How to Build a Truck Bed Slide Outby Shae Hazelton
Constructing your truck bed slide out is a time-consuming process that also can provide many rewards. A truck bed slide out maximizes your available space and makes hauling smaller items easy. It can also add a bit of protection for the valuable tools you keep in the back of your truck. However, building your slide out will be no walk in the park, so buckle down and commit yourself to the project before you start. Otherwise, you may never finish.
Measure the length of your truck bed from the back of the cab to the tailgate. Measure the width at widest point and also between the two wheel wells.
Cut a piece of plywood to the length and width of your truck bed. Cut an indentation into each side of the board to make room for the wheel wells. Flip the board over and draw three straight chalk lines lengthwise on the back (one down the center and one next to each of the cuts for the wheel wells).
Cut three additional pieces of plywood the length of the truck bed by 1-foot wide. Lay them parallel to each other on their sides. Place the large piece of plywood over them (so the side with the chalk lines faces up).
Ask an assistant to hold the top piece of plywood steady while you move the pieces of plywood below. Line each end of the plywood up so they match with each of the chalk lines. Drill five wood screws through the wood at even intervals along each chalk line, securing the three smaller boards in place.
Flip the large piece of plywood over so the three smaller boards stick up. Measure the space between the vertical plywood planks.
Cut two pieces of plywood as wide as the space between the vertical boards and as long as the truck bed (these are the bottom pieces of the slide out drawers). Cut four drawer sides 2 inches shorter than the length of the truck bed and 9 inches tall. Label the bottom pieces with an "A" and the side pieces with "Bs."
Place both "A" planks flat on the ground. Set two "B" pieces on top of each "A" piece vertically. Position the "B" pieces so they sit at the right and left side of the "A" pieces with an inch of space between the end of the "B" boards and the edge of the "A" boards then attach them to each other using wood screws.
Cut four pieces of board to make the front and the back of the boards. Cut them 9 inches tall and as wide as the bottom pieces of the drawers. Attach these pieces of wood to the front and back of the drawers, in front of the "B" pieces and on top of the "A" pieces.
Paint the plywood drawers with exterior-grade spray paint to make them weather resistant. Paint the large piece of plywood with the three vertical boards in the same paint. Leave them to dry before you do anything else with the wood.
Place a flat rubber drop in bed liner on top of the vertical boards protruding from the large piece of plywood with the top facing up. Attach the bed liner to the vertical planks using roofing nails and bolts. Add support to the four corners of the truck bed liner by attaching 2 by 4s that reach from the bottom piece of plywood to the bottom of the liner at every corner.
Slide the two drawers in between the vertical wood planks attached to the large piece of plywood. Ask an assistant to help you lift the entire construct into the empty bed of your truck. The bed liner should face upward.
Attach the construct to the bed of your truck by installing bolts through the plywood on either side of the drawers down into the metal of the truck bed. Install latch locks on the drawers to keep them shut.
- Place dividers in the drawers if you plan to haul smaller tools and cargo in the drawers.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Wood screws
- Bed liner
- Always wear protective goggles and gloves anytime you operate a saw.
Shae Hazelton is a professional writer whose articles are published on various websites. Her topics of expertise include art history, auto repair, computer science, journalism, home economics, woodworking, financial management, medical pathology and creative crafts. Hazelton is working on her own novel and comic strip while she works as a part-time writer and full time Medical Coding student.