Storage Box For SUV

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Project by BinghamtonEd posted 04-04-2016 12:00 PM 1977 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project that I completed for a friend, it was delivered this weekend. It is a basic storage box for the back of his police SUV. He’d asked me to make this for him, as his tools, helmet, etc. were all just getting thrown in the back. The box is about 41” wide, 29” deep, and 26” tall. The width/depth were dictated by the interior of the car, and the height was arrived upon based on his desired drawer sizes (8” & 10” of usable height). I was concerned about visibility out the back, but he was not, as stated that the visibility wasn’t that great to begin with considering the additional non-stock rear seat height, the black metal grate behind it, and the interior light bars. Prior to building the box, I built a size prototype out of scrap, and we put it in there, just to verify the size.

The box is heavy, I’d say fully assembled and empty, it weighs in at around 125-150 lbs. Without the drawers in it, the box is manageable by one person if needed (I could carry it around the shop by the front stretcher, and lift it onto the bench, although it wasn’t exactly light). But, with the handles on the side, two people can move this thing no problem. I told him that he may want to have his headlights re-adjusted after we installed it.

The box is built with 3/4” plywood, with a 1/2” back, rabbeted to fit in grooves on the sides and top. The face frame is made from white oak, simply because I had some leftover rough cut oak. Box and face frame were assembled using pocket screws and glue. The sides have recessed, spring-loaded handles. These were added to allow two people to easily remove the box from the back if needed, to access the spare tire (after removal of the two drawers, simply to lighten the load). There are four rubber, vibration-dampening feet underneath the box, the box sits about 1/8” off the floor. The back has a heavy-duty D-ring bolted on, which allowed us to secure the box to the metal grate, preventing it from tipping of the drawers were packed full and extended.

Drawers are built with 3/4” sides, and a 1/2” bottom, which is housed in a groove on all 4 sides. Grey indoor/outdoor carpet was applied to the bottom prior to assembly, which let me glue in the bottom, but also trap the corners of the carpet in the groove, to help protect the edges of the carpet. The drawer boxes were built using pocket screws and glue. I wasn’t sure how the pocket screws would work for a drawer box, as I’d never used them for that before. So, I built a test box of the same size from a lesser-quality scrap plywood, assembled it, and proceeded to try and destroy it, hammering on it with a 4” mini-sledge, repeatedly throwing it on the concrete floor, etc. I was more than satisfied with the durability. Each drawer has 3 removable dividers (in the pictures, one of the dividers is laying on top of the box). The slides are full-extension 26” 200#-rated ball-bearing slides. False fronts were applied to the drawers, with recessed pull-handles and flexible latches, both were marketed for boating applications, but I liked how they worked here.

The top of the box has a simple frame made from white oak, rabbeted to house a carpeted 1/4” ply panel. The front has a 1.5” tall length of 1/4” aluminum, which was epoxied into stopped grooves in the frame. The aluminum has 3/4” holes drilled along its length, to allow carabiners/clips to be attached.

The finish was 2 coats of Target HSF5100 primer/surfacer, followed by 2 coats of Target EM6500 tinted to a Benjamin Moore grey (I grabbed a couple color strips and he picked the one he liked). Both were applied using an Earlex 5500. It was my first time working with Target’s products, and between the quality of customer service, ease of application, and the final result, I’ll be ordering from them again.

Best of all, he seemed genuinely happy with the end result. Which was good, since he gave me the specs, and then left me on my own to do it, until delivery day.

I had a fun time building this, but as always I’m looking forward to the next project, whatever it may be, and getting back to something a bit more traditional.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

2 comments so far

View dbray45's profile


3414 posts in 4113 days

#1 posted 04-04-2016 01:03 PM

Very nice – if it works out well, you may get orders from others.

-- David in Palm Bay, FL

View crossfacecraddle's profile


131 posts in 2948 days

#2 posted 04-04-2016 02:45 PM

very nice, i love an orderly truck

-- i love the smell of sawdust in the morning, it smells like victory. John

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