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Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?

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Old 01-03-2011, 05:50 AM   #1
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Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?

Got a Home Depot gift card for Christmas and figure it's a good time to start buildin a center console / armrest for my bench seat. Did a search and couldn't find much info on other people doing it. I know through some other threads I've seen one that dagertats did but before I start building I wanted to see if anyone else has done it. Please post pics and any details that will help in the build. Once I come up with a design and build it, I'll post it up to hopefully help others out in the future.

Thinking about doing something with a flip up lid that goes front to back so that either the driver or passenger can access it. Would run a piano hinge across the back and have some type of latch on the front. No need for cupholders on it. It's going to have to be heavy enough not to slide around cause I want it easily removable in case I need the center seat. Regarding surfacing, I'm torn between wrapping it in fabric, doing a laminated plywood, or doing a wood veneered plywood.

Thoughts, Ideas, Comments?
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:57 AM   #2
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Subbed.

My only thought is to not wrap it in fabric so it can be tossed in the back if needed regardless of the weather. Also it's easier to redo the finish if needed when you don't have to peel off fabric.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:09 AM   #3
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Good point. Kinda thinking I like the veneered plywood or panelam idea. Maybe just a sanded smooth plywood. Panelam is nice cause it's prefinished in a color and doesn't have to be painted. Just has to be edge banded. I'm leaning towards black. My interior is the half grey / half black combo.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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Have you thought about just getting one of these?

http://www.pickupspecialties.com/Con...bag_colors.htm

Model 300 or 342 would work.

Dave
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:04 PM   #5
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Do they definitely fit good? They all look like they'd fit horribly. Only other thing is I don't need anymore cup holders.lol
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #6
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i believe the ones he showed are too large especially if you have a manual trans. there was one other person whos i seen on here but i dont remember the name. it was very simular to the one i made. seen it in wood,not sure if he covered it or not.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #7
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i was actually thinking of lookin into somesort of armrest, im in the same boat, i dont want anymore freakin cup holders lol
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggertats View Post
i believe the ones he showed are too large especially if you have a manual trans. there was one other person whos i seen on here but i dont remember the name. it was very simular to the one i made. seen it in wood,not sure if he covered it or not.
Yea, I thought they were too big. I saw a wooden one on here too. It was on an X-runner. Looked really good.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danteisme View Post
i was actually thinking of lookin into somesort of armrest, im in the same boat, i dont want anymore freakin cup holders lol
LOL. I'll tell ya, one hour trip with my wife and the cup holders are both filled with junk. Can't give her any more of them to fill.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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Getting a little closer to the production phase lol. Decided to go with a panelam plywood material (basically a piece of 3/4" plywood with a grey vinyl finish on one side). A lot of times you'll see it's used on bleacher seating in school gymnasiums, or at least that's where we use it. I'm hoping my boss brings in a piece today that he said I could have that we've had in storage for over a year. Also planning on doing a magnetic touch latch I found at Home Depot and I'm hoping to find a narrow enough piano hinge. So far the smallest I've seen is 30". I also have to find some edge banding for the one or two exposed edges. Home Depot has white banding which I may get and just paint black. Damn another thought is someway to pad the top of it so my elbow doesn't get sore on a long drive.

Hoping to start building it soon but want to make sure I have all the bugs worked out first. Will keep everyone updated as I get along and will post final pics in case anyone wants to do one also. Actually pretty excited about it.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomatrd99 View Post
Getting a little closer to the production phase lol. Decided to go with a panelam plywood material (basically a piece of 3/4" plywood with a grey vinyl finish on one side). A lot of times you'll see it's used on bleacher seating in school gymnasiums, or at least that's where we use it. I'm hoping my boss brings in a piece today that he said I could have that we've had in storage for over a year. Also planning on doing a magnetic touch latch I found at Home Depot and I'm hoping to find a narrow enough piano hinge. So far the smallest I've seen is 30". I also have to find some edge banding for the one or two exposed edges. Home Depot has white banding which I may get and just paint black. Damn another thought is someway to pad the top of it so my elbow doesn't get sore on a long drive.

Hoping to start building it soon but want to make sure I have all the bugs worked out first. Will keep everyone updated as I get along and will post final pics in case anyone wants to do one also. Actually pretty excited about it.
sounds good! you can cut down the hinge with a hack saw, then you have an excuse to make something else... can't wait to see pics.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #12
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I'll try to get pics of my console up soon. I wrapped the sides in vinyl fabric and left the top uncovered for now. I never really finished it because there are a few things I will do differently when I build a new one...including different hinges because I just found some cabinet hinges lying around my shop and went with those for the time being.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:03 AM   #13
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Just stack some phones books beside you and call it a day mang.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:53 AM   #14
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i just bought a thin piece of foam from the fabric store here. that gave me just enough padding without looking too bulky
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:11 PM   #15
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Ok, finally got to my project this weekend. I ended up making it out of a piece of panelam I had laying around the shop where I work. Panelam is basically a 3/4" piece of plywood that has a vinyl overlay on one side. The piece I had happened to work out perfectly cause it had black edge banding around the perimter of it. Steps taken were as follows:

1. Using a piece of carboard, trace the contour of the seat back.
2. Cut two pieces of panelam to be 12" long by 8" high. Trim the two pieces so that they are 8" high at one side and 7" high at the other (creating a slop that starts at the back and goes down 1" towards the dashboard which will help offset the slant of the seat and give you a little room while shifting).
3. Using cardboard template, cut the backs of the two pieces to match the contour of the seat back.
4. Cut two pieces of panelam to create the front and back horizontal pieces.
5. Cut one piece of panelam to create the lid. I cut mine 1/2" larger in both length and width to create a little lip to grab when opening the lid.
6. Using carpet (mine was vertically ribbed wall carpet from Shaw), carpet the sides of the console you desire. For me, I carpeted what was going to be the inside of the three pieces and the outside of the lid. I wanted the outside of the lid carpeted so that it would create a softer surface for my elbow while driving. I used contact cement to adhere the carpet to the panelam. Be careful to mark off the places on each piece where they will join to the adjacent piece. This spot on each board must be left free of carpet. to creat a clean joint and good bonding surface.
7. Join the four sides forming the console. I started off using construction adhesive and then kept them together using finish nails. The construction adhesive was not enough to hold it together. Looking back, a better option may have been using screws with finish washers.
8. Mount lid to box. I used two small hinges that I found at Home Depot for a couple bucks. They mount to the side of the console so that when opening the console, the lid opens up away from you towards the passenger.
9. (Optional) Mount magnetic latch to inside of console and bottom of lid. I did this and am debating if it's worth it. The lid seems heavy enough and a little tight to open..
10. Cut a small piece of 3/16" masonite to the width of the console but about 8" longer than the depth of the console. Nail / Screw the masonite to the bottom of the console. If desired, prior to nailing / screwing the masonite to the bottom of the console, test fit the masonite and using a pencil mark out where the inside sqaure of the bottom of the console lands on the masonite. Glue and carpet in this marked out square (creating a fully carpeted inside of box if that's what you like - I did).
11. Allow everything to sit overnight to let the adhesives set and dry.
12. Install console in truck by sliding the extra 8" of masonit between the seat back and seat bottom and pushing it all the way back to sit flush with the seat back. The masonite prevents the console from sliding left to right and front to back.

If anyone wants to try it and has any questions, feel free to contact me.
Attached Thumbnails
Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?-center-console-002.jpg   Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?-center-console-003.jpg   Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?-center-console-004.jpg   Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?-center-console-005.jpg   Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?-center-console-006.jpg  

Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?-center-console-010.jpg   Center Console / Armrest For Bench Seat?-center-console-011.jpg  
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:09 AM   #16
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all i can say is wow. great job! thanks for the pics. now to wait for it to warm up just a bit and then i might be making one of my own.

edit: just added your thread to the Cheap/Free Mods thread. http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tec...free-mods.html
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:56 AM   #17
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Thanks. Spent a lot of time on it but figured I had one chance to make it right. If you have any questions when you do it, feel free to PM me. I'm really loving it. It's just the right height that I can drive down the road with my arm resting on it and steer with my right hand. It's also the right height that I can shift the truck with my resting on it. I'm 5' 6".
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomatrd99 View Post
Thanks. Spent a lot of time on it but figured I had one chance to make it right. If you have any questions when you do it, feel free to PM me. I'm really loving it. It's just the right height that I can drive down the road with my arm resting on it and steer with my right hand. It's also the right height that I can shift the truck with my resting on it. I'm 5' 6".
thank you. that's good to know, i might have to make it a bit taller for me being 6'4".
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:24 AM   #19
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took me 3 chances to make mine right....lol looks good
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:12 PM   #20
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mike do you still have the forms you used to create the curves for the seat?
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