InsiderCarpentry's Clean Trim and Millwork Truck

Tilted shelf king


USED FOR Carpentry
TYPICAL JOBS millwork, trim
MODEL 2016 Ford Transit 350
BODY Full-Size Cargo Van, Extended, High Roof
MILES 80,000


Max Inside Material
16 ft
Floor storage
Ceiling storage
Interior lights
Wired electric
Stand inside?

See more of Lewis Carpentry


Add a lip to the front of shelves to keep toolboxes on your shelves. more »
Use scalloped handles on drawers instead of hardware. more »
Toggle clamps hold flat things on the ceiling. more »
Modular wood shelves can be easily tilted. more »
High Roof = Standing Up + Storage more »
Mortise shelves for toolbox feet. more »
Skin your van's walls with thin plywood. more »



Lewis Carpentry

Decatur, IN USA

Spencer's extended, high roof, Ford Transit 350 has been in service since 2016 and has 80k miles on it as of September 2020.

He built out his van for his interior millwork and trim subcontracting business.

An Evolution

Spencer says the van is a work in progress, and if you watch some of his other videos, you'll see that this van has had some configuration changes.

Two shifts in his thinking:

First, while he started with separate compartments for some tools, he now tends to group tools or put them into a larger toolbox. This is a little more efficient than needing to walk back out to the van for a single tool.

Second, he's made a shift towards carts on wheels. Carts take up more floor space in the van, but he can also haul more stuff into the jobsite in a single go.

Got Power?

A length of BX cable with a plug on the end powers 4 outlets on the van. An extension cord hooked up to the plug is an easy way to get AC power to the van from the jobsite.

He's used this to power a microwave and it also powers a battery charging cubby at the rear of the van.

InsiderCarpentry's Clean Trim and Millwork Truck
InsiderCarpentry's Clean Trim and Millwork Truck Image from InsiderCarpentry

Modular Organization

Spencer emphasizes in his work van shelf layout video that designing in modularity is important.

The build started with an interior upgrade package. This included a cushioned rubber floor mat and black plastic paneling that sheaths the walls. While some people like to use the recesses for extra space, Spencer wanted to protect the thin van sheetmetal from being damaged by heavy tools.

He finds 3/4" thick plywood easier to work with than 1/2", and he used prefinished plywood so that it would accumulate less dirt. The plywood substructure is bolted to the factory welded upfit points.

Shelves are set on pins for locating, then pocket screwed to hold them in place. Because the shelf pin holes are closely spaced, there's a ton of room for adjustability.

A side benefit to close pin spacing is that it's very easy to tilt shelves for tool retention - he drops the shelf 1 pin level on the back to tilt.

On Board Chow

When you drive a truck, it can be easy to just cruise down to a gas station and buy a sandwich. Not only is the food often terrible, it's usually not too healthy and terrible on your wallet.

Spencer's solution?

He created a custom snack cubby center console that keeps him fueled during the work day. A microwave that used to live on the truck can now live on the jobsite thanks to his custom microwave cart.

The Clean Cab

The cab of the truck is walled off with a sliding Sortimo bulkhead. This keeps the cab clean and easy to heat and cool.

The bulkhead keeps tools and materials out of the cab. But opening the pass-through and designing a cavity in the snack center console still allows him to haul 16' long material.

About the Truck

He likes the low floor height for stepping out the back, but doesn't like how the back end of the van could drag due to the low overhang. He loves the EcoBoost engine because it has lots of pickup.

Check out some of his other videos here:

Also see his Youtube channel for lots of in-depth millwork and carpentry guide videos.

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