Pickup trucks are what we live for; not only do they carry our families around, but also all the cargo we need. These workhorses are indispensable to businesses and families everywhere. The only problem that remains is many of them have an open truck bed, which means cargo isn’t secured. If you are handy, it’s possible to build a truck bed cover out of plywood.
Follow our instructions and keep your gear safe while in transit.
Step #1 – Take Measurements & Cut
You’ll need the measurements of your truck bed’s length and width on each of the four sides. Then, cut two pieces of 2×4 with a saw so they equal the length of your bed. After that, you’ll need an additional 2×4 that measures the width of your truck bed.
Take a ¾-inch piece of plywood and cut a section to the dimensions you measured for the truck bed. To do this, just draw your pattern on the plywood and use a saw to cut along your lines.
Start at the top of your side edges and measure ¾-inch down. Mark the spot with a pencil. This is the place where your 2×4 pieces should go.
Then, measure 1 foot along that line you marked, moving toward the center of the gate and cab. You’ll make two marks, each an inch apart. These are the spots you want to drill holes. They should be 1-inch below the line for your 2×4 pieces on the side.
In total, you’ll have eight marks – putting two on each end of each side of your truck bed.
Step #2 – Assembly
Drill holes into the side of your truck bed with a ¼-inch metal drill bit. Do this at the marks previously made. Then, measure 1-foot alongside the 4-inch side of each side piece. Make your marks to correspond with the holes drilled into the truck bed.
Once you drill your holes through your 2x4s, attach your side pieces to your truck’s bed. To do this, just place the 2×4 over your area featuring the holes.
Put a fender washer on top of the holes, between your truck bed and 2×4. Then, put another one over the hole on the opposite side of your board. Put a locking washer on top of your fender washer. Then, place a 3-inch bolt into the 2×4 and attach this to your truck.
You’ll need to repeat this process for all eight holes. Make sure you fasten all the side rails to your truck bed. When it’s done, they’ll sit about ¾ of an inch from bed side top.
Then, you need to cut a notch measuring 2×1-inch in both ends of your 2×4 piece. This should be done by the size of the truck bed’s width.
Once you’re finished, the completed pieces resemble a “T.” They should also fit on the side rail tops and measure even with your bed’s top. You’ll recognize that this is your cover piece brace.
Once you’ve verified the accuracy, screw the piece down to your side rails. Do this by driving a screw into each side of your brace, into your side rails.
Step #3 – Completion
Take three T-hinges and screw them to the top part of your cover brace. Then, you’re ready to attach the plywood to your hinges. This creates a truck bed lid that swings upwards toward your truck cab.
When the lid is closed, it covers the bed completely, if done correctly. Now, you can step back in pride and tell people you know how to build a truck bed cover out of plywood.
If you wanted to paint the cover, Durabak makes an excellent choice, especially since it’s available in numerous color options.
Build a Truck Bed Cover Out of Plywood – Keep This in Mind
As you make your way through the process to build a truck bed cover out of plywood, there are several things you want to keep in mind:
There might be factory-drilled holes already in your bed. If that’s the case, simply use them to attach your side rails instead of drilling holes on your own.
Make sure you take measurements on all of the truck bed’s sizes. Some beds don’t measure uniformly with their width. If that happens to you, your lid might not fit properly without all of the measurements.
We are always available to help! If you need further guidance or suggestions on how to make the most of your truck – contact us today.