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Old 01-02-2009, 08:43 PM   #1
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Building a console vault

So I've started to build my own console lock box with a goal of keeping it under $100. So far I've got about $50 of materials into it and should be able to finish up for under $80. Here's the basic steps and the few pics I've taken so far.

Materials:
24x24 16ga steel sheet
1/8" steel (I used left over pieces but an 8x10 piece would work
1/16" x 1/4" steel
Cutting wheels
Heavy door hinge
Lock
Primer
Liner paint
Felt
M6x1.5 bolts (2)

Tools:
Angle Grinder
Welder
Level
10mm socket and ratchet
cross-point screwdriver
Scissors
Sharpie
Coors Light

1. Remove center console from truck
2. Disassemble underside of console lid
3. Separate lid from hinge
4. Remove hinge covers (from underneath)
5. Remove hinge

Now the fun starts.

6. Using cardboard, cut out templates for the pieces you need
7. Start with the back-most piece in the recess and work toward the driver side piece. You only need to create templates for the sides.
8. Tape all pieces together and make sure you can install and remove assembled template
9. Use templates to trace pieces onto 16 ga steel plate
10. Cut out pieces.
11. Begin fitting pieces from the same starting point.
12. Using duct tape, fit 2 pieces together, then tack weld them together
13. Test fit and adjust as necessary.
14. Repeat with rest of pieces. I found that I needed to trim, grind, etc quite a bit and still didn't get it perfect but good enough for me right now.
15. After sides are assembled and you can install and remove them, set assembly onto remaining 16 ga steel sheet and trace.
16. Cut bottom piece out and weld into place
17. Cut and weld 1/16 steel around top edge using a level to keep it even

You should have something that looks about like this:




I know it's ugly but I'm not done yet.

18. Cut top out of 1/8" steel
19. Draw straight line across top about 1/2 toward the front of the recess
20. Use grinder to create slight low spot across the line the width of the hinge
21. Weld hinge (assembled) sides to plate with center aligned with the line you drew

Should look about like this:



It's uglier than the box but that will all have to fixed later.

Plan going forward is:

Finish cleaning up my welds on the box and grind them smooth
Weld latch for lock to inside-front of box
Drill hole for lock into lid
Cut the top from the bottom along the line (taking care not to cut the hinge) then weld the back piece to the box
Spray with primer.
Paint with liner paint.
I'll use speaker carpet to cover the inside and out.
Install lock and I should be good.

I still haven't figured out how to make it look cleaner out the outer edges since there are some places where the design means leaving space between the box and the side.

I had to stop since I tripped the breaker and the wife needed help taking decorations down but I'll post more as I get it done if others are interested.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
I sell fishing and fishing accessories
wildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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not bad at all. Ever think of keeping it simple, and line it with say..herculiner, and then cover it with cloth to match the interior? Or just cover it over twice, then you wont see the welds.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
Low and slow
dually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Cover with felt, and paint it with fiberglass resin. When it cures after enough coats, sand it down, bondo, metalglaze and then primer/paint. You'll have a kickass console then.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildjerseyfirefighter View Post
not bad at all. Ever think of keeping it simple, and line it with say..herculiner, and then cover it with cloth to match the interior? Or just cover it over twice, then you wont see the welds.
That's a great idea. I forgot to put in the "paint with POR-15 frame paint" step but liner paint would probably work better. Still want cloth to protect the inside of the console as well as anything I put in there.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #6
I sell fishing and fishing accessories
wildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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the only problem with that, is quarts of that stuff is expensive. I think one is like 20-30 bux
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:28 PM   #7
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cvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shedcvillechopper is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildjerseyfirefighter View Post
the only problem with that, is quarts of that stuff is expensive. I think one is like 20-30 bux
No Joke! I've got most of a quart in the basement fridge(they say it keeps better that way) left over from a bike restore I've been working on for about 10 months. I'm thinking that the under $100 goal wouldn't include that. It would have to be "what ever you have lying around".
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:31 PM   #8
I sell fishing and fishing accessories
wildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shedwildjerseyfirefighter is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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well you said you should be comming in around $80, right? Then if you can get it for say $20 on sale, you SHOULD be under $100
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:35 PM   #9
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OK. I made a bit of progress today. It's fully assembled and the welds have been strengthened enough for this task. It's still not pretty but after the coat of primer it does look much more like it should. I picked up some felt tonight and am waiting for the box and paint to warm up (were in the garage all day) so I can put the black paint on.

Here's what she looks like with out and then with the primer.









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Old 01-03-2009, 09:16 PM   #11
Low and slow
dually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the sheddually is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Does it rattle? Maybe have a little rubber between the box and lid?
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dually View Post
Does it rattle? Maybe have a little rubber between the box and lid?
It doesn't rattle as is but I'm planning on having felt on the resting edges and bottom of the lid just in case.
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:00 PM   #13
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lsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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that is really nice. I wish I had those skills.

While you're at it. I saw someone make a locking box that fits just behind one of the back seats. You should go for one of them too.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsocoee View Post
that is really nice. I wish I had those skills.

While you're at it. I saw someone make a locking box that fits just behind one of the back seats. You should go for one of them too.
Yeh. I thought about that for about 2 seconds before my self preservation skills kicked in. The main reason we went with the DC was so friends and future kids can sit in the back comfortably. If I built something that took that away I might be sleeping in the truck for a while...
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:28 AM   #15
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Nice project. Once it's bolted down it's a great place to keep stuff safe in your truck.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:38 AM   #16
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lsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shedlsocoee is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvillechopper View Post
Yeh. I thought about that for about 2 seconds before my self preservation skills kicked in. The main reason we went with the DC was so friends and future kids can sit in the back comfortably. If I built something that took that away I might be sleeping in the truck for a while...
it didn't take away from the back seat. It was in place of the storage cubby behind the rear seat.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:05 PM   #17
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I got her installed and found one thing in my design that I didn't get quite right. The top is a little wide so I should have made it straight instead of making part of the recess open. Once I got the inside of the lid on I couldn't open the box so I trimmed the inside of the lid and she works perfectly.

I couldn't find the speaker carpet I thought I would use so I found think felt at Micheal's. The self stick stuff is easier to work with and I used some of that for the inside where it's harder to use spray adhesive. You can see from the first pic of the box in the truck that there was a little extra space around the sides of the box. I used cardboard to build the space up so the top cover doesn't have space for stuff to fall down the edges. I also added an extra tab of felt to open the top. I didn't want to use anything that could be used to really stress the lock. As it is, I don't think the average smash-and-grab thief has a chance in hell of getting into this box.

It's definitely not perfect but certainly worth the ~$80 in materials and the fun of the challenge.













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Old 01-04-2009, 02:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsocoee View Post
it didn't take away from the back seat. It was in place of the storage cubby behind the rear seat.
Ahh.... That's a cool idea.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:41 PM   #19
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That is a very slick idea. I might just try that someday pretty soon...I wouldnt mind a safe place in my truck for stuff. Rep for you!
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:11 PM   #20
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nice work!
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