Chasing the Twist is a new publication covering the world of adventuring with a practical and real point of view.

Adventure Van - Building the Platform

I learned a few things building the platform for the Adventure Van. The biggest lesson is a confirmation that I am a hack when it comes to finish carpentry. My finish work is of the ‘good from far, but far from good’ variety.

But the framing is done and it should be good enough for the first iteration, until we learn what we like and don’t like, need and don’t need. I’ve simplified the construction even more than my previous simplification. Even though it is a simpler, and more crude, construction it still meets my height and storage requirements.

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The most significant difference from the previous plan is that I opted to not do half-lap joints between the legs and runners. Not only did this speed up construction it also allowed me to not use the small strips to support the center platform.

The Build

It all started with an anxious first cut at 75" of both sheets of plywood, using the Makita Track Saw. Anxious only because it’s the first. This Makita did great, as expected. I cut slowly through both sheets at the same time. One accessory that would be easy to justify, if one were doing finish carpentry more often, is the 118" track to allow for longer cuts. Also of note, this track saw is considerably more affordable than the Festool equivalent.

Don’t let the blue tape fool you, this is a pro-level tool

We had, what feels like, eight days straight of rain, so I had to rush a bit to get some work done in the few hours of dry. This meant less time for documenting and not enough time to finish in a day. I was able to get the majority of framing done though.

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Even before completing the platform the storage capabilities were put to the test

Multiple Uses

After two sessions, one dry and one with a mist coming down, I was able to complete the first iteration of the platform. I am going to wait until the mattress arrives before making any leveling adjustments because I may want to lower the whole platform depending on how thick the mattress ends up being when compressed.

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At the top of this article, you see the platform configuration to be used with a mattress or when hauling lumber. Below you will see photos of the other configurations.

Lower the deck to load taller items like a motorcycle
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Pull out the lowered deck to use as a table

As of right now, all the structures would take but a few minutes to remove entirely. Whether I end up using all of these configurations, it gives me comfort and pride knowing that I can use them.

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