2012 Int'l 23D Mod 05: Laminated stove top cover
My 23D floor plan does not have much space in the galley for food preparation. The gas burners on the Amana range are sealed which is great for containing a mess but they add height to the stove and the supplied metal stove cover has to be taller than similar Magic Chef ranges without the sealed burners. The extra height to the cover meant there were three different levels around the range making it a little clumsy for using the cover as an area for food preparation.
My solution was to remove the black metal range cover supplied by Airstream/Amana and replace it with a cover that extended from the back wall all the way to the front of the range and all the way to the side wall. I shopped my local Lowe's store and found a few counter top laminate samples that looked like the original supplied by Airstream. When I compared them, the exact match was by Formica and is called Crystal Sand. The smallest piece I could purchase was $66 and while I forget the exact dimensions I would estimate it to be 30" by about 8 feet. So, yes, I have a "wee bit" left over. (Local to Tampa? Want some? Contact me!)
The edging was a little more involved. Airstream did not use the same Crystal Sand Formica for the edging. Instead, they used something that is similar but different. I contacted the great folks at Sanders RV in Alachua, FL where I purchased the Airstream and they were able to order the edging for me. And again, I forget the exact price but it was roughly equivalent to the $6 that it cost to ship it -- a real bargain in my estimation.
With parts in tow, I planned a trip to the Smoky Mountains where my parents live and used the tools in my dad's well-equipped shop. I purchased 3/4" plywood that was nicely finished with factory-cut edges. It cost a little extra but it was worth it. I covered the top of the plywood and the bottom of the laminate with contact cement. I let it dry and applied a 2nd coat to each surface. The laminate had been rough-cut to the approximate size with tin-snips.
The next day, I applied the laminate to the plywood, rolled it with a rolling pin to get any air bubbles out, and set some heavy cement blocks on it to assure good contact.
After it was dry, we used a router with a laminate routing bit to trim the excess and give it a nice finished look on all of the edges. Neither my dad nor I had ever used a laminate trim bit but it was truly a beautiful thing. And simple, too.
The application of the edging was similar except we used clamps to make sure there was good contact on the surfaces as they dried. Two opposing sides were done at a time, then routed to finish the edges. Then the other two sides.
Finally, some rubber "feet" from Lowe's were attached to the bottom of the board to give it proper clearance over the stove top grate. The end result is in the pictures below. I think it's been one of my favorite changes to the interior and it gives me some nice work-space for food preparation in the galley.
Ho'onanea -- to pass the time with peace, ease, and pleasure.