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Bed Platform Build

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Hanz, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Jul 8, 2011 at 4:43 PM
    #1
    Hanz

    Hanz [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Member:
    #4883
    Messages:
    139
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Doug
    Long Island, NY
    Vehicle:
    2003 Tacoma DC 4X4 TRD
    LED Instrument lights
    Three years ago I bought a DCLB 4X4. My thinking was that I could always sleep in the back if needed and being 6’2” I had best get the Long Bed. I ordered an ARE MX Camper Shell to keep my dog and my gear safe and sound. I just never got around to building a platform that I could use for truck camping.
    Here are some photos of the shell:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After performing many searches here on Tacoma World I had a pretty good idea of how to build a platform and what features, if any, I wanted to include. This should work out pretty good for my needs. Your needs and build methods may be different than mine. I hope this may inspire someone or help another TW member build a platform of their own.
    I started with a rough plan. Staples sells binders with graph paper in them, they are a favorite of mine for starting projects.

    [​IMG]

    Then I made a material list and headed to Lowes.
    1. Two 4X8 sheets of ¾” plywood
    2. Two 1X6 Red Oak Planks cut to 57”
    3. One 2X10 cut to 6’ (you won’t see this in the first batch of photos)
    4. Carpet
    5. Loctite Spray Adhesive
    6. 1 1/4” Decking Screws
    I wanted to have the guys at Lowes do the cutting for me so I made sure I had my dimensions worked out and put some ca$h in my pockets so that I could tip the guys that help me. I’m not rich, but I like both receiving and giving tips. It helps people realize that some folks genuinely appreciate their skill level, ability and willingness to help.

    I had the Red Oak 1X6”s cut to 57”. I most likely didn’t need to use Oak, but I like Oak and went for the extra cost. Next I had the 3/4” thick plywood cut as shown in the following diagram. Those cuts yield a lot of unused plywood for this project.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, I had the 2X10 cut to 6’. This board I will give to one of my friends to rip. Lowes couldn’t rip it for me so I just had them crosscut it. This will run longitudinally up the center under the plywood and planks to eliminate sag.
    Wood expands and contracts, always leave a little wiggle room when fitting it. Fit it too tightly and it will bow when it swells up. Some play is always needed.
    Here’s one of the Oak Planks:
    [​IMG]

    I left a bit over ¼” of play on both sides against the width of the bed itself:
    [​IMG]

    You'll also need to leave wiggle room for the plywood.
    This photo is a bit out of sequence but shows one of the planks in place:
    [​IMG]
    I gathered up some tools and laid the plywood pieces in place. This is starting to look promising.
    [​IMG]

    The tailgate opening isn’t a nice and simple opening. I had to make a template so I could cut one of the pieces of plywood to match.
    [​IMG]

    I transferred the dimensions over to the plywood and cut it by hand.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then it started to rain :( I didn’t get as many photos that I should have because of the rain.

    Once the wood was cut I made sure I had the needed wiggle room. I needed room for the wood itself and room for the carpet. I didn’t leave enough room so I had to cut some more and then checked the final fitting.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Leaving space all around the perimeter of the plywood I marked the location of the Oak planks and screwed them into place on each piece of plywood.
    These are the screws I used:
    [​IMG]

    Next I covered the topsides with carpet. I cut the carpet leaving about 2”s “extra” around the perimeter of the plywood. Then I sprayed the topside of the plywood with Loctite Spray Adhesive:
    [​IMG]

    I laid the carpet on the best I could and then stretched it out while stapling it in place to the underside using my trust Arrow T-50 stapler. Staples are inexpensive, use a bunch. I added more staples after I snapped this photo:
    [​IMG]

    I didn’t stretch the carpet out evenly in a couple of spots so it’s not perfect. I don’t think the dog is going to care and I’ll just blame it on the rain.

    Nothing left to do but lay them in place:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now I had to make sure that the dog kennel still cleared. With the ARE MX series cap I still have 31”s of clearance above the platform. The dog kennel only uses 30”s so I’m good to go.

    If I lay a bit diagonally I fit fine with the cap all closed up. I can’t sit up without ducking my head by putting my chin on my chest. It’s not a comfortable position, but there is enough room to change clothes if needed. It does make a nice space to prop yourself up with a few pillows and read. I’m looking forward to trying it out.

    I think there’s some LED lighting on my short list. Back to the search button :)
     
  2. Jul 8, 2011 at 8:47 PM
    #2
    deeznutz

    deeznutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Member:
    #20585
    Messages:
    237
    Gender:
    Male
    Seattle, WA
    Vehicle:
    09 SR5 DC LB 4x4
  3. Jul 9, 2011 at 2:12 PM
    #3
    Hanz

    Hanz [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Member:
    #4883
    Messages:
    139
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Doug
    Long Island, NY
    Vehicle:
    2003 Tacoma DC 4X4 TRD
    LED Instrument lights
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