Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Wood working skills aren't usually associated with automobiles (unless your building a Woody station wagon) but they can come into play with interior applications. In our case the center console. I am going to break this project into 2 posts (rear and front console) for the sake of space and pictures used. We decided to tackle the rear arm rest section (lockable compartment and mandatory cup holder) first. Wood of choice is 3/4" cabinet grade birch plywood. Here you have a couple of choices. A
U.S. made grade and an off shore brand. We got ours from Scott Millwork in Cressona Pa. I prefer dealing with private local companies if possible, the service tends to be better. In this case we were told up front that the off shore brand does have some flaws and in no way compares to the U.S. brand. I had used some of the off shore for a laundry room cabinet project with satisfaction, but working with smaller sections for this console the U.S. brand would have
been a better choice. Since it will be covered with vinyl the voids and imperfections will be hidden. Price difference was about half. On to fabrication. Jeffrey used cardboard as a template and mocked up what he had envisioned. He made it a bit higher than needed, that way the floor contour could be cut a little at a time. This was done by using a set of dividers with the points held vertically to the floor with the side of the console in position then scribe the floor shape on to the cardboard. This was then
transferred on to the plywood. After both sides were established and the height was correct end pieces were dadoed into the sides. Cutting a dadoe helps to align and square the pieces and makes a stronger joint. Carpenter wood glue, clamps and #3 finishing nails held it all together. This makes for a very structurally rigid assembly. Two metal L brackets are used to fasten the rear of the console. The front part will be pinned to the front console section for easy dis assembly. Tops for the arm rest and cup
holder will be made later when he decides on one or two cup holders. Taking the time now to make sure driving conditions are comfortable is why we went with steering, seating, shifter then console fabrication in that order.


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