I am converting a cargo van into a camper van; one thing I have to do is figure out how to maximize every square inch of space to ensure I can live comfortably. To iron my clothes, I have to take everything out of a cabinet, set up an ironing board and stay in one place until I’m finished. Moving around in the tight space would be difficult; but there is a solution.
In movies featuring drop-down ironing boards, I realized I had found a solution to the problem. I can build a cabinet to mount to the inside wall of the van. The space would include an ironing board and storage for a folding travel iron, starch and other items.
For a guide, I found inspiration at the HGTV website. My cabinet will be smaller, because my space is smaller.
- · Folding travel ironing board
- · Measuring and marking tools
- · General woodworking tools
- · Edge trim for the cabinet
- · Brackets for mounting
- · Hinges for the door
- · Mechanism for supporting the ironing board when lowered
- · Wire brackets to hold ironing board, sprays and so forth
- · Lumber to build the cabinet
I’ll measure the space inside the van. The cabinet does not need to be very tall; it will be mounted at a height that will allow me to iron my clothes comfortably.
Once the height and width measurements are set, I’ll figure out the depth. I can make the depth 12″ to 18″ and have additional storage space for a small sewing machine and accessories.
The mechanism for supporting the ironing board for my van will be simple. I’ll attach the end of the ironing board to a 2-by-2 that is mounted across the front of the cabinet inside the front door. Carriage bolts driven through the cabinet sides and into the ends of the board will allow it to move freely. Another board will be mounted underneath the cabinet which will pull out to provide support for the board. Pull-out supports can be found in a wide variety of items such as microwave cabinets with drop leaf sides.
The lumber I choose will be lightweight. This helps the gas mileage of the van. Alternatively, I can purchase and modify a closet organizer to become my ironing cabinet. This will save on labor and material costs.
I’ll assemble the cabinet, the hinge mechanism and the ironing board. I’ll make sure everything works well, then attach the door and latch so that it doesn’t fly open when the van is on the road.
Once the cabinet is mounted inside the van, wire containers for spray starch, water bottles and more will be added. Nylon straps, attached to the cabinet back and tipped with hook-and-loop tape will hold the sewing machine and sewing accessory case in place.
An RV cabinet latch will prevent the door from coming open on the road.
You can build a drop down ironing board for an RV, home, cabinet or apartment. In an apartment, a stand-alone cabinet will work.
This is a great gift for first time homeowners, college students in a dorm or apartment or anyone who has limited space.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.
Source: Staff Article, “How To Build An Ironing Board Cabinet,” HGTV website, no date given