As usual lots of things have been happening here at the workshop so my postings get a bit delayed. But this posting is worth the wait as my new (old) dune buggy has arrived and is now safely stored in my garage. The dune buggy started out as a 1970 VW Beetle. A gentleman in Tucson Arizona took six years to build it. He then sold it to another man in Florida who had it for a few years and then I now own it. It only has 2200 miles on it. The underside looks as good as the topside. Not a mark on it anywhere. I am amazed and proud to call it mine.
Isn't she a beauty? I am so tickled to finally have it here so I can keep it out of the winter weather and work on it all at the same time. In an earlier post I was looking at enclosing the storage area just behind the seats so the I could lock things away when the dune buggy was left parked somewhere.
This is what I had in mind. But like all ideas, plans sometime need to change. This actually was the case with this idea.
Behind the seat is a very nicely padded vinyl covered deck with a small "T" handle at the front just between the seats.
The "T" handle opens up this deck to have access to the battery that is just behind the passenger's seat. On the opposite side behind the driver's seat is a small storage area as well. The only issue I had with this is that the deck lid did not lock. I tried to remove the entire deck but was not able to being as it looks like the deck was installed before the body was mounted to the frame of the car. So I could not remove the deck and in not being able to the idea of making an enclosed trunk area went out the window.
So the next best thing and the simpler idea was to put a lock on the deck itself. It would still give me a safe place to store at least smaller items and be much simpler to accomplish than designing and building and entire trunk.
That lock that I needed for the deck to secure it was a cylinder lock like the one shown above. The deck itself is made up of 3/4" plywood with a 1/2" of foam padding covered in black vinyl. It was very well made so I did not want to destroy it by installing this lock. That was the first goal to be sure. The issue I had was that the lock had to function properly but I did not want to have to jump through flaming hoops to get it installed.
When the deck lid is closed it rests on a wooden support just behind the seats. This again was made very well so I did not want to hack it up just to put a lock in. What I figured would be the simplest thing to do is to recess the lock so that the metal latching arm would rotate underneath of the front wooden support. I made a test part first just to see how I would accomplish this task.
In the photo above you can see a small piece of wood that I cut a 1 1/2" diameter counter sink into and then drilled out the center to 3/4" to receive the lock. This looked to be what I needed but this was done on a drill press and I could not do the same with the deck lid as it could not be removed from the dune buggy.
I first drilled a pilot hole through the underside of the deck lid making sure to mark the exact position of the center of the lock.
In order to keep my pilot hole perpendicular to the underside of the deck I first drilled another pilot hole through a small piece of scrap wood on my drill press. This I then used as my guide to keep my drill aligned properly to the underside of the deck lid.
Once the pilot hole had been drilled into the deck lid I then marked a circle with a Sharpie where the vinyl on the top of the deck needed to be removed. (Scary to say the least). Now with the vinyl out of the way I again drilled a counter sunk 1-1/2 inch diameter hole only down 3/8ths of an inch. I worked slowly and as I did not want to mess this up. After the large counter sink was finished I then drilled the 3/4 inch hole for the lock. Clean up the wood chips from my drilling was next and I was able to mount the lock as shown above.
With the lock installed I tightened up the nut to secure it and it looked good from the underside. I closed the lid and it locked and unlocked perfectly. I could breath again.
The next step was to clean up the look of the recessed lock on the top side of the dune buggy deck. This was the simplest part of this project. I wanted a nice clean look to the installation and I did not want to compress the foam and vinyl in the process.
I designed this simple ring using Fusion 3D CAD software that would be inserted into the 1-1/2 inch diameter counter sink that I made for the lock. I then 3D printed the part, sanded it smooth, primed and painted it gloss black. It turned out great.
Then it was just a simple matter of sliding the part into place to finish off the installation of the lock. The lock looks kind of deep but the key goes in easily with more than enough room to turn it and remove it so it is all good. I really like the look of the gloss black paint. I did not glue this part in place as it is a friction fit into the countersink for the lock. I thought this way if this little ring needed to be repainted it would be a simple task to remove it and spruce it up and reinstall it. If it was glued in there would be little hope of making it look like new again.
Now I have a lockable storage space for the dune buggy. Not a large space but at least large enough to throw in a camera, jacket, my lunch and maybe even a small cooler. The cooler idea I have done for my motorcycle so I know I could make a custom one for the dune buggy as well. Anyway I am happy that this addition to the dune buggy has worked out very well and will be a welcome addition to using the car.
I have a couple more projects for the dune buggy that I will post about as I get into them. Hope your latest project is going good for you as well.