Are you wondering what is the safest way of transporting your cargo in a truck from one place to another? Or how can you save your truck from unnecessary damages and expensive repair?
Well, if you are looking for ways to secure your luggage or protect your truck bed from unwanted damage, a tonneau cover is just what you need! And believe if you might, it shouldn’t have to be an expensive one either. But how to make a homemade wood truck bed tonneau cover?
If you’re looking for the easiest way to do it, we’ve got you covered!
What is a Tonneau Cover?
Do you own a truck or have seen one? If yes, you’ll know that most trucks have a wooden bed at the rear which serves as a big, open compartment to help carry your “extra” luggage without a problem.
And yes, if you have a family picnic planned, the bed can conveniently be used to accommodate extra passengers along with the picnic necessities. Having said that, imagine you have stuffed your cargo at the back, and while on the way, it suddenly starts raining.
What happens next? Unless you find shelter, your cargo will get wet! This is where a wood truck bed tonneau cover comes in handy!
It serves as a lid for your bed, carefully placed on top of the bed closing it from all four sides and hence, keeping your things safe from changing weather. Sounds like a great addition to your truck, right? It certainly is!
How to Make a Homemade Wood Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Okay, since you’ve decided to get a tonneau cover, we’d suggest experimenting with making one at home. But is it a good idea? Will you be able to achieve the required results? And will a homemade tonneau cover be durable?
Hold your horses’ guys! Building a tonneau cover for your wooden truck bed isn’t as difficult as you think. Well, it might be tricky for beginners but we have the perfect guide to help you get through each step with ease and build a superior quality tonneau cover at home.
Want to know? Let’s get to it then!
1. Gather Your Stuff
Kick-off your “project” by collecting the required items. To build a super durable and high-quality tonneau cover you need the following things:
- Measuring tape
- ½ inches plywood (2 pieces to be exact)
- 1×2 inches wood (6 pieces in total for the frame)
- Saw to cut the wood
- A drill (in case you need to make a few holes)
- 6 inches of vinyl fabric that will act as the cover for the tonneau
- A stapler
- Multi-purpose adhesive
- A piano hinge for keeping it together
- Paint of your choice for the finishing coat
Where can you buy all these things you ask? Each of these items is available at any good depot or store. Plus, to ensure you build a tonneau that lasts longer, make sure you invest in good quality plywood and wood, or else, buying cheaper ones may not give you the desired results.
2. Outline the Frame
Once you have everything in your reach, the next step is to put together the basic frame of the tonneau cover.
Pick up the 1×2 inches wood, measure the size of your truck bed, and cut the wood accordingly. Make two frames out of the wood piece, one to be attached to the truck bed while the second one will be used for lifting the cover.
The only important thing to consider at this point is to take correct measurements of the bed to ensure you cut the wood in the right size or it won’t fit.
3. Connect the Plywood to the Frame
Next up, you are supposed to stick the plywood to the presently constructed wooden frame. How you must be wondering, right? Simple it is we say!
So, you have two sheets of plywood, right? both of them need to be cut into the shape of your truck bed first. Measure the wooden frame and cut the plywood a few inches bigger from the sides.
This is so that the pieces lay perfectly over the wooden frame while aligning with the shape of the truck bed.
4. Paint It Like an Artist
Have you attached the plywood to the wooden frame? Good work! Wasn’t it easy? Well, since we’re done with the difficult part, let’s move to the easier one.
Hence, it is painting time! Paint the frame with a color of your choice but we’d suggest using black paint as it reduces moisture adsorption and promises durability of your tonneau cover.
Plus, with it painted in a dark shade, you won’t have to worry about it getting ruined and re-doing the paintwork after every few months. So, choose a color wisely!
5. The Vinyl Cover
Has the paint all dried up? Great! Now grab the vinyl fabric, cut it in size to the frame and use adhesive spray or glue to attach it in place.
Cover both the frame and plywood with a vinyl fabric of your choice and staple at the back for a clean finish.
6. Installation Time
If you’ve made it to this step of the process, congratulations you’ve successfully constructed a homemade tonneau cover.
This is where the drill will come in handy! Drill a few holes and hammer in the screws to help attach the tonneau cover tightly to the truck bed.
But make sure when working with the screws you are super careful to avoid unnecessary damage to your newly built masterpiece. Once you are satisfied with the placement, throw in your stuff, and you are good to go!
Why is it a Good Idea to Have a Tonneau Cover?
Is it a good idea to install a tonneau cover over your wooden bed truck? Is it worth the effort and money? Well, if you second-guessing your decision, let’s get straight to why installing a homemade tonneau cover is a great idea!
1. Safe transportation of cargo
Have you ever had a chance of being stuck in heavy rainfall during your road trip and getting the luggage wet? As much as this sounds sad, unpredictable weather can catch you even in the middle of nowhere.
Hence, to avoid damage to your stuff resting in the truck bed, a tonneau cover provides the ultimate solution. It not only stops rainwater from seeping inside but keeps the cargo safe from burning under extreme sunlight, allowing you to reach your destination safe and sound.
2. Saving on the gas money
This sounds a little weird but with a tonneau cover, you can actually save a few bucks on your gas meter. How?
A tonneau cover uses an aerodynamic design to reduce air resistance, hence allowing your truck to sail with the wind without much effort. Thus, the lesser effort you require to drive, the less fuel you’ll burn, and yes, saving on the gas money!
3. Increased Security
Did you know a homemade tonneau cover can save your cargo from being stolen? As unbelievable as it may sound but this is true!
A tonneau cover protects your things by covering them from all four sides. Whether you are worried about the lighter things flying off in heavy wind or getting the luggage stolen at a camping site, a tonneau cover has surely got you covered.
Things to Consider When Making a Homemade Wooden Truck Bed Tonneau Cover
Since we’ve already discussed how to make a homemade wood truck bed tonneau cover, it is time to point a few major mistakes that most people make and how to avoid them.
Thus, here are some things to consider when making your very own tonneau cover at home to successfully build one:
The biggest mistake most people make is taking the wrong measurements. To ensure your cover fits over the truck bed perfectly, you have to jot the accurate measurements which not everyone can do.
Hence, if you aren’t confident about holding a measuring tape, get the help of a friend. Or search the internet to learn the right way of measuring the truck bed for building an accurately sized tonneau cover.
When making something on your own, some people tend to save money by investing in cheaper material, which we believe simply ruins your effort and time.
To build something as important as a tonneau cover, you need to get hold of high-quality material so that the cover can withstand extreme changes in weather conditions.
If the material used in its construction is of low quality, the cover won’t last a single rainfall and hence your efforts, time, and money will go all in vain. Hence, be wise in choosing the right raw material for your project so that it can last as long as you want.
A tonneau cover is a great addition to your truck bed, hence one of the easiest and cheapest ways of keeping your cargo safe from getting spoiled and damaged.
Thus, if you’ve failed to find a cover that fits over your truck bed perfectly, why not make one on your own? building a tonneau cover all by yourself is much cheaper and yes, you’ll be satisfied with the quality and performance too.
All you need to do is gather the right material and get straight to work! We promise it isn’t as difficult and yet fun to craft!