15. Build Tips and Tool

This post will have a list of all the tools you need to build your van.  These will be practical tools.  Not high prices tools as if your going into full van production.   The tools you need, and at the bottom of the page the videos on how to use them!

Safety Glasses  – These are excellent safety glasses, with 1.5 power lenses at the bottom.  Light weight and comfortable, sometimes I forget I have them on.

Trim Removal tools  These tools will be used when removing the headliner to install insulation.

Rivnut tool –  The Rivnut tool will be used for installing wall panels, cabinets, and even the flooring.

Drill stops–    You don’t want to accidentally push to far through a frame rib and dent the outside of the van.  Using a drill stop, and the method I show you in the video at the end of this page – will ensure this doesn’t happen.

Framing Square–  Several squares and metal rulers are needed when building the van.  Using the rulers metal edge as a straight edge to cut cardboard, and ensuring your cabinet walls are at 90 degrees.  A small combination square is very useful.

Combination Square –  The big framing square is excellent for a straight edge, but the small combination square is even more useful!  From measuring and drawing straight lines, to quickly ensuring things are level, the combination square is a key tool.

Bar clamps – You will need lots of bar clamps to build your cabinets, the bike drawer slide and the pull out table.

Drill Bits What can I say, you need a hole you need a drill bit.  But there are several types you will need.  Standard metal and wood pits will be used most often.  You will also need a hole saw set, to drill though the floor for the sink drain and other plumbing.   A Forstner Bit Set will be used for the composting toilet and any place you need a flat bottom hole.

Pocket hole Jig You will need a pocket hole jig.  I till be used for cabinets, drawers slides, and the shower walls.  Anyplace that two half inch or thicker pieces of wood need to be joined will need the pocket hole jig!

Pex Cinch tool + Pipe Cutter  This tool will be used to install all of your plumbing.  The cutter is excellent, makes slicing through PEX easy!

Ferrule Crimping Tool Kit Ferrules are used to keep wire strands together.  This tool is used to put a ferrule on then end of a wire.  This insures that when you are installing wires into your solar charge controller, or other electrical devices there are no stray strands shorting out.

Heat Gun  The heat gun will be used to shrink heat shrink tubing around electrical wires, and electrical lugs.   It will also be used to shrink clear tubing over wire labels.

Wire strippers  Wire strippers, you will need a general purpose wire stripper.  You can get more specialized, auto strippers or strippers for specific wire and cable, but once you learn to use the standard wire stripping its all you will need.

Cable Cutters  – You will also need cable cutters to make a clean cut of thick wire like 2/0 gauge.

Crimpers You need a crimping tool for heat shrink electrical connects like ring terminals and spade connectors.

Hammer Crimper  – The hammer crimper will be used to put lugs on all your electrical cables.

Heat shrink tubing Heat shrink tubing has many applications.  Used to protect and provide a neat professional look to electrical cables.   Also used to protect wiring labels.  Using clear heat shrink and label from a label maker you can create durable labels for all of your electrical connections.

Edge banding trimmer  This trimmer will be used when you apply edge banding to the drawer slides.

Dowel Center –  These will be used to join pieces of wood together when building the drawers slides and cabinets.   You will also need a dowel center jig.   You can buy one, or follow the directions in the video below and make your own.

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