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Old 05-19-2021, 02:51 PM   #81
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Man that’s some gorgeous work there. When I’m in Bend this summer can I see it in person?
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:17 PM   #82
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Yep, I think it all turned out exceptional - Headliner and storage above looks amazing. Really like the choice of fabric as well.
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:22 PM   #83
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epic work!
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:54 PM   #84
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I don't know which is better? Your house or the van. They both are spectacular!
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:09 PM   #85
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Brings me back, nice work!
I remember thinking how quiet the van was too right after I installed the thinsulate.
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Old 05-20-2021, 08:16 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelheadJones View Post
Man that’s some gorgeous work there. When I’m in Bend this summer can I see it in person?
Thank you so much! If all goes to plan I should have this interior wrapped up by summer and be out using it as much as possible, but if I am in town I would be happy to show it off! Just send me a message.

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Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
Yep, I think it all turned out exceptional - Headliner and storage above looks amazing. Really like the choice of fabric as well.
Thank you! So far I have been really happy with all my material choices and really happy I went through the extra work of doing the cab and the shelf. As silly as it is the front shelf is one of my favorite parts of the van currently.

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Originally Posted by kikisadventures View Post
epic work!
Thank you!

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Originally Posted by bob949 View Post
I don't know which is better? Your house or the van. They both are spectacular!
Thank you, Bob!

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Brings me back, nice work!
I remember thinking how quiet the van was too right after I installed the thinsulate.
Thank you! It really was quite shocking to start driving around after the Thinsulate. It is now quieter than any other car I have owned and probably most vehicles I have ever been in which is funny considering it is a cargo van. Also, thank you again for documenting your build so well, I obviously have pulled a lot of inspiration from it.
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Old 07-06-2021, 05:10 PM   #87
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Build Update

Build Update:


This is a BIG update to the build, the interior is “mostly done”!! Before getting to the good stuff of the pretty shots of the mostly finished interior I should go back and show all the work that went into it, and what we were up against during this part of the build.

Background:
-Earlier in the year, we had set some dates to go visit our families down in San Diego. At the time it felt like it would allow us plenty of time to get the van in a decent spot for the trip which was about 12 weeks away. Our original plan was to just try to get it complete enough that we had it upholstered, a bed, and a fridge. This seemed doable, but as we started on the process we quickly realized that one we would be way more excited to show off a complete interior, and two we didn't want to halfway do stuff and cause ourselves twice as much work when we got home from our trip. So we formulated a new plan and decided we would do everything we could get done and start crossing things off that we couldn't do if we ran out of time. So as you can imagine we went from an aggressive timeline to an insane timeline. Our limited free time basically became 100% van time. We worked hard to get upholstery done and worked even harder to get it to the “show vehicle” stage. This is something my wife pointed out as we were leaving on our maiden voyage, It is like a concept car. Everything looks nice and pretty, but not all the buttons are functioning and not everything is hooked up. In the last week leading up to the departure date, which we totally blew, we were working 20-22hr days just to get it to the stage where it was back together and ready to drive the over 2,000-mile shakedown run. Which was a success!

-Now that you have some background I hope you can understand a little more why as the build went on the pictures and documentation might be lacking. If you have any questions though I am happy to answer what I can. So with that little storytime, it’s back to the build thread!



About the design:
-Before we even had the van I had started the interior modeling process. Now since I had nothing to reference myself I had to use some internet numbers. No surprise these were not 100% accurate. Then I added in my walls, floor, and ceiling which then further adjusted these numbers. So I had to go back and do some reworking on the original layout. The most critical numbers were the bench/bed dimensions and locations, and the fridge size. Having these pieces in hand I could further refine the layout on the computer before starting on the real world building. As you can see in the model we went with a more modern inset design taking inspiration from Kerf Design cabinets. They make some high-quality cabinets that showcase the cool edge pattern found on high-quality baltic birch plywood construction.

-The layout and material choices are obviously very important parts of a van build and are something we played around with a lot at the beginning and throughout the process of this build. I had originally modeled both pass-through and non-pass-through options, but the “RB50” layout just made the most sense to us. So after deciding on this came material choices. We ordered a ton of samples and went through the process of testing durability, ease of cleaning, and aesthetics. Once we narrowed down a few design options we modeled a basic layout and applied these materials to the layout to get a feel for how it would work in the space. We eventually decided on the materials you see in the model pictures below.

-After getting a rough idea went through and modeled each individual electrical and plumbing component as well as the main parts such as the fridge and bench/bed. These were things that we were constrained by and would dictate the design of it all. For the bed, we ended up going with a 74”x53”. This was the final dimension after lots of testing and discussion between my wife and I. Both of us are right around 5’-10” and this felt like the right size that we could sleep comfortably while maximizing our cabinet space. As you may have previously seen we ended up going with the Isotherm 85 Drawer Fridge/Freezer. We squeezed as many drawers as we could into the cabinets and ensured we could fit the smallest Dometic toilet in the lowest part of the cabinet. After everything was modeled I played around with parts to see how I could most effectively use the space. In the end, we are very happy with the layout we choose.













Cabinets:
-Again let me quickly say I am sorry for the lack of process pictures. I was literally running around trying to get everything done, and pictures just became an afterthought, but I will roughly explain the process for anyone who cares.

-Now for the fun part, actually building it out! We started with building the rear box section as this was a pretty straightforward section being a rectangle box for housing the rear drawers. It is made up of ¾” Baltic Birch for the vertical supports and ½” Baltic Birch for the top and bottom cross pieces. The lower cross pieces are attached using pocket holes and the top piece is attached using 2” trim head screws. The center support is dadoed in for some extra lateral support.

-After getting the rear cabinet locked in with the bench base in the van I moved on to the main cabinet vertical pieces of the kitchen galley section. These sections are made out of ¾” Baltic Birch. They were cut square and oversized to allow room to scribe to the van wall. I then cut some cross pieces that were pocket-holed to give me my bottom connection pieces. After rough assembling the 3 vertical panels with their bottom and top cross pieces, I moved them into the van. I then used my plans to locate the cabinet carcass front to back in the van and then made sure it was even and square to a centerline of the van I had previously established. Once I knew it was good I determined how far back I would want the assembly to slide to give me my final counter depth. With that measurement in hand, I adjusted my scribe tool and scribed all the vertical panels accordingly. Then I dissembled the carcass and cut those panels down with a jigsaw and then reassembled to check the fit.

-After getting the front galley cabinet locked in I started working on the full height closet/pantry section. I started by establishing the floor of the cabinet which I used ½” Baltic birch scribed to the van wall and connected to the rear box. After getting that square and level I went ahead and started on the vertical panels. Like many other things in the build I used cardboard to create a template which I traced to ¾” Baltic birch. I needed to establish the front-most panel first as this would lock the space I would have for the sink and the length of my counter. After getting the front locked in, I repeated the process for the rearmost panel. Next up was locking in the rear pantry panel. I repeated the same process and made it out of ¾” Baltic birch. (finally a picture of all this).







-After getting that part set I realized the Ruvati 15x15 sink I had bought wasn’t going to fit properly. So I went back to amazon and found a nice undermount sink that would work instead. While I waited for the new sink to show up I pulled the galley cabinet section out of the van and added in all my cross supports and my drawer slides (these are 22” Blum Undermount soft close tandem drawer slides) so I could lock in my drawer sizes. I then put everything back in the van and ran some cross pieces to tie in the rear cabinets to the front cabinets. After that was done I went in and added the center divider to the closet and added in a few cross pieces to lock in the rear cabinet panels. Once the sink showed up I was able to test fit the sink, cooktop, toilet, and bed to ensure all my computer measurements were working out in the real world.








-After having the main structure together I went back to the rear drawers and added in my 30” Blum heavy-duty under mount soft close drawer slides.


-After the drawer slides were in place I finished up some of the side trim panels and built my rear drawer boxes. These are made out of a prefinished Baltic Birch with a ¼” BB bottom drawer panel.







Exterior:
-After getting all of this together in about 2 days I needed a little bit of a break from cabinets, so I transitioned over to swapping out the headlights to the Aero styled headlights. I think these really modernize the front end even if they still aren't very bright. I plan on coming back to these maybe later this year and trying my hand at doing a projector retrofit as that seems to be the only real solution to the headlight problem for these vans.









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Old 07-06-2021, 05:14 PM   #88
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Cabinets:
-The following day I jumped back into making some drawers to finish out the front cabinets.



-Then it was on to cutting the face panels for all the cabinets. I used ½” Baltic birch for everything except where there were hinges as the hinges I am using need ⅝” min so in those areas I used ⅝” Baltic birch.



-The next day I went ahead and cut down all the face panels into their required door and drawer sizes ensuring I maintained my ⅛” reveal for all edges except the floor where I have a ½” reveal that will house a LED strip light for some floor washing accent light. I also cut and added in my front triangle cabinet behind the driver seat.





-Then I started cutting my inset door openings. I was nervous about this since I know standard practice for this style of door would be to cut everything on a CNC. Unfortunately for me I do not have access to anything like that although it would have been nice since I had CAD files for everything. So I started off by using a Forstner bit to cut my corner radiuses and then used a track saw to connect those corners. In the end, this worked well. I used this process for the pantry, closet, under bench door, triangle cabinet, and the above counter shelf.









-That night we did a little bed test just to make sure everything was fitting correctly and then got started on the over counter storage the following day. This will house a few switches, an under-mount LED strip, as well as electrical outlets for the galley section.





-Then I went back to the rear of the van to get the rear drawer faces and hardware installed.



-After that It was time to mock up the closet sliding doors. That way I could upholster the over counter shelf and closet doors at the same time. (After midnight pictures start dropping off)





-The next day I worked on getting all the flush doors cut and checked. These are made out of ⅝” Baltic birch with the same ⅛” reveal around the edges. I made these doors cutting a rectangle and then using a belt sander rounding the corners to match the line I had drawn and then test fit in the opening to ensure the correct fit. At the same time, I also cut out my holes for the electrical components.





-Later that day I worked on getting all my hardware set in the galley. This required all the drawer boxes to be modified around the hardware which I did by making a jig out of MDF and then using a templating bit in my router to get them all to match. I am using a Southco latch model M1-2A-13-5 . I also did my final opening cut for the front triangle cabinet.







-So at around midnight we started the lengthy and unfun part of this process of disassembling everything. With some documentation of how everything looked my wife and I took the label maker out and started pulling everything apart piece by piece to get ready for the laminating process. 2 hours later the van was back to empty and all the cabinets back to just small parts.











-At this point, we were only about 3 days from our original departure date, and we quickly realized this was not going to happen. So this started us on the 20-22 hours a day work track to try to get everything back together enough for us to leave for our trip.

-The following day I got to removing even more parts to finish up some of the wiring that I had previously left behind the wall and finished up wiring the ceiling lights to the dimmer modules. One thing that I had some issues with was the dimmer module trying to run two switches for the main lights while maintaining the button LED and dimming function. After some trial and error, I finally got it working.

-I also worked on cutting in some holes and openings for weight savings and venting of the electrical cabinet as well as the fridge.

Lamination Process:
-After lots of research through forums and youtube we found a good rough walkthrough that we semi followed for the process of the lamination. The basic process was to lay out the sheets of laminate finish side down then take each cabinet piece and lay it out on the sheet to try to minimize the waste. Then trace all the shapes out and label each shape. After getting it all laid out I took a track saw and cut out each rough shape and stacked it with its corresponding panel. Then using the sprayer I sprayed the laminate and cabinet piece with glue. Most tutorials suggest putting the laminate on top of the wood, but we found the opposite worked better. We would lay the laminate out and then line up the wood as close to our traced line as we could and apply even pressure. Once it was stuck we would flip the assembly over and use a laminate roller to even everything out. Then we would use a trim bit that we picked up from amazon (Link) on our router to flush up the laminate. After this, we would file and sand the edges to break any sharp edges.







-Since we were doing black on the inside and Wilsonart Studio Teak on the outside we had to repeat this process twice. We started on the inside black section just so we could get a feel for how the process worked and because it didn't matter how precise we were with placement as it’s all just a solid color. When it came time for the Studio Teak side we had to be much more deliberate with layout and gluing as we were trying to grain match across the whole van. In the end, I would say we got pretty close considering on the inset flush doors we had to cut from two separate sections of the laminate.

-If you thought there were not enough pictures in the previous section you will be even more disappointed as I pretty much stopped doing anything but working from this point on.


Cabinets:
-After getting everything laminated it was time to begin the re-installation process. Our very OCD labeling process paid off as it allowed us to quickly identify all the pieces and their orientation in the van. One thing That I totally screwed up on though was my misunderstanding of just how hard the laminate sheets are. I had figured I would be able to feel my screw holes through the laminate making it easy to just poke screws back through allowing everything to just slide back together, but I was very wrong. In a few cases, I got lucky, but in most, I had to work back through with a tape measure and re-build essentially from scratch. This took some time, but I made it through it and got the interior structure all back in and secured through the floor.

Countertops:
-Then, if I am remembering correctly, it came time for templating the countertop. Quick backstory, a few months ago we picked up some remnant pieces of a white solid surface countertop at a local countertop company for a great price. This led us to need to learn how to do countertops which was a bit intimidating. With some other forum posts on here and a few more youtube videos, we started on the process. We made a template out of scrap ¼” plywood and used that as our template to rough cut the material down. Using the track saw to get a rough cut and then our router with a template bit we got our final cut pretty easily. Then we used some smaller pieces to double up the front edge profile. We ended up using a clear epoxy to attached this piece which did leave a slight line but it's not too noticeable. After getting the thickened edge done we went ahead and established and cut our bevel cut for the front waterfall section. After getting that test fitted we cut out our two openings for the sink and cooktop as well as the hole for the faucet. We did this by making a template again and using the router as it cut the material much cleaner and smoother than the saw. Then everything was finally installed into the van.

Electrical:
-Then it was on to the main electrical section. Since we were on a time crunch I only really got the main lights, fridge, and a few USB ports wired. This required me to get a few of the main components wired as well. This included the batteries, the Victron BMV, the Victron Orion DC/DC charger, the Victron Lynx Distributor, and the main fuse distributor. All of this was done with high-quality marine-grade wiring and came together pretty well. Once I get the electrical all done and cleaned up I will share some finished photos of my electrical system.

Cabinets:
-After getting that done it was on to reinstall the closet door tracks. I made a mistake in testing the tracks without any fabric on the doors, so when I tried to reinstall them they no longer fit. So I routed down the backside of the door to allow for the fabric build-up and now they seem to be fitting and sliding well.

-I am sure I missed some things, but that pretty much takes us to 4 days after our original departure date, where we cleaned everything up, loaded up the van, and hit the road for our shakedown run. All in all, everything worked well and stayed where it was supposed to for our 2,000+ mile shakedown. We only really had one annoying noise which was coming from the latch on the fridge, which I am sure there is a fix for.
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Old 07-06-2021, 05:34 PM   #89
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Have to say, well done! Focused, precise, supported by commitment - You've certainly come to terms with your OCD (serves you well here!). That's great work!
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Old 07-06-2021, 05:38 PM   #90
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Finished Cabinets

Interior Shots:

Mian:

Main Galley


Main Galley Outside to Inside


From Front (wide angle)


From Front


Bench and Lower Cabinet


Wide Angle Full Shot


From Bench to front


Baltic Birch Drawer Detail Construction with Blum under mount hardware


Bed Mode (wide angle)


Bed Mode


Bed Mode (Doors Open)

Rear Van Section:

Rear Of Van View


Rear Drawer Grain Match Detail


Rear Drawer Birch Edge Detail


Rear Drawer Hardware


Rear Drawer Inside View


Water Fill, shower connection/controls


Rear Bed Mode


Rear Bed Mode

Details:

Overhead Buttons with Garage Door Controls


Overhead Light Billet Button "On"


Bed Lights Controls

Exterior Shots:







-Up next on the list: Finish electrical and plumbing
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