Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good Morning. Kind of stuck here and looking for advice.

Wiring complete and we are ready to move forward... Just not sure how.

- We need to build and install upper cabinets.
- We need to put up weathered planking on walls (maybe with light plywood behind).
- We need to install a ceiling that will be 1/4" plywood with attached spaced 1x3s.

We stare at it a lot and talk about it a lot, but need to actually get started. Looking at all the angles and protrusions and what should be done in what sequence. Can y'all point us to some detailed step by steps or offer advice?

Lower cabinets will go in after walls. Help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Good Morning. Kind of stuck here and looking for advice.

Wiring complete and we are ready to move forward... Just not sure how.

- We need to build and install upper cabinets.
- We need to put up weathered planking on walls (maybe with light plywood behind).
- We need to install a ceiling that will be 1/4" plywood with attached spaced 1x3s.

We stare at it a lot and talk about it a lot, but need to actually get started. Looking at all the angles and protrusions and what should be done in what sequence. Can y'all point us to some detailed step by steps or offer advice?

Lower cabinets will go in after walls. Help.

Al depends on your exact design. My cabinets are attached to both ceiling and walls, and thus needed to go in last.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,018 Posts
I installed my upper cabinets in place before any walls were up. That way I have access to the channels along the top of the walls to service the wiring. Those cabinets have no backs so the upper section of the walls is showing inside. I covered a bit of it with headliner fabric glued in but decided I preferred just the open backs. It is insulated in there of course. Doing the walls completely before installing the upper cabinets seems like a bad idea from access point of view. Removable cabinets with backs would be my second choice.
BTW I have added wires in them twice, once for the backup camera and another for lighting. I’m glad I did what I did.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,776 Posts
Typically upper cabs go in first over existing finished walls. I, however put both my uppers and base cabs in over the polyiso and then finished the walls. I put ¼" ply in the back of the uppers afterwards and nothing in the base one other than the closet. This is only one way (my preferred way) but others can and will legitimately disagree. Do it however it works best for you is the correct answer!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
"We need to put up weathered planking on walls (maybe with light plywood behind)."

That's an awful lot of weight and wasted space. Are you sure?
I agree. My son is making that decision and I cannot talk him out of it. The planked / plywood ceiling seems complicated and heavy as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Preliminary Design Ideas (PDI)

In the similar boat, read your post, took a nice nap and came up with this.
Do you know how tall your upper cabinets will be? How deep?
Suggest making a template of the wall curves for end caps and sectional dividers based on your cabinet height and depth concept.
On the drivers side, going the full length.
The plywood skin forming up the back of the cabinet will slide in from the back side for wiring changes, can be in sections to make it easier to slide in and out. Thanks for the idea RDinNHandAZ.
Face plate with door panels is built like a ladder (imagery) doors hinged on top with hold-em ups and lock-em down closed.
Cabinet bottom will be attached to the bottom of the face plate and a cleat on the back to the van.
Top of face plate will be attached to a cleat along the top to the van.
Construction concern in case of a crash, butted up against the front bulkhead to inhibit driver headache.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
In the similar boat, read your post, took a nice nap and came up with this.
Do you know how tall your upper cabinets will be? How deep?
Suggest making a template of the wall curves for end caps and sectional dividers based on your cabinet height and depth
On the drivers side, going the full length.
The plywood skin forming up the back of the cabinet will slide in from the back side for wiring changes, can be in sections to make it easier to slide in and out. Thanks for the idea RDinNHandAZ.
Face plate with door panels is built like a ladder (imagery) doors hinged on top with hold-em ups and lock-em closed.
Cabinet bottom will be attached to the bottom of the face plate and a cleat on the back to the van.
Top of face plate will be attached to a cleat along the top to the van.
Construction concern in case of a crash, butted up against the front bulkhead to inhibit driver headache.
I hope you had a good nap and thank you! Was thinking about 12x12 usable space for upper cabinets. Suggestions?

I like the removable backs to allow access as RDinHNandAZ suggests.

Will make them face frame type cabinets as suggested. Was thinking about 1/2" baltic birch as a material for the end caps, dividers, tops and bottoms. Son wants them painted so probably do the face frames, door frames out of birch, poplar or something low grain with a 1/4 birch pane in the doors. Input appreciated.

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
523 Posts
To make any future wire runs or changes in the walls, I'd put the wall panels/ceiling up after the cabinets. It makes removing the panels easier. I had to work with a 1.5 inch gap (all I could get without breaking the ceiling panel) when I ran a new wire. It was a bit of a pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
The main thing is to hurry up. At some point you just have to get the job done, there's nothing you can't redo or work around if you make decisions that turnout to be suboptimal. There are so many weird things to deal with that you won't be able to reasonably account for them all before you start building. The more you can plan ahead the better but once you start adding elements to the van it becomes much easier to visualize what you need to do next.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,018 Posts
For size I went with a face of 14 inches vertical and a base of 10 inches horizontal. Those are big enough to be useful but do not intrude into the living space too badly. My choice for height was dictated by having the upper interior panels and wanting to cover all the wall above them. They are all 1/2” birch hardwood plywood, glued and brad nailed and stronger than skunk spray! I did the cleats just like RobPromaster suggests. It worked great with the added benefit that I can unbolt the cleats and remove them in one piece if I ever get another 136” van.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
In the similar boat, read your post, took a nice nap and came up with this.
Do you know how tall your upper cabinets will be? How deep?
Suggest making a template of the wall curves for end caps and sectional dividers based on your cabinet height and depth concept.
On the drivers side, going the full length.
The plywood skin forming up the back of the cabinet will slide in from the back side for wiring changes, can be in sections to make it easier to slide in and out. Thanks for the idea RDinNHandAZ.
Face plate with door panels is built like a ladder (imagery) doors hinged on top with hold-em ups and lock-em down closed.
Cabinet bottom will be attached to the bottom of the face plate and a cleat on the back to the van.
Top of face plate will be attached to a cleat along the top to the van.
Construction concern in case of a crash, butted up against the front bulkhead to inhibit driver headache.
Thanks. I get what you are saying and certainly agree. The one thing that I am unclear on is your reference to cleats on top and bottom. Can you clarify what the cleats actually are and if they attach to the metal ribs of the PM?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
The main thing is to hurry up. At some point you just have to get the job done, there's nothing you can't redo or work around if you make decisions that turnout to be suboptimal. There are so many weird things to deal with that you won't be able to reasonably account for them all before you start building. The more you can plan ahead the better but once you start adding elements to the van it becomes much easier to visualize what you need to do next.
Good advice! Thanks. We have stared at it slack-jawed long enough. Just start up the saw and cut some panels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Your Build, Your Dime, Your Time, Make It Yours

I hope you had a good nap and thank you! Was thinking about 12x12 usable space for upper cabinets. Suggestions?

I like the removable backs to allow access as RDinHNandAZ suggests.

Will make them face frame type cabinets as suggested. Was thinking about 1/2" baltic birch as a material for the end caps, dividers, tops and bottoms. Son wants them painted so probably do the face frames, door frames out of birch, poplar or something low grain with a 1/4 birch pane in the doors. Input appreciated.

Thanks!
I brought covered totes last year to figure out what I needed, kept swapping bigger and smaller to get what was appropriate by category.
My biggest item for the cabinet is a helmet.

The main thing is to hurry up. At some point you just have to get the job done, there's nothing you can't redo or work around if you make decisions that turnout to be suboptimal. There are so many weird things to deal with that you won't be able to reasonably account for them all before you start building. The more you can plan ahead the better but once you start adding elements to the van it becomes much easier to visualize what you need to do next.
On second thought, one cannot rush quality.
Everyone must live their lives as they see fit.
Enjoy the work at your pace.
Thanks. I get what you are saying and certainly agree. The one thing that I am unclear on is your reference to cleats on top and bottom. Can you clarify what the cleats actually are and if they attach to the metal ribs of the PM?
Cleats run parallel to the cabinet but are connected at 90 degrees to the framing, makes it easy to remove cabinet.
Suggest spending time on youtoobe: upper cabinet builds, Sprinter, Promaster, etc.. You will get good at skimming.
Enjoy your work, it will be fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I brought covered totes last year to figure out what I needed, kept swapping bigger and smaller to get what was appropriate by category.
My biggest item for the cabinet is a helmet.


On second thought, one cannot rush quality.
Everyone must live their lives as they see fit.
Enjoy the work at your pace.

Cleats run parallel to the cabinet but are connected at 90 degrees to the framing, makes it easy to remove cabinet.
Suggest spending time on youtoobe: upper cabinet builds, Sprinter, Promaster, etc.. You will get good at skimming.
Enjoy your work, it will be fun.
Thanks. We have had a great time working the van so far! Great father son time!

I am a little dense on this one... When you say attach to the framing, are you talking about attaching the wooden cleat to the van metal ribs then screwing the cabinets into that? I appreciate your time and advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Jstack,
Suggest you look at the way RDinNHandAZ built his cabinets.
I like his plywood construction, economical use of materials, but not cheap.
Found a good post:
The construction is similar to Josh’s except the face and bottom is 1/2” hardwood plywood with the doors cut out instead of face frames. There is nothing wrong with Josh’s and Proeddie’s system. This is lighter, faster, and about as strong. I put the ceiling in after as there is very little to be gained by having it extend onto the cabinet.
The short answers:
Rivnuts about every three feet as the final cabinets are lightly loaded with clothes etc. The face of the cabinet runs beside the Trapazoid piece which is inside then it’s glued and brads.
The trapezoid piece started out as a 2X2 (1-1/2”) not 2X4 and butts up tp the foam block and then the plywood is coped to follow the foam at the front. There is no other front on the drivers side. There is a removable panel for access to the converter and wiring on the front bottom of the cabinet. I have used it many times to tweak the wiring, switches etc.
The cabinet faces are really held together by a liberal application of carpenter’s glue with brads to fix it while the glue drys. This is much stronger than the wood itself. The rivnutted pieces are inside the cabinets which have no backs and there is no 2X2 piece where the face and bottom meet just glue and brads. Internal framing is to be avoided! It was assembled in place with help from the Ms. and takes just a few minutes to assemble once the parts are test fitted. Wipe up the extra glue ASAP.
Give some thought to the position of the rive nuts as removing these cabinets can only be accomplished by removing the bolts. I did not put disconnects in the wiring in the cabinets as I was in a rush to leave but doing that I could remove 7 or 8 bolts and take the cabinets down. If I were doing it again the part of the cabinet that houses the electrical would be a separate section and be able to stay if all the others were taken out. Live and learn. In a 136 the driver’s side cabinet is almost exactly 10 feet so an 8 footer and a 2 footer would have made sense.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,018 Posts
Edited for emphasis.

Mine seem to satisfy all three?? Is that not allowed? Like KOV I have been a carpenter and cabinet builder for 50 years. I know all the ways/tricks/tools etc. I chose this way because they are STRONG (SKOOKUM), simple in design befitting a camper, waste almost no space or materials and yeas they are quick to build. I guess you can pick whichever two you want when speaking about my work, but I am happy with what I did and with minor tweeks would do it again. Everyone has an opinion as they say.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top