Building The Framework For A Bedbase, Kitchen, Cupboards In A Sprinter Van

I have taken a different approach to framework mostly in the interests of reducing weight. Generally both the strength and form of the framework is achieved with panels of plywood.

I generally used 15mm plywood for the bedbase, and 12mm elsewhere. All other framework was Tasmanian Oak.

All wood was sanded well to prevent splinters then a coat of danish oil applied.

Before I show you the general framework take a look at how blind threaded inserts hold it all together.

Base for the bed

35x35mm pieces were bolted to each side of the van. On the sliding door side this would support the bed slats. On the other side it would support the cupboards. In the middle is a main panel where the cupboards and bed slats meet.

On the sliding door side there was a gentle curve so note that I added a nylon spacer between the piece and the chassis.

All cuts were made with a circular saw and clamping down the cut line.

For the main panel cutouts were marked with a ruler and a can to get the arc.

I then drilled a pilot hole then cut out with the jigsaw.

The panel was then sanded and oiled then the panel that runs width ways was constructed.

Putting it all together.

The pieces that touch the floor were laid upon a bed of butyl rubber to prevent abrasion of the metal. A support piece was added which was bolted into the cargo restraint point (bracket between support piece and panel not shown in the pic above).

Slats were cut to size and sanded. I screwed in spacers so the slats would stay in place.

Some cheap foam was laid as floor for the underbed storage area.

One large panel was fitted to seperate the cupboard/bed area and the kitchen. The curve and detail was estimated and adjustments made until it fit.

It didn’t need to be highly accurate as the insulation and trim work would hide any inaccuracies.


The cupboards beside is faced with a 12mm plywood panel with door cutouts. This provides most of the strength of the unit.

The panel was painted before installation.

Two vertical pieces and two shelves were screwed together to the face.

The photo above shows the brackets securing the shelves. For each cupboard a pair of wooden blocks was screwed so that hinges could be mounted.

Now it was time to work on the upper cupboard. This consists of three doors and room for the van’s control panel. I regret not cutting the control panel out to begin with as I ended up doing this after the cupboard was installed.

Blocks were screwed into the top so that hinges could be mounted.

The overhead cupboards attach to the crossmembers in two places and supported by the cupboards underneath.

Cupboards now attached, painted, and ready for some cupboard doors. Ready for a bit of trim work with some nice Tasmanian Blackwood.

The end of the unit was decorated with an old comic book.

Then small shelves were added.


The kitchen cupboards consists of a bottom level which houses Willow’s kitty litter and chill out zone. A small ‘cat flap’ allows Willow to enter and the larger opening is for daily servicing. The top level has a pull down door.

The kitchen bench was made out of 18mm acacia panel from Bunnings. To achieve the look of a thicker bench about 100mm of the edge was doubled up by gluing, clamping, then screwing in place.

After the glue dried the bench was sanded and shaped.

A hole was cut out for the sink and also the tap.

A splashback was built with compartments for cuttlery.

There is plenty of storage for condiments and spices.

Last minute idea of cutting a hole for utensils.

Before the bench was attached I decorated a 9mm ply panel for the back decoupage style. The same was done to the side panel.

The kitchen cupboard was built with the same technique as the main cupboards in the back.

Here is the cupboard after the trim work has been attached. The two strips extending down form the rangehood.

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