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Old 08-27-2017, 07:02 PM   #1
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Screwing cabinets to the wall

I'm an absolute newly at skoolie building but I have built a kitchen and hung shelves and cabinets. How does anyone screw things to the wall in the skoolie? Do you bolt the wood to the wall and then attach the cabinets using screws? Do you drill through the bus's wall?I know this sounds so basic but I haven't picked up the skoolie yet so I am just thinking without checking it out in person. I can't promise this will be the last stupid question. Please be kind.

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Old 08-27-2017, 07:06 PM   #2
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You attach the cabinets to the ribs.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:10 PM   #3
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Thank you! And definitely thank you for not ending that with "really?"

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Old 08-27-2017, 07:14 PM   #4
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Fasteners are a big item in building a skoolie. Depends on framing materials and those that exist in the bus. Wood, metal, you need a hardware store for a shop.
The more you know about framing, bracketing, building strength into whatever you are making, the more pleasant the experience will be.
keep all that organzsed is another thing and having the right tools for the job at hand.

John
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:57 PM   #5
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I would consider appropriate brackets and attachment methods ....

Oh. Right. It would probably be helpful if I elaborate more than that ....

Brackets will vary based on what you need to attach, how heavy it is, and what you have to attach it to. Let's narrow this down to cabinets in a bus. I would consider some rather common "L" brackets easily and commonly found in most big-box and hardware stores. Hint: **THEY'RE NOT SACRED** Don't be afraid to modify them, drill holes, bend them to appropriate angles, etc. Just be mindful about not reducing the strength more than can be avoided.

Fasteners. There are so many different ways to attach things to bus walls that I could start writing a book on the subject. Screws will work, but don't just use whatever screws you happen to pick up off the floor. Wood and drywall screws are fine for attaching things to wood, but they're not ideal for metal. Self-tapping metal screws will work much better, they are designed for the task. Make sure they're not too long, otherwise they'll go through the outer skin of the bus. Also be careful not to strip the threads you end up making, otherwise the screws won't hold securely.

You can also drill and tap holes for the purpose of using bolts or machine screws. This is a lot more work and probably not worth it unless it's something that needs to be removable "more than once". You can also use blind nuts that will serve much the same purpose.

Now going to the opposite extreme, you can use steel pop-rivets for a rather permanent installation. These can be removed, but are *NOT* re-usable (they can be drilled out). Aluminum rivets are available but I would not recommend them because (1) Aluminum and steel will react with each other and cause corrosion, and (2) you want maximum strength when holding up cabinets.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:20 PM   #6
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You guys cleared a bunch up. I lived in a bunch of different semi's over the years and I do have a little experience with brackets and such. The young man i am purchasing it from is also font of knowledge. I am going to head to my local hardware store to start getting familiar with what is available. Also I am going to stop at the library and look at some books.

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Old 08-27-2017, 09:20 PM   #7
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When you say cabinets, do you mean overhead cabinets mounted against the ceiling, or floor-standing cabinets?

For all my floor-standing cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom I plan on attaching them directly to the floor using bolts all the way through the 1.5" marine ply floor with Nylok nuts and fender washers underneath. I don't want to attach anything to the interior divider walls or the side walls, if only because Crown's side walls are not straight and vertical like other buses'.

For my overhead cabinets in the kitchen I've come up with an unconventional solution that I think will work well. The cabinets will be made from aluminum, with absolutely no wood there at all. (I really HATE wood! As far as I'm concerned, it's useless for anything load-bearing or critical.) Where they hang from the roof ribs that are spaced every 19", I'll use Cross nuts to make a completely secure thread in each rib: https://www.rivetsonline.com/steel-c...0/rn2520280pnb I had originally thought of using Jack nuts instead, but they're much too weak for any serious loads - they distort and come apart without much force applied, so I wouldn't trust them to hold up any overhead cabinet. The Cross nuts will engage some Grade 8 bolts that secure a length of formed steel angle against the ceiling that will need to be rebent to about 60 degrees, and from this steel angle will hang several vertical supports of 1"-wide 1/8"-thick 6061 aluminum that are bolted to a length of 1" 6061 angle. This angle will be the outer support for the cabinet's floor of 1/8"-thick 6061, and the floor is secured to the side wall above the windows with another length of 6061 angle that's bolted to the structural steel header above the windows. The cabinets' doors will be top-hinged with struts to hold them open against the ceiling, and the outsides will be either painted or covered with the same Celtec expanded-PVC sheet that I'm now using for the walls.

I simply don't trust using self-tapping screws because Crown's 90,000 PSI steel is so hard that any threads cut into it are too shallow to be trustworthy. I cannot tap machine threads into the roof ribs because they're only 1/16" thick, and even a 28TPI UNF 1/4" bolt won't have sufficient turns of thread in such a thin section. Rivnuts would probably work well, but they're critically dependent on the tolerance between the Rivnut and its hole - even a few thous too much gap there can result in pull-through. Cross nuts or Plus nuts seem like a sensible solution for making strong threads in blind holes. Does anyone here have any other suggestions for something else that would work well? Like everything I do in the bus, I design for dynamic loads of three times the maximum intended static load, so each overhead cabinet will need to be able to withstand 300 pounds of downforce.

John
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:09 PM   #8
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Iceni John .Are you building an airplane.???Some thing I want to see. An all aluminum Bus. Sounds good.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:26 PM   #9
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I may have missed this memo but, I screwed cedar strips to my ribs after insulating them. From there, I will attach plywood and attach the cabinets to the plywood, cedar and through to the ribs if needed for excessive weight. Seems a bit easier to me.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 45acp View Post
Iceni John .Are you building an airplane.???Some thing I want to see. An all aluminum Bus. Sounds good.
Nah! I just don't trust wood. It makes pretty window surrounds, but that's about all it's good for! I find that metal is better for anything load-bearing, especially if the load is in tension. There's a reason that buses like ours are not made from wood. For everything below the floor I use steel for strength, for everything above the floor I use aluminum to save weight, with stainless or Grade 8 hardware throughout.

I may also make my floor-standing cabinets similarly - I think I could make an aluminum internal skeleton from angle or square tubing, then attach IKEA faces and doors to it. This way I won't need to deal with typical IKEA crapboard shaking apart in a moving vibrating vehicle. We'll see. Whatever I do, I'll be through-bolting my cabinets to the floor, not to the walls.

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Old 09-01-2017, 08:12 AM   #11
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Remember, Plywood has a lot more holding power than lumbar. Using cedar may sound like a good idea, but it is a soft wood and does not have a real tight grain. If you have to cut plywood strips, try not to use CDX. use a good grain plywood. Also, try not to use wood screws. Sheet metal screws have a deeper thread on the shank than wood screws do. Only use the self tapping sheet metal screws on metal. Don't use them to attach wood to wood.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:34 AM   #12
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The two primary purposes of the cedar was: a water and mold resistant thermal barrier and to extend the rough interior another inch for a full three inches of foam.

It is not used structurally to hang cabinets or anything. I should have said that before, actually I thought I did. Anyway, anything of weight will go right through the plywood and cedar and into the a rib or ribs pending length or width of hanging item.

If the hanging piece width is odd or lands between ribs, I will be comfortable knowing it is attached to plywood as I dont plan to put 65lbs of sand, lead or propane tanks in my cabinets. Food, supplies, clothing, dry goods, maybe a bottle of window cleaner and WD40 would be about the heaviest load.

That is my plan.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:37 PM   #13
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My bus was purpose-built as a bookmobile by OSB and had a dozen bookshelves in it. Books are very heavy and bookmobiles are the company's specialty.

They don't screw anything to the floor. It was done like kitchen cabinets- They hung 3 horizontal studs on the wall into the ribs. Everything was screwed in to those. Cabinets rest on floor.

Bookshelves were laminated maple plywood- two 1/2" ply sides gives 1". Glued, screwed and pin nailed. 1/2" backs (this is thicker than traditional kitchen cabinets and a big part of the strength. Solid 3/4" maple strips cover unfinished edges.

Plywood is crazy strong when glued and screwed. Throw in a few rabbets and it is bombproof.

wall.jpg

I will post pictures of how they construct a wall- few good ideas.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:28 PM   #14
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Thank you Rusty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
My bus was purpose-built as a bookmobile by OSB and had a dozen bookshelves in it. Books are very heavy and bookmobiles are the company's specialty.

They don't screw anything to the floor. It was done like kitchen cabinets- They hung 3 horizontal studs on the wall into the ribs. Everything was screwed in to those. Cabinets rest on floor.

Bookshelves were laminated maple plywood- two 1/2" ply sides gives 1". Glued, screwed and pin nailed. 1/2" backs (this is thicker than traditional kitchen cabinets and a big part of the strength. Solid 3/4" maple strips cover unfinished edges.

Plywood is crazy strong when glued and screwed. Throw in a few rabbets and it is bombproof.

Attachment 15620


I will post pictures of how they construct a wall- few good ideas.
Thank you Rusty! It’s great to know how an experienced book mobile builder builds out their cabinetry.

I’ve pondered the approach to take, but haven’t yet examined the bus construction. I’d have thought that anything attached to the frame will move with it as it twists, so it seemed vertical anchor points rather than horizontal, would be best.

Go figure.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:39 PM   #15
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It’s really a good idea to have a good idea then you have the walls and ceiling opened up to put in blocks whhere you know you need to mount things.
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