A problem which came up during our Maiden voyage to the finger lakes was the terrible design of the original center console. There was no space for storage of sun glasses or any other smaller items you may want readily accessible while driving and it had very awkward size cup holders. No matter what cup we tried to put in the holder, it would tilt and fall out. The only thing that seemed to fit was a beer can, useful for when your stationary, but a terrible idea while driving your house.
We could fix that. Our requirements for this build:
Next we made the top. We cut the top out to size and played around with where we wanted the cup holders to be. We had 4 stainless steel cup holder inserts so we placed two where the metal frame already had holes and put the other two towards the back and outside of the box. These are all easy to reach from both the passenger and driver seat. We also made a slot for a pocket knife in the middle. We cut the holes for the cup holders using a 3 3/4 hole-saw and drill.
The sides of the box were the most difficult to fabricate. The sides had to follow the contour of the dog house which is tiered. A trick we used was using cardboard as a template for the plywood. We cut small pieces of cardboard and taped them together with painters tape to shape the template. After we were happy with the fit of the cardboard, we laid the cardboard template on the piece of plywood and traced out the design. We then used a jigsaw to cut the panels.
Now for the James Bond feature, the front piece. The front is removable and reveals a secret compartment. It is held in place by magnets. To open, you simply push the bottom corners. There is plenty of space and it's a great hiding spot.
For the finish, we gave it a light sand, and used a stain and poly combo. As far as assembly, we used 90 degree brackets to hold the pieces in place from the inside to avoid any screws or hardware from showing on the outside.
By Kevin Quiambao
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