– (5) 30’’ wide hickory base cabinets
– (7) 30”x12’’x18’’ hickory wall cabinets
– (10) tube of construction adhesive
– (28) 3’’ torque screws
– (24) 2’’ torque screws
– (52) torque washers
-(1) box of 1 1/2” staples for air powered staple gun
-(6) 6” x 3/4” x 14′ tongue and groove paneling
-(4) 6” x 3/4” x 10′ tongue and groove paneling
-(2) 4′ x 1 1/2” x 8′ foam insulation board
– Tape measure, pencil, tri-square, level, chalk line, utility knife
– circular saw
– jig saw
– Air compressor , air hose
– Air powered staple gun
– two small hand clamps
Installing the upper and base cabinets was definitely the most rewarding renovation in the bus. The cabinetry is the most vital part in building a spacious home on wheels. Most of the money that I spent on this bus in rebuilding, was the price of the cabinets. I bought all Denver, Hickory cabinets, with the knotty and stressed look. Prior to buying the cabinets I spent many weeks fretting on the price, and what I was going to do. These cabinets are everything. They are what set off the look for everything to come. If I cheapened out on the cabinets, for one I would be dissatisfied, and the structural integrity would not be as pertinent.
In order to start hanging the upper cabinets I first had to install a few pieces of tongue and groove on the ceiling on both sides. If I had not done this earlier, it would have been very difficult to fasten them once the upper cabinets were hung. The first three runs on either side of the bus were very simple cuts. I measured, a marked, and cut the six pieces of tongue and groove. I smeared construction adhesive on the entire back of the boards and nailed them in with my staple gun, using the 1 1/2” staples.
Now that the tongue and groove is started on the ceiling, it makes it very easy to hang the upper cabinets, since the T & G is already level. The walls have already been earlier prepped and set plum for the upper and lower cabinetry. With my brother’s help we installed the upper cabinets in about two hours time. He’s the muscle, so he held the cabinets up with I drilled the backs into the 3/4” plywood backing with 3” torque screws and wide head washers. Once the backs were screwed I then set two 2” torque screws into each side of the cabinet edge, just inside the door. This was done to sturdy the cabinets in the front, keeping the look flush and seamless.
To remove any ugly gaps in the front of the cabinets, take the clamps and firmly seal the cabinets together while screwing them in. With My brother’s help, the upper cabinets were set in no time at all, with minimal increased stress!
After the upper cabinets were installed, I then cut the 1 1/2” thick styrofoam into the shape of the windows, to give insulation where there was not earlier. After the insulation was stuffed into the windows, I went ahead and cut up the 10′ sections of tongue and groove and installed them overtop the windows. Again, I used construction adhesive on each piece, and nailed them together with the air powered staple gun. By installing the tongue and groove before the base cabinets, I have allowed another level section to set the base cabinets to.
The hardest, trickiest part of the cabinet installation were the base cabinets. My wheel wells protrude through the floor, so this meant that I needed to alter the base cabinets. It seemed like a terrible thing to do, to cut up four out of five brand new base cabinets, but, it needed to be done.
I brought in one 30” base cabinet and lined it up against the partition bathroom wall. I marked the angle of the wheel well with the tri-square and a level. I pulled the cabinet back out of the bus and carefully cut the cabinet with a circular saw and jigsaw. Cutting the cabinet has decreased the structural integrity quite a deal; I will need to add extra support when fastening the cabinets together. I brought the cabinet back in the bus and dry fitted it into place. The angle of the cut was just right and fit flush and level. I continued the pattern for the next three cabinets and set them into place.
Once the base cabinets were all laying in their proper places I took 3” torque screws and fastened four in the back of each cabinet. With the bar clamps I pressed the faces of the cabinets together and predrilled four holes, two on either side of the cabinet. I then fastened the face of the cabinets together with 2” torque screws. I did not use construction adhesive while setting any of the cabinets for a very important reason. If a cabinet were to break or fall apart over time, I want to be able to safely remove and replace it without ripping off the wall plates or sides of connecting cabinets.
I placed the four-foot level across the top of the cabinets, making sure that everything was done correctly. Both sides of the bus are now lined wall to wall with upper and lower cabinets. I finished off the tongue and groove paneling on the wall between the upper and lower cabinets, and the wall
where the drop down eating table will be built and installed.
From here, I moved on to finishing off the rest of the tongue and groove work on the ceiling, and the molding around the skylight and fire escape. The rest of the ceiling was done the same way as the other pieces, with construction adhesive and 1 1/2” staples.