Multi-Use Cabinet Drawings

Drawings for the multi purpose cabinet at the side doors of the van are based on a general theme, as reflected in the adjoining image. Many of the features will be incorporated in all of the remaining cabinets and closets.

The color theme is a reddish cherry with dark gray decorations. Some of the doors and fronts will have a recurring ribbed vertical spacer, with a red cherry knob at the top. The horizontal gray spacer will be used at several locations to offset the dominant red cherry. The multi-use cabinet incorporates the feet and the subtle rounding at the bottom and the top surface.

12Clicking the image on the left shows the cabinet drawings at the side door. On the back the cabinet is extended downward into the step-up cove.



The side view shows the open front legs and the top access to the cooktop (A). Space on both sides of the drawers is sufficient to accommodate the propane gas line, that will exit through the floor to the storage tank underneath the car, that will supply the cooktop and the heater. A 110V outlet will use that same space. The cooktop is built onto a sliding shelf (B) that is convenient for outside cooking. The back of the cabinet can be lowered into a horizontal position (C), where it functions as a small side table for your lunch or dinner or simply a cool drink, when you sit outside on a hot afternoon. The cabinet is extended into the step-up cove, where it houses two small storage spaces (D). The drawers and bottom closet space are accessible both from the inside and outside (E). The latter may become a drawer, as the plans can be revised at any time.

I still have to figure out a locking mechanism for the drawers. Do you have a clever solution? Leave your idea as a comment?



  1. I love the look of cherry as well, though I’m not going to be using much wood in my build to keep the weight down. Still, what wood there is will be clear-finished cherry battens for trim and cabinet facings and walnut where I need something for wear (cleats for sliding shelves, etc).

    As for drawer locks, why not just use locking drawer slides ? Or are yo looking for a keyed security ‘lock’ rather than a ‘lock’ just to keep ’em shut while driving ?
    One method used on boats is to have the drawer front extend down past the drawer box 1/4″ or so and drop into a mating slot on the back of the cabinet face. To open, you lift the drawer, then pull. It’s simple, no hardware and always works.
    Conversely, you could use a finger-breaker though it means a finger-hole in the drawer front:

  2. Great ideas but these drawers should open, both on the inside as well as outside and still lock to keep them shut while driving.
    I would not like to have to unlock them on one side, to be able to use them on the other side.
    Because the rear of the cabinet is covered by the foldable shelf while driving, I can imagine some sort of a locking mechanism at the front of the drawer (inside of the van). When parked and sitting outside, the shelf comes down, exposing the drawer ‘backs’, which then should be able to open outwards.

  3. Of course !
    I`d forgotten that the whole point of the exercise was to be able to open from the back side (outside) when the back doors were open. The only other option that comes to mind is a lock bar like some toolboxes have down to front: you’d have to remember to do it up every time you broke camp, but it would prevent the drawers from sliding out…

    I assume you’re using cleats riding in tracks for the slides then ?
    Or do they make two-way drawer slides ? (not a cabinetmaker)

    1. I would be using wood runners, either attached to the sides of the drawers or to the sides of the cabinet. A good fitting and a little wax works great.
      They do make two-way slides, but what I have found so far, starts at 18″ and that too big and they’re expensive!
      I like the ‘lock bar’ idea, but then perhaps integrated in one of the interior side walls.

    1. I have considered that type of a solution, but had no idea how to accomplish it and the website reference did not help either. I can do a lot with wood; metal is not my forte.

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