Custom drawer system project





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  1. #1
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    Default Custom drawer system project

    Hey all,

    I recently got a 2006 Mitsu Pajero DiD LWB and have been wanting to put a drawer system in it since. I could go and pay Front Runner to do it but, eish those are expensive. They also aren't exactly what I want. I've been looking around on the interwebs as well trying to find another company that does something similar and most aren't what I'm looking for either. I've decided that I'm going to make the thing my self. I'm very good at wood-working and decent at elec-trickery so it'll be a fun project to work on.

    I wanted to come on here and ask if anyone has done this sort of project and if they had recommendations for supplies and/or build ideas. I need to find marine plywood or something similar that is resistant to water and heavy duty metal (ideally steel) sliders.

    Thanks
    Nature

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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Hi Nature.

    One stop shop - 4x4 direct. you will find everything except for the wood.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Your biggest challenge would be weight (Apart form obviously using the space optimally ) DO NOT underestimate the weight factor when kitting out your vehicle. When adding up all of the seemingly insignificant pieces of equipment, you will end up shocked!!

    Wood - even plywood of a sufficient thickness to ensure structural integrity - can become heavy as your rack develops.
    My approach was to use aluminium and connect-it fittings as a frame, which you can now clad with a product of your choice. I chose to only clad the top as a deck using 5/6 mm ply, and leave the sides open.
    The drawers as such, are ammo boxes and I initially did not use drawer slides, but rather installed 50x50 alu angle at the bottom corners of the frame to act as tracks within which the ammo boxes can slide. Let me add at this stage that the intention never was to "live" from the drawers, but rather to take out each box and put them on a table (or those X fridge stands) during use - suitable when you stay at one spot for some time. This has worked very well for us.

    However, if you are constantly on the move and you want to live from the drawers, you will need a proper drawer system, with drawer slides. Now, proper drawer slides comes a a price! both in terms of Rands as well as in terms of weight.

    Since I acknowledge that our requirements may change to one where greater mobility is required, not staying for a period at on spot (which indeed would have happened if it wasn't for a trip postponed due to Corona), I was able to retro-fit proper drawer slides into my existing drawer frame.

    This was not part of the original planning, so some creative thinking was required, since the dimensions of the frame did not provide for the addition of the bulky slides.

    So what I did was to trim off some of the double walled sides/corners of the ammo boxes (using a combination of a plunge saw and a router) to the extent that I now had space for the Furnlock Extra Heavy Duty drawer slides. Whalla!

    So I made a frame from from allu -50x50x3- that serves as the bottom of the drawer and on which the ammo boxes rest. This was then joined to the previously mentioned frame by means of the drawer slides. Now you have the best of two worlds - the boxes can stay inside as part of a complete drawer system, or you can take the boxes out and stash them wherever and for how long you want.

    Since the heavy drawer slide was fixed to the frame by means of (gutter) bolts and nylock nuts, the whole drawer frame together with the slides can be disassembled and taken out and handled/stored separately from the frame. So I can still use my original plan and save a LOT of weight as and when required, and it is a lot easier to handle as a single person.

    This all may sound stupid and unnecessary, but those drawer slides are REALLY heavy (2 sets), and besides, I enjoyed the challenge and doing it myself.

    Will see if I can post some phodies tonight.

    Just a note on using ammo boxes as the actual container for a drawer:
    I did add hinges to my ammo boxes (not my original idea). This completely changes the use of the ammo boxes, making it a lot easier and more practical to us. I still consider them good value for money, providing structural strength, and also being virtually water- and dust proof, and very secure. Adding hinges takes this to a next level. I posted on this somewhere else on this forum.
    Last edited by hatjohan; 2020/06/22 at 11:18 AM.



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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne P View Post
    Hi Nature.

    One stop shop - 4x4 direct. you will find everything except for the wood.

    Indeed!



  7. #5
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    I have made 4 x diy drawer systems 2 x for my Did LWB, and 2 x systems for my SWB.
    I did not use Marine ply, too expensive and my drawers have never got wet that it warrants the cost of marine ply.
    My very first one i used Connect-It alu. worked well but when i decided to re-do them i switched to chip board/plain ply. (preferred working with wood)
    Chip board, cheap and easy to work with, covered with automotive carpet. If designed properly the chipboard is very strong (i sleep in the back on top of my drawers.
    Are you planing on having a fridge in the back? If so you need to decide if you are going to mount the fridge "low" then you can have one drawer next to it. Or you can have the fridge mounted on top of the drawers, but then you need a tilt slid or drop down slide for the fridge. (unless you are really tall)
    Let me know if you want any details.
    05 Mitsubishi Pajero LWB 3.2 Did GLX

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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    So I'm thinking of building the drawers with a top and having the fridge and other items on top. With either having the fridge slide out and down on slides or having it tied down so it can be taken out at camp, I haven't decided which I want to do yet. I like wood but I'm certainly not opposed to using aluminum for the weight. The main idea is to have a 2 across and 2 deep set of ammo boxes with a water tank either across the back or up the middle. I haven't checked how much space there is but the water tank has to be on the floor. I've briefly checked out 4x4 direct and it looks like a great site.

    I only need the drawers to support a fridge and loose cargo like a tent or similar items. So it does need to be a little strong but not very much. I'm curious about using aluminum. Is it strong enough to have a decent load on it? And what about noise, is there a lot of racket from metal-on-metal contact or is that solved by using the connectors talked about above? My biggest concern is balancing the weight of the material with strength.

    The other thing to consider is that I want to mold the system to the shape of the boot which is not square. With wood I can easily cut it to fit the curves and angles of the boot. Aluminum may make that harder, I'm not sure. I would think that aluminum would need to be square. Although I could definitely be wrong.

    Thank you for the suggestions
    Nature

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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Drawers means working with parallel sides, which means working square (mostly)
    You do not always want or need a perfect fit to your space - any cavity that will remain, will be used (Law of the 4x4 )

    Connect-it = no rattles. And you do get ones that adjust to an angle.
    I would say allu has the weight/strength advantage.



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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Have a look here for pics and ideas

    https://www.focusdrawersystems.co.za/
    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project



    This is something I am contemplating for the back of my Hilux.

    A similar two slide systems, one for kitchen, which will be 900x600x550mm and the other for a 4, 5 or 6 drawer system, 600x600x550mm.

    No furnlock sliders to minimise weight and maximise space usage. Also the kitchen as a whole can Then be removed and used under the gazebo for instance.
    Dirk Theron
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Don't discount using teflon runner slides for your drawer system, I have no personal experience but it was discussed here in the camping section quite recently.
    It will be less expensive than Furnlock slides and also a lot less bulky.
    It's in pubs where the world's greatest ideas begin.

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  17. #11
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Quote Originally Posted by DCTheron View Post


    This is something I am contemplating for the back of my Hilux.

    A similar two slide systems, one for kitchen, which will be 900x600x550mm and the other for a 4, 5 or 6 drawer system, 600x600x550mm.

    No furnlock sliders to minimise weight and maximise space usage. Also the kitchen as a whole can Then be removed and used under the gazebo for instance.
    Just wondering how the Teflon will handle a lengthy corrugated road, it certainly saves space though.

  18. #12
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    Don't discount using teflon runner slides for your drawer system, I have no personal experience but it was discussed here in the camping section quite recently.
    It will be less expensive than Furnlock slides and also a lot less bulky.
    I made a 6 drawer system with Connect Its and can say is worked pretty damn well. The drawer system is super strong - its been fully loaded through a rough Bots trips and its held up well carrying a lot of weight in the back over some serious rough terrain and through some big bumpy crossings.


    It has a top made from MDF (bad choice I know). I sealed the top and put a rubber liner on top. I was meaning to replace this with marine ply, but its held up very well over the last year.


    I can also fit a 150L water tank in the back no worries, and have 4 gunwales for the dual battery system and other loose items.


    It really wasnt difficult, it is fairly light, and the runners (furnlock) are super strong and can hold the entire drawer system fully loaded without bending at all, using alu angle iron as the drawer itself.


    Some things I learnt along the way - measure the loss in height you have in the canopy, and check the clearance against some of your other kit and toys. For example, I needed to make sure that with the drawer system and deck, it could still fit my fridge, and the cooler box, as well as my small inflatable rubber duck I use for fishing. Get a good rivet gun, you going to be using it a lot and it will save your fingers.


    Enjoy!

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    Last edited by JadeDsantos; 2020/06/22 at 06:12 PM.

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Quote Originally Posted by River Rat View Post
    Just wondering how the Teflon will handle a lengthy corrugated road, it certainly saves space though.
    The Aussies have been using teflon strips for many years and they too have terrible corrugations.

    The weight and space saving is a no-brainer to me.

    I think I should also build the outer shellís using connect-it with 50x50 ally angleís at the bottom, of even 32x32 should suffice.
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  22. #14
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Quote Originally Posted by River Rat View Post
    Just wondering how the Teflon will handle a lengthy corrugated road, it certainly saves space though.
    Teflon is orders of magnitude better at handling corrugations than ball bearings. The worst thing you can use for a stationary vibration load like a draw in the back of a truck driven over corrugated roads is a ball bearing. The combination of no lubricant (because itís not turning) and high hertzian stress will cause brinelling of the surfaces. The only way out of this is to keep the balls oversized.

    Provided you stay below the PV curve for the Teflon it will be superior. This is the reason I only use self lubricationing bushings on stationary or low speed shafts and pins. Of course the workshop disagrees with me but none of them ever read the manual either.

    Ball bearings in new condition will have lower friction though.

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  24. #15
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    I am busy rebuilding the drawer system for my Jimny. Various reasons for this but the main one is to get rid of the ball bearing sliders because of their weight (donít have too much loading capacity to play with) I am planning to use ultra high molecular weight polyethylene UHMWPE which has a low friction coefficient and good abrasion resistance. Teflon has a lower friction coefficient but is soft and does not wear well.

    https://plastem.co.za/rods-sheets/

    The term Teflon is used loosely and and I think in most places it is UHMWPE that is used. If one looks at the Drifta website (well known Australian user of plastic sliders) they talk about Teflon but then in the FAQ they say itís HDPE actually.

    https://www.drifta.com.au/faq-4wd-fitout/

    The UHMWPE is thick. It comes in sheets 10mm thick so one will have to recess itís installation within the frame or machine it down. The supplier does not recommend machining it thinner than 5mm which leaves a gap somewhat wider than I would like. A point to bear in mind is that this stuff cannot be glued and has to be fixed with countersunk screws.

    Thereís a product called conveyor belt guide supplied by Nusaf. It is discussed in this thread
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-drawer-slides
    I still need to research this further as it will be easier to work with. Apparently it is softer than than UHMWPE but it probably will be adequate for a relatively lightweight drawer

    Quite a bit of info about runners here
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...Drawer-Systems

    There was a recent post about using some sort of plastic to make the drawers but I canít find it now. Supposed to be strong and lightweight.

    Hope this all helps

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  26. #16
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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Quote Originally Posted by Woolf View Post
    I am busy rebuilding the drawer system for my Jimny. Various reasons for this but the main one is to get rid of the ball bearing sliders because of their weight (donít have too much loading capacity to play with) I am planning to use ultra high molecular weight polyethylene UHMWPE which has a low friction coefficient and good abrasion resistance. Teflon has a lower friction coefficient but is soft and does not wear well.

    https://plastem.co.za/rods-sheets/

    The term Teflon is used loosely and and I think in most places it is UHMWPE that is used. If one looks at the Drifta website (well known Australian user of plastic sliders) they talk about Teflon but then in the FAQ they say itís HDPE actually.

    https://www.drifta.com.au/faq-4wd-fitout/

    The UHMWPE is thick. It comes in sheets 10mm thick so one will have to recess itís installation within the frame or machine it down. The supplier does not recommend machining it thinner than 5mm which leaves a gap somewhat wider than I would like. A point to bear in mind is that this stuff cannot be glued and has to be fixed with countersunk screws.

    Thereís a product called conveyor belt guide supplied by Nusaf. It is discussed in this thread
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-drawer-slides
    I still need to research this further as it will be easier to work with. Apparently it is softer than than UHMWPE but it probably will be adequate for a relatively lightweight drawer

    Quite a bit of info about runners here
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...Drawer-Systems

    There was a recent post about using some sort of plastic to make the drawers but I canít find it now. Supposed to be strong and lightweight.

    Hope this all helps

    Thanks for the info on "Teflon" I have been searching for a source (Mayzeys do not stock it, or they were not clever enough to realize I was looking for the above-mentioned)



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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Hi Nature Calls

    I also went with the home build route, for various reasons, cost, and custom for my needs being top, as well as enjoying building..

    I made up a light weight steel frame, then clad in 12mm marine ply.. In retrospect, I could have probably used 9mm birch ply, and saved on weight, and cost.. used 90kg Furnlock sliders, after 2 years of heavy abuse, may need to replace these. but have worked well so far, and survived heavy loads, on bad corrugations, as well, as sandy, and dusty conditions.. in hindsight, not sure.. I'll probably get another year or 2, before I replace these..
    I added a cargo barrier, and top shelf, to allow better packing around fridge, and also clad the top in rubber sheeting, for loading loose items,
    I'm driving a 2002 Prado, which has a similar configuration.. I'll whatsapp pics of my set up, if you like, as I cant seem to post pics here, without an IT diploma

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    Default Re: Custom drawer system project

    Quote Originally Posted by 1342 View Post
    Hi Nature Calls

    I also went with the home build route, for various reasons, cost, and custom for my needs being top, as well as enjoying building..

    I made up a light weight steel frame, then clad in 12mm marine ply.. In retrospect, I could have probably used 9mm birch ply, and saved on weight, and cost.. used 90kg Furnlock sliders, after 2 years of heavy abuse, may need to replace these. but have worked well so far, and survived heavy loads, on bad corrugations, as well, as sandy, and dusty conditions.. in hindsight, not sure.. I'll probably get another year or 2, before I replace these..
    I added a cargo barrier, and top shelf, to allow better packing around fridge, and also clad the top in rubber sheeting, for loading loose items,
    I'm driving a 2002 Prado, which has a similar configuration.. I'll whatsapp pics of my set up, if you like, as I cant seem to post pics here, without an IT diploma
    Hullo Nature Calls,
    I had a drawer system installed by Big Country where Supawood was used , which was a problem as it swelled as soon as it got wet which inevitably will happen. I stripped out all the Supawood and replaced it with a "PVC" type of shutterboard used in the construction industry. This stuff is both lightweight as well as completely impervious to water , so it is perfect for what you need. The only downside is that it is not cheap. I covered it with rubber sheeting from Pro Auto Rubber and have had it in my vehicle for almost 4 years and it has held up well. We have done trips to the Richetersveld , Mabua and Kgalgadi as well as regular trips to Mocambique . There is a supplier in Durban that I can give you the details of .

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