Building an Adventure Van

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Geek, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Dealing with the "Egg" shape again. :patch

    [​IMG]

    I was hoping the vertical plain would be close enough to vertical that it doesn't bug me.
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    It isn't and it does.

    I need to decide a solution.
    Do I step it in vertically as it goes up?
    Do I step it in horizontally at the edge of the door (cutting that beautiful 8 foot piece of curved 8020 seems like a crime)
    Do I shim the entire thing so that by the time it gets to the front it is over 3 inches?

    I think I'm going to have to sleep on it while I decide.. but not being vertical is definitely bugging me.

    :hmmmmm
  2. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    I'm building up to being brave enough to cut the countertops :D

    I cut this piece to replace the external table.
    Tapping the 8 holes into the sides of this will be a pain - my drill press doesn't spread wide enough so I'll have to do it by hand.
    It cuts nicely with the table saw.. just need to go slow.

    [​IMG]

    I need to run and buy a nice router bit for the edges... and figure out what radius I'm going to do the corners. I also need to pick up some wax and see how nice I can make it look.

    I'm going to make a cutting board out of the 17x9" piece I cut off of the end of this piece... similar to the one pictured here:
    [​IMG]

    ...thats assuming I can figure out how to make it look like I know what I'm doing :scratch
  3. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Four of the six windows will be here Wednesday. :thumb
  4. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    I can hardly wait to see you hacking into your van. Gotta be a scary thought.

    I know *I'D* be terrified!

    M
  5. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Started the morning with a bit of shopping.
    You know you are getting older when you are up by choice at 6am on a Saturday and waiting for them to open Home Depot :rofl

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    Grabbed a scrap piece of Paperstone to see how it routes (quite well)
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    grabbed that table sized square and routed the edges
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    drilled...
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    tapped...
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    hinged...
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    ...and waxed. The bees wax is the same thing they use to treat butcher block counter tops.
    In the time it took to listen to cartalk, I now have a matching counter top folding shelf ... er.. matching after I actually get the countertops done :rofl

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You might be thinking: "you already had a perfectly good shelf!" and you'd be right.. but the existing shelf rattled when I went over bumps (bad design on my part) and the amount of time it would have taken to re-build it was as much as this took - and this let me practice on the paperstone before cutting the big pieces (i.e. procrastination :D )
  6. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    So I went back down to play with the router some more.. to make the wine & cheese cutting board.

    Cut it to size, routed the edges
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    ...then remembered the grooves it had that made it look cool so decided to make some grooves and then beez wax the entire thing again

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    et Voila! a butchers board

    [​IMG]

    :hmmmmm
    It looks kinda cool with those grooves.. so sure enough I pulled the entire table apart again, routed some grooves into it, waxed it again, and put it back together

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Here I was trying to visualize what the countertop is going to look like. I'm not going to cut the grooves in the countertop.

    [​IMG]


    ...then Lemur Pilot dropped by (he has a Sprinter too) and we spent the next 5 hours running around like two excited little girls brainstorming&comparing notes with where we are headed with our van builds :freaky

    So that's all I got done for the day :D
  7. Keith

    Keith Slabbing it

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    Do you notice a difference in run time with the bigger 12V batteries I spy in the pic?
  8. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Maybe? Not sure because I tend to use it until I'm done and then put it back on charge so I don't run them down very often.

    If I worked with these tools daily I'm sure I'd know better.
  9. TooFast

    TooFast Long timer

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    Hoping you post lots of pics of the window installs
  10. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Will do :freaky
  11. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Haven't worked on the Sprinter today.. but it did keep $7000+ worth of mountabikes safe & secure while we had breakfast and then busted our arses at Hall Ranch :ricky

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  12. LemurPilot

    LemurPilot Nugget

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    Ed, I got fired up after that afternoon. Lots of new plans, especially the heater.
    I then realized I haven't posted pics of my stealth camper. So here goes:

    It has to be the sounds that go in first. I build a box a put the bass tube under the passenger seat. It gives passengers a new dimension in music.

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    I drilled out holes for the tweeters in the doors, it aims the treble right at the ears.

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    I went for this stuff because it holds out fires well, or in!

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    It cuts well and you can see I've put dynamat all over the place too. It really makes a difference.

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    Started building panels and building cabinets. I chose wood because that's what I'm used to.

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    Sort of finished. But after a few trips I decided I need more storage. I wanted to keep the CG low and not build up high but I'm gonna fold and build top cabinets. Solar is coming as well, I have one house battery and it's just not enough. So I'm gonna copy Ed's set-up.

    [​IMG]

    I thought the roof liner was going to be OK. It's terrible for insulation so I took the roof apart and foamed it green. Surprisingly easy and fun. It was cold when I did it, so I built an umbilical to my garage to keep the van warm. It helps the foam stick.

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    Drop cloths everywhere, this stuff is sticky.

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    Then trim of the drippy bits with a saw blade.

    [​IMG]
  13. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    I'd love it if you'd keep posting updates as you work mate.. it helps keep me inspired too :freaky

    I got my right overhead box started... dealing with "egg shape" issues again. Pics to come.
  14. papaduc

    papaduc Been here awhile

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    Geek and LemurPilot,
    You two are pissing my wife off something fierce.
    I don't own a Sprinter but my NV2500 has been on the receiving end of some of your ideas and inspiration.
    Keep posting your progress reports to help me keep my wife's blood pressure up.
  15. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Paul: I meant to ask you when you were over the other day; How do you deal with your length for sleeping?
    You are 6'2 or 6'3ish? Your bed would have to extend into the doorway for your feet not to hang off.

    I showed you how I built my cabinets with footwells so you can't tell the bed is longer than it looks...

    :freaky
  16. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Super Moderator

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    I love the lamp, and the tile backsplash! :D
  17. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    So I started to work on the passenger side overhead cabinet again.

    I was not happy with the not-vertical plane so I planned to step it in and keep all line parallel.
    Typical of working with the egg-shape of the van, you need to kind of guess at one or two measurements to get your starting point, and then build off of that cutting each piece to a custom length.

    This cabinet would be more of a challenge than the drivers side because with my choice to extend it into the door way mean that 3 sides would be visible and need to be finished.

    I put 4 rivnuts in the roof spar and built the face plate - this plate is to be square and parallel with the other side so at least one of its dimensions are pre defined.. but it turns out my guess on the other was wrong - more on that to come
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    Standing in the back looking forward.. deciding if I'm happy with the spacing/width/feel. You can see that "sloped" piece that I'd stuck in last week that I don't like in the doorway
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    I removed the sloped structure and had a starting point
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    Framed out the new door piece
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    ..and started playing with fit
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    If you compare the photo above with this photo you might see just a little bit of a twist in the structure (hard to tell with lens distortion
    [​IMG]

    ...sure enough, my initial guess on vertical measurement didn't take into account the twist in the rail that is fastened to the side of the van - and I ended up a few millimeters too long - so the entire thing has a twist.

    [​IMG]

    I get to take the entire thing apart again, take a few millimeters off of the vertical lengths, re-tap those pieces, and then reassemble the entire thing again.

    :doh
  18. Giggity

    Giggity ..........

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    When will this Sprinter Build Off be airing on Discovery? :lol3
  19. FreeTheBeast

    FreeTheBeast Shunpiker

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    Hey Geek,

    I want to build a high cabinet with 80/20. I have downloaded the 80/20 catalogue. There is a LOT of stuff in there. Since your solution looks nice and simple...and effective...would you be willing to share your parts list? All I want to do is a 36" wide enclosed cabinet up behind the driver's seat. I'll make it big enough to stow a helmet and other random crap.

    How did you fit the cabinet doors? There's only one groove. Do the doors slot in the groove opposite ways?

    Thanks a lot.
  20. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    I've no idea the part numbers.. I just buy sticks and cut them how I want them. The catalogue is a bit confusing at first.. but spend some time learning what the numbers mean and you can figure out what you want easily.

    Try their ebay store - that's where I ordered most of mine from.

    I'm using 15 series - LS finish (light and smooth).
    The curved corner knobs are like part number 4242 or something (don't quote me on that) they were $22 each.

    They actually have sliding door tracks that fit in the 8020 channel and then have the 3 grooves in them. I posted details back in this thread when I built them.

    :freaky