Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

JK Unlimited Rear Drawer, Fridge Slide & Sleep Platform Version 2.0

Recommended Posts

i made some good progress this weekend on a version 2.0 of my rear storage/fridge-slide/sleep platform.


this was my previous setup... 


- and some small tweaks i made a little later...


the new version will have a permanent drawer. i've always preferred just using multiple Pelican style cases before, but i've found certain tools & supplies stay in my rig. this meant that to sleep in there, i always had to pull out 2 of my heaviest cases and set them outside at night. 


the new sleep platform will be at the same height as the drawer case and should be faster/simpler to deploy.


here's the start of it all:




i could have re-used some of the existing stuff like the base and fridge slide, but i've decided to just start over and incorporate several improvements.


i'm using 1/2" plywood for everything instead of King Starboard/StarLite. i really liked working with the plastic, but it's just not as rigid as the same thickness plywood and was also slightly heavier.


here's the bottom of the new platform. the 1/2" strip towards the front of the rig keeps it level along with the square of 1/8" hardboard which rests on the subwoofer grill (2015 and up JK's with the Alpine Speaker option). the double strips near the back of the Jeep are just to fill a hole visually.




to prevent any bass rattles i'm re-using the little neoprene matt i incorporated previously on top of the subwoofer grill.




i went a little shorter this time on the whole base. at 32" deep i am able to use the rear seat mounting bolts that stick up through the floor as locators. this platform presses right up against the back edge of the bolt in each corner.




this puts the rear edge where i can still remove the factory plastic cover that hides the jack.




i went with 39" wide again, which meant i still needed to shave off a little material from the bottom in one spot on each side.




that little cutout allows it to sit flat where the factory side plastic sticks out most.




i again mounted the base to the 4 factory tie-down holes plus the same 2 extra spots where i had inserted U-nuts before. this time i used a flat wood bit to make recess in the plywood and will use pan-head screws along with washers for extra strength.


for the top of the drawer's case, i followed the factory plastic/carpet curves. not so much for visual reasons, but since i'm sleeping on it, i didn't want a hole between the edge and side of the Jeep to let the mattress squish down into.


i bought a contour gauge to help get this part done, and first made a template out of some 1/8" hardboard.




here's the whole structure assembled with just a few screws for a test fit.




i also cut the pieces for the new folding sleep platform that will attach and sit level with the drawer case.




i learned some new stuff already. be sure to see my other post on how to make stronger corners easily with pocket holes. and my tip about buying plywood!


i got over my issues using a router and found a way i could remember which way to feed it. i used to get confused over clockwise/counter-clockwise depending on whether you're routing inside or outside of a shape... but i found this easier to remember: just always PUSH the router AWAY from you and keep it to the RIGHT side of the wood that's being cut.


and so i was able to use a 1/8" round-over bit to ease the edges on everything i made so far.




currently waiting on some locking drawers slides and piano hinges that i ordered before i can go any further, but i'm very happy with the progress so far.


Edited by theksmith
  • Love 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

i realized there were a few more things i could do while i wait for the UPS man ;)


did final assembly on this much of it (notice i'm even using wood glue for this project)!




i decided to route all the vertical edges with a 1/4" round-over, except inside the drawer box - i left those with just the 1/8" easing the same as all the horizontal edges.




also went ahead and primed everything that's been cut so far using exterior Kilz. it dries super fast and has nice coverage in one coat. i'm planning to finish with bedliner, but i don't want to waste a bunch of that expensive stuff just being soaked into the wood on the first coat.




i made sure to tape off any areas that will need to be glued during final assembly. 


using a weenie roller is handy because you can squeeze paint into the corners and don't even really need brush.






  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job Mr. Abrams, I mean Kris!😉


If you run short of material, and don’t want to buy another sheet,  I have quite a few scrap pieces  in the shed that you’re welcome to.

Edited by jgaz

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks Jim!


p.s. it's more like Mr. Tim Taylor ;)

Edited by theksmith
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

i bought a pair of 30" 500LB locking slides from ORR & ORR - i've seen them recommended on multiple other forums for somewhat affordable heavy duty locking slides. i've also used Accuride 9308 locking slides before, but they are a fair bit more expensive so i thought i'd give these others a try.


the ORR & ORR slides turned out to be Ryadon 3600, but i couldn't find a better price anywhere else on them anyway.




FYI, i also previously bought similar Fulterer brand slides but immediately returned them. their locking mechanism is free-floating and dependant on gravity instead of being spring loaded - which meant they had metal pieces that would rattttttttle like crazy on a bumpy road!


to mount the slides, i used t-nuts i had left over from the previous storage project. it takes a little longer than just screwing things to the wood directly, but is super strong and will hold securely even after multiple removals and re-installs.




i decided i'm going to order another set of the Ryadons and re-make my fridge slide too, so the middle piece of wood will have slides mounted on both sides. that's why i used every other mounting hole in the photo above. it should still be plenty strong since the slides allow for 1/4" mounting bolts on the outside rail.


with the angle of the rear seatback and the height i wanted on my drawer, i had to notch out the back of the case to fit the 30" slides.




the entire drawer is also 1/2" plywood for strength. i'm going to be storing heavy tools in here, so i didn't think i could get away with only a 1/4" thick bottom.


here i've got spacers ready so i can install the drawer on the inner rails. i used t-nuts for this part as well. the inners only fit a #10 screw, so there's quite a few more holes on those.




creating a perfectly straight/square/plumb drawer and case is challenging without a table saw.


a friend just told me about the inexpensive Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide. if i'd known about it when i started this project, i would have bought it for sure!


i do like my new Ryobi Brushless 7-1/4" circular saw. i had one of their old blue 6-1/2" ones before and it was pretty weak. the full-size blade is also easier to track a nice straight cut with.




here's the drawer glued-n-screwed!




i'll have to get a good photo of the face, but i ended up with a pretty even gap, and everything is plumb. however, the face is nearly 1/16" further inset on the right side than left. kinda bummed it didn't come out perfect, but it's sturdy and slides smoothly - and since this is my first complete drawer, i'll call it a win!


here's a quick test fit in the Jeep, the top still isn't screwed down in this photo.




the sleep platform will be 3 hinged sections that fold up to store behind the seat when it's upright.


here i'm just checking the clearance of the first platform piece.




these sections will be easily removable so they don't get in the way if i need to haul something. there'll also be a couple separate angled pieces to support the platform, which should store beside the drawer case in an otherwise unusable space. 


more details on the whole sleep platform to come soon.



Edited by theksmith
  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work K, look at all that wood it's like an episode of New Yankee Workshop!



  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like that setup a lot!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

"nearly 1/16" further inset on the right side" 


That's why belt sanders and veneer exist

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A 1/16” off,  using plywood, pocket screws, and no table saw for your first drawer!!?

Excellent Job.  

 You da man!


impressive design AND execution. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

my old DIY fridge slide has held up pretty well. i had to modify my latch mechanism right away to make it adjustable, but beyond that it's worked perfectly.


my only complaints are that the 220lb Centerline slides weren't quite as sturdy as i'd have liked. they have some flex when the fridge is fully loaded (i don't think they would outright fail though), and the bumper mechanism has nearly worn in half after 3 years.




everything about these new 500LB slides just seems much beefier.






the old BB sized bearings look tiny compared to new ones.




here's the latching mechanism. one minor issue is these don't "slam latch" - i.e. you have to hold the handle down to close them. it appears from the design that they should, so maybe they just need to break in. EDIT: turns out that the will in fact slam latch after being properly lubricated with a bit of white lithium grease.




and here's the spring loaded piece that i mentioned is a better design than the free floating mechanism on some other brands.




one downside is these are significantly heavier than the old slides. i guess that's the price to be paid for "heavy duty" though!






Edited by theksmith

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...