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Old 01-19-2020, 12:52 AM   #1
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Materials for Cabinets

Howdy!


Almost to the point of building the kitchen cabinets and other overhead storage along the bus. I figure that, between removing the old wheelchair lift, the benches, and having a fraction of the human weight in the bus as before, I have some leeway with weight. However, I don;t want to add unnecessary weight to the bus-especially since I will be adding large water tanks, extra fuel tank, and carrying things like batteries, kitchen appliances, etc.


So what do you all use for making cabinets? 3/4" plywood seems like really heavy stuff, so I figure what: 1/2" for the cabinets up top, with maybe 3/4 for the kitchen counter and sides?


Is there anything lighter but still strong, that doesn't cost a ridiculous amount of money?



There was a material mentioned here (Dekton I think it was) which is supposedly very strong and very light. However, the prices are pretty high at $10 for a 4 square inch sample!!!


I've seen some people make a sandwich of luaun and foam, but that seems like a PIA that may not hold up long term.


Any advice or suggestions?


Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:25 AM   #2
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One more thing:


I'm using thin plywood (5mm) to skin the walls and do a wainscotting. I'm thinking of 1/4" strips of plywood screwed and liquid nailed to the metal so that I can then glue and brad-nail the 5mm to that, as well as the chair rail and baseboard.



I guess I can skip the plywood strip, but then I'd have to screw the 5mm directly onto the metal, and that would present the problem of protruding screw heads-since I can't countersink into 5mm.



For the wiring I am thinking of running it through exposed copper tubing like a retrofitted Victorian boat or train. Kind of want a steampunk train/boat submarine feeling. If I can find some old style light switches, I'll use those.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:56 AM   #3
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I'm planning on running 1/2" thick furring strips front-to-back to attach my 5mm luan to. I'm thinking of using a method like this:

attachmentmethod1.png

(the furring strip is yellow, the ribs and outer skin of the bus are blue, the luan is green and the XPS foam is pink). I would drive nails or some flatter connector from the back of the furring strip at an angle, then the protruding parts would be bent straight, the strip fitted onto the ribs and welded in place (where the "w"s are). My luan will then be screwed into the furring strips (I don't mind exposed fasteners and I want anything I put up to be easily removable so glue is out) but you could also use brads here.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
One more thing:


I'm using thin plywood (5mm) to skin the walls and do a wainscotting. I'm thinking of 1/4" strips of plywood screwed and liquid nailed to the metal so that I can then glue and brad-nail the 5mm to that, as well as the chair rail and baseboard.



I guess I can skip the plywood strip, but then I'd have to screw the 5mm directly onto the metal, and that would present the problem of protruding screw heads-since I can't countersink into 5mm.



For the wiring I am thinking of running it through exposed copper tubing like a retrofitted Victorian boat or train. Kind of want a steampunk train/boat submarine feeling. If I can find some old style light switches, I'll use those.

We used self-tapping sheet metal screws to attach 5mm luan directly to the ribs, then attached beadboard to the luan with construction adhesive and finish nails. Had I known about them at the time, I would have used flathead self-tappers and they should have countersunk into the luan by force. As it happened, though, I used hex head self tappers and then I used a forstner bit to make a recess in the back of the beadboard where the bolt heads meet the back of the beadboard. I think it was in 2 or 3 places on each rib, so not a big deal. It only takes a minute to make the recesses for the bolt heads.


We had the same though for running our wiring, but decided to go with regular EMT conduit and we painted it a kind of metallic charcoal grey. I like the look of the exposed conduit and it's so easy to run the electric that way.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
One more thing:


I'm using thin plywood (5mm) to skin the walls and do a wainscotting. I'm thinking of 1/4" strips of plywood screwed and liquid nailed to the metal so that I can then glue and brad-nail the 5mm to that, as well as the chair rail and baseboard.

I guess I can skip the plywood strip, but then I'd have to screw the 5mm directly onto the metal, and that would present the problem of protruding screw heads-since I can't countersink into 5mm.

For the wiring I am thinking of running it through exposed copper tubing like a retrofitted Victorian boat or train. Kind of want a steampunk train/boat submarine feeling. If I can find some old style light switches, I'll use those.
If you're going to have metal showing decoratively anyway...

They make decorative washers that will hold the screwhead. Instead of being flat, the washer is more '3D' (as thick as the countersunk depth) These will create a smooth look and feel while protruding a wee bit from the plywood.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:51 AM   #6
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Howdy!
So what do you all use for making cabinets? 3/4" plywood seems like really heavy stuff, so I figure what: 1/2" for the cabinets up top, with maybe 3/4 for the kitchen counter and sides?
Personally I would use CDX on the cabinets would be strong enough but might bow and warp easier. It really depends on how much inner support you have inside your cabinets and how far the plywood will span. would be more solid and you would not have to worry as much.
I have seen stuff be pretty shabby and get weird when it spans more then 18” or has any kind of weight stacked on it.

I think CDX plywood will give you the biggest bang for your $.

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Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
I'm using thin plywood (5mm) to skin the walls and do a wainscotting. I'm thinking of 1/4" strips of plywood screwed and liquid nailed to the metal so that I can then glue and brad-nail the 5mm to that, as well as the chair rail and baseboard.
I used self tapping screws to stick my furring strips to the metal bus framing it worked well.
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:25 PM   #7
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Those are great ideas!

Thank you!


I think I'll stick with the strips of 1/2" with the luaun over it, though the decorative washers is a nice idea as well.



So the cabinets will be 3/4" then. Don't want warping or shabby nonsense!

I recall the travel trailer I had used particle board for the cabinets, which is heavier than plywood, and is also pure crap. I'd rather have a solid build, even if it means a little more weight.


Again, thank you!
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
Those are great ideas!

Thank you!


I think I'll stick with the strips of 1/2" with the luaun over it, though the decorative washers is a nice idea as well.



So the cabinets will be 3/4" then. Don't want warping or shabby nonsense!

I recall the travel trailer I had used particle board for the cabinets, which is heavier than plywood, and is also pure crap. I'd rather have a solid build, even if it means a little more weight.


Again, thank you!

I think that's a good plan. One of the reasons we decided on doing our own conversion vs. buying an RV is the cheapness of the materials in all of the RVs we saw. I don't think it would add much more weight using 3/4" vs. 1/2, and you can get some nice birch faced plywood that's got a smooth surface that can be stained or painted equally well. It costs a little more, but in the grand scheme not all that much.
If you don't have, or aren't familiar with, a Kreg (pockethole) jig then you should check it out. It saved us a TON of time in fabricating cabinetry and furniture for the bus. Dead simple to use and makes a nice strong joint.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:43 PM   #9
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So the cabinets will be 3/4" then. Don't want warping or shabby nonsense!
I used a bunch of 3/4" plywood for my bus, one lumber yard had CDX it was ok another yard had some ACX for about the same price the finish on the ACX is nicer.

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I think that's a good plan. One of the reasons we decided on doing our own conversion vs. buying an RV is the cheapness of the materials in all of the RVs we saw.
A few months ago my wife and I stopped at a RV place to look around and possibly get some ideas. I was shocked at the cheapness of the RV cabinets ! They were the cheapest particle board with vinyl wood grain stickers pasted on the outsides. A toddler left alone could probably rip the entire place apart.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:31 AM   #10
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Yeah, RVs are built so cheaply it's truly astonishing. The only ones I've seen built solidly are Super-Cs and some of the Sprinter ones.
Funny, I bought one of those Kreg pockethole contraption jigs yesterday.
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