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97 center console lid upgrade ( pic's )

lounge lizard

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City, State
Eastern PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 xlt awd
so my center console lid decided to fall apart on my explorer. and I didn't want to just recover the broken plastic.

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it seemed like some one had taken a paper stapler and tried to fix it one time and cracked all the plastic.

so! off to the garage I went with an idea.
I wanted to make a wooden center console lid! yea! this will be killer!

well I first chose the wood I wanted to use and in my mind I already had a vision of what I wanted it to look like. so the choice was pine wood for the ability to burn a finish on the wood ( jumping ahead in my train of thought)

so I started by glueing up some boards to create the top. I frame out the bottom plastic thatwas still good and also had all the parts to make the lid work when it is reinstalled on the console.
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then I glued it up for an overnight stay under heavy metal.
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the next day I had the beginning of something special.
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the next step was shaping the wood to follow the console lines. cutting off excess wood on my band saw and getting the right look.
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when I was done shaping it I had to make a few test fits to make sure the bottom plastic plate still would work with no interference from the wood.
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after having the basic frame done and in working order. I had to make the sides lower so it would cover the edge of the console and make a spot for the front handle for lift the lid.
all this was glued in place and trimmed on the band saw and sanded smooth.

then I wanted to finish it with an older technique that I learned years ago on some of my older trucks.
with a bernz-a-matic torch I burned and wire brushed the new wooden lid till I had the look I wanted.
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before wire brushing:
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after wire brushing:
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after glue, cutting and sanding there was a groove in the wood where all the pieces met. I filled this groove in withblack wood stove cement caulk. it holds it's color and when it dries the edges get a white tint to it. makes it look like the lid was pulled from a fire.
it was time to clear the whole lid with clear lacquer. it was covered in about ten coats. and left to dry for a week.

then it was time for the final install and the new look was done!
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lounge lizard

Well-Known Member
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City, State
Eastern PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 xlt awd
it has been about a year now since I finished this project and the console lid is ready to be cleared again to get thicker layer on it to protect the wood more.

the next step is to do door panels or just the arm rest with the switches in it. we will have to see how this comes along.
 






OneLever

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97 Mt. 5.0L AWD
A very cool and well done project! Thank you for sharing it with us.
 






BigRondo

USMC 1371
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City, State
Charlestown, RI
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2014 Escape SE
Excellent craftsmanship. :thumbsup:
 






underdog1799

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July 9, 2011
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City, State
Salt Lake City, UT
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
Wooden armrest modification

I made mine kind of like that... i just didn't use any of Ford's plastic crap except for the little hooks that go in the console box. If anyone wants to see it just let me know how to upload pics because i see no way to upload them
 






Joe Dirt

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07 Camry
Photobucket?
 






underdog1799

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City, State
Salt Lake City, UT
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'97 XLT
Armrest

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Here it is. hope this gives you some ideas. Sorry i don't have any pics from the fabrication process
 












Paraphoe

Go big or go home
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City, State
Willow Grove, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
Love it, Underdog.

Nice work out of both of you guys. :thumbsup:
 






lounge lizard

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City, State
Eastern PA
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1997 xlt awd
I like it!

it's clean, simple and I like how you put the finger lift recess in the front.
 






underdog1799

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'97 XLT
i used a edge router with a rounded bit. It took some estimating to get the curve to end in the correct place on each side
 






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