Introduction: Campervan Under Bed Sliding Doors
The Campervan saga continues....
So far we have insulated the walls and roof, attached the ply panels insulated the floor and fitted the vinyl. Covered the metal work with veltrim, fitted the Bed and covers for the front seats to match the bed.
Left to do. Fit the cupboards, leisure battery, solar panel to charge the leisure battery, fixed cooker, and sink, LPG tank, sun roof over drivers/passengers area, fixed curtains.
So this instructable covers building sliding doors to go on the front of the rear seat/bed.
Step 1: Things to Consider - the Bed Mechanism
The Original plan was to build a 4 sided frame to completely cover the from of the bed frame (the fixed part not the pull out bed part). On Closer inspection the release mechanism for the pull out bed prevents this from being a viable option.
Plan B, build top and bottom rails inside the fixed bed frame, thing to remember is to account for the weld, simple solution to cut an angle off the corner of the bottom and top rails.
Step 2: Materials and Measuring
The Materials required depend on the location and requirements.
I was advised that there were places you could get pre made channels but I couldn't find any that would fit the space at a sensible cost.
Doors - from 3mm ply
Channels - 12mm x44mmx2400mm £1.49 from Wickes - With 5mm channels to accommodate the doors
The Measuring -
The gap from side to side was 76cm
2 x 12x44x76mm
The doors have an overlap and are 40cm wide which will easily cover the 76cm opening.
The Height of the doors needed a little more thinking. Top to bottom of the opening 24.3cm, with the channels in place the gap would be 21.9cm. I added 6 mm so the doors would sit in the channels nicely.
2 x 3x400x225mm
Step 3: Marking Out and Cutting the Channel Pieces
Cut the Corners off
So we have cut 2 lengths for the channel now we need to mark from the corner to 5mm down ones and cut off the corner at an angle as in the first picture. It needs to be done for the top and the bottom so the channels can sit flush with the top and bottom bed frame. - Check they fit and make any changes as needed. Sanding back if the fit is a bit tight.
Mark The Face of each channel
At this point choose which will be the top and which will be the bottom piece and mark the Front side of each. This step is important for measuring the channels, Always measure from the front.
Mark the Channels
Measuring from the front face I measure 5mm, 10mm Channel 1 then 15mm and 20mm Channel 2. Do this from the face several times down the length of the channel. Then join the lines up with a straight edge or ruler
Cut/Chisel the Channels
I had never made a sliding door before so found a video on youtube, however the channels are made with a power tool which I didn't have nor did I have the budget to purchase one. My Plan was to use a chisel to do it by hand, however I couldn't find one thin enough for the channel required. I did have a dremel hobby tool with some attachments, these were probably not the ones for the job but they got it done. A thin cutting disk and a stone like grinding one.
The pictures above are test pieces I used before going wild on the actual channels!
TIP: When using the dremel to cut out the channels you can add a couple of dots with a Light colour marker 5mm from the edge so when the disk is spinning you can make sure you don't got deeper than 5mm. Use the Grinding stone attachment to level and smooth off the bottom of the channel.
Step 4: The Doors
I measured and cut the doors at this point.
2 doors @ 225mm x 400mm x3mm
hold the doors and channels in place and make sure there is a smooth sliding motion. If the sliding is tight for the length of the channel you can sand down the doors, if there is a tight spot it suggests the channel itself isn't level and sanding down this will help.
It will take a couple of runs to get it right, it is better to do it 10 times and get it spot on than do it twice and take too much off and have to start again.
Simple Handles, find a small circle cutting bit for a drill, mark the centre point, top to bottom for the hole, drill the first hole a sensible distance from the edge, measure the distance and do the same on the other door.
Paint in your desired colour, undercoat/Prime if you feel the need, I did.
Just be careful not to apply too much paint as this will effect the fit and motion of the door. You may need to sand out the channels again if you have issues here.
Step 5: Double Check Its All Working and Attach
My Team doing a grand job of supervising from the side lines, a second pair of hands will make the final fitting a lot easier, the Dog will not! She likes to try and help.
The Nature of the channels means drilling is not possible to attach them.
Glue the channels top and bottom to the frame
Issues with option 1 - Removing the doors in the future will be a problem.
Glue a bracket the the channel and drill to the back side of the bed frame.