After babysitting Dad and getting some design work done, there wasn’t a whole lot of daylight left so today’s van progress was minimal. After months of putting it off (I don’t know why, perhaps the motivation just wasn’t there) I finally completed the first under-floor storage compartment. Whew!
Don’t look too closely—nothing about the van is square, and none of my saws are cabinet grade, so pretty much every single cut I’ve made has turned out wonky to some degree. It’s an exercise in acceptance for this perfectionist at heart.
Lately I’ve been advertising my ignorance on a myriad of van-related things. It’s time for a little ingenuity, if I may call it that.
The hinges that I’ve chosen for the under-floor storage compartments are Invisible Spring Hinges. They spring open and hold open, and then spring shut and hold shut. Nice.
The only drawback I’ve found to these hinges (besides the fact that they WILL crush your fingers if you play with them mindlessly) is that they’re a total pain to install with any amount of precision. They’re mounted in a closed space so figuring out alignment and where to drill holes for installation is kind of a crap shoot.
At least, it was until I did this:
1. Screw in one side of the hinge, making sure the top is perfectly flush.
2. Dab just a tiny bit of paint around each hole.
3. Place the door exactly where it should sit, careful not to shift it around.
4. Remove the door and turn it over to find a perfect guide for the screws.
No one will ever see the paint because it’ll be sandwiched between the hinge and the wood, and the door will fit exactly as it should.
Maybe it’s not exactly a life hack or a trade secret but I thought it was a neat trick and I haven’t seen it done anywhere else. Have fun with that, hope it’s useful.