardwood veneer pieces before assembling the console.
- Wear safety glasses when cutting materials on a table saw.
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