Driving a truck instead of an SUV or a limousine comes with many perks – and all that truck bed space is just one of them!
Having all that space in the back means you don’t have to hire anyone or pay high delivery fees for most things – you can just pop them in the back!
However, the issue at hand is that many truck beds aren’t covered – and sometimes, you need them to be. All that poses a question – how to make a wood truck bed tonneau cover? Can you make it yourself in the comfort of your home – or, well, garage?
Continue reading the article to find out!
What’s A Wood Truck Bed Tonneau Cover?
The purpose of a tonneau cover is to cover the truck bed and its cargo. And the main point of covering it is to protect everything located in the truck’s bed from flying debris, elements, and anything else that could damage it.
Riding on the highway, of course, carries less risk – as long as the weather is nice. But going down a country road means that many things can make their way into your truck bed and damage the cargo inside.
The tonneau cover will cover everything and add some security to the things inside.
That being said, tonneau covers can cost quite a bit of money. There are vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum tonneau covers out there, and while they can roll up or retract and serve the purpose quite well, they can cost an arm and a leg.
So, the way to save some money on the tonneau cover is to use wood to cover the truck’s bed – as in, make a DIY tonneau cover.
It can look creative, but also – it’s much more affordable than anything else on the market.
A wooden truck bed cover looks great, and it certainly makes your truck stand out in the crowd. Also, it’s pretty simple to make a wooden tonneau cover, so let’s get to work!
What Are The Pros Of Making A Wood Truck Bed Tonneau Cover?
Having a tonneau cover can be super fun, but what’s better, it has some real benefits. You may be looking to make your own tonneau cover – but still need some convincing whether you need one or not.
Here, we’re not trying to convince you but simply provide you with all the pros of making your own tonneau cover.
Of course, the number-one benefit is that it’s budget-friendly compared to commercial tonneau covers – but there’s more to it.
Protection From Theft
Protection from potential theft is a major benefit of having a wood truck bed tonneau cover – or any cover, for that matter. People commonly use the truck bed to carry important things – and usually, these things carry a certain monetary value.
So, if you make a wood tonneau cover, you can protect your belongings and prevent thieves from stealing them. When you have a tonneau cover, you don’t have to keep an eye on your truck all the time – you can leave it knowing it’s perfectly secure.
Security is just a bonus when you look at the big picture.
Making and using a wooden truck tonneau cover is so beneficial yet so easy to make!
Prolonging The Mileage
When you have a truck tonneau cover, it can prolong your gas mileage for a bit. How so?
Well, a wooden truck bed tonneau cover can make the wind resistance less prominent, which could make your truck use up less gas per mile, saving you money.
So, a wooden truck bed cover is cheaper than commercial alternatives, and it saves you gas? Amazing, right?
Truck Bed Protection
An open truck bed means that dust, debris, weather elements, and bird droppings can all find their way inside it. If it rains and your truck is out getting wet, it could easily result in rust.
And rust spells trouble.
As we all know, rust spreads over time, and it could damage your truck altogether. Worse yet, repairs can be costly. Because of that, installing a wooden truck bed tonneau cover can protect your truck’s bed from rust and weather conditions.
What Do You Need To Make A Wood Truck Bed Tonneau Cover?
If making the tonneau cover is your first DIY project ever, you might not know what tools you need to make it. Because of that, this section is here to help you out!
We’ll discuss everything you could need to make your wood tonneau cover – supplies and tools. So, let’s begin!
Luckily, all the things you need don’t cost an arm and a leg, and most of them are things you already have.
First, you’ll need a tape measure – which is the most important tool of all.
You will need to measure the truck bed’s dimensions – rear compartment height and width. When you measure it, you should start from the back – the bulkhead of the rear compartment, and then go back to the tailgate.
That way, you’ll get the exact length of your trunk and make the right-sized tonneau cover.
Of course, then you’ll need plywood – two pieces of it, about half an inch thick, to be exact. When it comes to the quality and the type of plywood, it’s entirely up to you.
If the chosen pieces are too large, you should adjust them according to the height and width of your truck bed.
Then, you’ll need six pieces of plywood, but these should be two inches thick. These pieces will be used to form the tonneau cover according to your truck bed.
To make the pieces of plywood into a cover, you’ll need some screws – and again, the quality is up to you. These screws will serve to attach the plywood and to attach the cover to your trunk.
The pieces of plywood will likely not be sized the way you need them to be, so you’ll need a simple table saw – something you probably have in your garage already.
Also, you’ll need a drill – and one piece of a piano hinge.
Then, you’ll need a vinyl fabric – roughly 20 feet of it to cover the entire wood tonneau cover. When it comes to the material’s quality, it comes down to your preferences.
Also, you’ll need a stapler, a contact adhesive, a multi-purpose spray adhesive, and some black paint.
The choice of black paint brand should be of your preference – just like the plywood and the vinyl fabric.
How To Make A Wood Truck Bed Tonneau Cover?
Even if you aren’t a crafty person, you can easily make your own truck bed tonneau cover. It’s pretty simple – and all you need to do is follow the easy steps below!
Cut The Plywood
Before all else, you’ll need to cut the plywood into the desired shape.
First, cut the two-inch pieces, which you will use to structure the tonneau cover frame. Use the dimensions you’ve measured – and, hopefully, noted down – earlier, and when you cut the pieces, attach one frame to the rear compartment, and use the other one for the lifting end of the cover.
Assemble The Plywood
Because you have two pieces of plywood, you should place them onto the frame you’ve created in the first step. When cut out, attach them to the frame – and keep in mind that these pieces need to overlap the sides of the truck bed and follow the shape of the truck entirely.
That said, the part where the frames join should not overlap because that’s where you’ll place the piano hinge.
Paint The Plywood
Now, this is an elective step – since you don’t have to paint the plywood unless you want to, of course. The benefit of this step is that you’ll protect the plywood from the elements.
The paint will stop moisture from building up and ruining the plywood.
So, you don’t have to paint the plywood if you don’t want to – but it will make your tonneau cover more durable.
Attach The Vinyl Fabric
To secure the vinyl fabric on top of the plywood, you’ll use the contact adhesive and the spray. Put these all over the plywood frame, and wrap the vinyl over it.
Then, use the staple to secure the vinyl on the backside to ensure it doesn’t budge.
Install The Wood Tonneau Cover
Now, you’ll use the screws we’ve talked about earlier. When everything is finished and dry, take the drill and screw them into your truck bed to secure the cover.
Please, remember to be careful when doing this, so you don’t scratch your truck’s paint finish.
Extra Tip: Use a rubber seal to prevent rain and snow from getting into your truck bed.
That’s it – now you have your wooden truck bed cover!
How To Make A Wood Truck Bed Tonneau Cover – Bottom Line
To conclude, making your own wood truck bed tonneau cover is super easy and convenient. It costs a fraction of the commercial tonneau covers and almost all of the things you need – you already have!
There are many benefits to making your tonneau cover, from protecting your belongings from the elements and theft to saving money on gas.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time for DIY!