What was I thinking? (again!)

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Project by KnickKnack posted 11-27-2009 08:33 PM 2782 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After nearly 2 years of searching we finally managed to find a Land Rover Defender 110 TDi (the latest ones have too many electronics, making them hard to fix in the middle of nowhere) here in Portugal. Easily the “king of cars” this is our 3rd such vehicle, and task 1 is always to replace the central “seat” (suitable only for midgets) with a cubby box. This is version 6 of such a box – usually they’re a simple thing made from ply, but now I’m supposed to be a lumberjock, so I thought I’d try pulling out a few stops, and this is what I came up with.

The front bit accumulates all those little odds and ends associated with driving – wading plugs, torch, bottle opener, cork screw etc. The top bit has a removable cover that doubles as a tray and is useful for maps, language guides, the odd bottle etc.
The high gothic back is suitable for putting my hat on whilst driving – this was an absolute requirement seeing as how, being a pickup, there’s no longer a “back seat” to put it on.

If I had it to do again I’d probably put the gothic back at an angle to match the seats.

Next I have to build the cab on the back to provide space for a large double bed, a small kitchen, toilet and shower facilities – watch this space, but I’d suggest you don’t hold your breath!

Ash and plywood. I tried those “floating tenon” things that people on here suggested, seeing as how the biscuit machine is being repaired – that didn’t go too badly. The “spliney bits” are from the mahogany offcut I found at the DIY store – this seems to be becoming something of my trademark. Finished in tung oil (at last – I had it specially imported from the UK by some friends), thinned and with varnish towards the final coats.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#1 posted 11-27-2009 08:46 PM

Interesting idea, I was wondering if the corners tend to poke you when reach over to get something out of the box.?

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 3289 days

#2 posted 11-27-2009 09:21 PM

Nice box. I was wondering the same thing as Jim. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View KnickKnack's profile


1090 posts in 3595 days

#3 posted 11-27-2009 09:29 PM

I don’t, of course, ever reach for things in the box whilst I’m driving :-)
If I were to do so, then actually they don’t, oops, wouldn’t – they look sharp but have been “softened”, and the top table is actually nicely at “let me rest my elbow for a while” height.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3751 days

#4 posted 11-27-2009 10:43 PM

Nice idea. So, where’s the jacuzzi?

I need to figure out a cup holder (for fat bottomed cups) for my husband’s new pickup truck I just bought for him. Currently he puts it on the seat and it can slide off if he has to hit the brakes hard.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3717 days

#5 posted 11-27-2009 10:46 PM

My first thoughts were also about the square corners and how painful they can be and my second thought was that you must have the Pope riding with you on certain occasions ….LOL ….Nice job making extra storage where none existed previously…...Happy Holidays to you !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View parislights's profile


5 posts in 3263 days

#6 posted 11-27-2009 11:47 PM

Gee KnickKnack I kinda agree with Dusty that looks like you have occasion to drive the pope round town every so often!

Does that “back” piece fold down ? I didnt quite get where it was you spread out a map. But really nice careful workmanship. I like the functional aspect mixed with lovely materials and craftmenship. That is only going to get better with age!

Now that you have the car, and ya got the seating problems worked out, where are you off to???


View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4034 days

#7 posted 11-27-2009 11:56 PM

Be careful on a hot day in a sealed up vehicle or you could find it all busted open and warped on ya.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3474 days

#8 posted 11-28-2009 12:14 AM

Nice job on the storage box.

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3149 days

#9 posted 11-28-2009 03:40 AM

Very good idea and solution

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View 's profile

593 posts in 4001 days

#10 posted 11-28-2009 09:33 AM

The front bit accumulates all those little odds and ends associated with driving – wading plugs, torch, bottle opener, cork screw etc.

It seems that nobody picked up on that great line. You gotta love Europe, no open container laws back there.

PrairieFire, the 110 is the closest relative to the original Land Rover. In the UK the older ones are very sought by the many classic car lovers. You can see it better here.

You did a great job KnickKnack. Although I concur that, for safety’s sake in case of an accident, I’d knock off those corners and, specially, the top of the arch. That would make it less prone to injury without diminishing its utility.

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