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Old 07-16-2005, 02:20 PM   #1
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How do you hang cabnits?

I've seen this on a lot of converted skoolies & I'm to the point on mine where I would like to build a small kitchen area.

How do you hang cabnits from the roof? Also is there a trick to matching the wood to the contour of the roof without it looking all jagged?

here is a good example of what I'm talking about:





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Old 07-16-2005, 04:33 PM   #2
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I can't speak for Mr.FixitChapman's technique, and I can't tell presactly how he did his cabinets.

There is a simple (sort of) way to get the contour of the roof pretty accurately: use a divider (compass). Cut a piece of cardboard or thin fiberboard that very roughly matches the contour you want to duplicate, and clamp that piece in place nice and square with the wall of the bus. Put a piece of paper on it if you want to make a paper pattern, or just trace on the piece itself if you want a "hard" copy. Using the divider set at, say a 2" spacing, hold the divider in absolutely the same orientation throughout the operation, and put one side of the divider against the contour and one side of the divider (the marking side) on the paper/template material. Now just follow the shape of the contour. You should have a good template or pattern when you are done. It may take you a few tries to get the hang of it, so working with cardboard at first is best, IMHO. Once you have a fit that you like, transfer the shape from cardboard to something more permanent, and you will have a template that you can use from time to time on different projects in the bus that require a contour of the roofline (in the case of the cabinets pictured).

The way I mount things to the roof is to use short pieces - 4" to 6" long - of 2x2 (1.5x1.5) as blocking. I screw them to the roof along the line of the contour, and then screw the plywood into the blocking from the side. The short pieces will generally follow a gentle contour pretty closely, and they act as the framing of the cabinet. Since they are inside the cabinet, they are not visible when the cabinet is assembled. This picture shows examples of what I am talking about, both on the side wall, and on the contour of the roof.



Here you can see the same principal applied to the galley construction:



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Old 07-17-2005, 05:45 PM   #3
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do you use sheet metal screws? do you have to drill where there is a brace in the roof - sorta like a joist or stud inside the roof? or can you just screw in anyware?

Thanks for the info
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:32 PM   #4
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Attaching stuff to the bus walls.

No, I use drywall screws. I get a length that will let me have about 1/2" to 3/4" of drywall screw pass through the metal (plus whatever wood it is going through). I like the coarse threaded ones, but fine threaded ones work, too. Mostly I have used #8 screws, and drilled a 3/32 or 7/64 pilot hole for them. They hold well. I usually try to avoid drilling in overlapping areas of sheet metal, because the extra thickness makes it hard to drive the screws in. If I have to drill in overlapping areas, I use a 1/8" pilot hole, and you *have to* use the coarse thread screws, as the fine thread ones will strip trying to go through that thickness of metal.

On the table/bed that I made, the cleat against the wall that supports the table needed to be pretty sturdy. I used a 6"x6" piece of plywood as a mount point, for the cleat -- it had a dozen evenly located screws holding it to the sheet metal wall, so even if a great deal of weight were to be put on it, it would not twist and pull out.

I drill straight into the sheet metal, walls or ceiling, it makes no difference. There seems to be about 2" between the inner wall and the outer surface metal of the bus, so I try not to drive a screw more than a half or 3/4" through the inner sheet metal -- enough for the regular threads to get a bite, but not enough to bump the outside metal of the bus.

When you put a piece of blocking up, it may seem a bit wobbly at first, but once you lock everything together (cabinet sides, and other blocking pieces, shelves, etc.) the structures get very solid. There is flex in the sheet metal between its supporting structures in the bus, but the cabinetry itself will stiffen the sheet metal and make everything very sturdy.
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:53 PM   #5
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cabinet templates for your bus.

Hi all , Just a note of caution here. My experience with the roof templates is that the roof is not all the same contour & varies a bit from place to place. After all this is a bus and not a Mercedes. I did the Cardboard template thing in my Crown 'Farther' for the room deviders. I had big gaps and had to make a template for every room devider. It cost me a sheet of plywood to learn that one . It is well worth the trouble to make the different templates. a well fitted cabinet or room devider is not noticed. On the other hand one that has gaps in it is noticed right away.

Later, J.B.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:47 AM   #6
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Also, a little plastic or rubber moulding along the edges goes a long way to hide the imperfections of the cuts. Something to think about as a finishing touch.
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Old 07-18-2005, 07:47 PM   #7
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Gaps in fitted cabinetry.

Mine came out pretty closely matched, but there were some discrepancies. I had forgotten about that. My long term plan is to cut some (homemade) molding to trim them out.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:56 PM   #8
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A bead of paintable caulk moulded to the corner would look clean too.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:38 PM   #9
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Resurrecting this conversation...

Although I still have to paint the inside, I'm about at that point were I need to think about the cabinets, mounting them and all that fun stuff.

Anyone want to add additional info? I'm sticking with my K.I.S.S. method when it comes to converting but those ceiling cabinets had me scratching my head even after I got a book specifically on them.

The gallery is usually were I go to see how others have put them up but they don't show as much as I'd like.

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