Hi Kyle, Tell us a little bit about yourself and your passion for woodwork.
I started working with wood when I was about 10 years old, just making stuff. I began making go-karts, skateboards and eventually plywood furniture. Around age 16, I bought myself better machines, filled up my parents’ garage and really got into it. Some of my stuff was never seen. For me, it was more about making something, trying to get better and perfecting things. I definitely developed a passion for woodwork. So much so, that I decided to make a career out of it and went to one of the oldest vocational schools in Massachusetts to learn the trade and completed a master craftsman training. Now, I run my own business out of my barn. I work on my customers’ orders until the afternoon and then spend some time on my own personal projects. The freedom to work on whatever I want whenever I want is my greatest motivation.
What did you think when you were approached with the project of outfitting a Sprinter?
When Shane Dignum, a photographer from National Geographic, approached me with the idea to convert his Sprinter I was super excited. I had never done anything like this before, but I knew that I had the necessary skills and experience to nail it (no pun intended). So I didn’t hesitate and took the challenge head on.
What were some of the challenges while outfitting the Sprinter?
I knew that Shane would be spending a lot of time on the road and that he needed a lot of storage space for all of his camera gear. One of the main goals was to find efficient and secure solutions to put all that equipment away. The greatest challenge in terms of craftsmanship consisted of finding the balance between functionality and saving space. So I tried to make use of every square inch and filled the interior with shelves and drawers. It was like playing Tetris.
The Sprinter van conversion took about 6 weeks to do. It’s made entirely out of walnut and houses kitchen cabinets and drawers, a queen size bed, a dining table and plenty of storage. Shane helped me out with a few things and eventually, the Sprinter was done and ready to roll. I am so proud of the finished product. I actually documented the conversion from start to finish. You can check it out on my YouTube page.
Any chance you’ll be fixing up your own van some day?
Like I said, freedom is what motivates me in life, so who knows. Maybe one day!
Check out Wood by Toth website here
Photos: MYVAN / Kyle Toth
Based on the original text of Melina Kreischer