Fix or rebuild/replace cabinetry in pup?

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by Milemaker13, May 23, 2019.

  1. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    After working to get our N2U pup ready for camping I find that there is more minor water damage and general damage/wear on many of the cabinets... that coupled with the general low quality of the construction has me thinking about possibly replacing at least some of the wood.
    Many surfaces show swelling due to particle board absorbing moisture at some point. There are loose and/or stripped screws. Peeling wood- look stickers. All of the stuff many here are likely acquainted with.
    Has anyone replaced the cabinets? What did you use?
    Can I use something other than particle board, which is heavy and prone to water damage?
    Where can one find replacement particle board sheets, preferably with laminate surfaces pre-attached, suitable for pup use?
     
  2. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Avoid particle board! Stuff should have been outlawed years ago. Use plywood.
     
  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I would just do plywood, grade dwpends on what you plan to finish it with, stain or paint. Hell even cheaper grades of plywood stained will look cool and rustic. Depends on what you want it to be. I haven't replaced my cabinites, as they didnt have water damage. I would make sure that the camper is water tight before doing anything else to it.
     
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  4. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    I think my wife likes the bright white painted cabinets. That seems to be the popular choice of people remodeling the pups.
    Am i right in thinking that plywood is generally lighter that comparable particle board? Especially if I can use 1/2" in some places where 3/4" PB was used?
     
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Definitly the way to go , 1/2 ply is strong. And will not absorb the moisture. And so much lighter.
     
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  6. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    My current cabinets are made from 2x2 frames and covered with some hideous hardboard from the early 1990's. While it's not how I'd build a cabinet for the house, it makes them incredibly lightweight compared to 3/4" or 1/2" carcasses. Just throwing that in there in case weight is a concern for you, with the added benefit that a hardboard fascia would be easier to replace in the future if you ever wanted to upgrade the look.

    Obviously you'd not want faux-wood from the early 1990's, though.
     
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  7. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Most remodeled camper cabinets, I've seen, are just a simple frame skinned with luan. I screw/nail and glue any cabinetry for extra support.
     
  8. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    I think i would just be replacing the particle board w/ plywood. Some of my furniture is also constructed that way with very thin hardboard faces- while I guess I might replace it I would still use a similar material.
    Looking at specs online 3/4" particleboard weighs 92 lbs per sheet vs 45 lbs per sheet for 1/2 solid core sanded ply. Thats alot of weight savings!
     
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  9. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    I replaced several cabinets with 1/2 baltic birch plywood. Made them in the frameless/euro style with 32mm hole spacing. Between the soft close hinges and the adjustable shelves (and the wider openings) it is a tremendous upgrade

    Sure, its heavier than the glorified veneered cardboard stapled to the walls, but it hold shape, adds strength to the wall by having some structure, and is just so much nicer (I painted it white instead of worrying about edge banding)
     
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  10. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    Here's the first one I did - HUGE improvement over the narrow door by the wall

    IMG_0938.jpg
     
  11. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    This is what I plan to do, exactly, hopefully before the end of the season. Garage cabinets take priority, and I'm less worried about screwing those up.
     
  12. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    I ended up going to Ikea for garage cabinets when i realized that I couldn’t get the materials for the price of the cabs.

    Then I discovered that they are very respectable in quality and assembly is under 5 minutes for the carcass, assuming you use a nailer for the back panel instead of manually sinking 50 small nails.
    And the rail makes hanging and leveling a joke.
    And I’m a woodworker.


    But for the camper, nobody’s making those sizes anyways and maximizing every inch matters enough to justify a custom fit. It’s shocking how inefficient the stock setup is
     
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  13. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    I've actually quoted it out at Ikea using their online designer, but it comes out at about $3500. My BOM right now including 28 sheets of different plywoods, Blum hinges and runners, is about $2500. I'm trying to value my time at $0, or even as a learning opportunity. The thing that really puts me off of the Ikea system is that I can't stand their horrible, horrible drawers (I've got one as a closet built-in). But since I plan on building drawers anyway, I suppose I could do that with Ikea carcasses. I plan to hang whatever cabinets (Ikea or my own) on the French cleats I've been working on the last few weeks.

    Dang it! You have me second guessing myself again. Now I'm going to go back and price the Ikea system without drawers and pullouts! I won't say I hate you, but I almost do! :p
     
  14. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    Carcasses ONLY. All hardware was from elsewhere and I built the doors myself
     
  15. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    Ignore the mess :)

    126AA022-B31D-440B-BAB0-54EEE9192D2F.jpeg
     
  16. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    Frugal on the cabinets, and spending the money where it matters! Let me ask you this: what are the backs like? My built-in Billy shelves came with cardboard, and my built-in closet drawer base, I don't remember. Strong enough to support with my own French cleats? I went back to the designer, and I can do carcasses only for less than $900. Looking at my cutsheet, that saves 12 sheets of plywood at about 60 bucks each, plus the hassle of my own joinery, so, I'm strongly considering this.

    I'm kind of partial to Blum, and Ikea hardware is made by Blum, but I don't know if Ikea sells it separately.

    And just to stay on topic for this thread: hey, this discussion is training wheels for the OP's desire to build new cabinets!
     
  17. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    No dice on the backs - its a special "hook" that grabs their version of a French cleat. I'd use theirs instead, or if your cleats are already up (mine is just plywood strips ripped on a 45) just attach the Ikea cleat rail directly to your cleat

    The back is thin cardboard

    Although you could add a nailer strip if you wanted, but that starts to offset the benefit of buying over building
     
  18. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    30D4310E-1A85-4205-8359-99C878AAC006.jpeg

    Also, here’s the ikea connection (upper cab) (there is a cover of course)

    And yes, ikea does sell the Blum hardware separately but I found batter pricing on amazon on bulk.
     
  19. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    For the garage look for used cabinites. Unless this is a sticking point. Look for a habitat for humanity restore or check let go or crigslist. I found for better grade stuff an all wood cabinite place, the stuff isnt bad, i used it in my kitchenett. My garage i had some freebies someone was throwing out.
     
  20. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Kitchenett and garage. I paied about 1000 for the kitchen cabinites, all wood and a little more elaborate. Garage were free. Old but free . The price was right! 20190215_143124-2268x3024.jpg 20181205_103338.jpg
     

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