Staff corner: Tucker box

The compact kitchen that’s anything but…

When I looking for a 4X4, unfortunately my pocketbook didn’t cater for a massive vehicle and I am very happy with my little Jeep Cherokee Sport. It manages to go where all the bigger 4X4s can.

 

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But it is a short wheel base and has a small boot. So, while it’s all nice and good to have a 4X4, I still needed to take basic things along the way to make my trips a little bit more comfortable.

When out and about I don’t want to travel in five-star luxury, and I didn’t want to have to take a trailer all time especially on weekend getaways, I wanted to keep it simple and easy.

What did I need?

But I needed to eat and cook so basically I needed a kitchen and one that would fit into the back of the Jeep. More importantly it had to be light enough for my car too.

Once again the budgets put a spanner in the works and halted the ease of simply measuring up and getting a custom kitchen made up for me.

So, it was time to hit the drawing board.

After many days of trawling endless google pages and getting so many ideas; evenings spent measuring and drawing, eventually I came up with a solution that fitted into my budget and my needs.

I had the basic tools, so off to the hardware store I went and came home with all my supplies; marine ply, marine carpet, plastic boxes, hinges, screws and glue. I have never used a circular saw before and when I put it all together it showed…a carpenter I am not!

On paper and in my mind, it all fitted properly and looked pretty damn good. I didn’t have the luxury of woodwork at school, I am just a dabbler who enjoys tinkering around. I cut, glued and screwed and put all the pieces together. It all seemed to come together and then came the final test to see if the doors closed. I guess it is a little lopsided, and do not bring the spirit level near it. And it possibly needs a little bit of extra re-enforcing, on closer inspection my lack of carpentry skills is clearly evident.

I made it, and it works,

I made my bespoke tucker box.

But I wasn’t finished yet, with a few rainy weekends and not really wanting a boring wooden box I decided to get make it a bit colourful and painted the sides. With inspiration from my kids colouring books I got creative and had fun with colour. This was actually the hardest part, trying to decide what to paint!

Finally, it was all done, the plastic boxes stacked and glued down, the cutlery draw trimmed to fit, the magnets to hold the knives in place and the enamel mugs upside down on the roof.

We took it out on the weekend and everything went to plan. Everything we needed fitted in the box and it worked perfectly as a table out of the back of the car. Thank-goodness nothing rattled around as we drove up and over the dunes.

For me I wanted something simple, exclusive and lightweight and as long as it opened and closed and fitted everything I need into the small space in the back of my car, I can turn a blind eye to the irregularities and slight angles; it’s a winner and it works!

 

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