Vlog 47: The Frankenshelf

Part 2 of the project to re-route the wiring to the ceiling lights and ventilator fan so that I can remove some plastic ducting which is in the way of my new shelf/cupboard/cabinet thing.

See part 1 of this build by clicking here

Products and tools used in my van build (affiliate links)
Heater unit: https://geni.us/Van_PropexHS2000
Fridge: https://geni.us/Van_CoolFreezeCDF26
Portable toilet: https://geni.us/Van_Toilet
Sink / hob: https://geni.us/Van_SinkHob
Inverter: https://geni.us/Van_Inverter
Mains charger: https://geni.us/Van_MainsCharger
Solar charger: https://geni.us/Van_SolarMPPT
DeWalt jigsaw: https://geni.us/Van_DeWaltJigsaw
DeWalt drill: https://geni.us/Van_DeWaltDrill
DeWalt mitre saw: https://geni.us/Van_DeWaltMitreSaw
DeWalt circular saw: https://geni.us/Van_DeWaltCircSaw

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18 Comments

  1. The hinge you are seeking is called a “four arm” linkage. One arm is fixed to the frame, one is fixed to the door, and the other two are responsible for moving the two fixed points in relation to one another. They are generally not sold to the public, since each installation is unique. They are common on automobile engine or boot lids. They are also seen on “runnerless” rocking chairs. I would suggest that you contact your nearest Engineering University, and show them the problem, asking for a “four arm” solution. These are the kinds of problems Mechanical Engineers live for. Good luck.

  2. Rockler in the US has hinges like you were describing for your upper cabinets.

  3. Here’s an idea David . . . rather than using flip up or down cupboard doors, how about using a sliding door system like you use on your bedroom closets. You could fabricate a wood rail with two or three grooves on the top and bottom forward edges of your cupboard. These grooves could be made by passing a 1″ by 2″ pine or plywood board over a table saw with the blade raised about a quarter inch or so. Move the fence a tad for a second or even third pass, and you have your first groove made. Make two more grooves and you now have your rail for these sliding doors. Thin doors made from three sixteenths plywood could easily slide in these grooves, no hardware whatsoever would be needed, it would be wood riding against wood. I would drill a one inch finger hole in each door for easy movement, which will allow the doors to overlap one another and will give you maximum access to your cupboard. You could also place a short pin in each groove where you would have to very slightly lift the sliding door, maybe 3/16 th’s of an inch or so, to prevent the doors from sliding when braking. Another method would be to glue thin strips of 80 grit sandpaper in the grooves to provide extra friction if needed. Having three sliding doors would give you even greater access to the cupboard and allow for storage of longer items if needed. Just an idea David . . .

    • Yes, not a bad shout at all; if I do end up re-making it, I might consider that idea.

      • One more thought occurred to me. If you chose to go this route, you will want to make the grooves perhaps twice as deep in the top rail as the bottom rail. This would allow you to install your finished doors by lifting them into the top rail, then lowering them into the bottom rail. What I like about the sliding door design is, you can slide all three doors to either side, allowing for a much greater opening than hinged doors. You would be able to place longer or larger items in your cupboard. One more little trick I learned from a six month stint I did in a garage cabinet shop I worked in . . . When you make your Face Frames, the four pieces you glue onto the front of your cabinet carcass, you can sand an eighth inch 45 degree edge on the backside outer edge of the Face Frames. This is purely cosmetic and provides visual relief, allowing for a more pleasing less bulky look to the Face Frames.

        • An alternate cosmetic solution is simply to make your Face Frames slightly larger than the carcass, this makes the overall look so much more appealing. You can see how you could glue in your door slide rails directly behind these Face Frames in this image. See: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/79164905931339038/

          • Also, you will want to make your top and bottom Face Frames wider than the sides, to allow them to be flush with the slide rails you will need to glue in. The 45 degree sanded back edge I referred to applies to face frames which are flush to the carcass, not oversized like I mentioned in the alternate cosmetic solution . When we made cabinets for garage storage we used a Marine Grade Oak Veneer paint grade plywood 3/4 inch thick. In your application, you could probably go down to a 1/2″ thickness, your not going to be storing anything all that heavy up there. This Marine Grade plywood can be stained, clear coated or painted, so you have many cosmetic options.

          • Cheers Michael. I’m still plodding on with forcing the Frankenshelf to work but we’ll see…!!

  4. You could easily fabricate something similar to this, but with perhaps three grooves instead of two if you wanted three doors instead of two. See: https://www.rockler.com/hardwood-track-and-upper-guide

  5. I have follow you on both of your channels and have enjoyed your stories a great deal.

    on another note, i follow several other boat channels and have notice on several of their cabinets they use a spring hinge, litarily a large spring that holds the cabinet door open and in order to close it you have to apply a little force to the middle of the spring to bend it and close the door.

    Another thing I saw in a van build was a man that open his cabinets not upward as you mention, but by lowering the door toward himself thus allowing him to use the door as a work surface

    • Cheers. I don’t think they’ll be strong enough to use as a work surface and they’ll be too high to do so but the spring idea could work!

  6. Bev Bushman Jennings

    My favorite comment that I say often is “it’s not feasible” . Makes me grin to hear others say it. You’re vlogs of the van conversion give me a giggle and a breath of fresh air. Enjoy the jigsaw puzzle of this interconnected journey. Cheers.

    BTW – The “best” tool in my toolkit is a thingy that allows for lumping an object when an object becomes difficult. 🙂

  7. i hope thisis not too late but it is called a pivot hinge. you could also make it with two small pieces of wood with holes in them and a small bolt between them.

  8. and in my hurry i did not see the next part of the vlog which came up as i was sending this.

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