THE D.I.Y. VAN CONVERSION
THE DRIVER'S DESK
$5Rounded Pine Dowels, 1 diameter, 48” length – 5 for $20
So, what the heck is a “driver’s desk”? Well, most cars have consoles between the seats where you can put your miscellaneous crap. Many of my vans have had some kind of area sticking out from the dash with drink holders and a few niches for various stuff. Well, Maxx really didn’t.
There was something there, but it was way down by my shin, so it was hard to reach, and, other than cups, there wasn’t much room for practical things like phone, iPad, wallet, snacks, etc. All that stuff had to go in a recess by the passenger’s knees where the driver can’t reach it, or on the passenger seat where it would go flying to the floor if I had to stop short. Bah.
So, I had a notion and I put it in motion. I planned my two-level Driver’s Desk in detail on my laptop and selected materials. StarBoard was chosen because it’s friendlier with water than wood is. Also, I thought I could cut it with my laser. Wrong. The laser’s heat did more melting than cutting. No worries, though; I sent the cut file to our colleagues at SoMo Signs and their CNC machine cut it precisely. I did cut the bottom level’s tempered hardboard on the laser, then painted it silver.
A hole specifically-sized for a 30-ounce stainless steel tumbler was Priority One. Then, what the heck, how about a smaller one to hold a can or bottle? And a slot for my phone (with a cradle below). All of those were cut-throughs, with the items resting on the lower level.
In addition, two rectangles were cut through the top board of the upper level only, creating recesses for the other necessaries. The far edge was fortified with a wall, so nothing would slide off. Finally, 4 round legs were attached, secured with screws and set in down-facing recesses under the surface plank and passed through snug holes in the tempered hardboard.
The passenger seat itself wedges the desk in place, so when I do have a guest, I simply recline the seat a few inches and lift the desk out.
This is an unusual conversion item, to be sure. Couples ain’t gonna do a Driver’s Desk: only us solo dudes.
Still, I am pretty freakin’ proud of this thing! Ha.