Since this was the first thing I did after giving the van a good clean, I haven’t documented it with pictures like I have other stages.
It’s always a good idea to utilise as much space as possible in a van conversion, especially when you’re trying to squeeze a 6ft bed, cupboards, large storage area, work top, shelves and other things into a medium wheelbase van!
I wanted to install a shelf above the cab without removing the cab lining (this would just be a hassle to remove and reattach), so my plan was to anchor the shelf by cutting through the cab lining at either side and anchoring the shelf with a beam that would rest on each side of the van.
To make the shelf I bought a sheet of ply, a couple of steel panels*, carpet tiles and carpet adhesive from B&Q.
I cut the ply sheet to the approximate dimensions of the cab then screwed a beam (an off cut from the removed bulkhead) on top of the ply. Using a Stanley knife I cut holes in the sides of the cab lining big enough, and on the right level, for the beam to rest on the protruding sides of the van inside.
I carpeted both sides of the shelf using carpet adhesive. In hindsight I wish I had used a stronger glue, perhaps a high-heat adhesive as the gravity-defying underside carpet on the shelf did begin to peel off a few weeks after I had installed it.
After carpeting I put the shelf in place and set about making the steel holding panels.
I cut the panels to suitable size using a hacksaw and bent them (after measuring) at as best a right angle as I could. I drilled some holes in the high van support beam and used bolts packed out with a number of fixing washers to prevent movement, I then drilled self tapping screws up into the underside of the shelf, fixing the steel panels in place.
As a final touch (and to stop things falling off in transit), I cut to size a piece of pine, sanded the top edge and corners and gave it a few coats of danish wood oil before slipping it in conveniently behind the steel panels and screwing in place.
*Why are the steel panels black, you ask? Well that would be because I coloured them in with black marker pen. Told you it was very DIY.