Introduction: The Car Bookcase

We tend to go on a lot of car trips grandparents house (4 hour cruise).  of course to keep my son busy there are know books well mostly "Diary of a wimpy kid" but we must encourage reading, this is a big improvement, last year books were in the broccoli group.  So before the trip he made me a picture and I told him we could build it the morning before the big trip.  Some how I got busy and he got involved with video games and five minutes before takeoff "Dad I thought we were going to make that thing." Long glassy eye pout.  well i threw some wood in the car and said we will have to make it at grandpa's.  (hope he has a saw)  

Step 1: Materials

I had some 7" wide birch plywood  enough for 3- 20" shelves and 2- 24" sides.

we also needed a 7" wide 20" long piece of maple

Two metric bolts and wasers

1- 1/4 bolt with fender washer and wing nut

18 wood screws

4- 1" by 20"  boards

Step 2: Cut the Wood and Drill Some Holes

Its important to note that this is a Toyota matrix that has channels in the back and on the back seat to attache hold downs.  Both seats fold down flat.  After eight years we have never used them the care is always packed to the gill.   

After deciding the size of the book case.  This was done by measuring the seat and seeing how much wood i had.  The bottom I measured in three inches from the sides and two inches from the back.  This will place the book case on the very edge of the seat.

next I made a mark for the screw hole and a mark 1 inch on either side.  I drilled a hole for the retaining screw and washer on the middle mark and a one inch hole on the edge of the other marks leaving one inch between the large holes with a small hole in the middle.  This is so you can stick your fingers in and line up the screw with the bottom part of the hold downs that fit in the channels.  

Step 3: Box Construction

This is a simple as it gets.  Only butt joints held by three screws  and one screw to hold the 1" shelf lip If I thought ahead I would have screwed them to the shelf but it wont matter. These pieces also keep the self from racking (folding up like a parallelogram)  I also had a triangle piece of wood in the corner but it was in the way of the pull out table so i removed it.  

Step 4: Table Construction

Grandpa to the rescue with this piece of maple it was the right width and i cut it to 20"  then rounded of the ends with a jig saw.

I then drilled a 1/4" hole in the center and three inches from the end centered.  Using the jig saw I cut a 1/4" channel between the holes after using a straight edge to connect the tops and bottoms of the holes.  Then i ran the drill up and down the channel a couple of times to make sure the bolt would fit.  

Should have done this before screwing it together but i drilled a hole in the middle of the middle shelf.  

The table is bolted on the bottom of the shelf with a wing nut on the bottom and the top of the bolt counter sunk.  

Step 5: Work in Progress

This met my son three criteria for a desk, a stuffed dog shelf, and a place for his books.  

This was a work in progress and several improvements are in the plans.  

Such as:

Sliding bookend or strap to keep books from falling off on on ramps and turns.
drink holder (maybe a hole in desk)
reading light for night travel
Bacon dispenser (who wouldn't want that)
slushy machine

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