Vanagon – rear shelf support

The interior cabinetry in my van is pretty tired. Don’t forget it’s from my old 82 Westy, I swapped it all into my 86 tin top syncro when I converted it to a camper. One of the more distressed parts is the rear overhead shelf. The laminate is cracked and the entire span was sagging. Doesn’t help that I carry and axe and other heavyish stuff up there.

So I cut some 1/8″ thick aluminum plate, drilled holes for screws and milled larger ones to reduce a bit of the weight and give it some visual interest. I also drilled a hole to mount one of my new led dimmer switches ( same as the ones I showed in recent post). That switch replaces one that was mounted to the wall. It controls the strip of led lights attached underneath the shelf, right at the rear edge. You can see the edge of the aluminum U channel that the strip is mounted in right below the new support.

I’ve used Robertson head sheet metal screws to attach the plate. I hate Robertson headed fasteners, yes it’s irrational, but I hate how they look. I didn’t have anything else on hand, but I’m thinking I’ll replace them with oval head Phillips machine screws with nuts on the inside.

Should I paint it? I don’t know. Maybe just some more rubbing with maroon scotchbrite and some wax.

  1. #1 by Paul on June 17, 2016 - 2:49 am

    Nice job “A”. Paul. (Westy in transition).

  2. #3 by Rik Tacoma on June 17, 2016 - 11:10 am

    Looks good , I wonder how that honeycomb material you used in your solar panel post would work for shelving. Probably a bit pricey if you had to buy a sheet.

    • #4 by albell on June 17, 2016 - 12:12 pm

      Hi Rik,

      Yeah the honeycomb would be great stuff to make all the cabinets. Very expensive though, you know that 🙂

      And a bit of a pain to work with. Edge treatment and fastenings need special techinques and inserts. It also not that dent resistant.

      I’ve only got odd shaped cut offs, so I’m just playing around with it. Got a couple more projects using it in the works.



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