OK, here are the main steps to making the console. Ensure you have a copy of the template image to hand! (see at bottom)
1) Get down to Homebase and get yourself a sheet of MDF or equivalent, depending on your
budget. Ensure the sheet will accomodate the template plus a bit more just in case. Thickness should be about 10mm, depending on how steady your hands are at drilling!!
2) Copy the template onto the wood and cut out.
You may want to make the pieces slightly bigger to ensure a tighter fit, and sand/plane down later.
3) After cutting out all the components, you will need to mark a line 2cm in from the edge of each of the side
panels so that the central panels lie below the edge of the sides, and not flush. This will make the console look more professional.
4) Next, you will need to lie each central panel piece along the 2cm line you
marked out, and plan where the screws will be inserted into the sides of the panels. Ensure you counter sink the heads on the outer sides of the panels so that the screw heads lie flush.
5) After drilling your holes,
try to construct the side panel with the inner panels. You should now have 1/2 of your console. Place the other side panel on, and again mark out where to place the screw holes. Mark out and drill.
6) After you've
drilled all your holes (take your time, this needs to be perfect!), construct the console and place in your Mini to check the fit. Plane/sand to fit. Check your stereo fits as well. Then try and put the gear stick into
each gear. Ensure that it goes in well otherwise it'll pop out during motion. Enlarge the hole as required.
7) OK, so you've got all your panels which fit. You now need to cover them with some sheet vinyl for that
leather look. If you don't want to look like a big nancy, ask yer missus/mum to get some from the local fabric shop. Dismantle the console and cover the inners of the side panels and all the central panels individually.
After it's glued, re-construct.
8) After you've put all the screws back in, cover the outer sides of the side panels with vinyl. Place back in your Mini and check the fit. It may be a bit of a squeeze but depending
on the fit, you may not need to secure it with corner braces. If you do, place them where the console meets the metal bar that runs along the front of the seats.
9) As a final touch, you will need something to cover
the top edges of side panels. Try using some of those plastic document spines you can get from Partners or whatever you can find.