Glove compartment.

April 21st, 2013

Today I made the glove compartment. My sheet steel supplies are rather depleted so I ended up making it from the bits I had lying about. It’s a little over engineered I think!

First I made a cardboard template of the size opening I needed.

IMG_3792_1 Template.

Then I made up separate sides with flanges then a top and a bottom plate. The bottom plate is 1mm steel while the sides and top are 0.8mm. I was worried about the top drumming so I hammered a swage into it. I also folded the top edge back onto itself to stiffen it.

IMG_3795_1 IMG_3797_1 Box top, bottom and sides.

Everything was spot welded together. I messed up slightly and measured the top width with the sides vertical and then cut the steel. After  I welded it in I realised I should have reduced it’s width slightly because the top and the bottom were fitted on the inside of the box so the flanges were on the outside. This is so the inside of the box is smooth. Because of this one side (the short one) of the box isn’t at 90 degrees. I think once it’s in the car it is impossible to notice though.

I then made an end cap to close the back of the box. It was when doing this I actually realised the box wasn’t square. Again the flanges are on the outside so the inside of the box is smooth.

IMG_3800_1 IMG_3802_1 End cap.

The front edge of the box rests on the steel angle that goes across the car for the instrument panel to bolt onto. To provide additional support and to actually anchor the box (which is removable) I brazed on a flat diagonal piece of strap steel. This is drilled with two holes. The box bolts down to these holes.

IMG_3805_1 IMG_3810_1 Diagonal mounting.

I used stove bolts passed through from inside the box. The heads are smooth so they don’t cause issues. I’ll probably line the inside of the box with some rubber sheet anyway so things don’t slide about and that will cover the bolt heads. The angle iron also provides a nice lip to stop things falling out. I made the box big enough to fit a folded map, gloves, sweets and also hold other essential vintage motoring items.

IMG_3806_1 Testing.

The flanges at the front don’t actually touch the instrument panel because of a gap caused by the width of the angle iron it sits up against. I will use rubber seals on the flanges that will bridge the gap. This will also hold the box in place but since it isn’t attached directly to the instrument panel the panel can be removed and also it allows for movement between the two.

I made the box as deep as I could and also a little wider than the original opening I had planned. I’ll make that fractionally wider. I still need to cut the opening and wire the edge.


I also drilled and tapped three holes in the bottom of the angle iron that I can use to screw the bottom of the instrument panel in place.

Interesting, unrelated fact: Today is the 95th anniversary of the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen,  being shot down in WW1.

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