This is a shelf (or bench) that I made using an old truck door, scrap lumber and steel. I use it as an attention getter for a non profit organization. It has also come in handy for storing tools and parts when I was performing maintenance on my vehicle. I made the bottom shelf the height of a bench and the top shelf adjustable. The top shelf can be removed if you'd want to use it as a bench.
The following steps explain how I put it together.
It took a weekend and can be done with simple tools if needed. Hope you enjoy!
Step 1: Find a Door.
I started with a crashed door on my vehicle, you can use any make or model. Mine was left over from repairing my accident I had with a dumpster. (whoops) You could easily go to a junk yard or if you know someone with a broken down vehicle, could remove one yourself. Keep in mind the door frames on larger trucks will give you greater height, cars would be lower. An old fire truck, grain truck or semi door would be great for this! Same goes for brand loyalty. Ford door for Ford lovers, Chevy door for the Chevy lover, Dodge, etc.....
Step 2: Build Your Base
The next step would be to build a base to attach to the door of your choosing. The heavier the better in my opinion. You don't want the bench to tip easily so you'll want a heavy base. I happened to have some scrap treated 2" x 12" laying around. I sized them to match the width of the truck door anticipating the skin that I would use to sheet the sides with. For mine, I laid two 2" x 12" boards side by side. I then cut boards vertical and laid them tight to the other layer. Some trimming may be required depending on the size you choose. I fastened with deck screws, lag bolts would be good too.
Alternate idea: You could frame out a trough to fill with concrete to add weight.
Step 3: Attach Base to Door.
For this step, You will want to make a solid attachment from the base to the door. In my situation, I fit the base to the door checking for fitment. This is where you might want a buddy to hold the door as you attach your base. On mine I drilled a pilot hole at an angle and ran sheet metal screws to hold the bottom of the door to the base. You could run screws from the outside if you desire. It would probably be easier but I didn't want exposed screws.
I then attached heavy angle brackets from the base to the door. These will be covered later. The angle brackets shown in the picture are similar to the ones I used. I used three. You can bend them to the angle of the door if needed. Once attached, you'll have a pretty solid setup.
Step 4: 1st Shelf.
Continuing with the heavier the better theme, I used I beam's that I salvaged from a project. I had four pieces about 1 foot tall with brackets welded on. I stood them on end side by side and bolted them to the floor. I then used two more pieces of 2" x 12" to form my first shelf. I attached this shelf with the same method as the base.
Instead of I beams you could use 4" x 4" s and lag bolts.
At this point I had a very heavy base mounted to a truck door.
Step 5: Add Feet.
This is the point I added castor wheels. I had some that I salvaged from a toolbox. You could use 4" x 4" s or even claw footed bathtub feet depending on what you plan to use the shelf for. Be sure to size your castor wheels accordingly.
Step 6: Skin With Pallet Slats
Once you get the base mounted to the door and your desired feet in place, you can start skinning the door.
I used hardwood pallet wood that I cut off of pallets using a sawzall. Depending on the door you use, you can slide slats of wood inside the old window track. I managed to get a few slats inside the window track and then screwed the filler panels to those slats. You could use barn roofing material in the place of the pallet slats if you wanted to. I had some overlap on the outside of the window where the weather stripping used to attach. This allowed me to trim my opening with sheet metal roofing screws. It gave the opening a nice industrial feel.
On the shelf side of my project, I attached some adjustable shelf brackets and skinned around them for a flush fit. I then added the shelf brackets and made a shelf out of the same material to fit the space. I skinned the shelf brackets with the same material. It took a little trimming.
For the edges, you will want to first attach your pieces at the base, then fill in between. A table saw comes in hand here. Just be careful when cutting if there are any nails left in the pallet wood.
Step 7: Stain and Seal.
By this point you're stepping back and admiring your work. Hit the rough edges with a sander to prevent splinters when moving around. Then stain your wood. Keep in mind that certain wood take stain better than others. I used multiple pallets of different varieties of wood. I like it because it gives it character.
I used mahogany stain. Note to self and good lesson learned, make sure to do a test area before staining, otherwise your stuck with a stain you may not like. Next time I think I'll try a vinegar based stain to keep the wood more natural looking. I finished my project with an old screen door handle and a strip of wood where the door trim used to be. Overall I'm happy with how it turned out.
Hope you enjoyed this instructable of my Truck Door Bench Thingy!