Designing the Van Part 9 – Building the Kitchen Frame

The back end of the van was taking shape; I’d got the frame in place for the seating area and the bed frame was also made and ready to be fitted. The next phase was to make a skeleton for the kitchen area that would encompass the sink, taps, fridge, drawer space, water heater and the waste water and clean water tanks.

It was a tricky situation because I had to make allowances for the different components which needed to be installed before the kitchen unit could be fixed in place; components which required holes cutting in the side of the van.

The Cascade II water heater (which I’ll cover in another article) needed to be raised as the wiring and plumbing are on the bottom of the unit. It also has to fit through the body as the exhaust sits on the outside of the van under a very neat grill so careful measurement was needed here.

The frame had to support a 40mm thick solid oak work surface and the kind of heavy old ceramic sink associated with school science labs as well as the weight of the drawers, but it also had to be done in a way that allowed the gas and water plumbing to be made easily accessible. In short, the kitchen was a conundrum.

I knew the overall dimensions which gave me something to work to so I decided to make the left part for the sink which would sit directly above the fridge while the right would house the drawers, water tanks and water heater.

I used the same 25mm x 25mm timber as the seating area for this frame and made the top a complete rectangle while the sides and inner piece were made of rectangles placed at 90 degrees to the top to allow the fridge and other components to fit tidily within.

Once that had been temporarily placed in its intended home I could measure the inner van walls for the heater, fridge exhaust and the water system before stowing the frame and eyeing up the next job – fitting the kitchen window.

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