In this Instructable I am going to share an idea for a home built side console that should look like it came from a Ranger, Skeeter, Stratos Bass boats. The Image here is only a idea I was going for, NOT the finished product!
It is also just the build of the console, it is not showing it done because you can come up with the way you want to paint, design, profile etc. of your idea. This is just showing you how to get there!
Later I may post my finished console when on the boat.
Step 1: Materials Needed
I decided to try a few different ways at this. My first attempt with forming plexi-glass did not work out, so I decided to use wood covered with fiberglass.
We will need;
* 1" wood for the front face of the console 2 by 3 ft. should cover it (remember you can use your own design and detail, size etc.
* 1/4" board for bottom profile (2 by 2 ft.)
* 3/16" board for cover. (Mine was 7 1/2" by 19")
* 1/8 wood/ cardboard type wood, not sure exactly what the materials name is, as long as it has bend to it should be usable.
*. Hot glue(Lots!)
* Fiberglass kit (Resin, Liquid Hardener, Fiberglass cloth)
* Gloves (You do not want to get this shit on your hands)
* 3/4, 1/4" screws and Finishing nails
* Grinder or saws-all
Step 2: Getting Started
Now you have to get an idea of what you want your console to llok like. Search the internet for pictures of an idea you like.
Draw out your face on the 1" board and trace the gauges, fish finder or whatever is going to be on it. Cut it out and check to make sure everything fits. I personally didn't worry about the steering wheel yet, that can come later.
Step 3: Bottom Profile Template
The 2nd step I did was creating & drawing the shape of the console. The bottom (1/4" wood) is going to be the perimeter shape of your console. After you have drawn it, cut it out. I also painted the bottom with a sealant.
Step 4: Starting to Put It Together
After your Front face is completed and your bottom profile is made, next you will fasten them together using the 3/4" screws.
Make sure the front face has about a 15 degree angle off the bottom, you don't want it straight!
You can cut out 85 degree gussets to hold the face if you want, personally I just screwed the bottom to the facer at a 15 degree angle.
Step 5: Back and Top Bracing
When that is done, the next step I did was the small back piece (1' by 71/2" by 4") where the bottom profile curves from the front face up to the smallest section. This will require the small piece of wood parallel to the facer. It needs to be as wide or you can taper it down so it goes from wide to small. You can now fasten it to your bottom section across from your facer.
When that is done the piece of wood that slopes down to connect the facer and the back brace needs to be made. I cut mine so that it was the same width all the way down and screwed it at the highest point of my facer plate before it curves down like in the picture.You will see in the next step if your confused.
Step 6: So Far!
This is just a picture giving you an idea of what it should look like so far. You can see every angle here if your a little lost. Remember this is an idea, your can look however you want.
Step 7: Starting the Profile Section
After your 4 pieces are fastened together, the next thing I did was cut out the 1/8 wood to wrap around the sides. This stuff bends quite easily so I started at the facer piece and worked my way around screwing it to the bottom piece every few inches until it reached the small back piece. The point of this piece is to make it as wide as the straight sides of the facer before the profile starts. Do that for both sides. It should look like this at this point! I let it hang over the front facer then trim it off later.
Step 8: Making the Profile
Next take the 1/8 soft wood and cut around 20-30 1' strips long enough to reach front to back. I started at the top and worked my way down to the curved piece you just installed.
It will take patience and lots of hot glue. If you have a better way of fastening the strips go for it, ts just what I had. It just has to hold until we fiberglass it and mine held fine.
As you can see I didn't worry about over hang at this point.
You will have to glue the strips together every few inches to make sure they are all even with each other as well as both ends. I started laying them flat at the bottom where they meet with the curved piece the when it reaches the facer I glued as well as nailed it down using the finishing nails
Step 9: Trimming Off Excess
At this point after you finish your sides you will want to make everything look nice and even. I used a 7" grinder with a cut-off disk to chop off all the overhang. Then I sanded everything with a little mouse sander. You should have everything looking nice and even by now. If you have large gaps between the strips, don't worry about it. The fiberglass will cover that.
Step 10: Fiberglassing
I wiped it all down with a damp rag the cover one side with fiberglass resin. Make sure to mix your hardener with the resin as required.
When it was covered I the started wrapping it with the fiberglass. I found it easiest to lay the fiberglass on top of the resin then take a paint brush and firmly "dab" it everywhere until the fiberglass is coated. I put 3 layer of fiberglass on due to all the sanding needed to be done.
Step 11: Sanding
After 24 hrs I started to sand it all smooth. It turns out beautiful. I am showing a picture of it cured but not sanded and painted. That part it self explanitory. You can come up with your own paint job and design to match your boat. Mine is going to be black and yellow to match my Bass boat. I am also going to include an Instructable for making a windshield in the near future for this console.
Depending on your type of boat, you will have to decide for yourself how to fasten it to your boat. That much is outta my hands, most boats are different with different layouts.
Step 13: Final Product After Paint and Clear Coat. Just Need to Install Steering.