Cabinetry: Why We Built Our Own

Material List:

We very seriously considered buying unfinished cabinets and modifying them to fit, but the weight was going to be a concern. We also would have to modify them to fit around some of the van’s oddities, such as electrical conduit, that we were leaving exposed. We decided that the best option for us was to build our own cabinets. Ultimate customization!

Photo Dec 10, 2 48 01 PM.jpg

To fabricate the cabinets, we used plywood and 1×4 boards. The boards added reinforcement to the back panel of our upper cabinets, and served as a place to bolt the cabinets to the van. The cabinets are made of a single frame/box with the end, top and bottom panels made of plywood. The face frame is divided into separate sections as needed.

Cabinet doors are made of plywood and finish boards. Using a table saw, a groove was cut in the boards on all four sides of the door frame. They were mitered in the corners, glued together, then screwed using the Kreg system. Once three sides were put together, the finish panel was slid into place before the 4th side was attached.

Photo Dec 03, 10 54 28 AM.jpgPhoto Dec 17, 12 26 36 PM.jpgPhoto Dec 10, 2 51 17 PM.jpgPhoto Dec 23, 8 38 52 PM.jpgPhoto Dec 26, 10 11 06 AM.jpg

Once the cabinet fabrication was complete, we painted and sealed them to our liking and added pistons to keep the upper cabinet doors open (since they flip up). We used standard eggshell paint, added the ‘streaked’ look with steel wool, then sealed everything with a water based Minwax Polycrylic  – Polyurethane left a yellow tint once it dried so be sure to test an area first!

To install the cabinets, we used plusnuts and bolts (FarOutRide does a fantastic review of  plusnuts and why you should use them – check it out here!!!).

Photo Jan 02, 11 52 37 AM.jpgPhoto Jan 02, 2 22 16 PMPhoto Feb 12, 2 09 15 PM.jpgPhoto Jan 08, 2 07 28 PM.jpgPhoto Jan 22, 5 04 38 PM.jpg

Final Thoughts:

We’ve been really happy with how the cabinets turned out. Having the ability to totally customize the layout was well worth the work that went into the fabrication.


One thought on “Cabinetry: Why We Built Our Own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s