Toilet Access Door


5051Under the built-in, slide-out shelf is just enough space to house the portable toilet. But the access door is still missing. With a hinge at the top, movement of the toilet is allowed towards the front and/or the back of the van, when opened. Space is at a premium and in this case there is only 1¼“ available for the top hinge.


52While figuring out the planned construction method, I stumbled upon a wooden hinge example that I liked. To give it a try, I started with a new tablesaw jig, that would allow me to repeatedly make the cuts between which the gaps will be removed.


53The door is 16” wide, so a two inch gap would make it a fairly balanced design.
I prepared some 3/8” thick stock and used the jig to make the cuts.


54Next, a groove is cut lengthwise through the center on the tablesaw with a regular 1/8” wide blade. This will accommodate a center pin, around which both parts of the hinge will rotate.


55Now I proceed with rounding off the edges on the router table.


56Finally the waste areas are removed with some dado blades.


5758The result is a basic hinge that already fits well together, but still needs a center pin.


5960That’s were a 1/8” brass rod comes in that can be found at your local home center.
Conveniently the same width as your tablesaw blade, makes the installation a matter of simply pushing it into the groove.


61The side of the bed is made out of 1/8” cherry plywood and the same material is used for the door by adding a simple frame. The top of the frame being one of the hinge parts.


6263Meanwhile splines are used to secure the pin to the hinge.
After a little cutting and sanding, this part if the hinge is finished.


6465Before proceeding, the door is fitted and adjusted in size.


6667Two cherry strips are attached to both sides of the door, where they will work as a doorstop and give a finished look to the entire door.


68While fitting it again, I noticed how much the sun has darkened the installed plywood panels.


6970I continue to install the top hinge in the compartment with the help of some scrap wood to establish the appropriate height.



The hinge is then added to the top. After a few adjustments, the door is ready to slide in. The hinge parts fit so close together, that it isn’t necessary to glue in any additional splines. That way, the door can be removed at a later time.

The door handle will be integrated into the base moulding, that is to be installed along the bottom at a later time.



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *