December 6, 2020

Yesterday’s bench frames became today’s fully fledged benches! In order to achieve this, we had to finish the parts of the wall that the frames were attached to.

3/16" plywood was cut to provide the “backing” of the compartments underneath and behind the bench storage. This was done to give the wall a more finished look as well as to protect the insulation from the contents that will be stowed.

Storage paneling

After securing the plywood panels via self drilling/tapping sheet metal screws , a strip of wood was fastened horizontally to the chassis by way of two bolts and more screws. This provided the lateral mounting points for our bench frames.

Lateral mounting strip for bench frames to be screwed to

Once frames were secured onto the horizontal mounting strip, we fashioned lids for the compartments.. or shall I say, the tops of the benches. These lids will open via hinges to provide ease of access to anything stored below.

To complete the bench seating area, we built a simple square seat insert that fitted snugly at the rear of the van. This too will have a hinged top so storage space is maximized.

Sitting in this area is reminiscent of sitting at a booth at a restaurant. Picture this: your hostess shows you to your U-shaped booth. You sit at one of the bench ends and scoot towards the bend to allow others to join you. It’s definitely a cozy fit. Furthermore, once we have the table installed, your dining experience will be complete.

“Wait, I thought this part of the build was entitled Benches / Bed. Where does the bed part come in?” To put it simply, the tabletop will have the ability to be lowered onto the gap between the benches, completing the surface area of a queen bed. With the limited real estate we are working with, it’s only natural that some of the spaces will serve double or triple duty. In this case, the rear of the van will serve the purposes of storage, lounging, dining, and sleeping.

DAY 8: Benches / Bed materials, cost, and install hours:

  • (2) 2"x2"x8' Strip wood: $2.48/ea., Home Depot
  • (1) 3/16" 4'x8' Plywood: $14.98, Home Depot
  • 6 hours of work

A work in progress / The story of a 2020 Ford Transit’s metamorphosis into a fully equipped conversion van / IG: TheMagnoMobile