Meet SHERPAH, my Gladiator build...

#26
OK...time for a project update!

Since there are only going to be two of us on our trips I decided to put the back seat area to better use. I like the Goose Gear platform but damn they are proud of their Plywood! So I decided to make my own for less than $100!

First, let’s get a piece of 1/2” Baltic Birch plywood. Now as I’m sure some of you know this isn’t the junk you get at Lowe’s etc. This piece of wood has 8 plies to it and is cabinet grade. In fact you’ll probably have to go to a specialty wood supplier to find it. The good news is that it was only about $32. BTW it comes in a 5’ by 5‘ sheet! C571356F-168C-4147-B4DF-70FAC33312F3.jpeg
 
#27
Then after removing the seats and storage area underneath I spent a long afternoon creating a template for the main deck. Measure twice and then cutting only took me a few pieces of cardboard!

Once the cardboard template was completed I started cutting the plywood. I used a jigsaw to round out the corners and then sanded the edges nice and smooth..

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#28
I laid it in the Gladiator and it fit!

I then took a piece of 5/4” yellow pine stair tread and ripped it into the pieces that I used to glue and screw the vertical pieces together. I was sure to recess the tread pieces 1/2” to allow the vertical pieces to sit flush..

when I predrilled the holes for the 1 1/2” wood screws I also beveled the holes to allow the screw heads to sit flush.. 80AB690C-3445-45BF-A4E1-7E04032F7CB7.jpeg 8683AF57-02B9-4C51-9AD4-2B43D891D5A7.jpeg
 
#31
All in all it wasn’t to hard just time consuming getting the pieces formed correctly. I decided to make some templates of the plywood pieces in case someone is interested in duplicating the project and save them a few hours of head scratching!

Another benefit is that the truck is now 77 pounds lighter and I have way more usable space to store items inside the cab.
 
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