Another Upper Cabinet and Windows Covered


I have been collecting cabinet doors over the past year. I had quite a few that were from the upper cabinets we purchased, from a man who was parting out a wrecked bus conversion. I think there were around 16 spare doors. Anyway, I was lucky to have so many, because it took some trial & error to figure out how to create holes for hidden hinges. Cabinet shops usually have a machine that does all of the holes for the doors. As you might guess, I didn’t have one of these machines. In order to have the doors fit in the area that we planned for them, we had to turn them sideways. And we didn’t want to have every door in the bus open from the bottom. That’s just annoying after a while. So, I had to learn how to install hidden hinges. (The door, pictured above, became my practice door, once I had messed up the first holes that I drilled.)

I had a lot of anxiety over this task, but finally decided to dive right in. I knew that I needed some anchors for the doors and I was unable to get the anchors (that were already in there) out. So, I ended up at a local cabinet shop, Specialized Cabinets, Inc., asking questions and getting some free anchors and great advice. I was so thankful for the kindness I received there. Scott was so helpful in explaining the difference in hinges and cabinet set ups. He gave me a little crash course in Cabinetry 101. I came home and started right away. Unfortunately, I drilled through the front of a door before I realized that I would need a different type of drill bit, a Forstner, so that I could have a nice even finish (without cutting through the front).
Then I had to measure equally from the edge of the doors and hope that the drill (for the anchors, not the hinge caverns) wouldn’t slip too far away from where I needed to drill holes or split the wood. I began with a smaller bit and gradually used larger and larger, all of them with blue tape wrapped around them to let me know when I was at my limit of where I could drill to (didn’t want to accidentally drill any more holes through the doors). It was kind of stressful, but somehow I survived. LOL.
Two of these doors were off of the cabinet the kids helped me dismantle. The other 2 were from the 12 that I bought last month for $20. At first, I was going to paint all of the cabinets and doors a uniform white with a distressed/antiqued application. But I kind of like the way the mismatched stains looks so far. What do you think?

This is where one of the windows is covered, partially behind the fridge space and partly out above the kitchen backsplash. I was going to cover it up with some wood to match the wall, but then I realized that it will be perfect for storing all of the magnetic herb & spice containers that I was going to put on the bottom of the upper cabinet. I think that it will look nice, once I add the trim around the edges and the top of the backsplash.

This is the window in the laundry room….lol…the 36×36 laundry room. Last Autumn, I painted it with 2 coats of a special paint that adheres well to glass.

I am finally getting around to completing the windows that need to be covered. I cut out my 1/2″ insulation for the top of the window.

Then a piece of insulation to fit the entire window.

Then we put silicone around the edge of the window, which will hold the sheet of steel into place and keep it from moving around during travels. We pre-drilled and screwed in the sheet metal screws and the job was done. We now have 9 completely covered windows and 5 partially covered windows in the bus. They are all ready to build over. When we first began the conversion, we were contemplating removing the entire windows and putting in sheet metal instead. This procedure is called “skinning”. But because I love the school bus look, and like having all of my options available down the road, we decided to keep all of the windows intact.

After much debate, Mr. C and I agreed that it would be beneficial if we covered the bottom of these windows in our Master Suite Alcove. They will be where our feet rest when we are sleeping. There will be an upper cabinet above them. But this area will also double as a place for us to place our pillows and heads when we watch movies….

…on our flat screen TV that we plan on housing in a cabinet/headboard that will be at this end of our cozy little alcove. The cabinet will come out about 8-9″ and still leave room enough for our queen mattress. I can’t wait to get started on this part of the conversion. I am going to have to put the mattress in the alcove BEFORE I finish the walls….pretty tricky. I will have to cover it with plastic to keep all of the sawdust and etc. off of it during the final stages of construction.

Mr. C finished putting up the last upper cabinet in the kitchen/dining area this past weekend. It was one of my Mother’s Day gifts. The older kids helped watched the little ones while we worked on windows and cabinets in the bus and on some minor repairs on the house.

The cabinet is a mirror image of the one that is directly across from it (well, technically they are a little bit diagonal from each other, but you know what I mean). The street-side cabinet is about 3 inches longer, but it has the same height and depth dimensions. Both of these cabinets will eventually have a thin extension that will lead towards the front of the bus, with speakers and electricity running through them, but that is yet to come.
And here is what she looks like this week. Not toooooo shabby, eh? My next goal is to get the front “bus” door taken off, the beautiful exterior house door attached, the existing lock/handle on the back removed, and to attach deadbolts for both exterior doors. I am also planning on: getting an electrician to help me plan out the electrical set up, revising plans with the plumber, having the tables back from the counter top guy, and finding someone who can help me hang a door and drill holes for the locks. Sounds like I’ve got my work cut out for me. 😉

Pura Vida!

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