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|Console Building in 2001|
|Friday, 10 April 2009 23:50|
I wanted a console that was built especially for this van, that would not only self contain the components of a desktop PC, but also a two way radio or two, as well as a storage compartment and have drink holders. I also wanted to incorporate some 120V and 12V power outlets for convenience.
For this project I turned to my lifelong friend Daryl Chambers, who's brother has a very nice and well equipped woodworking shop. We affectionately call it the "No Yankee Workshop". (A pun on the PBS TV Show "New Yankee Workshop" since we are in TX and not yankees.... Ok, I never said it was a good pun! :) Anyway...)
Our first step was to take and retake plenty of measurements. Then we made templates out of cardboard to the shapes we needed for the main pieces. The exposed wood top is made from rough cut Missouri White Oak. You can see the original plank in the first picture. The width of this presented a problem since for the tops we needed them wider than what the raw material was. To solve this Daryl glued three pieces together. Once that had cured he was able to cut the entire assembly to the exact size we needed, and plane it down to a smooth surface. You would never know it was three pieces to look at it now. The side panels that would be covered in carpet to match the van were made from 1/4 inch plywood.
As you can see, just the process of engineering something like this in can be quite a mess. In these pictures we have the basic structure of the console cut out and are test fitting it into the van. The console is actually 2 pieces assembled together. A main part that fits up under the dash, and the secondary part that goes back between the seats. It's the main part that holds most of the computer electronics, and the secondary part that holds the PC power supply, storage area, and power outlets.
Notice the nice supercell I missed chasing while we were working on this! In the second picture Daryl is getting the top for the main part of the console sanded down smooth. In the third you can see the rough structure of the secondary part of the console, with the hole cut out for the PC power supply ventilation. In the rest of the pics, you can see Daryl applying the finish to the exposed wood parts. The sides will still need to be covered carpet matching the carpet in the van. It's already starting to look really nice though!
Here the construction is all finished and installed. All that is left is for the electronics to be installed, as well as the AC outlet on the back of the console. Looks nice though! Daryl did most of the work, although I learned a LOT about woodworking during the process. I am very proud of this console as it's one of a kind!