I decided on high gloss grey panels as grey is a fairly fashionable colour at the moment (2020), its also a neutral colour meaning any colour will go with it and….it has no markings or patterns its also easy to match with aftermarket edging. What I found with the Grey laminate (its actually called Dust Grey) is that there is a perfectly matching iron-on laminate edging thats easy to buy and fit. I also planned to use some aluminium on the interior and thus the grey should work well together, well thats the plan, I wont know until I try it.
Below: The Dust Grey 15mm Lightweight Ply Board with matching iron-on edging strip. Both came from completely different suppliers. As you can see they are a perfect match.
Veneers Online Ltd, 34 The Avenue, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 1EW, United Kingdom.
First a word about boards and suppliers. It took 10 sheets of Lightweight ply to build all the furniture in this vehicle. Dont be tempted to use MDF, the weight difference is considerable, your van weight will increase significantly, overall you will use more fuel carrying it around every time you go out. 15mm Lightweight Ply is not cheap, good quality 8 X 4 Panels cost between £70 and £180 a panel depending on whether you buy double sided, the type of finish or the type of laminate.
Moreland Lightweight Ply https://shop.morlanduk.com/
Suppliers: Shop around, there arent many selling this type of ply. So select a company that gives its full address online and an office phone number. Be cautious of companies that only list their mobile number, if you have a problem they will likely avoid your call, some only answer when it suits them, not you.
Your Time Not Theirs: Plan carefully when you will need your ply, you will need to order in advance. Make sure you get a firm delivery date and a company that will stand by a date they provide. Shipping can be expensive you want to make sure you pay for a single trip if possible. (a supplier will charge £80 to £110 to ship a single 8 X 4 Sheet). If they cannot deliver on time, or are very vague, walk away. You may be able to do other jobs whilst waiting for your ply but eventually not having the materials can really mess-up your plans. It could mean your vehicle is not ready for a summer holiday. You have a lot of work to do after the ply is fitted so take note of this advice and get a firm date.
Below: having used my templates to cut the bathroom wall panels to size you can see below I then added aluminium edging. A word of caution about aluminium edging….. often it doesn’t fit the board or the boards dont fit in it….Yes, its listed as 15mm and the boards are listed as 15mm but in reality this isn’t possible. Bare Plywood boards are indeed 15mm but when you add the laminate this can become as much as 17.5mm overall (even higher). The aluminium may be listed as 15mm but its supposed to have a gap of 16mm. If your board is 15mm bare and the laminate is 1mm either side then the board will be 17mm minimum. Some laminates are thicker than others, some vehicle builders use special aluminium profiles that allow for thicker boards (17mm profiles not easily attainable). You may need to use a router to skim some of the laminate off the board in order to get them to fit the profiles, something that most suppliers omit telling you. I had to do this, my panels were not even close to fitting. However, a quick skim with a router and they slotted in nicely. Talk with your supplier, Moreland Ply for example do use a thinner laminate so ask around before you buy.
Unit 2, Buttington Cross Enterprise Park
Tel +44 (0)1938 551 980
Below: Preparing to reduce the thickness of the laminate at the edge so that the panel will press firmly into the aluminium profile.
Below: The Router cutter
Below: This is the underside of the cupboard. I am using a router (same cutting tool as shown above) to cut slots into the panel. These slots will be used to hold the aluminium lighting strips.
Below: A change of cutting tool. This is for the Knock-On Edging strips (T Trim) that run around the edge of some of the panels.
T Trim (Knock-On Trim)
Available from Clearcut Camper Design
28-29 Hele Manor Business Park,
Phone: 01271 373853