Using lengths of “planed straight edge” wood and a load of screws and wood glue, I began to assemble loads of boxes would would form the units for my van. To begin with I made the bed and later went on to the kitchen. To my great surprise, I used pine cladding.
The gist of how I was making these units is described in my last post but in essence it’s lots of 28mm x 18mm wood battens glued and screwed together using a set-square to try to maintain 90-degree angles (this didn’t always seem to work, for reasons that escape me but I’m convinced I somehow bought “stretchy” wood!).
A lot of the battens actually have a slight bow to them which you only discover when they’re taken out of the pack (they’re sold as a bundle) which is annoying. Knots in the wood and slits through which the wood “wept” sticky sap in the warm sun weren’t helpful either.
My layout in the van is an L-shaped bed/sofa/storage unit which can be extended sideways to make a wider bed. It’s not exactly a big double but it’s usable. Part of the design is also to have the bed-tops hinged so that they can lift to enable storage underneath. You’ll see this in action in later videos.
Concern has been raised in the responses to the video on YouTube that the wood is not thick enough and that the structures will “rack” (fold sideways under weight). The commenters, who are more experienced that me in such matters, may well be right but so far (touch wood – literally) the bed frame is happily holding up and bear in mind these vlogs are a few weeks behind my actual build.
Also, being L-shaped with the short arm of the L braced against the short bulkhead behind the van seats, the main length of the bed is propped from folding forwards by that short box section. At the back the same will apply due to another box to be built that reaches to the back doors and is at 90 degrees to the bed. In other words, everything should be braced by everything else it touches. Hopefully.
My original plan for the bed side was to put one long sheet of ply on it but given the difficulty I was having with the wood refusing to go together at right-angles, I feared that cutting a sheet to fit would be a bit of a nightmare so I decided to give tongue-and-groove planks a go as these could be cut to size as I went along the length of the bed.
Mostly I find such cladding makes things look like a sauna but with only a little use of it, I’m hoping this won’t be the case here. Also, I’ll almost certainly paint it, possibly in grey to match or complement the floor and the carpet. Time will tell…
Products and tools used in my van build (affiliate links)
Heater unit: https://geni.us/Van_PropexHS2000
Portable toilet: https://geni.us/Van_Toilet
Sink / hob: https://geni.us/Van_SinkHob
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
If you enjoyed this video and fancy buying me a cuppa, you’re very welcome to pop along to www.paypal.me/CruisingTheCut with many thanks indeed (and of course, no pressure should you not wish to!)