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FlyinPhil 01-26-2010 12:43 AM

TJ Overhead Console Build Thread
Due to my lack of funds and Tuffy's overhead console being $400+, i decided to build my own console to house my stereo, cb, maxitrip auto comp., and a switch panel. Now i realize there will be some dispute about using plywood for the main body of the console, but i am a very adequate woodworker, so i decided to stick with what i know ( I didn't win the Construction student of the year award for doing nuthin' ! ). So the main issues i have heard with using wood for something like this are moisture and vibration. I used rocker guard over the whole thing, so moisture is not really an issue. Plus i gusseted (lol is that even a word??) quite will, so i dont think vibes will be a problem.

The design:
Due to my inability to plan stuff in advance, i came up with the overall design and layout of the console during a random stroll through home depot with one of my buddies. the idea seemed fairly solid, so i picked up most of the needed materials at that point.

The Materials:
One sheet of plywood ( got it from the scrap section for 51 cents )
one 1"x1/8"x48" steel bar. ( had to get another one later, so two were needed )
one 8' piece of 1/8" c-channel aluminum....lots will be left over. just need 44.5" for the front crossmember that goes between the cage bars.
a plethora of 1/4"x3/4"and1/2" bolts, with corresponding nuts and rubber washers for each
about 6-8 larger bolts (cant recall the size at the moment)
one 3'x2' sheet of galvanized steel (doesnt have to galvanized, but it was shiney.. )
some small screws, 1/2" i believe
lots of primer and paint
few cans of rocker guard
waterproof/outdoor glue
and a few other things i've probably forgotten but will add later.

In total this cost me just less than $150 ( the paint accounts for a fair bit of it ) not including the switches, stereo, wiring, etc.

Assortment of saws: band saw, scroll saw, jig saw, hack saw are all good to have
Drill bit set....everything from 3/16s to 1/2" (for both metal and wood)......drill press would've been nice
a few files
marking awl
center punch
anvil was nice to smooth the edge of the freshly cut sheet metal
tin snips

and again, i've probably forgotten something that i can add later

now, time for pictures

getting started

planning stuff out

cutting one of the sides

the two identical sides next to each other

The maxitrip

a quick mock up of the stereo and computer

Glueing.....the more clamps the better

Deciding what to do for the switch panel

I drilled 4 holes, one at each corner of where the switch panel housing had to be cut out.

Mock up of the switch panel (though there will be 8 switches when it is for the coffee maker, passenger ejection, oil slick....etc )


FlyinPhil 01-26-2010 12:44 AM

holes drilled and hardware added to the switch panel housing

CB pics

here is a better mock up

hooray for sheet metal

using a 2x4 cut to the same diameter as the roll cage, i bent the mounting brackets for the front crossmember


FlyinPhil 01-26-2010 12:44 AM

brackets bolted to the crossmember ( c channel aluminum )

now due to clearance for the bolts on the crossmember, i had to drill out the inner bracket and weld the nut right into the bracket and grind it down

ribbed supports

my cat helping me out making sure that the wires for my radio don't get tangled

wiring mess....i fired the cat...

clean stereo harness

some of the metal stuff primed...the large sheet at the bottom is for the top of the console

the console rocker guarded, more pics to follow soon!!!

DC4W-93XJ 01-26-2010 11:22 AM

VERY nice.... i think i've been inspired...

i think an MDF model would be much cleaner.. nice work..

DC4W-93XJ 01-26-2010 11:23 AM

any installed pics??

MO2500 01-26-2010 11:43 AM

that looks really nice :thumbsup: installed pics please :D

5.7YJ 01-26-2010 11:56 AM

Looks great, please post some more pics!

FlyinPhil 01-26-2010 12:04 PM

hey guys, thanks for the input. as for MDF, it would definitely be cleaner and easier to work with, but it is also fairly i got the plywood for a grand total of 51 cents, and only used half of it. when i do a new center console i will probably go with mdf.

its not quite finished, so installed pics yet, but i should have another update by saturday

Thanks again!

TennesseeTJ02 01-26-2010 12:05 PM

looks great!

FlyinPhil 01-26-2010 12:07 PM


Originally Posted by TennesseeTJ02 (Post 8766778)
looks great!

Thanks! there will be more pics soon :thumbsup:

Unii 01-29-2010 11:57 PM

sweet i'd make one if i didnt have the tuffy already.

JWitt333 01-30-2010 10:49 AM

that looks really good. too bad for the cat though.

bdevr 01-30-2010 08:07 PM


Originally Posted by DC4W-93XJ (Post 8766501)
VERY nice.... i think i've been inspired...

i think an MDF model would be much cleaner.. nice work..

Keep in mind that MDF and moisture do not get along well. MDF act like a sponge and will fall apart quickly if it gets wet.

DivineKaos 02-10-2010 08:53 PM



frenchlayer 02-11-2010 08:12 AM


Originally Posted by uni (Post 8793398)
sweet i'd make one if i didnt have the tuffy already.

feel free to send me the tuffy and then you can build away:2thumbsup:

The time now is 10:48 PM.

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