So my 2 big projects over the holidays are over. I had the truck Line-X'd and custom built 2 toolbox for the truck. They also ended up getting Line-X'd. Here's a write-up on them. Project 1: The Line-X Well...I didn't do much work and there isn't much to explain. Here's the end result:
They really pushed hard that I wouldn't like the finish of an over-the rails job because the rails were not "clean". They had gaps, holes and a big rail running on the top of them. I figured that I would rather have the over-the rail protection than the fairly useless factory caps. He did them, and actually ended up filling in some of the low spots and holes to give it a clean look. Some people won't like it, but I'm totally OK with the way it looks and much happier with it done. Here's what the rails came out looking like:
Overall, I'm very pleased. As I've read before anyone can spray the stuff, but it's the prep work that matters the most. This is totally true. He took out all of my bed-bolts and tie-downs. This is where a lot of folks take short-cuts. He took off the tailgate access panel and sprayed it separately so that if I ever need to get in there, it's not sealed shut. Here's a picture of that:
Product plug: I had it done at Line-X of St. Louis by Stan
Project 2: The Tool & Storage Boxes So I've flip-flopped back and forth on where to put what. I tried to put the dog in her kennel in the bed, but she's needy and cried back there when it was cold out. Now...she's back in the back of the cab for good. So I needed somewhere to go with tools and chains and stuff. I was also looking for somewhere to go with the duffel bags, cameras, and stuff that I take when I go out of town most weekends.
I didn't really want one of the diamond plate ones. On top of being $400+, the couple I looked at sat so high on the bedrails that they blocked most of the rear window and diminished any chance of looking out the back window while backing up. Also, they just didn't give you that much storage after you put a few tools in them. So...I built these 2 boxes.
...and with both boxes out, all you have left is 2 bolts.
3) Handles - I knew I wanted handles because these things were going to get heavy and awkward. I bought 4, 1 for each end of each box. We did the toolbox first and realized that this thing was going to weigh a ton and 1 handle (bicep) per side wasn't going to cut it. So, we put 2 on front and 2 on back so you can hug the box when you pick it up. ...Back to the store to buy 4 more for the storage box. Same plan for that box. I stuck with the fairly flat handles so that they would take up as little room as possible.
4) Coating - I planned all along on getting the top Line-X'd with the truck. Not only for looks, but that was also going to be the part taking the most beating from the elements. I was going to just use the cheap Durabank to paint the rest. Doing the whole thing as thick as the bed would have cost $650+ in Line-X ($5/sq ft). That obviously wasn't going to happen. I worked out a deal to have him do both boxes lightly for $150. The pain...we had to remove ALL of the hardware (even the piano hinge - 80+ screws alone). I think for the look and the protection, it was well worth it. So...the moment we've all been waiting for: The Price Tag The hardware cost about $110 That included: -2 piano hinges -4 I bolts -2 drawer locks -8 Handles -5 D-Ring tie-downs -Lots of screws, nuts, etc -2 - 4x8 sheets of 5ply 3/4" plywood ~ $40 - I carefully planned each cut to fit in exactly 2 sheets Lumber/Hardware: $152 Line-X: $150 Total: $300 Final Thoughts: Time is a major factor. The guy that helped me build these is a carpenter and had all of the tools. He is also extremely meticulous, so they are perfect. The edges are even rounded so they look and feel smooth. Keeping that in mind, it took about 12 hours of 2 people's labor (even though I didn't do much work).
So I spent $300 (+ $50 in goodies to my future-step-father-in-law as payment) for 2 custom boxes. I'm very pleased with that. My toolbox is as big as one I would have paid $400 for that would have blocked 1/2 of my view. Plus, this is a totally custom look. O yea, and I have another huge box to put all of the duffel bags and stuff in when I travel. Tonneau cover - $700 (for a hard one), it's a pain to take on/off and you loose any hope of putting big stuff inside. Camper shell - $1,000, nuff said. My 2 custom boxes that can easily be removed with tons of storage, protection, and a custom look ~ $300.
Next projects: locks and gas shocks for the lids.
Also next to come, 2 ford-trucks.com window stickers on the rear glass.