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Author Topic: Westy rear closet modification  (Read 8063 times)

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Anonymous

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Westy rear closet modification
« on: December 13, 2005, 12:27:28 AM »
These pictures document the modifications I've recently made to the rear closet on my 1987 Vanagon Westfalia. This modification makes better use of the space that was previously accessed by the small door behind the rear table. Now with two shelves, sliding doors and cut original door the space is more useful and easily accessible when the rear space behind the rear bench seat is full of luggage. The project took two days to complete and cost approximately $50 in materials including paint which was mixed to match the original grey colour.<br><br>The sliding doors were made from 1/8" fiberboard. The track is white plastic sliding door channel available from Home Depot. It is made specifically for this application. You can see small pieces if it on the shelf in one of the pics below. The top channel is deeper than the bottom to allow the door to be cut shorter so that it can be raised in the upper channel to allow insertion and removal. The track was mounted with small nails to the edge of the closet fascia board. The opening was cut along the original lines of the existing rear opening, leaving the same space between the front edge and corner as the rear had, 2-1/2" if I remember correctly. The side edges were trimmed with the edge trim removed from the rear closet opening, starting & stopping with the ends of the door channels. The top and bottom channels were trim covered with a strip of wood trim molding. The two doors must be equal in width or 1/2 the width of the opening plus 1" ~ 2" overlap. <br>            
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Anonymous

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Re: Westy rear closet modification
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2005, 12:47:13 AM »
Frank: That was great article and here are my questions. <br>(1) It looks like you sliced off the bottom section of the wardrobe door and permanently mounted it so the upper section will open over the back table without having to swing out the table to open the door. I have seen other Westies that this has been done to. You might expand on this mod coupled with the new sliding doors. <br>(2) Did you remove the cabinet to cut the opening or was the cut made in place with a sabre saw or other tool?<br>(3) In several of the pictures I noticed a metal plate bolted to the ceiling above the engine compartment. I don't have this plate in my "87 but that ceiling supports my A/C unit. Looks like it might be the mounting plate from the underside of a front or rear table and on closer examination it looks like the table is there too and slides into tracks for storage. Front table or something else?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

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Re: Westy rear closet modification
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2005, 12:54:21 AM »
(1) It looks like you sliced off the bottom section of the wardrobe door and permanently mounted it so the upper section will open over the back table without having to swing out the table to open the door. I have seen other Westies that this has been done to. You might expand on this mod coupled with the new sliding doors. <br><br>Yes, the original closet door behind the rear table was cut to allow it to open with the table in place.  I cut it so that there would be about 1/2" clearance between the top of the table and the bottom of the door.  Cut was made with a jig saw with fine tooth blade.  The cut off section was then glued into place in the bottom of the door opening using clear GOOP.  The cut edges were then painted gray with the same paint used for the sliding doors.<br><br>(2) Did you remove the cabinet to cut the opening or was the cut made in place with a sabre saw or other tool?. <br><br>I did not remove the closet.  All modifications and cutting were made with the cabinet in place.  I used a jig saw for the majority of the cutting. The only part that would not allow the jig saw to pass was the top cut because of the closeness to the ceiling.  I cut what I could with the jig saw and finished the cut with a fine tooth hand saw much like a dry wall saw.  A sawsall would have worked but I didn't have one. <br><br>(3) In several of the pictures I noticed a metal plate bolted to the ceiling above the engine compartment. I don't have this plate in my "87 but that ceiling supports my A/C unit. Looks like it might be the mounting plate from the underside of a front or rear table and on closer examination it looks like the table is there too and slides into tracks for storage. Front table or something else?.<br><br>What your seeing is the front table mounted to the ceiling.  No A/C in my van.  Two 12" brackets are made from one piece of wood just slightly thicker than the table.  Another strong thin piece of wood, wood flooring is good for this, glued and nailed to the first piece so that it makes a track to hold the table.  Make two of these, one for each side.  Then these brackets are screwed to the ceiling with drywall screws so that the table is centered in the ceiling and will allow the table to slide in and out easily.  You need to get the depth just right due to the rubber molding for and aft which will be used to prevent the accidental exit of the table but will keep it in place unless forced from it's tracks.  The wood brackets were painted gray to match the rest of the gray trim after proved to work well and before permanent installation. <br> <br>Cheers,    <br><br>Frank Condelli<br>Almonte, Ontario, Canada<br>'87 Westy, '90 Carat, '87 Wolfsburg (Forsale) & Lionel Trains<br>Vanagon/Vanagon Westfalia Service in the Ottawa Valley
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Anonymous

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Re: Westy rear closet modification
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2006, 05:53:18 PM »
Here's a picture of Frank Condelli on his way to Arizona. He had to stop by the side of the road to get something out of his newly modified rear closet, but what was too lazy to unload all his baggage and trappings to open the new closet doors. So he went underneath his Westy to open a newly installed trap door in the deck to gain access to the cabinet!!!!!!. How come he didn't tell us about that modification? Really clever those Canadians, I'd say.<br>                        
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »


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