Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-15-2017, 09:06 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 21
DIY cabinet approaches

I'm finishing up the wiring on my build and want to start on the interior cabinets within a week. I've got my layout pretty well planned out, the thing i'm having trouble deciding on is how to approach building the cabinets/kitchen area.

I've seen plenty of write ups on how people do it, but there doesnt seem to be much of an agreed best way to go about it. everyone seems to do it a little different. and having very little woodworking experience, I'm just looking for what's the most effective approach.

Ive pretty much seen two ways of doing it. Building a frame out of 1x2's or similar first and then adding the panels/doors over it.
Or using plywood sheets where the plywood is your frame as well as the panels. so your plywood sheets make up the walls then you add shelving/dividers with plywood and thats your stucture.

I'll be doing a bit of offroading so something that can stand up to the twisting of the body and some jarring is important.

I'm leaning towards going with the plywood frame approach, it seems simpler, easier to visualize as you build, and possibly stronger? the only thing is I bought some nice looking 1/2" x 4" lumber that i want to use up, originally I wanted to build the whole interior cabinetry with it (using the 1x2 frame technique) but if i go with the plywood technique I'll probably be limited to using it on my countertop, cupboard doors, etc..

thoughts?
__________________

mrsa1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2017, 10:18 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oregon Ciry Oregon
Posts: 2,440
I used 1/2" plywood for the top and sides of the cabinet boxes with 3/4" on the bottom. The sides were screwed to the bottom with 1-1/2" long deck screws for strength. Not sure I would use 1/2" again because of the trouble finding hardware to fit it.

The cabinets were bolted to the floor using the factory seat mounting locations. Also used angle brackets to attach them to the body just below the window line. Then screwed the adjoining cabinets together. They are rock solid on the back roads with no sqeeking of movement that I could see or hear.

A word of caution, be sure to cut the plywood as square as possible.
__________________

__________________
"A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points but it is by no means the most interesting". Jon Pertwee as Dr. Who, The Time Warrior.
larrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2017, 11:02 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
boywonder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,976
I used the plywood (high quality baltic birch) method covered with vinyl, fabric, etc. This build method is simple and robust especially if you dado/rabbit all the joints and use glue/screws........and, as Larrie said....cut the panels square.
__________________
2008 E350 RB passenger 4WD SMB penthouse
2013 KTM 350 EXC
2008 KTM 250 XCF-W
2000 KTM 200 EXC
2003 Honda Element
boywonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2017, 11:23 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 21
what do you mean by cut the panels square? as in dont form fit/scribe it to the shape of the van wall?

Also, yes i've heard baltic birch is good, any other kinds that might give it a little more of a nice grain look? I've got some stain/finishing techniques that i want to try but would look much better on something with a bit more grain pattern.
mrsa1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2017, 12:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
boywonder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,976
...scribe away when conforming to van walls, etc.....it's amazing how few parallel edges there are on the Econoline...

If your table saw/miter saw doesn't cut square you will be rapidly digging a hole that will be obvious when you start the assembly process. Things compound quickly.

All saws can be adjusted to cut square; sometimes it's a tedious process.
__________________
2008 E350 RB passenger 4WD SMB penthouse
2013 KTM 350 EXC
2008 KTM 250 XCF-W
2000 KTM 200 EXC
2003 Honda Element
boywonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2017, 12:58 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder View Post
...scribe away when conforming to van walls, etc.....it's amazing how few parallel edges there are on the Econoline...

If your table saw/miter saw doesn't cut square you will be rapidly digging a hole that will be obvious when you start the assembly process. Things compound quickly.

All saws can be adjusted to cut square; sometimes it's a tedious process.
Oh square as in perfectly 90 degree cuts. got it
mrsa1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2017, 01:18 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,268
For simplicity I have always mimicked Sportsmobile's idea of putting plywood cabinets together with lots and lots of angle brackets (L brackets). My first couple of cabinet attempts were squeaky and not solid. One thing good about SMB cabinets is that they do stay together and don't squeak, however they use particle board which eventually turns to dust and is very susceptible to bloating from water damage. I use 3/4 Birch, not baltic usually, just the American birch in 3/4" 4x8' sheets from Lowe's or Home Depot. Baltic birch is too hard for me to get here.
I do know enough about carpentry to know this is a fairly cheap way to build cabinets, but what I like about it is repairs and upgrades are much simpler with angle bracket cabinets. You can remove any panel for any reason and in my experience they go back together solid even after being a part a few times. Lots of examples of this in my gallery.

Being new at this I can offer you one very important tip. Don't be mad when you ruin some wood. It's going to happen. Wood projects are incredibly rewarding, creative work but plan to buy more than you need. You'll ruin some and have some nice kindling for the campfire.

__________________
Currently vanless. Weird.
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2017, 02:18 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oregon Ciry Oregon
Posts: 2,440
I used Baltic birch as well. Then was in Lows and found some nice maple venier plywood that I used in some locations. Cabinets boxes with shelves can be cut and put together fairly quickly. Drawers are much more complex and can take a long time to complete and get right.

86 Scotty is right about buying extra material. I started with one extra sheet and then bought more as needed.

To reduce the amount of plywood scrap pieces that will be left over be sure to layout your cuts on paper or computer first. I was able to reduce the number of plywood sheets needed for the cabinets by two using this method. Just kept moving the pieces around until they took up all or most of the sheet. It was time consuming but worth the savings. Just remember to allow about 1/8" thickness for each saw cut.

The other trick is to keep as many dimensions of the cabinet pieces the same as possible. This reduces setup time helps with assembly,
__________________
"A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points but it is by no means the most interesting". Jon Pertwee as Dr. Who, The Time Warrior.
larrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2017, 04:22 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,088
There are a few websites out there that let you layout pieces for maximum stock efficiency. Also, NEVER trust Lowes or HD to cut your stock for you if it matters. I had Lowes cut some nice 3/4 oak ply on the panel saw for me, thinking it would be a better cut than my table saw. Got home and found they were totally out of square :-(
BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2017, 07:00 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 21
Couple other questions.. would it be possible to make a sheet with my 4" wide tongue and groove planks, as in assemble the planks as you would for a floor, glue it together, whatever, but that would be my "plywood" sheet that I could cut out the shape of my cabinet walls with? Maybe I wouldn't do it everywhere, but just for the face of my cabinets.
Not sure if that ideas even a thing..

My other question.. would it make any sense to assemble all my cabinetry, bed, etc. attached to the subfloor. And then put in my top layer flooring (probably will be click in or tongue and groove engineered wood) around the cabinetry? So the cabinets are sitting "in" the floor. Might help keep cabinets secure on the floor, or introduce more problems.. Just a thought I had today as I realized I need to get my floor in before I start attaching cabinets.
__________________

mrsa1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Blue Buffalo

BigBrap

Vanna

gahamby
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.