Behind-the-seat storage box

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Behind-the-seat storage box

JohnnyD
When I recently finished my interior upgrade (http://forum.garysgaragemahal.com/1981-F150-Old-Blue-needs-a-new-interior-tp26608.html), it didn't seem quite right to dump all the junk behind the seat and let it rattle around and collect dust bunnies for the next 20 years. So I decided to build a simple storage box to straighten up the mess a little and move the essential tools that occupied about half of my glove box.

I dug around in the shop and found a nice long piece of 1x4 fir and a 48 x 30" piece of 1/4-in plywood paneling that looked like it had come off of a packing crate or the back of some piece of furniture. All the edges had water blisters, so I trimmed off an inch all around that dictated the length of my box (46").

I have quite long legs (38" inseam), so the seat sits at the maximum rear position. By poking some 2x4 pieces behind the seat, I figured that if I made the box 12" tall, I could make it 4" deep and still get full seat extension (if you never have the seat back that far, a 6" box would be much more useful).



Here's the project half-way done. The plywood is 46 x 12" and the partitions are nominal 4" (actual about 3-1/2"). I first drilled 5/16" holes at each end of the step in back of the cab near the 2" access holes already there, fed 1/4" bolts up through them and tightened them into place with a nut. Then I took the bottom board (4 x 46"), centered it and spaced it from the back of the cab with the two pieces of plywood. Then whacked on it at the bolt points to mark where they would go. I drilled these to 3/8" for a little slop in fitting and checked to be sure the base piece would fit and the bolts were long enough.

Next, I made a little tool box (center of the photo) to hold my tools. If I could have folded this from sheet metal, it would have had more capacity. I used a 1/2" dowel for the handle, but did not glue it in place, so I could slip it out for easier access to the tools. I put a block on the two center partitions to hold the box so the top was just below the V-cuts in the partitions.

Each partition had a shallow V-cut to help keep my broom sitting on top of the box. The right-hand compartment is 12" wide, the middle one a smidge over the 16" width of the toolbox, and the left-hand one whatever was left.

I glued the other face on the box, tacking all surfaces with a 23-ga pin nailer to hold them until the glue dried. I finished by stapling a scrap of indoor-outdoor carpet on the back of the box in case it wanted to rattle against the back of the cab (it didn't).



The box was bolted in and filled up to look like this. I had room for a first-aid kit, small blue tarp, gloves, and a thin windbreaker in the left compartment, jumper cables under the tools in the center compartment, and some shop towels, rags, ratchet straps and bungies in the right-hand compartment. The broom sits on the top. The box is very solid and a good addition. I still had to stick my big X-lug wrench and a set of retired fan belts (just in case) under the seat. Fire extinguisher in one back corner, a quart of oil and can of brake fluid in the other. It is amazing to be able to open the glove box and not have a lapful of stuff fall out.

Again, if you don't need the legroom, it could have a 1x6" for a base, giving more internal room, and make the tool tray of sheet metal for a little more room. If the seat is always further forward, you could probably add height to the box, too.

Great addition for an afternoon in the shop.
"Old Blue" 1981 F150 Custom, short box, 2wd, straight 6, manual 4-speed; purchased new in NY, now happy in Oregon
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Re: Behind-the-seat storage box

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Well done!  I like it, although I do have the tool box in the bed.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Behind-the-seat storage box

salans7
Gary Lewis wrote
Well done!  I like it, although I do have the tool box in the bed.
Same, but I actually ended up mounting an old ammo can inside the cab so that I could keep stuff that I didn't want to keep unlocking my toolbox for, like my spurs and basic ratchet straps.
-Shaun
1980/86/90 Ford F350 4x4 351W/NP435/Sterling
2003 Ford Ranger V6/M5OD/8.8
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Re: Behind-the-seat storage box

JMUBullnose
salans7 wrote
Same, but I actually ended up mounting an old ammo can inside the cab so that I could keep stuff that I didn't want to keep unlocking my toolbox for, like my spurs and basic ratchet straps.
I like that idea! I have a spare ammo box around here somewhere. I'd love to just keep some straps in it and in the back of the truck cab without stuff going everywhere..
1984 F-150, 302 CID (5.0 L) Windsor V8, 2 BBL carb, power windows added, remote entry added. AC. Automatic Transmission.
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Re: Behind-the-seat storage box

JMUBullnose
In reply to this post by JohnnyD
Looks awesome! Any plans to seal the box, or just leave it as is? I might have to build one of these in the future.
1984 F-150, 302 CID (5.0 L) Windsor V8, 2 BBL carb, power windows added, remote entry added. AC. Automatic Transmission.
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Re: Behind-the-seat storage box

JohnnyD
JMUBullnose wrote
Looks awesome! Any plans to seal the box, or just leave it as is? I might have to build one of these in the future.
Nah, I'll just leave it as it is. Behind the seat and out of sight. Kinda like putting lipstick on a pig, isn't it? ;)
"Old Blue" 1981 F150 Custom, short box, 2wd, straight 6, manual 4-speed; purchased new in NY, now happy in Oregon