This is the perfect project for some left over 2x4's. I know everytime I have framed a shed, room or built a workbench or table I have left over 2x4's. This project is 95% 2x4's, all simple easy cuts. Final deminisons will be 48x24x16. Let's get started!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
8 - 8 ft 2x4, construction grade, think I paid 2.44 a board at lowes
1- 21 inch 2x6
1- 21 inch 2x3
Screws - at least 2.5 inch
Stain - I used minwax cherry
Polyurethane - I used minwax rub on
3/8 mushroom plugs
Optional Materials - Add ons
One used four wheeler tire
2 large tap lights
2 red reflectors
Two cupboard handles
Clear gloss spray
Play ground steering wheel
Drill - long Phillips head, 3/8 wood bit
Jigsaw or bandsaw
At least one clamp, at least 24 inches long
Orbital sander - unless you enjoy hours of sanding by hand
Grinder - if you choose to use the tire
Router - beveled bit
Step 2: Time to Cut and Router
I started with the 2x4's. The cut list looks like this, it goes super fast since majority of the pieces are the same size.
6 pieces 48 inches, side pieces, place 45 degree angle on the end of 2 pieces
17 pieces 21 inches, all inside pieces, both sides of the truck bed, seat, top, hood and front
2 pieces 12 inches, front of side pieces, place 45 degree angle on one end of each piece
2 inches 15 inches, back of side pieces
As I cut the pieces I lay them out in the shape of the truck. This allows me to look over the grain and overall cosmetics of the truck. I label and number each piece, making sure the most attractive side is on the outside.
The 2x3 and 2x6 are cut to 21 inches for the windshield and middle of the hood. The top corners of the 2x6 are rounded off with the jigsaw, I use a quarter can of paint to stencil the cut line, perfect amount of roundness.
The pieces will be connected through screws drilled through the bottoms of each 2x4. I turn all the pieces on the sides and drill holes 2/3 - 3/4 way through the 2x4's. This allows me to make sure I don't line the holes up, placing a screw inside an empty drilled hole doesn't connect much hahaha. Reference the pictures if this is not clear.
Then I run all the sides that will be showing through the router table. This step is optional, but it does add a lot of detail to the project. I use a simple beveled bit.
Now on to the tire. If you don't have one don't stress. Go to your local four wheeler shop. Tell them what you are doing. They will give you an old one for free. I got a stack of them for these toy boxes, they gotta pay to dump them so they will be happy to give you one. I drill a hole in the tire, about 2 inches in. Then I cut around the tire with the jigsaw. Once the cut is complete I cut two sections out of the tire with the grinder, the tires have a metal band on the inner ring that the jigsaw can't get through. I spray them with a clear gloss - makes them look better than new.
Step 3: Section Assembly and Sanding / Painting
The truck will be put together in sections, left side, right side, back, inside, seat, top hood, hood and front. Start by clamping the top board of one of the sections with the next, secure with at least with 2.5 inch screws. Then move on to the third piece of the section, clamping it to the already connected pieces, secure with more screws. Repeat withe the fourth piece. I use four screws for each board on the sides, three on the inner pieces. Put all the sections together like this. Refence the pictures.
I then drill holes 1/4 deep where the screws will go on the sides using the 3/8 bit. Please reference the picture for hole placement, I don't know the exact measurements, done by eye balling
Once all the pieces are together and the holes are drilled I give them all a good sanding, rounding all the edges and removing all mill marks. On the hood I cut a 45 degree angle on each side length ways, this allows a smooth fit between the top piece and the front piece. You can use a table saw or saws all. Paint the the windshield blue, once dry hit it with the sanding again until some grain shows through.
Step 4: Truck Assembly
Start by clamping the back piece and the sides together, take you time make sure all the edges match up, secure with screws. Then the front, same method. Then I move on to the middle piece, finishing off the truck bed/toy box. Next is the seat, I place it about 2 inches off the ground. Then the top, set it about 1.5 inches from the back of the 12 inch side piece. This allows room for the windshield. Move on to the hood, it should be a good fit between the front and top sections, sand if necessary. As you can see in the pics I had two extra helpers, my 3 year old son and 1 year old daughter!
Next glue in your mushroom plugs, make sure they are tight, don't want the little monsters pulling them out.
Step 5: Staining and Polyurethane
I like the minwax cherry stain, it gives the 2x4's a nice medium stain. I stain the windshield separate because the paint tends to bleed a little. Make sure you give the ends of the 2x4's a little extra stain, they really soak it up. Then comes the rub on poly, goes on real easy and provides some protection and allows easy cleaning.
Now I attach the windshield.
Now your done...... If your not going for all the bells and whistles.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
I put in a play ground steering wheel, that is what it is called on EBay, 12.99$. Totally worth it, the kids love it. One large screw installation.
Tap lights for headlights, 14.99$ for 6 on eBay. Again totally worth it. One screw each, make sure they are snug fit.
Put cupboard handles on for door handle and tailgate handle.
Simple red reflectors for tail lights. Bought at harbor freight
Tires, I cut a 2x4 that will fit inside them. Paint the 2x4's silver to resemble rims. Screw the 2x4's on to the bottom of the truck where tires would normally go. Put the tires on top the the 2x4's, secure with 2 screws to each side of the tire. I then use 2 2.5 screws to secure the top of the tire, don't screw all the way in, allow the tire to maintain its shape.
Finish with a customized license plate....... This is my wife's department.
Step 7: Conclusion
Next time you got a couple spare 2x4's give this thing a try. Only takes 3-4 hours, that is including stain and polyurethane.
I have made a total of five of these now. This one happens to be for a long time friend's little boy, David Jr. Awesome gifts, so rewarding watching kids go nuts over them. This truck can take punishment and will be passed on to the next generation of rug rats.
Thanks for showing interest. Hit me up if you have any questions or come up with any improvementsh. Please let me know if you give this a try, would love to see your results.
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