200 Series Bamboo Fridge Ready Drawer System Build

nvrfollow

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Montana
Description

Here is the drawer system I have been working on for the past 2 years. The zebra stripe drawers (Neopolitan Bamboo) have been in service for the past 14 months or so. The goal was to create a fridge ready drawer system to fit any lifestyle. The drawers have basically become my “go bag” for any expedition big or small in the mountains on the highway or around town. Recovery equipment, expensive gear and the essentials all go in the drawers and long items like tripods, trekking poles and the electric chain saw stow well in the side compartments.

Neo Bambo image 1.png


The Revisions:

Revision R2.0 as shown in the last picture below is the result of 2 prior revisions and 2 years of testing. The revisions are as follows.

R0 – The Test Rig
R0.png


R1.0 – Production Prototype – 44.5” OAL (Fits LX Sliding 2nd Row Seats)
R1.0.png


(In the Meantime) – CNC Router Table is Home
Router Table.png


R2.0 – Refined and Production Ready 41" OAL
R2.0.png
 
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nvrfollow

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Materials

The outer shell is comprised of industrial grade bamboo plywood and the structural carcass is comprised entirely of 12 and 18mm Baltic Birch. Other materials used are listed as follows. Starboard plastic used as the front fascia on the right wing port. 6061 aluminum makes up the cargo rails and also the 4 vehicle attachment fittings (pictured below). Neodymium magnets are used extensively to keep the wings and access panels secure and free from even the smallest rattle. The ¼”steel wing brackets are made by a gentleman I found on Etsy. Finally, the drawer slides are machined from extremely low friction UHMW. The whole thing can be put together, installed and taken apart again with basic hand tools.

6061 Aluminum

Drawer to vehicle mount fittings. These fittings are machined from 6061 aluminum. Each fitting assembly bolts to the structural 3rd row seat lugs with 8mm stainless socket head screws.
Attach Fittings.png


Mount Locations.png


The figure above shows a top view of the 18mm Baltic Birch drawer floor plate. The 4 rectangle pockets house the aluminum mounting plates. Note the long skinny pockets hold the bottom drawer slides in place. The following image shows the mounting plates in their installed positions.

Inside Attache Fittings.png




Flush Mount L-Track Cargo Rails

The cargo rails are made from 6061 aluminum. The rails can take all L-Track applicable fittings. They are extremely useful for securing cargo or mounting a platform/additional drawers too. The Rails are bolted to the carcass of the drawer system with stainless steel fasteners into stainless steel T-nuts. Note: US made stainless steel hardware (when available) was used extensively throughout this design.

L Track.png
 
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nvrfollow

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Rare Earth Magnets

The wings, front fascia and cargo hatch are all fixed to the main structure of the drawer system with rare earth magnets. The first image shows the UHMW Slap Pad with the 38lb neodymium rubber coated mounting magnet in the middle. Each wing has 3 Slap Pad-Magnet assemblies for a sturdy and rattle free hold.

Note: the magnets are released with leverage in all cases, this secures the panels during driving however when a person wants to remove them it is relatively easy.
Slap Pad 1.png


Slap Pads.png


The Cargo Hatch is fixed with x4 23lb encased neodymium magnets. The cargo hatch allows for quick access to the back of the fridge and also provides additional storage for things like the Dometic PLB40 battery.

Cargo Hatch.png


The Dometic PLB40 battery also fits nicely under the driver side wing as shown below.
PLB 40 Wing.PNG




Switch Panel Customization

The front fascia on the right side of the drawer face has the option to fit a magnetic quick release Starboard cover. For a more permanent option, bamboo cutouts can be screwed to the back side of the bezel. The bamboo pieces can be cut to fit whatever switch panel or electrical outlet is necessary.

Fascia Options.png
 
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nvrfollow

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Drawer Features

Dometic CD30 Refrigerator with Dometic PLB40 Battery

The Dometic CD30 refrigerator is a welcome addition in the summer time. It pairs nicely with the Dometic PLB40 battery. The fridge stays ice cold all the time and only makes a slight hum while the compressor is running. The Dometic battery is only a solder splice away form a complete plug and play power solution. The fridge was purchased for around $600 and the battery was purchased for $850. The battery lasts about 2.5 days in 90+ degree heat with no charging. On longer trips the battery will stay charged as it chargers when the vehicle is running off the 12v cigar outlet.

I still need to test a hard mounted solar panel as I think this will be the best option. The battery chargers off an Anderson plug and power is output to the fridge with a 2 prong screw in plug. A big bonus to this battery is it cointains its own internal battery management system and therefor solar charging is a true plug and play option.

The drawer system is designed so that the small drawer can be swapped out for the fridge. This requires removing the drawer latch plate and attaching a computer fan to either the inside or outside of the drawer housing. Cutouts for the fan are precut into the drawer housing and the PC fan is simply tapped (Posi-Taps) into the fridge’s 12v fan. A 12v cigar plug runs from the battery to the front drawer face for 12v charging and battery voltmeter display (Blue Sea Systems 4366 Panel).

Fridge Out.png


Posi-Taps are an extremely useful tool for tapping into wires.
Posi-Taps.png


Shown below is the 2-prong connector that screws into the Dometic Battery (Note this plug comes with a standard cigar plug on the end that screws off to reveal the 2 prong connection.
2 Prong.png


The image below shows the fan cutout and the cutout to run power in and out of the drawer housing.

Fan Cutout.png
 
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nvrfollow

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Table/Cutting Board

Each drawer has its own useful pull out flat table top. They are made from Richlite which is a common cutting board material. It is an extremely tough material and is dishwasher safe. The table tops are secured by spring clips integrated into drawer's most aft rails; the table tops do not rattle or slide around while driving.

Table Tops Stowed.png


Side x Side.png


The image below shows the spring clip gripping the table top.
Spring Clip.png


Tabels Out.png
 
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nvrfollow

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Drawer Geometry

The geometry of the drawer sides provides a braking effect near the limit of the drawer’s maximum extension. This is useful on hills and uneven terrain; basically the drawer won’t fly out and go sledding down the mountain if you need to get to your recovery gear in a sticky situation. Note: In the following images the drawer still has about 10” of travel to go.

Hill Test 1.png


Hill Test 2.png


Integrated Front Storage and Dividers

The Front Storage is designed for the items you use all the time. They provide a quick and familiar home for everyday carry items. All parts can be easily removed if needed. Each drawer also comes with 2 main compartment dividers; the dividers simply lift out if needed. Dividers as shown below are made from 1/4" amber flat grain bamboo.

Dividers.png



Drawer Slides

The drawer slides are machined from ultra low friction UHMW. Each drawer has 2 slides attached to the drawer and there are 2 slides attached to drawer housing floor for a plastic on plastic slide. Static slides were chosen over ball bearing slides for simplicity, no maintenance and space savings.

Slides Bottom.png
 
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nvrfollow

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Finishes

Outdoor Oil/Wax


There are two types of bamboo used. Amber Edge Grain and Neopolitan (Neo). All of the Amber bamboo is finished with 3 coats of outdoor oil. This same process can be used on the Neo bamboo and the results are shown below in a job I did for a H1 Hummer. The advantage to the outdoor oil is that looks amazing and it contains both wax and UV blockers. It is also extremely easy to reapply years down the road. The Neo drawer system featured here is finished with a water based clear varnish and then waxed.

Neo Outdoor Oil
Neo Oiled.png


Neo Natural + Wax
Neo Natural.png


Amber Edge Grain Outdoor Oil
Amber Edge Oiled.png


Baltic Birch CV Finish

All off the Baltic Birch is sprayed with 3 coats of Conversion Varnish (CV). CV is what many professional cabinet shops spray. It is the hardest and most stain resistant finish I could find. Spraying is done with a 3 stage turbine HVLP sprayer, the type of gun is shown below.

HVLP Gun.png
 
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nvrfollow

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Other Features

Wing Access
The Bottle Jack and First Aid Kit can be easily retrieved simply by lifting off the passenger side wing and opening the compartment.

Bottle Jack.png



Factory Inverter
The little notch in the picture below allows a power cord to be passed through when using the factory 120v inverter outlet.

Power Cable 120v.png


Theft Deterrent
Yes, the drawers do lock but this would not stop a determined thief. I tested the security of the system by simulation a break in and trying to open the tailgate. As far as I could tell there is no way to open the tailgate when the alarm is triggered as would be the case in a smash and grab or door jimmy scenario. Please comment if this is not the case.


Drawer Bezel Fasteners
Notice there are no fasteners showing on the front drawer face and bezel. No glue or nails were used anywhere on the entire system. The bezel instead attaches with both passive and mechanical tenons. This creates an incredibly strong connection between the bezel and the drawer housing. The tenon system used in this build are known as Dominos by Festool. The Domino system is known to be the best and strongest tenon system on the market today.


Bamboo Plywood
The bamboo plywood is known as Plyboo. It is cutting board tough and is used in high end architecture and is also popular among the Sprinter Van community. Plyboo carries 10 year commercial and 20 year residential warranty (indoor use) which is a testament to just how tough this stuff is. Plyboo also has the most appealing core of any plywood I have ever seen. The core is made up of solid bamboo stringers (approximately 3/8"x 1/2") that run perpendicular to the face veneer grain for added strength.

Core Grain.JPG
 
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nvrfollow

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SPECS


Weights

LX 43.5" OAL Neopolitan Bamboo

LX R1.0 Prototype Weight: 203lb
LX 3rd Row Seats: 100lb
LX 3rd Row Shoulder Seat Belts: 7lb
Net Weight Gain: Approx 96lb

Universal Fit 41" OAL Amber Edge Grain

Weights TBD (most likely sub 200lb)


Dimensions

Universal Fit 41" OAL Drawer System

Solidworks Model
Tri View.JPG


Top View
Top Dims.JPG


Side View
Height.png



Interior Drawer Dimensions

Top View
Inside Drawer Dim.JPG



Side View
Side View Int Drawer.png
 
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prwillard2

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Looks great! Does the fridge slide cut down your usable drawer space to only the right drawer for equipment?
 

nvrfollow

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Montana
Looks great! Does the fridge slide cut down your usable drawer space to only the right drawer for equipment?

Hey thanks, more or less it does. On the 41" OAL system the cargo hatch on the Left side gives access to approx. 1.2 cubic feet of additional space behind the fridge.
 
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Okay, that's bananas. Your skills are on another level. Very impressive both in design and build. Bravo! :cheers:
 

kcjaz

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Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Are your planning on selling these? You should.
 
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On the road to Perdition
Next Steps:

  • Find 200 Series Land Cruiser: Is anyone local to the Whitefish Montana area up for a test fit? If so message me on here or email: LJC.MECH@gmail.com
Too bad your post was not two months ago. I was in your neck of the woods.

Very very nice woodwork and design. One woodworking suggestion cut the drawers faces from the same piece of wood that is used for the rest of the face. That way the grain all matches all the way across.
 

Artie

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These look great, I thoroughly enjoy seeing these pro level DIY type mods, these are a work of art. It’s a great reminder of my kindergarten level skill set.
 
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Man, I love seeing the many thoughtful details you put into these drawers. Beautiful craftsmanship and great design work!

I am also hoping you consider selling these!
 

nvrfollow

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Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Are your planning on selling these? You should.
Man, I love seeing the many thoughtful details you put into these drawers. Beautiful craftsmanship and great design work!

I am also hoping you consider selling these!

Thank you all very much.

That is good to hear because the plan is to manufacture these drawer systems long term.

So here is the deal. I have enough parts and material on hand to build 10 complete drawer units. I would really like to offer these units to Mud members for a Mud price. All drawers will come completely decked out with everything you see with the exception of the fridge and battery.

These drawers are designed to be flat pack-able meaning they can ship completely disassembled and be assembled with basic hand tools. This avoids needing to ship in a crate by freight. That being said I would like to assemble the first 10 sets myself to make sure everything is perfect. So you have the option of receiving the drawers completely assembled to your door.

The price for the first 10 units is going to be an even $4,000 + shipping.

For the DIYer $3200 and you drill all pilot holes and handle the assembly Ikea style.

  • Amber Bamboo Included in Price
  • Neopolitan Bamboo is +$100
 
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