(Almost) Finished Rear Cabinets

Again another weekend of progress, It’s amazing how much you can actually get done when dedicating two full days to a build, at the same time however “haste makes waste” was definitely the theme of the weekend with one part cut incorrectly no less than 5 times.

Saturday saw the test fitting of the kitchen cabinets with the bench top. The back of the cabinets forms the dividing wall between the kitchen and the sleeping area and meets the curve roof at the top which requires the top of this panel to be cut to meet the roof profile.

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At this point the bench mounts haven’t yet been glued to the underside of the bench and so clamps are required to stop the assembly rolling forward.

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On the inside the base for the interior cupboards then got inserted into the router slot in the back of the dividing  wall, braces were needed to support everything whilst trying to get it level.

Looking underneath the base you can see where the dividing wall meets the bench (joint held together with blue tape) and then the lower dividing wall (hinged) under the bench for the mattress to slide in and out of.

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Currently there are slight gaps between the hinged portion of the wall and the outer walls / floor. This is so the hinged section can be opened regardless of any distortion of the walls / floor. A trim section will be put in here to help seal these gaps from the inside.

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With the flap open there is a decent amount of room for the mattress to slide in and out, this will also help with cleaning.

After stuffing around with trying to get the interior shelf base in the right place and getting everything square it became apparent that more glue up of the already cut components would be required to make a decent job of the next components (read 5 pieces incorrectly cut because things kept moving)

To that end attention turned back to the front cabinets with the fitting of the cabinet doors as well as some cleanup and sanding

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Final task for Saturday was to glue up as much as possible of the rear cabinets for further work Sunday.

Theres a saying “If you can’t tie knots, tie lots” same goes for when needing to substitute tape for clamps, use lots.

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Sunday saw more success with less wind and no rain. Front shot below showing final state of the front after finishing up on Saturday, both doors fitted with knobs attached.

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First stop on Sunday was to fit the rear cabinet assemble back in. The kitchen cupboards are now fixed to the bench with trim pieces installed.

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After that the base for the rear interior cupboards was refitted and given that everything was more solid now it was a lot easier to start building up the walls of these cupboards

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The walls of the cupboards need to match the side profile of the caravan walls given they will be meeting the roof. A flush trim bit on a laminate router was used to get the outside pieces right before they were then used to get the inside pieces right.

Two shelves were then cut to fit in the side cabinets, Aside from a box to house the wiring and fuses for the power, the middle section will remain full height at the moment. I was thinking that it may be useful to drill a series of holes in the walls allowing pegs to be inserted for a removable shelf but we’ll see.

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Shot from the door showing finished (apart from glue up and doors) rear cabinets

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Looking at the week ahead the next challenge will be finding a time to glue all this up. Whilst it won’t be a long job the recent cold snap has made temperatures plummet well below the 8 degree C chalk temperature of the glue that I’m using. This morning for example the car registered an exterior temp of 2 degrees C which is going to cause issues if it doesn’t get warmer.

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Rear Cabinets and Door cutout

Made much progress this last weekend. I think one more weekend should see the cabinetry finished making building the roof a not too distant task.

Cutting the door out was a pretty fun exercise. Firstly had to attempt to work out the placement and size of the hole, there was a bit of fiddling around here as at this point the location of the rear cabinets hadn’t been fully determined and we ideally wanted the door in the middle of the front and rear sets.

Got that figures out eventually and after marking out the dimensions it was time to start cutting out the opening. Corners were done using a laminate trimmer with a radius guide and worked better than expected.

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Two corners and the top of the door cut out

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Finally a completed cut. Given that the entire sheet was 18 mm thick it took a few passes at each cut to make it all the way through.

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This was the final state of affairs on Saturday evening. Door cut, front cabinets finished bar two little cabinet doors and several pieces of the rear cabinet (not in shot) glued and ready for further assembly on Sunday.

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Fist job on Sunday was mounting the kitchen bench.

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We took a slightly different approach here and decided to hinge the dividing wall between the kitchen and the sleeping area to allow a mattress to be slid in and out.

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The rest of the day was spent making more parts of the rear cabinets (below glued and drying). These will hopefully be mounted to the read bench assembly tonight.

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Many clamps are useful for this project,  not only to hold glued parts but also gluey plans

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Front Cabinets

After at least three weekends of no action on the Teardrop there was a decent desire to actually get something done. To that end both Saturday and Sunday of this past weekend were dedicated to the cause.

The next step in construction was going to be building both the front and rear shelving units given that both these need to be complete with some parts varnished before the roof goes on. These units are built out of 12 and 18mm Paulownia plywood to save weight.

First step then was to purchase a sheet of 18mm MDF and mount the larger router upside down on it. Given that most of the joints are shouldered dados it made sense to create a jig which would allow us to rip a 6mm square section out of one end of one piece of the joint to create the tongue whilst a 6mm router bit in a laminate trimmer with guide allowed us to create the dados in the other.

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The fence at the back is designed to angle in and out to allow different cut depths, the handy black depth gauge at the back of the show made it really easy to get both the height of the router as well as the angle of the guide set to get the desired cut

From here it was a case of interpreting the intent of the imperial plans and converting that to work with the metric materials. Pieces were cut and test fitted to build up the cabinetry, then assembled into smaller sub assemblies before all being glued up together at the end of the day.

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Front shelving at end of Saturday

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Front shelving sub unit mid-day Sunday

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Front shelving end of Sunday

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Rear shelving ready for glue-up

There are a few more pieces that need two be glued onto the front set of shelves and then that will be finished. I’m hoping to be able to get those on this week and then start gluing up the rear shelves next weekend. Initially there was a bit of a learning curve when it came to working out where to cut all the joints to not only hide the ends of the dados but also end up with a strong joint but hopefully cutting our teeth on the less complex front unit will put us in a good position to tackle the rear unit.