After a total of around 10 weeks of trial travels in the van we are still running into things that could be changed to a more comfortable life in the van. One on these things is the “corner couch”. This is a really nice feature when you are driving the van with more than two people, but on our trip this couch takes a lot of precious space. The Westfalia interior is very closed off, there is no way to see what is in the spice rack or in the cabinets. The idea is to remove the couch and spice rack to replace it with a more open spice rack and a food cabinet with baskets.
First I had to come up with a design fitting to the situation that could be build with leftover wood. One important point is that the table needs to be able to swiffle to its original position. Below you can see the final drawing and here the PDF with all the parts: STORAGE.
Designing and drawing is the easy part, I kept in mind that it would take me around 2 days to finish this little project, it took me a bit longer. The first thing I made were the sides of the rack and the cabinet. I created the sides to match the curves of the van, After the sides had the right shape I cut out the slides to fit the 30×11 slads.
With all the slads cut to the right lengts they can be assembeled.
With both the cabinet as the spicerack glued together it all starts to come together.
With the rack and the cabinet done, the focus is on the baskets that need to go into the cabinet. These baskets will carry our food when we are on the road. Back to cutting 30x11mm pieces and a couple of 75×11 pieces to create the upper sides of the baskets. All the sides had to be cut with a big drill saw to create a curve in the design.
A mold has to be made because all the mittered pieces are really hard to hold together while glueing and stappling them together with just two hands.
After every basket I got better at the whole proces of securing the pieces in the mold, glueing, stabilizing and stappling. Cutting and mounting the bottoms of the baskets, finishing them to be ready for sanding and, picking a color to stain the wood.
A dark Oak finish is the prefered color to match the interior of the van, it gives an older look and has a comfy feeling to it. Sanding all the corners on the slads is a lot of work but worth it to so that they ar smooth. FInally the whole thing is ready for staining, another first for me!
The final result ladies and gentleman is exactly what I wanted it to be. I am really happy how it turned out. If anybody is intrested in making the same cabinet and rack please let me know and I will send you the drawings in PDF or DWG.