Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

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Kyle
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Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by Kyle »

Lekker boys... and Girls...

The idea behind this thread is to share my experience with you all, including my lessons learnt while building my homemade, DIY draw system. I'm going to start off by saying that I'm pretty useless when it comes to DIY stuff and that I contemplated long and hard before deciding to tackle this project, watching many videos and reading many threads before taking the leap.

In the end, I'm glad that I did take the plunge and I encourage others to do the same! It was a awesome experience! Here is the video link to the final product: https://youtu.be/z-QJ7rSSXUo

The nuts and bolts:

Wood used: Marine ply 15mm

Why Marine ply: I wanted to build something that will last a long time and that can take the punishment thrown at it over time. Whilst more expensive, the screw retention strength is far stronger in comparison to commercial ply. Additionally marine ply absorbs much less water and is treated with a antifungal coating, which is very important to me in case my water tank leaks or there is spillage within my draws. The thicker 15mm marine ply would also compensate for any lack of structural integrity caused in the building process.

Time taken: 5 full days. completed over two weekends and a work day

Helpers: Could not have done it without the help of my father-in-law. We used his workshop which had all the requisite tools and space

Biggest learning: Measure the width of the barn doors as they angle slightly inwards and you have far less space to fit the final product. This small but obvious mistake cost us plenty time and a lot of frustration while fitting.

My 2 cents of wisdom and advice through this process: Fit everything, over and over. Have all your camping gear nearby and ready so that you can continuously fit things and try new ideas. Unless you are a professional, your final product isn't going to be 100% exactly as you have envisioned, be flexible in your design and layout but also, have of list of things that is a priority to you and try your best to not forgo these. Lastly, have fun doing it!

If you want it exactly as you envisioned it and are unwilling to compromise, wanting and needing to use every inch of space - take it to a professional and suck up the fee. If you want to have fun, have a story and learn tons in the process, do it yourself!

The cost breakdown:

I'm going to round the numbers and include links of where I bought what. This is the cost of the draw system and not the dual battery system, water tank or solar panel shown.

Marine ply 3 sheets (2440mm x 1220mm) R1000 a sheet = R3 000 https://www.citiwood.co.za/contact-us/

700 mm heavy duty slide (For fridge, 90KG weight capacity) = R420 https://4x4direct.co.za/loose-slides/65 ... -of-2.html

2 x 700 mm Medium duty slides (For Draws, 45 kg weight capacity) 2 x R205 = R410 https://4x4direct.co.za/loose-slides/76 ... -of-2.html

3 x Locks / spring loaded bolts. R50 x 3 = R150 https://4x4direct.co.za/locks-and-catch ... 61935.html

2 X Handles for draws R30 = R60 https://4x4direct.co.za/air-vents-and-h ... 61614.html

6 tie down points, rated at 250 kg based on screw ratings (points rated at 300kg), R35 x 6 = R210 https://4x4direct.co.za/cargo-tracks-an ... point.html

Carpeting, ribbed carpet, abrasion friendly, 1.8m x 1m @ R105 / m x 4 = R420 https://www.kehls.co.za/

Screws, wood glue, carpet adhesive, staples for staple gun, L brackets for battery box, wood sealer, paint brushes = R1 400 bought at Builders in Paarl

Total cost without beers : R6 070

The process:

We started out by creating and measuring the base. To us, this was the most important part to get 100% accurate and right. The idea was to create the base, make sure it fits and can be moved in and out easily. From here, the plan was to create and build the rest inside the workshop where there was plenty space to move around.

We used a piece of off cut cloth from the workshop to create a template for the base. We simply lay the cloth over the back space and used chalk to outline edges and to mark the tie down points. We simply cut this and checked, repeated the process a few times for refinement before proceeding to cut the wood.
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After ensuring that the base was perfectly laid and lined up to the tie down points ( Bolts that tied down the two rear chairs - 4 of them *note that you will need to purchase new ones that are much longer, fasting them with washes and spring washes), we removed the base and then started to build the actual structure.

We used a combination of 25mmx25mm pine and marine ply offcuts for strengthening along all the joints. We drilled small 6mm pilot holes first before attaching the appropriate screws in combination with wood glue. We placed the strengthening strips first before attaching the sides. This is where having the camping gear with you comes into its own as you can use the actual gear for placement instead of measuring everything. We screwed and glued the sides into the base, the strips, joining sides and eventually the roof. Using the 15mm ply throughout made this strong as hell.

Placing of strengthen strips along what would be our edges and joins:
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Attaching sides to those strips, the base and joining edges using glue and screws:
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After using my fridge as a actual place holder, we could determine exactly where the draws could start. This allowed us to place the middle strengthening strip as well as middle divider:
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As the screws and glue pulled the sides in a unwanted position, we nailed in nails and used a piece of sting to hold the sides in the correct position so that the glue could set. Our intention was to only create and fit the top once the draw system was placed in the car as the top was bigger than the base.

(Going to continue seems that I have reached a file size limit)
Attachments
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Kyle
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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by Kyle »

The string holding the sides in the correct position:
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We checked along the way but once the "walls" and sides were up, we checked the positioning of the water tank and the slot for the solar panel. this was end of Day 1:
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Day two was all about fitting the rails and creating the draws. Don't underestimate how long this will take you. The draws need to be perfectly level. We fitted strips under the rails as added support to ensure that the rails are not floating in the air and have something more than just the walls to distribute the weight. The rear strengthening strips also serve as backstops. The draws are both 700mm long, however, we opted for the bottom draw to be slightly deep as this is where we would store our dop, spices and utensils. the idea was to have a draw that you could fit a bottle upright in.

Placement of strips after measuring:
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Fitment of rails:
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Draw creation (As we didn't attached the faces at first, we used offcuts as struts so that the glue does not set in any unwanted position)
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As a failsafe, and to admire our work just before the end of day two, we placed my Waeco into its slot just to ensure it will fit (not sure what we would of done if it didn't)
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To end the day, we sealed the wood with wood sealer, parking the project for the next weekend.

Day 3 and 4:

We had a lot of work to do so I roped in the Mrs to help us with cutting and carpeting the draw system:
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We still had to create the fridge slide so while the MRS was cutting the carpets, the father in law and I got to building our slide. Again, we placed strips under the runners to help with the weight. We then attached strips onto the side of the runners in order to create a "tray" which would hold the fridge. For breathability we drilled 5 breathing holes into the side wall as well as one at the back for power supply
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We then started the process of carpeting. We sprayed on the glue / adhesive using a compressor, stapling all ridges and sides.
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After sealing and allowing the top of the fridge slide to dry, we finally completed the fridge slide, carpeted it and created the front faces of the draws
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Sweetlips
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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by Sweetlips »

Nicely done Kyle. I spoke to your father in-law a few weeks ago and will use him to upholster my one when I get there eventually lol.
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David M
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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by David M »

Nice use of the space and workmanship :goodpost:

One suggestion. The access to the fuel pump is under your right drawer and you are going to swear if you need to take the whole system out. Cut a hole in the bottom so that you can get to it without removing the packing system.
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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by izakjbrt »

David M wrote:
19 Oct 2020 12:33
Nice use of the space and workmanship :goodpost:

One suggestion. The access to the fuel pump is under your right drawer and you are going to swear if you need to take the whole system out. Cut a hole in the bottom so that you can get to it without removing the packing system.
That happened to me......on the river trip last year.......I swore
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Kyle
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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by Kyle »

Front faces of the doors:

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We finished off day 4 by carpeting the face of the draws and adding the handles. Truth be told, we were hoping to fit the system on day 4 as well, however, due to various hiccups along the way, this was not to be.

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Day 5: Fitment day, wiring of battery system and creating the top


The most frustrating and heartbreaking day of them all. Remember what I said about the barn doors being at a angle and the space before the loading bay being smaller than the actual loading bay? Well get some!! We realized that there was no way of getting the system into the back and we resulted to modifying the base slightly (removing some carpet, cutting the base on the one side and adding/ joining it back in whilst in the car) What I learnt here though is that there is always a workaround when you hit a problem. Don't rush or do things out of frustration. Just take your time and think of a solution! PS: your first solution might not always be the best!

Anyway, we finally fitted it:
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From there, we created the top carpeted it and fitted it with screws and L brackets. It was very difficult and time consuming to do this as we had no choice but to fit the top inside the car.

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Once all fitted, we attached my battery box, inverter and screwed in the compressor. the battery box was fitted using three large L brackets and secured using two of those tie down points. The water tank fitted using another two tie down points, best seen and explained in my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-QJ7rSSXUo&t=9s

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I don't plan to carpet the rest of the draw system but to rather varnish or paint it with black paint. We chose to not carpet the inside of the fridge compartment due to the heat build up it might cause and hold.

The space under the fridge is used for my stove or when not camping, I use it for my spade and random stuff. I tie the fridge from handle to handle with the tie down running under the actual slide. The solar panel lives in its little slot and as we got the measurements just right, it fits in super tight and snug.

We chose to place the fridge and the second battery on the left hand side to counter balance the main battery as well as sub-tank which is both found on the right hand side of the vehicle. We placed the water tank horizontally across the rear axel for equal weight distribution.

In a nutshell that is my DIY homemade draw system. While not perfect and whilst there is indeed wasted space, I love every aspect of it as well as the learning that came with it.

I am very open to any feedback or questions!

I hope that you enjoyed this and I hope that this post was helpful. If you are thinking of building your own system, I truly hope that I have encouraged you to give it a try!

Kyle

Kyle
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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by Kyle »

David M wrote:
19 Oct 2020 12:33
Nice use of the space and workmanship :goodpost:

One suggestion. The access to the fuel pump is under your right drawer and you are going to swear if you need to take the whole system out. Cut a hole in the bottom so that you can get to it without removing the packing system.


Thanks David - a awesome suggestion and observation, I will do so!

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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by Francois Theron »

Kyle there is a very small mod you can make to open the small door fully. I did it on my Patrol and it works very well.. Just relocate the mounting point for the holding stay a bit with a rivnut.

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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by martyn »

:goodpost: Very well done. Looks awesome.
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Re: Homemade Draw system with video showing final product - Plenty lessons learnt!!!

Post by JohnBoyZA »

Thank you for sharing Kyle, looks awesome! :goodpost:
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