Single drawer for LX470


We have had the LX for a while now and I am sick of living out of totes when we are camping. We have basically narrowed our gear down to two action packers. One is the kitchen kit and the other is tools, parts, rope, and anything else that may come in handy but not used as often as the kitchen gear. They are handy for being able to quickly load up or unload for trips but we usually have to unload everything to get to them. So we held out for a while so we could get a good feel for what kind or storage system would work best for our needs. I would really like to have two separate drawers but I do not want to raise the fridge much higher as it is already difficult for my wife to reach into at it's current height. I am keeping each side a separate unit so I can go back and change the fridge side configuration later if needed. The passenger side drawer is as large as I can make while still being able to fit my little dog's crate on top.
Let me start off by saying I am scared to death of woodwork. It is not one of my better skills.
I am using 3/4 inch maple plywood, Tribond III wood glue, 1 5/8 inch wood screws, and 30 inch drawer slides. The drawer slides are rated at 220 pounds. They are full extension with ball bearings and actually separate for easy drawer removal and installation, unlike a lot of the other heavy duty slides I have seen at over double the cost. Since I am not a woodworker and normally avoid it at all cost I did not already have a set of sawhorses so my 5 year old helped me throw together a simple set of sawhorses this morning. The have so far been a huge help and I do not know why I have gone so many years without any. It is nice to be able to work while standing rather than from the ground.

Last week I took a lot of measurements and laid out what I wanted on paper. Once everything looked good on paper I made a cardboard mockup which I am glad for. After seeing the mock up in place I made a few changes to come up with the final plan. I found a cool app that allowed me to enter all my cut measurements and it then gives you the layout to maximize your cuts from each piece of wood. It was a huge time saver.

Using this, I made all of my cuts at once very quickly. The stack on the left is the carcass and the one on the right is the drawer.

My original drawing and measurements. I am less an artist than a woodworker. :)

Here are the 30 inch drawer slides I am using. They are pretty heavy so hopefully that is a good indicator of their quality.

This is where I stopped for the night. I am still looking for ideas for a spring loaded pin for locking the drawer in and out. Please give some feedback or ideas. Hopefully I will get some work done in the evenings this week. Cheers:beer:



More progress

I have been working all week and had to go in today but I got a little more progress done on the drawer today. I almost feel like I know what I am doing. If this turns out alright, I may have to redo my fridge slide and add a small drawer underneath of it...

I am still debating on a few things.
Finish, carpet or black stain with multiple coats of polyurethane? Maybe a dark brown stain to match the dash trim or just poly with no stain?
What color carpet if I chose carpet. I have tan interior but it will be hard to match. Should I use black or the standard grey speaker box carpet?
I am trying to decide if it is worth the money to have a cool looking latch or just go for practical and functional?
Do I really need to add a hatch to the top in case of an emergency where the trunk cannot be opened?
Thanks for continuing to follow and as always, I work for comments.


I got some more work done and had some good help to boot. Thanks again Marten.

I already started the first step of sanding. Now for a lot of wood filler, more sanding, then some matte black polyurethane. I will probably only carpet the top and drawer front.


Really nice job!

The only thing I might suggest, but would cause you to re-cut and rebuild the drawer... But..

You have the floor of the drawer hanging on to the bottom of the walls. If the walls extended to surround the floor, so that the floor sat inside the walls, you would gain some extra strength, increasing your carrying capacity.

Right now, gravity is working against whatever method you chose to fasten the floor to the bottom of the walls. If those fasteners were in the meat of the wall instead of vertical into the layers of the plywood, they would have a better hold on the floor. And course, plenty of glue!

Just a suggestion. :)


Thanks. I am not a woodworker but I was thinking by doing it the way you suggest, I would be relying on shear forces instead of pulling force. I know that for screws they are extremely weak when working with a shear force.



I decided to use satin black polyurethane for the finish. I will probably end up with carpet on top, on the drawer front, and inside the drawer eventually but this will seal the wood and offer some extra protection against moisture I hope....

First coat applied. Looks like it will need at least two more.


I finally got my drawer installed. I ended up only needing 2 coats of polyurethane for a good thick protective layer. I let that cure for 2 weeks while I was in Vietnam and Thailand. I have been to China quite a bit but this was my first experience in southern Asia. They have some nice vehicles. In Thailand you either have a killer truck or a scooter. I saw very few cars. I am going to figure out how to sneak a Hilux or world edition Ford Ranger in my luggage on my next trip! With that being said, the Lexus is now up for sale...:) Kidding.
So tonight was has been the first night that I haven't fallen asleep on the couch the minute I got home from work. (It is tough making a 13 hour time zone change twice in two weeks)
I got the drawer installed this evening and it turned out great. It still needs a handle and latch. There are some really nice looking options out there but I think I will stick with a length of 550 cord for the handle and a slide pin latch. Why overcomplicate things?
I also need to put in some dividers.
End of rambling and onto the pictures.