Making a Cup Holder for Your Vehicle (Part 3 of 3)

Lets Put This Baby Together

Step 1
Clamp board 1 to board 6, and fasten together with 1-3/16″ brad nails. See Photo #9 below.

Photo #9

Photo #10 below shows the general spacing of the brad nails. Since board 6 was 12-3/4″ in length, I placed the 1-3/16″ length brad nails as follows:

  • Two brads at the center.
  • Two brads at each end.
  • Two brads halfway between center and each end.

Photo #10

Step 2
Clamp board 3 to board 6 as shown in Photo #11 below.

Photo #11

Photo #12 below shows how I used a scrap piece of T-111 to pencil a line. This penciled line represents the top edge of board 6 on the other side of board 3. I fastened board 3 to board 6 with 1-3/16″ brad nails. I placed one brad at the center, one brad approx. 3/4″ in from each end, and a brad approx. halfway between the center and each end.

Photo #12

Step 3
Using clamps, see Photo #13 below, I clamped board 2 to board 3. I used the small hammer shown to get board 2 square with board 3. The combination square shown was set to 5/8″ and lines where penciled on board 3. The penciled lines were drawn to represent the edge of board 2. Which couldn’t be seen while shooting the 1-3/16″ brad nails to fasten boards 2 & 3 together.

Photo #13

Pictured below in Photo #14 are the brad nails (1-3/16″ length) driven thru board 3 and into board 2 on the other side. The penciled lines drawn, mark the edge of board 2 on the other side of board 3. I decided to cluster two brads as shown for extra holding strength. And again I used my typical spacing of brads: 2 ends, center, and halfway between center and each end.

Photo #14

Step 4
This cup holder is starting to take shape, only two boards (Boards 4 & 5) left to fasten into place.

Below is a short Video showing how I went about attaching boards 4 & 5 to boards 1 & 2. I used 1-3/16″ length brad nails for fastening the 3/8″ plywood (Boards 4 & 5) to
boards 1 & 2.

Fastening Boards 4 & 5.MPG – YouTube

Board 4 fastened to board 1 is shown in Photo #15 below. Also shown in this photo is the portable metal vise that I used for holding the cup holder while fastening board 4 to boards 1 & 2. The penciled lines shown were drawn to mark the edges of boards 1 & 2 which are not visible.

Photo #15

Boards 4 & 5 both extend above boards 1 & 2, as shown in Photo #16 below. I used my orbital sander to sand both boards 4 & 5 as indicated in the photo. I started with 36 grit sandpaper, then 60 grit, and finished up with 120 grit.

Photo #16


As mentioned earlier regarding the width for board 4, I ripped it to 5-1/2″ instead of the actual final req’d width of 5-1/8″. As noted earlier, I did this to give myself some wiggle room, and proceeded as follows:

  • I held board 4 up against boards 1, 2, & 3.
  • Next I drew a penciled line down board 4 marking the amount that board 4 exceeds its req’d width.
  • At the table saw I ripped board 4 such that its width exceeded its req’d width by approx. 1/8″.
  • I held board 4 in place against boards 1 & 2 with the excess width split approx. even between the two sides of board 4.
  • Next I brad nailed board 4 to boards 1 & 2 with 1-3/16″ length brad nails.
  • For the final step in this process, I used my orbital sander to sand the width of board 4 flush with boards 1 & 2. I started with 36 grit sandpaper, then 60 grit, and finished up with 120 grit.

The procedure given above for board 4 also applies to board 5.

The Finished Product

Shown in Photo #17 below is the finished cup holder. You could paint it to match the color of your vehicle’s interior, if you are so inclined. Personally, I do not anticipate painting my finished cup holder, but that’s me.

Photo #17

My cup holder open top dimensions (6-9/16″ x 3-3/4″) work fine for one drink, but not necessarily two large drinks. I travel alone most of the time, when I use my truck. So, a cup holder sized for just one drink is not an issue, in my case. However, if you want a two drink cup holder, then modified the layout and dimension to suit your needs.

So far my cup holder has worked out just fine for me. I’ve also found myself using it to hold other items as well. For example, I’ve used it to hold my wallet, ID card, sandwich, etc. And I feel confident that this cup holder will put an end to spilled drinks.

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Until Next Time, Take Care