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3rd Gen Tacoma Bed Storage/Platform Build

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Sauzacoma, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Dec 25, 2018 at 9:23 PM
    #1
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    I'm creating this thread mostly as a way to document and keep my progress and ideas in one place for the storage solution I made. I've had my truck for a little over a year and before that I had a Pathfinder that I built a platform too. I've always loved maximizing space, and I have been drawing inspiration from Goose Gear products for some time now.
    I am going to post the 4 phases of the build, suggestions for improvements are welcome. Enjoy!
     
  2. Dec 25, 2018 at 9:23 PM
    #2
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    Phase 1:

    The very first phase of this bed platform was done by the guy I bought my shell from. It was the standard 2 2x6 beams laid in the bedside cutouts with 2 pieces of carpeted ¾” plywood laid down. Not much else to say about it. It was simple and got the job done. What I really didn’t like and what prompted me to change was 1. how difficult it was to access items toward the front of the bed/cab, and 2. My RTIC 65 cooler couldn’t slide in with even one platform removed because they relied on the 2x6 boards being in place. So I knew I needed a center support to allow me to remove the left platform and fit the cooler in on that side.

    PHASE 1.jpg
     
  3. Dec 25, 2018 at 9:29 PM
    #3
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    PHASE 2/3:

    I didn’t have a picture of my actual phase 2, but in the below picture of phase 3, you can see what was left of phase 2 (circled).

    It was a 2x8 board cut the width of the bed, placed against the front of the bed, and it had 3 notches in it. Then I had 3 more 2x8 boards cut the length of the bed and they had mating notches in them at the end going near the front of the bed. These longer boards sat down into the notches (look closely at the boards circled) of the bed-width board and it created 2 “aisles” for storage. This allowed me to keep the platforms from phase 1 but now when I removed one platform, I could fill it with wood and slide in my cooler.

    Phase 3 (pictured below), is the same concept but I remade it with 1” 8020. The wood version was fine, but there were no other horizontal pieces, so the long boards got tweaked and didn’t stay evenly spaced well. They were also heavy and cumbersome. The 8020 is aluminum which makes it significantly lighter. It also has slots on all 4 faces and can be easily assembled or broken down via tnuts and ¼-20 screws. The modularity and endless possibilities are what I really liked here, and I recycled the platforms once again.

    By trade I am a mechanical/process engineer, and at my company we use a lot of this material, so I am very familiar with it and have grown to love it.

    PHASE 2_CIRCLED.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
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  4. Dec 25, 2018 at 9:35 PM
    #4
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    PHASE 3.5:

    From here I wanted to create a sliding drawer for the right side of the platform where I can store things like jumper cables, tire gauges, other everyday necessities, and then on camping trips I can store cooking equipment & fuel.

    Quick tip for those who haven’t heard, but Kreg jigs are the BEST thing to ever come across. I used ½” birch plywood which is not advised for drilling pocket holes in, but with a little practice on adjusting pocket hole depths, I made due. I opted for ½” to save weight, but if you’ve got a beefy suspension and possibly some heavy duty leaf packs go with ¾”plywood. Another tip, opt for a more dense plywood, my last phase I went with maple and it was much sturdier and cut better and cleaner.

    PHASE 3_1.jpg

    PHASE 3_3.jpg
    The other thing you’ll notice in the pictures below is I did not utilize drawer slides. This was to cut cost, up until now I only spent money on the Kreg pocket hole jig, some 8020 fasteners, and a bar of 8020 (we were getting rid of a bunch at work so I was able to scoop it up), so I really didn’t want to spend $100+ on drawer slides. What I used instead was ¼” thick strips of UHMW (ultra high molecular weight) polyethylene. This is material that is virtually impervious to friction, meaning it slides on anything. The thought here was to screw it on to the bottom of the drawer and have it sit in the channel of the 8020 and slide in that. The last touch I added was hinges on the platforms on the right side with the thought that if I was in the shell and wanted to access my tools or anything, I can pop it open.To keep these platforms in place, I inserted threaded standoffs into tnuts and let them sit in the top channels, then drilled corresponding holes in the platforms so they would have something to hold them in place without protruding too far. I thought it was clever at least.
    PHASE 3_6_CIRCLE.jpg
    PHASE 3_8.jpg
    PHASE 3_7.jpg
    PHASE 3_9.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
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  5. Dec 25, 2018 at 9:40 PM
    #5
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    A FEW PHASE 3.5 EXTRAS:

    Another addition I made was a little piece of plywood mounted on furniture/fridge sliders. This was for my RTIC cooler--it's insanely heavy, hard to load and unload, and worst of all, difficult to pull in and out at camp when ya need a cold beverage. So it became necessary for me to build something, and these furniture movers on a platform was my last-ditch effort for me to avoid buying drawer slides (reallllly holding out on dropping the cash for those as you can see).
    PHASE 3_SLIDER.jpg
    Lastly, after a couple months of using my little DIY slider, I finally broke down, I wanted something clean and something meant for my purpose. So in came the 500 lb heavy duty drawer slides…$110. Albeit, that isn't the worst price to pay for some seriously heavy duty sliders. I mean these things do an excellent job and even at full extension, they don't show any signs of weakness.

    PHASE 3_11.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  6. Dec 25, 2018 at 10:18 PM
    #6
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    PHASE 4:

    After several months of this setup, I came across several small bugs that started getting to me more and more. I have a little bit of OCD, so I really wanted to fix these things, even though the unit was getting the job done. One issue was with the latch I used and had to modify since it ended up not being built for the panel thickness it claimed (I had 1" of panels it had to clamp on which was beyond its normal range), and it kept rotating in place which led to it not latching onto the catch. Plus with these you aren't able adjust the catch depth.
    Additionally, the UHMW kept peeling off the bottom of the drawer, and also with each close of the drawer, the UHMW was getting shaved off by the edge of the 8020, and it just wasn't sliding as well as I had hoped.

    Aside from these two main problems, there were also a slew of uneven cuts, flexing platforms, threaded standoffs not letting go of the platforms well, and other assorted issues drove me to spend a weekend overhauling it. Hence my phase 4 build.

    So I bought a fine tooth aluminum-cutting blade for my miter saw and re-cut all horizontals to exactly equal lengths. Aluminum L-channel was added to provide some supports for the panels. Rubber stops were stuck on as a cushion for the panels to sit on. A cheaper set of drawer slides were purchased for the drawer, so those were mounted.

    PHASE 4_1.jpg
    I also purchased all new ½” plywood, this time going with maple (denser and overall better when it came to working with something thin like ½”), as well as a Kreg Rip Cut to assist in my cuts and avoid me losing my mind by pieces not fitting together, or sitting flush (I don’t have a table saw though I would love to get one).

    I bought a piece of Kydex which is similar to ABS for the faceplate of the drawer. This was mostly for looks, but its also pretty durable, scratch resistant, and its one less thing to weatherproof down the line.
    PHASE 4_2.jpg

    After cutting new platforms, I drilled holes for the threaded standoffs to sit in, only this time I glued into those holes some aluminum spacers. This way the standoffs didn’t bind on the wood and would slide over into place cleaner.

    Instead of the round slam latch I had in Phase 3, I switched over to a Southco push to open latch. I think these are similar to the ones GooseGear uses, since I admire their work so much, I thought I’d give these a shot. I like them much more because I can adjust the stop a lot easier and fine tune where the face of the drawer sits relative to the frame.

    PHASE 4_3.jpg
    PHASE 4_4.jpg

    Below are just a batch of photos I took of my final product. The entire unit slides in quite easily with 2 people, I don’t have a weight on it yet, but I’ll try to get one eventually. It is fastened down onto the bed with some heavy duty turnbuckles.
    PHASE 4_12.jpg PHASE 4_6.jpg
    PHASE 4_8.jpg PHASE 4_10.jpg
    PHASE 4_11.jpg PHASE 4_14.jpg

    After several iterations and trial and error, I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

    I’m avoiding using the word “final product” because as a perfectionist, but also an engineer, I’m always looking for another way improve my design or add to it. I’d love to make some form of slide out table surface, I have a rough idea in the works for something to come out from under the cooler slide. Any suggestions, ideas, comments are welcome. I’m no expert, nor do I claim to be. However, I have learned a ton by doing, and I am very proud of this unit.

    I had drawn a lot of this up in Solidworks, just to check fitment, play with drawer slide mounting heights, and see the general footprint, but unfortunately it was lost after a disk wipe. I have paper sketches, and a list of cuts and a B.O.M. in the works if anyone is interested.

    Hope you all enjoyed my build! I'll be posting more as I put it to use and later on add to it.

    PHASE 4_7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  7. Jan 7, 2019 at 8:56 AM
    #7
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    If anyone has any recommendations on a coating/waterproofing to use on the 4 platforms please let me know. I bought a qt of Varathane for interior use. I don't want to use anything that is going to give off fumes or chemicals that would be harmful to breath in (assuming I'm sleeping in the shell on the platform) but I'd like something to add some durability and make the sheets of maple water proof as the shell does leak.
    Thanks!
     
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  8. Jan 7, 2019 at 2:01 PM
    #8
    The Saint

    The Saint Well-Known Member

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    I know this may be a bit much to ask but what is your parts list for just the frame. I'm very interested in doing the 8020 system for my truck. mine has to be 13" high by 73" long. I'm going to guess on the width at about 42".

    TIA
     
  9. Jan 8, 2019 at 9:51 AM
    #9
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    Give me a minute and I'll pm you, I've got a cut list already
     
  10. Jan 8, 2019 at 9:54 AM
    #10
    The Saint

    The Saint Well-Known Member

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    sweet thank you
     
  11. Jan 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM
    #11
    LONGWHITELINE

    LONGWHITELINE Well-Known Member

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    System looks great - that is a very clever use of the 8020 material.
     
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  12. Jan 8, 2019 at 1:08 PM
    #12
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    Thanks! I enjoy working with and it lends itself to lots of customization.
     
  13. Jan 9, 2019 at 8:00 AM
    #13
    LONGWHITELINE

    LONGWHITELINE Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome- have you put any thought into selling this as a kit where it could be broken down and shipped IKEA style and put together at home? The material you are using would work perfect for this concept.
     
  14. Jan 9, 2019 at 11:37 AM
    #14
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    Yes I actually have been thinking of a way to sell it, but i'm not sure how to get an audience big enough to feel out who would be interested.
     
  15. Jan 9, 2019 at 12:18 PM
    #15
    LONGWHITELINE

    LONGWHITELINE Well-Known Member

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    Tacomaworld would be the best platform to market it- If you keep it lightweight it would compliment anyone with a go fast camper perfectly. Come up with a design in solidworks (Keeping it as simple as possible) that works for a shortbed tacoma that can be easily adapted to the longbed platform. Figure out what cost of materials and manufacturing time is, factor in the margin that would make it worthwhile to you and post it!
     
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  16. Jan 9, 2019 at 12:22 PM
    #16
    AverageGuyTaco

    AverageGuyTaco Well-Known Member

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    Nice work. I went the 8020 route as well. Amazing product to work with. I liked it so much I’m building a rack with it for the top of my ARE shell.

    I used Spar Varnish to waterproof and protect the Baltic Burch plywood. I also put down black coin flooring on the top platform.

    https://www.amazon.com/Minwax-63200...ocphy=1014226&hvtargid=pla-308030795174&psc=1

    The gray wood in the pictures is 8mm flooring from a sprinter van. It’s marine grade wood that I got for free.

    There hasn’t been any issues with VOCs or smell from the varnish etc. I completed mine in Sept and have slept on it quite a few nights so far.

    47A8DCC0-9C42-4FE3-AD74-5CBA48F2EF68.jpg 3CCF2C00-CE49-432C-A32C-C0B5493B6C49.jpg B98E3530-BCC6-4B2B-84FF-7CB07A8D5930.jpg C6B89384-8E47-4C02-9403-FD102A33FB2C.jpg
     
  17. Jan 9, 2019 at 12:47 PM
    #17
    LONGWHITELINE

    LONGWHITELINE Well-Known Member

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    Nice Set up!
     
  18. Jan 9, 2019 at 7:21 PM
    #18
    Sauzacoma

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    WHAT. A. BEAUT! That build is awesome man I love it. I really dig those little side hatches too.
    I’m going to be following your roof rack build closely, I had a little design for one drawn up in solid works using the 2” x 1” extrusions. Maybe shoot me a PM when you get started and we can chat designs or fastener choices?
    Also, thanks for your varnish suggestions!
     
  19. Jan 9, 2019 at 7:22 PM
    #19
    Sauzacoma

    Sauzacoma [OP] IG: @Stancaban

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    I’ll see what I can develop and ways of simplifying it from my “figure it out as I go” model. Thank you for your suggestions!
     
  20. Jan 9, 2019 at 8:08 PM
    #20
    AverageGuyTaco

    AverageGuyTaco Well-Known Member

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    I also have compartments over each wheel well. Makes for tons of storage.

    A148FB5C-F2F0-43A7-BE53-DFF63D8022AF.jpg

    That’s what I am going with. 8020 had a cyber Monday 15% off deal after Thanksgiving. I wasn’t planning on ordering so soon but couldn’t pass up the sale. I have all the parts laying around the garage. Waiting for better weather to put it together. I designed it for my ARE MX shell which tapers up. I didn’t want to go as wide a most commercial racks like the Prinsu so it’s only going to be 44” wide and 58” in length. It’s black 2x1 8020 for the 5 cross rails(same as Prinsu uses) and the front and sides are 1/4 round 1inch 8020. I got fasteners from several sources and I made my own feet from 1” flat steel. The feet are similar to what Prinsu sells to attach their rack to a shell with yakima/Thule tracks. I’ll shoot you some pictures and links for parts tomorrow.
     
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