Designing the Van Part 2 – Finishing the Kitchen

After the slog of fitting everything in the kitchen all that remained was the job of tidying everything up, fitting a door for the water tanks, a cover panel under the sink and oiling the work surface. My plumbing had been a great success and I ran a few more successful leak tests to be safe. I mean successful as in, ‘no leaks’, not successful in the ‘I’ve successfully conjured some leaks’ way.

I thought it best to oil the work surface first as it needed protection from water and other food related things which might leave a stain. I invested in a sheet of emery cloth, a very fine sand paper which gently removes surface marks and bumps, then set to sanding the top.

It took about half an hour to prepare the surface which I then dusted to make it absolutely clean before dabbing the protective oil on a cloth, virtually massaging it into the wood. Ooo er…

I took my time over it, a little extra time invested at that stage would mean prolonged life for our kitchen and that was something I felt was important. The work top needed 24 hours to dry so while that was happening I set about making the folding door which would hide the water tanks and give access to them.

Among the salvage from the disastrous ‘Red Bus’ were some green doors and these provided the base for my kitchen unit door. In ‘Reddy’ they’d been overhead cupboard doors so converting them wouldn’t take too much work.

I wanted them hinged in the middle so that they took up less space when open, that being at a premium in the back of a former panel van. I cut them to size with my now tired jigsaw (it was complaining about an aching back but as it didn’t provide a doctor’s note I couldn’t let it have time off) and placed them on the floor, bottoms against the wall, to make sure they remained aligned while screwing in the hinges.

I used magnetic clasps to hold it shut and screwed them into the frame, making sure they lined up on the door, then fixed it all in place. The door worked fine and did exactly what I required. Having been painted before it didn’t need any more work so I closed it and got to cutting the cover panel which would sit above the fridge and hide the plumbing.

I used 5mm ply board, cut it to size and screwed it in place. I would paint it later as we hadn’t decided on a colour scheme yet.

The kitchen was looking good and with that now all but complete I could move onto wiring in the electrics.

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