Building an odd shaped "cabinet".... need some assistance

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Forum topic by pbjunkie87 posted 04-04-2018 08:45 PM 3071 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 962 days

04-04-2018 08:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: design box cubby shelf pocket hole truck tool toolbox tool box question help

Good afternoon all,

I am in need of some assistance in coming up with a solution for a project.

I’m in the midst of the designing a truck tool box for inside the cab of the truck. I have a 2010 F150 Supercrew, with the 60/40 rear split bench seat. My plan is to fold up the one single seat, and put the toolbox on that side. I’ll still be able to use the middle and driver’s side seats in the back for passengers or my kids. The tool box does need to be removable. I want to utilize the entire passenger side of the truck in the back. My plan was to building a box with different sizes of cubbies for some tupperware containers (the smalll 6 oz size rectangular tubs), as well as a space for my small parts organizer (12.5” x 6.5” x 18”). The top will have 3” “walls” around it so I can put my toolbag on top and run a bungee over it to secure it.

My problem is my dimensions. Because of the front passenger seat is leaned back a bit, and my desire to use all the space I can, I want to build the shell at kind of odd dimensions. The top will be 21”, and the bottom will be 32”, measured from the folded up seat bottom of the rear seat to the back of the front seat. So in essence, I have an oddly shaped rectangle that’s longer on 1 side than the other. ‘m not too concerned about making that. My concern is the internal cubbies…. how do I make those? My options that i’m thinking are a) cut dadoes in the walls for the cubby walls to slide into, b) use pocket holes to attach the walls (don’t think this will work because I can’t get a drill into that small of a space), or c) use glue and a lot of brad nails. Or is there another idea that I’m overlooking?

Here’s a super quick design I threw together in MS Paint. I have a version identical to this that I hand drew that is my basis for my design.

11 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2905 days

#1 posted 04-04-2018 08:53 PM

I don’t quite get what you’re making – is the tool box open on one end? If so just assemble the interior before you put that last side on (the one that faces the back of your seat). So build it while it lays on the 31 inch side and enclose it with the slanted piece after the dividers are built in.

View DS's profile


3360 posts in 3028 days

#2 posted 04-04-2018 09:03 PM

There are many varied ways to make the cubby joints, but, I would be more concerned about having tools mildly secured in the passenger compartment.

In the event of a traffic collision, they might become deadly projectiles.

Even securing the box to the child restraint latch bar at the bottom of the seat, individual tools could fly out in almost any direction from a fairly elevated position.

I would be exploring a job box or other tool storage solution secured in the bed of the truck.

Just my 2 cents from a fellow F-150 owner.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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3 posts in 962 days

#3 posted 04-04-2018 10:50 PM

Yes, it’s open on one end. The side that faces the rear passenger side door is going to be open, and the side that faces the seats on the interior is closed. And I can build it that way, but I need to come up with a good way to put in the dividers. Should I use one of the ways listed above, or is there a better way that I haven’t thought of?

I’m trying to do this on the cheap, and not have them outside the truck (ie, in the bed). I have some tools that are electronic, and need to be temp controlled and not get wet, and not be outside. I’ve considered bed toolboxes (like over the wheelwell boxes, or a bigger box that mounts right behind the cab, but I don’t want to have to climb up in the truck bed to get tools (so the bigger box won’t work), and I also don’t have a tonneau cover or anything to cover the bed to keep rain/snow off the toolbed.

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1507 days

#4 posted 04-05-2018 01:14 AM

I would build everything using 1/2” Baltic Birch.
You would start building from the center out, the outsides being last

View clin's profile


1076 posts in 1604 days

#5 posted 04-05-2018 02:24 AM

Do you have any plans to secure it in the pickup? Unsecured loads in passenger compartments can be lethal in an accident. Unsecured loads will fly around doing all sorts of nasty things to the passengers. Might be some way to make use of the seat belts.

-- Clin

View Steve's profile


1702 posts in 1190 days

#6 posted 04-05-2018 01:08 PM

Usually with the under seat storage containers, they have metal strips that are bolted to the seat belt mounts on the floor.

If I was doing this, I might be tempted to skip the slanted side up against the passenger seat and and then basically make a chuck box. This would give you a little bit of wiggle room if the passenger seat needed to be reclined at any point.

Then it could be rectangular and have a front cover with a handle on top.

And If you wanted it larger, you could always remove the folded up rear seat.

As others have mentioned, I would definitely recommend finding a way to secure it in the truck when travelling.

View pbjunkie87's profile


3 posts in 962 days

#7 posted 04-05-2018 01:16 PM

@JBay: what program did you use to make that rendering? SketchUp?

@clin and steve: yes, my plan is to try and attach it to the bolts that the seats mount to. I may have to get some couplers and threaded rod to extend the bolts, but I’ll figure it out. And I know what you mean steve, about making a rectangular box, and I may just end up doing that, to save myself the trouble. I do want to keep the seat installed though. When I use the truck for transporting the family, i put 2 carseats on opposite ends of the rear seat.

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


6824 posts in 1320 days

#8 posted 04-05-2018 01:41 PM

LISTEN TO Jbay :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2905 days

#9 posted 04-05-2018 02:51 PM

Skip the angled piece that faces the rear of the seat, you won’t lose much space. Build it like three stacked boxes that get narrower as the go up the pyramid. That keeps all your joints as butt joints – keeps it simple.

View Walker's profile


194 posts in 1080 days

#10 posted 04-05-2018 03:55 PM

I would redesign so that one joint doesn’t have the vertical, horizontal, and angled piece meeting at one spot.

For a safe way to make the angled dado, double up some 1/2” ply for the angled side. On the inside pieces (the darker brown in my drawing) and the shelf, you can cut the proper angle on the table saw before attaching.

-- ~Walker

View kroginold's profile


41 posts in 1657 days

#11 posted 04-06-2018 05:33 AM

For the outer box I would use finger/ box joints, cut long on slanted side. Then you can trim excess after glue-up. And angled dadoes as per jbay’s drawing on inside

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