Instructables

Fiberglass Cupholder

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I have a 1991 Chevy S10 Pickup truck, 5-speed manual transmission. There was always one thing about this vehicle that I never understood, and quite frankly, despised. For some unknown reason, Chevy decided to not include cupholders...in a stick shift. Well I was completely fed up with trying to balance my beverage while shifting, so I decided to make a cupholder. The costs for the project were less than $30.00 as I already had most of the materials.

I decided to attach the cupholder behind the center section of the bench seat. There is not bottom, so the bottles and cups actually rest on the back of the seat itself. It is a minimalistic design that looks great and really adds to the truck.
 
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Step 1: Creating a Base

Picture of Creating a Base
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The first thing that I had to do was to decide on a good size for the cupholder. I did not make any measurements, but I rather based it on the sizes of the cups and bottles I most frequently used (gatorade or chick-fil-a for example). Once I had a ballpark figure of size, I looked for a piece of MDF (medium density fiberboard) that I could cut down. Using a miter box, I was able to do this with ease. I then sanded the edges of the MDF smooth so that there were no sharp corners.

I then drew two lines from opposite sides to one-and-other. I further subdivided the length into quarters, such that i would be able to have 2 cups fit (see pictures). Using the largest hole saw I possessed, I cut out two circles from the MDF. I then used a soup can to trace the final size I wanted the holes to be. Using my Dremel with a sanding drum, I sanded the openings up so that the can could easily fit through the openings.

In order to attach this portion to my truck, I needed to attach a base to this. I had some left over poplar wood, so I chose this as it is a straight and strong wood. For support i cut a small triangle, put it under the center of the cupholder portion as seen below, marked the excess portion, and cut it so that it fit flush.

After I had all the pieces of the base organized, I glued them together using standard wood glue. I then clamped the three pieces together and allowed them to cure overnight.
nice instructable. I feel your pain, as I have a MK3 VW. They put cupholders in MK3's VWs but the dash is setup in a way that a soda can will barely squeeze under the ashtray and into the cupholder. lol
jsgraham1 year ago
Resins used for fiberglassing can also be absorbed into your skin easily, causing all kinds of medical problems. The least of which is an allergic reaction. I've been building high power rockets for years. I apply fiberglass or carbon fiber to my tubes and fins. I always wear Nitrile gloves. Latex just doesn't cut it with epoxies. I also wear 2 or 3 layers. So if the outer pair starts to become sticky and un-usable, then you can strip off that pair and have a clean pair underneath.
epierce1 year ago
Accidently get MDF wet? I find it does a fine job of getting wet on its own!!LOL!!
l8nite1 year ago
I have the same problem with both of my ranger p/u's. I'm not sure how convenient your solution would be, having to twist to reach the cup or getting jabbed in the shoulder, but if it works for you that's great. My everyday drink mug is larger than the readily available plastic cup holders, my fix was a cardboard box approx 3"high, 8"wide and 10"long, I glued several bags of dried beans inside,cut holes to fit my mug, a bottle of water and my sunglasses, then covered the box in my favorite acrylic paint and papertowel mix. It does take up space on the seat but there's seldom anyone else in the truck and its convenient to grab. Thank you for sharing your project in such depth
gregc19562 years ago
Your written steps that were accompanied by the photos were very informative. I actually have down some small fiberglass work myself and I was looking to find why some projects suggested the use of fleece, while others went with mat or cloth. I didn’t know enough about it to understand the differences in the materials so, in that aspect your post was somewhat informative also. However, I am confused about why you didn’t just sand down the piece of wood to a smooth finish and paint that? To me it seems this would have been a much more practical route with an item that small. Unless your purpose of making the cup holder was strictly to post here and help inform others? Either way, thanks you for the post. I’m starting to understand the different uses for each of the materials. I’ve only used the cloth and bondo or filler to smooth after. I’m making a fairing for my bike and I have just finished the mold this weekend. It will probably have to handle high wind speeds and gusts; do you have a material that you would recommend for a project of that nature? Thanks again and I didn’t mean to seem rude earlier. Really didn’t know if u had a specific reason for making the cup holder fiberglass or just to help out people?
want to save some time on this step?  you can mix the resin and bondo, I like about 1 part bondo to 3 parts resin, and use the MEKP hardener as directed. should be around 48 drops for 4 oz of mixture.  this will make a "pourable mixture to dump over your piece.  It is self leveling and requires very little sanding once dry... I use this technique on subwoofer boxes and amp racks... you waste some of the mixture (as it will run off the piece and onto your plastic) but it saves a LOT of time.
weasel9994 years ago
 how strong would resin covered fleese be without the wood????
marshnt5 years ago
wont the third seat b wasted
abadfart5 years ago
ya and hot coffee between your legs in a paper cup while sifting is a bad idea... it leaves some nasty burns in a bad place.
WOW I forgot how much time this took to make. But it looks amazing and works perfectly. glad you thought to make it.