Rethinking the Van Part 9 – Building the New Kitchen


I’d um’d and ah’d about the finer points of the kitchen and tried out several designs for the all in one ‘module’ but I was still slightly undecided. There were a few minor issues that needed addressing such as how much room the fridge would take up and how I was going to join the corners to make the thing solid.

I decided on using 75mm screws to fix the joins and I steered away from making 45 degree angles on the beams for a few reasons. Firstly, having an angled frame would have made it difficult to join the additional supporting beams (it’s a 3D structure) and secondly, I’m not a carpenter – especially Karen Carpenter. I don’t even look like her.


A Carpenter I am not. Well, she is, but I'm not. Oh never mind.



I decided to make the end pieces first; two rectangle frames that would give me a solid base to work from when adding the rest of the beams in.

My list of materials comprised of:

  • 75mm screws
  • PVA glue
  • My Bosch battery operated drill (24v)
  • L brackets
  • 2 struts (the width of the kitchen)
  • 5 legs
  • 5 short struts (the depth of the frame)


The end pieces were made from 2 legs and 2 short struts each; the latter fitting on the ends of the legs giving the frame a total extra height of 90mm. I drilled pilot holes for the 75mm screws (2 in each end), dabbed a load of PVA on, lined up the sections and screwed them together. It took about an hour to make the end frames which I then joined together with the two wide struts.

I fixed the wide struts in place with the L brackets and then held them with a single 75mm screw. While the glue was setting I prepared the drawers; a set of pine bedroom drawers which I cut the top and base off leaving only the sides with the rails fitted to.

I fixed the work surface in place and used the 75mm screws to hold it; screwing up through the frame. I then flipped it over to fit the drawers which I hald in place with some shorter screws and a couple of L brackets.

With the surface fitted and drawers in place the kitchen was pretty solid and could be stored until I was ready to fit it.

The next article is a gallery of the kitchen being built so you can see the whole process in support of this article.

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