Tonneau Cover

This is my tonneau cover idea for my 2016 Ford F150 XLT 4×4 short box.

For years now I’ve been wanting to buy a DiamondBack tonneau cover. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best option available on the market for what I would like to use my cover for.

I want a secure cover that provides me with many options for what I can put UNDER IT, and even more options for what I can put ON IT. Two hurdles that I have run into on this product. The price is steep, over $2000 CAD for the black finish. The second, I want the ability to secure items in the best way possible, and have the flexibility to easily change that. So as I normally do, I am making a cover myself.

Why one piece?

In my mind, you only need a cover to fold out of the way because you don’t want to, or can’t put the item you need on top of the cover. So if this cover can hold more than my cargo capacity, I’m not worried about anything I put on it.

What if I need to get another load of gravel or dirt?

I will be attaching the tonneau cover from the under side using these Bessey STC-HH70 toggle clamps. Great strength, and as things may wear, these clamps will auto adjust to make up that difference. And the biggest plus, a very quick and tool-less way of attaching and removing the cover from my truck box.

Now I just need to source my material and begin cutting and shaping. I’ll update when I have some things together.

They are done! Very quick turn around from my local Langley Metal Mart with their new waterjet table. The shape is exactly as I had imagined, although, looking back I would change the tailgate end to match the curve a little better.

Why so many rectangular holes? My thoughts; instead of attaching an e-track on top of the aluminum sheets, why not cut holes to provide a flat surface for many different uses. The sheet thickness (1/8″) is more than the usual thickness of steel e-track (about 0.100″).

I have already ordered the lengths needed for the frame under the checker plate sheets. Once those are ready, I can begin cutting and shaping the channels to match the curves of the box. Then the welding can begin. I don’t own an aluminum welder myself, but I’ve already lined up a rental from a local company for a decent price.

New drawer under the fridge

This is what I have under our fridge. A blank plate on the left (access panel if you wish) and the furnace to the right. I’ve previously added space using an access panel under the washroom sink.

Removing the panel shows a twisting mess of cables and water lines. To my surprise, there are teed-off lines in place already to connect to an outside shower. I found this one on Ebay.ca that has the hose wrap around the faucet instead of having the hose push through a hole in the faucet box and sit somewhere inside your trailer.

I’m not removing hose clips, so I’m unplugging cables running into my distribution panel. Then I’ll be able to run the cables where I feel they’ll be best out of the way for my drawer and for my future outside shower.

I’ve traced the wiring to the distribution panel and created slack so that I can move the cables out of the way for the drawer slides to be mounted into place.

I’ve decided on these 100lb full extension drawer slides from Lee Valley. 100lbs is overkill, but I’m okay with that. As well, I’m also getting these brackets so that I can mount the back of the drawer directly to the back wall.

September 17th, 2017

So I’ve managed to order and pick up the drawer slides and brackets from one of my local Lee Valley stores. The brackets aren’t sold with the drawer slides as most applications probably have the slides attached against the inside sides of a cabinet. But in my case, the front of the slides will sit on the bottom inside lip and the back will be attached to the back side of the drawer space. I’ll only be using the rear brackets, not the front brackets.

My plan is to mount the front part of the slide to the inside lip of the drawer hole. This way the slide will sit on the bottom of the opening. One screw through to the side of the opening and it sits solidly in place.

After doing this for both sides, I needed to mount the rear bracket against the back wall. It is a tight space for me to work in, as well, I would really like the drawer slides to be parallel from front to back and level, or slightly sloped down to the back side of the slide. Instead of fiddling with measurements and trying to place each slide into place, I cut a piece of wood to go between the two slides and mounted it on one of the last set of holes in the drawer slide.

This now made it very easy to level the slides while maintaining the correct distance between the slides. Then I simply pushed the rear brackets tight against the back side and attached each side with two screws that were included with the brackets.

With the drawer slides easily installed into place, I can now build the drawer box and try to make a drawer face that matches the existing cabinets.

October 14th, 2017

So I’ve found some free time again to finally build the box to use for this drawer. The drawer is roughly 24″ x 10″ x 10″. Using full extension drawers allows me to extend the drawer completely out (in the picture I did not have it pulled completely out) allowing me to take out what I need when I need it. I’m planning on using this for storage for our drinks that have not yet been put in the fridge. This past year we had these items in a Rubbermaid bin under out kitchen table. Next on the list will be making a drawer face that matches the rest of our kitchen cupboards and drawers.

February 10th, 2018