DIY - Aluminum Diamond Plate Tonneau Cover (don't get excited, it ain't done yet!) - TundraTalk.net - Toyota Tundra Discussion Forum
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DIY - Aluminum Diamond Plate Tonneau Cover (don't get excited, it ain't done yet!)

OK....not sure if this is the right area, but I figured it would get the widest audience.

I have a 2011 Crewmax with a weather guard tool box, and I want a hard tonneau cover.

Problem: no one makes one for the really short crewmax bed with a tool box.

Solution: make one my self.

So...I spent the morning cruising the web, and have seen several "home built" tonneau's with varying degrees of success. The most simple are a wooden frame with vinyl stapled over them. Easy, but not very secure.

I also found a couple that used a chunk of painted plywood instead of vinyl to cover the frame. Better, but still looks like a chunk of painted plywood.

My idea....why not build one out of a sheet aluminum diamond plate, along with an aluminum frame. I am not really looking for something that opens, just a way to securely lock stuff in the bed (and keep it sort of dry).

I am thinking an aluminum frame that fits flush inside the top of the bed rails, and then the diamond plate would overlap the rails and the tailgate (with a bit of rubber molding/weather stripping between the two to prevent scratching and help keep it water tight).

I am still not sure what to use to hold the tonneau in place...I know there are various "J" clamps that hook over the bottom side of the bed rails. Still need a bit of leg work on these.

So...here are my initial sketches of my design. Here is the frame and the diamond plate shown separately.



The frame would be welded out of 1" square aluminum stock (not that I can weld, but gotta be able to find someone who can do that for me).

I was thinking of just bolting the frame to the aluminum diamond plate to end up with this.



This contraption would then just drop in the bed between my toolbox and the tailgate.

I know it would not be 100% waterproof due to the gaps around the toolbox, but it should provide secure and "mostly" dry storage.

Feel free to flame away and tell me why this idea will never work!
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting idea.. good luck with the build. I wonder what the material costs would run? I'm definitely keeping my eye on your progress, as that would be a fun project, and I'd luck to have a black rigid cover, but I just can't justify the expense.. I'd want the ability to fold it back, though, so I guess that adds complication if there is hope of keeping the water out.


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Originally Posted by Yooper_Bob View Post
OK....not sure if this is the right area, but I figured it would get the widest audience.

I have a 2011 Crewmax with a weather guard tool box, and I want a hard tonneau cover.

Problem: no one makes one for the really short crewmax bed with a tool box.

Solution: make one my self.

So...I spent the morning cruising the web, and have seen several "home built" tonneau's with varying degrees of success. The most simple are a wooden frame with vinyl stapled over them. Easy, but not very secure.

I also found a couple that used a chunk of painted plywood instead of vinyl to cover the frame. Better, but still looks like a chunk of painted plywood.

My idea....why not build one out of a sheet aluminum diamond plate, along with an aluminum frame. I am not really looking for something that opens, just a way to securely lock stuff in the bed (and keep it sort of dry).

I am thinking an aluminum frame that fits flush inside the top of the bed rails, and then the diamond plate would overlap the rails and the tailgate (with a bit of rubber molding/weather stripping between the two to prevent scratching and help keep it water tight).

I am still not sure what to use to hold the tonneau in place...I know there are various "J" clamps that hook over the bottom side of the bed rails. Still need a bit of leg work on these.

So...here are my initial sketches of my design. Here is the frame and the diamond plate shown separately.



The frame would be welded out of 1" square aluminum stock (not that I can weld, but gotta be able to find someone who can do that for me).

I was thinking of just bolting the frame to the aluminum diamond plate to end up with this.



This contraption would then just drop in the bed between my toolbox and the tailgate.

I know it would not be 100% waterproof due to the gaps around the toolbox, but it should provide secure and "mostly" dry storage.

Feel free to flame away and tell me why this idea will never work!
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You could piano hinge the cover to your tool box, add some support struts and a latching mechanism at the tail.

If you just run the plate even with the tailgate you can still open your tailgate with the tonneau down. Then you could drill through your tonneau frame and inside of bed lip at the tailgate end. Then secure with a hitch pin on each side.

Lock your tailgate and you have pretty secure storage.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My plan it NOT to try and hinge the cover.

I figured I would run the plate even with the outside edge of the tailgate (overlap it a bit, just like on the bed rails). Should still have enough clearance that I can open/close the tailgate without having to remove the cover.

If I have the cover fastened to the bed rails, then I should be able to just lock the tailgate, and have secure storage.

I did a bit of checking into aluminum diamond plate....do you guys think that 1/16 (.063) will be thick enough? I don't plan to try and stand on the cover or anything like that.

Seems that a 48 X 72 sheet will run just over $100.
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