His trousers are dirty, his pullover covered in sawdust. Kyle Toth is unmistakably someone who loves working with his hands. He discovered his passion for wood and art when he was only 10 years old. A native of California, he learned the trade during his master craftsman training at one of the oldest vocational schools in Massachusetts. Afterward, he ran a joinery in his parents’ workshop for one and a half years. He now runs his business out of an old barn. The first floor contains his shop and the second the showroom where he displays his especially successful works. On a typical day he works on customer orders until the afternoon. Then he turns to his own projects and works on expanding his portfolio. The freedom to work on whatever he wants and whenever he wants – this is Kyle Toth’s greatest motivation.
The fact that he sometimes has to work on his projects until late at night does not worry Kyle. “When I am working, I often completely lose track of time and suddenly it is 11 o’clock at night”, explains the 26-year-old. “My workshop is my favorite place and where I feel most at home.” His regular customers include house owners and breweries for which he creates customized dispensing taps and furniture. One more reason why Kyle was pleased when Shane Dignum, a photographer from National Geographic, asked him if he would like to convert his Sprinter. “I had never done anything like this before but I knew that I had the necessary skills and experience”, remembers Kyle. He documented the conversion with five short videos.
The greatest challenge in terms of the craftsmanship consists of finding the balance between functionality and saving space.
Kyle knows that Shane spends a lot of time on the road and needs plenty of storage space. “The greatest challenge in terms of the craftsmanship consists of finding the balance between functionality and saving space.” That is why Kyle attempted to make use of every single space and filled the interior with shelves and drawers. “It was like playing Tetris: I tried to utilize all of the unused spaces.” Shane assisted Kyle with the conversion and took care of the orders and the electrical installation. Kyle is proud of the finished van conversion and the experience he gained in the process: “I used mortise joints for the majority of the fittings. I never would have thought that this is possible in a Sprinter.”
188 hp at 3800 rpm
147 kg at 1400 rpm
5926 – 7361 mm
2545 – 3149 mm
2449 – 2902 kg