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theksmith

Jeep JK DIY Tailgate Table - 1st Attempt

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Speaking of OCD-ness, I want to correct the title of this thread...

 

i fixed it - can't believe i never noticed that even!

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i think i've finished the new slide out - i'll be testing it out on this weekend's Mojave area trip!

 

here's a teaser pic for now...

 

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well the slide-out worked out well on the Mojave Trip, so no tweaks needed thus far. here are the build details...

 

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i had a custom sized bamboo cutting board created by CuttingBoards.net. i was planning to get the natural finish, but right now they only seem to be carrying the amber in 1/2" so that's what i ended up with.

 

the first step was to season it with some food-safe mineral oil. i used Howard's Butcher Block Conditioner which also contains waxes to supposedly help seal in the oil. i'll need to do this a couple times a year to ensure the board doesn't dry out and crack.

 

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despite the minor drawback of needing to maintain the wood, i chose bamboo because it's really stiff (when cross-layered like this) and has an overall great strength-to-weight ratio.

 

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i used some aluminum "Z" channel to make the slides, which was a bit expensive due to shipping costs.

 

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the opening this created and the cutting board were both right at 1/2", which made it a little too tight to slide well. i needed something very thin to shim the z-channels slightly higher. i had some very thin stainless washers on hand so i used those under each screw.

 

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the board slides fairly easily now, except in reaaaally cold weather! on the second night of the Mojave trip, it got below freezing and when i went to put the board away that night it was hard to slide. i'm guessing it's mainly the Starboard that contracts a noticeable amount in those temps. it was still totally doable though, and there are no rattles in warm weather, so i don't plan to mess with it any further.

 

the upper channel is against the top edge of the main table so i filed the corners to match the 1/2 radius there.

 

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4 of the screws holding the main table to its hinges/supports needed to be changed to a countersunk style to not interfere with the new slide-out.

 

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i drilled and tapped the z-channel so i could use a stainless 1/4" indexing pin to limit how far the slide would extend. 2 small holes were drilled in the cutting board for the pin to snap into, 1 at the closed position and one at the fully extended position.

 

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the additional surface area is very handy. i can now put my kitchen bag on the main table and have room to prep a meal on the slide-out.

 

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my only reservation about the whole thing is the finished look. i think it came out nice, but the table previously had a very stealth appearance when closed... the shiny aluminum and rich wood color completely kill that. the new look feels like a 1970's speedboat to me. i may try ebonizing the cutting board at some point.

 

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Very, very nice .... but where is the "spice rack"?

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Very nice work Kris! The spring load pin is a nice touch.

 

I like the look of the wood panel, but then I'm a wood worker and loved the old, wooden, Chris Craft speed boats. I can certainly understand your wanting to keep the "stealth look" since your original design was so clean looking.

 

If you decide to try and darken the panel you may want to consider something other than ebonizing. I have very limited experience with the process but wonder how well it would take on the bamboo especially since I assume you've already put a finish on the bottom as well as the top. As your article said a wood such as oak takes the process well.

 

Here's something else you might consider. My wife recently changed the color of a 1990's vintage accent cabinet than was constructed of the era's ubiquitous red oak. She used a highly recommended (by Pinterest) finish, that I was VERY skeptical about. It was a gel stain product that I figured was one of those "miracle" products that are so popular on some of today's home shows. The piece came out beautiful! I stayed strictly hands off and she did the work. It required just a light scuff, no real sanding, of the original finish before applying the stain. The product applies more like a paint then a stain. I believe she used three coats??? She went from a golden oak color to a dark "java" color and again, it's beautiful. It coats the surface more than soaks into the grain. This becomes apparent when you top coat the color and find the sealer really doesn't seem to soak in. It kinda dries on the surface so several light coats are better.

 

The product is available from Rockler and I'm sure Amazon.

http://www.rockler.com/gel-stain-general-finishes-java

 

It would be best if you have, or could get some scrap pieces to experiment with as I'm sure you know.

 

I'd be happy to show you the finished piece to give you an idea. I believe there is also some product left over if you wanted to do a sample piece.

 

I'm also waiting for the spice rack addition .

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Very, very nice .... but where is the "spice rack"?

 

i could get some of these and just stick em to the Jeep ;)http://amzn.to/2p8vl5j

 

81o%2BXNCUrlL._SL500_.jpg

 

 

 

Very nice work Kris! The spring load pin is a nice touch.

 

I like the look of the wood panel, but then I'm a wood worker and loved the old, wooden, Chris Craft speed boats. I can certainly understand your wanting to keep the "stealth look" since your original design was so clean looking.

 

If you decide to try and darken the panel you may want to consider something other than ebonizing. I have very limited experience with the process but wonder how well it would take on the bamboo especially since I assume you've already put a finish on the bottom as well as the top. As your article said a wood such as oak takes the process well.

 

Here's something else you might consider. My wife recently changed the color of a 1990's vintage accent cabinet than was constructed of the era's ubiquitous red oak. She used a highly recommended (by Pinterest) finish, that I was VERY skeptical about. It was a gel stain product that I figured was one of those "miracle" products that are so popular on some of today's home shows. The piece came out beautiful! I stayed strictly hands off and she did the work. It required just a light scuff, no real sanding, of the original finish before applying the stain. The product applies more like a paint then a stain. I believe she used three coats??? She went from a golden oak color to a dark "java" color and again, it's beautiful. It coats the surface more than soaks into the grain. This becomes apparent when you top coat the color and find the sealer really doesn't seem to soak in. It kinda dries on the surface so several light coats are better.

 

The product is available from Rockler and I'm sure Amazon.

http://www.rockler.com/gel-stain-general-finishes-java

 

It would be best if you have, or could get some scrap pieces to experiment with as I'm sure you know.

 

I'd be happy to show you the finished piece to give you an idea. I believe there is also some product left over if you wanted to do a sample piece.

 

I'm also waiting for the spice rack addition .

 

hey Jim, thanks for the info and also for putting a name to what was in my mind (Chris Craft)! i actually like those boats, as boats. but the style doesn't go with a modern JK, IMO.

 

despite what the word ebonizing implies, using iron acetate often just gives a gray-wash unless you do a multiple coats and use a wood full of tannins. i've tried it with natural bamboo before and it only makes for a minor change and i'm not sure how the caramelized/amber bamboo would behave. i've only treated my board with that food-safe mineral oil product i mentioned, which will dry out again eventually, so i think my options are still open.

 

the reason it looks out of place to me is that my Jeep is all grayscale... besides the typical black elements, it's all charcoal metallic and a few silver accents. a very "cold" look; so the "warm" yellow/red tones of the wood don't belong. if i do try to ebonize it, it would be only with the goal of toning down those colors. i really should have just waited till they had natural bamboo in stock again!

 

this isn't my photo, but is more in line with how my own experiments with homemade iron acetate came out:

 

matching_the_look_of_aged_barn_boards_1.jpg

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Kris,

 

Thanks so much for posting this. I've been looking all over for a tailgate table and haven't been thrilled by anything I've seen so far. I stumbled across this forum on a Google search and registered just to say thanks for all of the work you've put into this! I'm so inspired by your work that I'm going to give this a shot myself!

 

Steve

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Kris,

 

Thanks so much for posting this. I've been looking all over for a tailgate table and haven't been thrilled by anything I've seen so far. I stumbled across this forum on a Google search and registered just to say thanks for all of the work you've put into this! I'm so inspired by your work that I'm going to give this a shot myself!

 

Steve

 

thanks man!

 

attached are the final plans for a Version 2 that wouldn't require any holes be drilled in the tailgate to stabilize it (slightly shorter than the one i made). maybe the measurements can help you while building yours...

 

theksmith JK Tailgate Table Ver 2 (no-drill, slide-out) Rev 0-5.zip

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Kris,

 

I'm nearing completion of my attempt (I passed on the cup holders and pouch for now) -- will post pics if it all works out, but it looks pretty good so far. Thanks very much for posting your plans, they were very helpful and saved a whole lot of time.

 

I'm probably telling you something you already considered, but you could get a 1/2" sheet of starboard and hit the edges with a 1/4" roundover bit for the cutting board. It will preserve the stealth look you were going after and is still food safe. Just a thought.

 

Steve

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Hi Kris,

I got everything ready for table accept those plastic clips. I can't find them.

Is it possible if you repost a link to amazon page for details because current one is broken.

Really want to get it done, hunting season is coming up. This table will be really huge help for me.

 

Cheers,

Vlad

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