How To: Bedside Utility Racks

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bryce88

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So I'm starting a project. I want to increase the utility off my bed by adding some bedside racks to the inside walls. I want to be able to mount a shovel, axe and other things in there under my tonneau cover to keep in there all the time. My plan is to use 1/2" HDPE and cut out holes in a molle pattern so I can use molle pouches or also mount quickfists for handled tools. I'm planning on using rivet nuts to attach it around the perimeter and I have a nylon cylinder with a 1" diameter that I'll use as standoffs at varying depths because the side of the bed has different depths in different places.

The piece of HDPE that I have is 24"x 48" so that's why it's not running the entire length of the bed. Which I'm fine with because the head of my shovel can hang off the end and that part of the rack is hard to access anyway.

I'm also planning to incorporate some bed lighting under the rail after the rack is in.

Let me know your thoughts! Any ideas or advice would be welcome. I'll keep posting and keep this thread updated as I make progress on the project.

Here are some pictures of the cardboard pattern that I've started.

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bryce88

bryce88

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bryce88

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17Delmonico

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I like it. Being creative, and making use of unused space is a great idea. Maybe under the fire extinguisher, along the floor, you could have some sort of catch-all, where you could put smaller odds and ends. You're just doing the one side for now?
 
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bryce88

bryce88

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I like it. Being creative, and making use of unused space is a great idea. Maybe under the fire extinguisher, along the floor, you could have some sort of catch-all, where you could put smaller odds and ends. You're just doing the one side for now?
Yeah right now I'll just do one side. Then I'll do the other side once I learn how this is all going to work. But I like the idea of some sort of pouch or bin to put straps etc.

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Goose_1327

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This is definitely something I’ve tossed around for mounting a Hi-Lift Jack!


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bryce88

bryce88

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This is definitely something I’ve tossed around for mounting a Hi-Lift Jack!


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Yes it'd be great for that. I might use it for that as well.

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bryce88

bryce88

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Sweet! That's an awesome idea

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Thanks, I can't really claim credit for the concept though. Builtright industries makes something similar for F-150s, but none for Ram. I haven't seen anyone build them out of polymer yet though.
For me the benefits of using polymer are cost, ease of fabrication (you can use woodworking tools), weather resistance without painting, it's black all the way through. And weight.

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bryce88

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Ok I finally got around to finishing this project!

Transferring the template to the HDPE
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Cutting it out with a jigsaw
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Drilling the mounting holes
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I did some experimenting with a molle pattern but because the material is so thick it's not going to work for a lot of pouches since they're designed to work on the thickness of nylon webbing. I'm glad I did some experimenting because it would have been a lot harder to cut a molle pattern and it wouldn't have even been useful!
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I decided to just do round holes. This is a 1" grid I printed off to use as a guide
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Used a center punch to start all the holes and to transfer the pattern onto the panel
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Drilling the holes. Over 500 of them... I'm glad I have drill press. The ones it couldn't reach I just finished up with a cordless drill.
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Ok, now the part where there's no turning back. Drilling into the bed of your truck. After using shims etc. to get the panel placed where I wanted it, I used a punch through the mounting holes to mark where to drill. Then, using a step bit, I drilled holes that were 11/32" wide which was perfect for the rivnuts I have. They need to be nice and snug to work correctly.
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I used a little black silicone adhesive to kind of seal the hole to prevent water from getting behind there on the bare metal.
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All mounted up they turned out looking pretty clean. *Pro Tip - run a tap into the rivnuts after mounting them to clean up the threads, sometimes they can get a little squished or bent and you'll get your bolt stuck and then if you crank on it, you'll spin the rivnut which is bad news. (Don't ask me how I know)
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Now to cut the standoffs. I bought a nylon rod on eBay and cut two different sizes. A short and a long for the indentations on the side of the bed. That way everything ends up nice and flat.
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Drilled holes in them
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All the standoffs ready to go. You can kind of see how they work in these photos.
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Now the fun part. I placed the tools where I wanted them and mounted the quickfists.
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All mounted up!
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I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'm still planning to mount a pouch in that leftover area for ratchet straps etc. So that is still to come.


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