Building a rack and sides for a pickup

Alternative title: How to turn a pickup into a farm truck.

Now I don’t know this for certain but I should imagine, or at least it would make a lot of sense if all pickups had the same sized apertures in the box so the topper or cap manufacturers could standardise their doohickeys. Anyways the ones on my Ford Ranger are about 2″ x just under 1.5″. This meant that I had to plane of a smidgen, about 1/16th of an inch from the 2×2 that I planned to use as an upright, as everyone knows that for reasons known only to the folks at the wood mill a 2×4 comes out as a 1 3/4 x 3 something and a 2×2 comes out as a 1.5×1.5.

Anyhoo, once planed and forced to fit I could then attach the three 1″ x 4″ pressure treated lengths, each cut to 84″ long, held in place with a single screw…

…before I drilled through the central juncture of each 1×4 and 2×2, securing them together with a 5/16th carriage bolt, washer, locking washer and nut arrangement as below.

Having repeated the procedure for the opposite side of the truck I could then frame out the header piece that goes across behind the cab and joins the two side sections together. As this bit may be carrying the weight of a load I decided I’d do it out of 2×4.

At this point the dinner bell rang and I went inside to eat some pork-fried rice, and it wasn’t lost on me that I’ve spent the last two days working on stuff to house, contain and transport some pigs and there I was chowing down on the last roast from last years pigs. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to eat over the summer. Chicken maybe, or looking out my window duck springs to mind.

Anyways it was getting dark when I got back to work so the following photos aren’t the best but after screwing the 2×4 uprights to the side doodahs I attached the 2×4 cross members to the uprights with some handy 2×4 hangers that I had lying around from a market stall build that never quite happened. I then used some heavy duty staples to fix some 1/2″ hardware cloth to the cross member as below.

This they call the Window Saver and, having nearly put a fencepost through the back window the day I bought the truck I know that it does work.

I had a few more bits and bobs to do but only managed to put some nifty tool hangers on before bad light stopped play. No, I don’t know quite what I’ll use them for but they look like they’ll be useful, if not just to hook the boys onto as we go hooning around the farm.

So still on the list is to fashion a gate onto the back to stop any animals falling out when I press the go pedal and to frame up and attach a ‘Kingsville Farm’ sign on the sides, just because it wouldn’t be a farm truck without some free farm advertising. Here are a couple of pics that kinds of don’t show it all finished in all of it’s glory;

And I still have yet to decide whether it needs any diagonal bracing… I guess I’ll let the first few drives on our rugged Nova Scotian roads be my guide on that one.

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