Stud, 2” x 4” x 96” – 8 @ $6 each
assorted, many -- $25?
24” x 48” – 2 @ $4.20 each
Vogt P2417 72" X 1/4" Sliding Track &
Guide Kit, Tan -- $23.99
24” x 48” – half of a $42 panel
Aluminum Recessed Drink Holders 3.5” diameter
- $28 for 10
So, the passenger side furniture construction
Time to build another boxy hoo-ha on
the driver side:
a combination desk and dresser with 9
drawers and sliding doors.
I often refer to it as my “dresk”.
The structure itself was pretty basic, but it
had to be sturdy and solid as all get-out. I
didn’t want 100 pounds of wood hitting me in
the back of the head if I had to lock up the
brakes some day.
I had 28.25” inches of height (under the ¾”
plywood countertop), 44” of length, and 23” of
depth in which to include 9 fabric bins that
measured 19.7” x 11.2” x 8.3”.
using them sideways, so their width (19.7”)
matched up fine with my depth (23”), and their
depth (11.2”) matched up fine with my width
(14.5” per section, with 1.5”-wide studs as
That was all hunky dory.
The issue, though, was going to be the height. Originally,
the plan called for just 2 rows of 3 -- with
about a foot of vacant space behind them --
but 6 bins just didn’t feel like enough, and
there seemed to be way too much wasted
I was really going to live in this
vehicle, then everything I owned was
going to have to be carried in it.
The more I could carry the more I
If it don’t fit, I don’t own it. Simple
So, I needed to fit those bins 3-high instead
of 2, and increase my dresser storage by 50%.
Three rows tightened things up a lot, though,
and now there would not be enough room to have
frontside crosspieces; the compartments would
have to be open-fronted box frames.
The shelves would have good 2x4
support on the sides and back, but nothing
under them in front except the 1/8” tempered
was going to compromise the overall solidity
of the dresser, so I had to make the vertical
dividers extra sturdy.
I looked at my pile of pine studs for a while,
resigned myself to the fact that the job was not
going to do itself, and started cutting.
I started by bolting 2x4’s to Maxx’s “waist”
and screwing a long stud into those anchored
pieces -– same as I had during the sink build.
Then I affixed a horizontal stud to the floor
using large ZMax brackets and secured five
28.25” upright studs to both crosspieces with
still more ZMaxes.
Next came the 16” floor braces – 2x4 studs
standing the tall way (I’m sure carpenters
have a cooler term for it than that, but, as
you can tell, I’m no carpenter), fastened
firmly to the floor with still more ZMaxes
(let’s just call them ZM from now on), as well
as to the lower crosspiece with ZM.
This part of the project used a lot of
fact, just assume that I used ZM everywhere
one piece of wood was attached to another.
I attached another set of 28.25” verticals to
the front, then started inserting the shelf
supports, with the tops of the 2x4 beams being
9.375” from the floor, 18.75” up, and,
finally, the top brace at 28.25” up, where it
would serve as a support for the
The shelves themselves were the 1/8” tempered
hardboard, but in 2 crossing layers.
The lower layer ran the length of the
Though the recess was 23” deep, this
layer was only 16” wide.
Any wider and it would not have fit
between the uprights.
The upper layer, 22” deep and 12” wide, lay
perpendicular on top of it, and was attached
with 2-sided tape.
I also attached a 44”-long 2x2 along the back
of each row, to keep the drawers from sliding
off the back.
At this point, I laid the 78” x 24” slab of ¾”
Sande plywood – same stuff as the bed platform
and sink counter – on top of my frame and
screwed ZMs in from the underside, 2 on each
side beam, and 2 on the back beam.
I attached from below because I did
not want anything showing on the countertop. The
¾” screws were perfect; the width of the ZM
bracket gave just enough extra thickness to
keep the screw point from breaching the
This thing is SOL-ID.
I had been at it all Sunday afternoon and into
the evening, taking my careful time with each
step, and I had been working by the light of
my upper deck puck lights for a while now. I
took a 34° Sierra Nevada Pale Ale out of my
Alpicool DC Refrigerator and sat on the bed to
ponder the steps to come, scout out for any
necessary adjustments or avoidable pitfalls,
and to gird up my loins (whatever that means)
for the next stage:
I foresaw trickery and treachery in these
tracks and didn’t think I had enough attention
to detail left in me to pull it off.
But I did have enough energy left to
paint it all, which is what I did.
The doors did indeed prove tricky, but with a
fresh mind on another day, they weren’t bad.
I cut 41”-long pieces of the upper track and
lower track and installed them with very small
screws through the slots and into the floor
and the underside of the countertop.
A narrow overhang had been cleverly
planned and created just for that purpose. The
2nd and 3rd uprights
were set back 3/4” to make room for the
tracks, which ended at the 1st and
4th studs, which stood farther
It was an almost perfect fit, not quite
spot-on but definitely close enough for the
likes of me.
My ¼” thick cedar panels were cut to 14.5” x
27.875” for the 1st and 3rd doors, and 15.5” x
27.875” for the middle one.
My laser cut a tidy ½” hole halfway
up and 1” in from the sides of each.
The middle panel got a hole near each
side, so it could be pulled either way.
For good measure, I whipped out the ol’ 3.25”
hole saw and cut two holes near the front
corner of the back end, accommodating a couple
more of those recessed drink holders, one for
the cup, and one for the bottle.
Now, if I was in the mood to lounge
on the bed facing towards the sink side, I’d
have receptacles at the ready.
Gotta plan for all eventualities,
Now, around the time when I gave the sink
counter a double coat of polyurethane, Brian
suggested that I consider doing the same to
the cedar, saying it would only do it good,
not hurt it.
I pondered it for a while.
The raw cedar looked really good. But
I looked at the panel on the side of the sink
cabinet, and at the doors.
They were bound to get splashed, and,
I relented and gave them a coat.
The color immediately changed, losing its
reddish tint and becoming more of a tan. Hmm. I
had to admit that it did look good.
I had used matte finish polyurethane,
figuring it might keep the wood looking more
Well, now I had to do all the other cedar –
basically, the 12 sliding doors -- so they’d
They were easy since I could just
lift them out and take them inside to the
worktable to brush them down.
To my surprise, I got very
enthusiastic about it and did the backs and
edges as well as the faces.
Even more to my surprise, I took it a step
further and went and bought some glossy
finish polyurethane and redid everything with
a double gloss coat.
Mannn, it looked so much