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Old 10-29-2016, 04:20 PM   #1
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'Mod' for Additional Counter Space - 23D

While we are crazy in love with our 23D, we have found the available 'counter space' to be a bit on the sparse side. So, not being able to leave anything alone, I decided to augment the counter space with a simple mod.

While doing that, I also installed a second full-extension ball-bearing slide for the pull-out pantry... I am a strong adherent to profound overkill (!)

I'm hoping that the photos are self-explanatory, but perhaps some explaining is in order.

Removing the pull-out pantry revealed the need for 3/4" spacers on the left side of the opening for both the additional full-extension slide and as a base for the left-side cleat which will serve to support the pull-out counter.

After installing the 3/4" spacers I installed cleats left and right made from 3/8" Baltic birch. It's very important to measure carefully for whatever fasteners will be used... you don't want screws poking through to the outside of the cabinet. I secured the left cleat with some Dow 5200 calk/adhesive and very short screws. The cleats on both sides are secured by 16 ga. brads.

The counter itself is made from a 1/2" thick polyethylene cutting board. It was cut so that it barely fits (freely) within the opening. The front was 'notched' to fit around the existing pantry latch. This notch prevents side-to-side movement of the new counter.

Since the whole shebang stores entirely within the cabinet, I reformed a steel flat spring (that I bought at Home Depot) and fastened it to the shell sidewall. This spring pushes the new counter out approximately 1" when the pantry is opened... this makes it easy to grasp the new counter to pull it fully into position.

Anyway, that's my story... I'm pretty proud of this, it works perfectly and I can't wait to use it 'in the field!'

Rob
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2014 23D International Serenity - "Fortune Cookie"
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"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:19 PM   #2
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Wow, that is a great idea.

I guess now you can host Thanksgiving in your Airstream. There will be three of us.

Kelvin
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:03 PM   #3
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Very ingenious, I like it!
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:10 PM   #4
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very nice idea think I may try that one...thank you
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the kind compliments!

When we do our "meal prep," we will just open the upper cabinet and leave it open until the preparation is done. That way, whatever is on the 'new counter surface' won't have to be cleared off to get to the plates, glasses, whatevers.

Actually, we do very little real cooking on the road. We cook ahead and can last well over a week on stuff we cooked at home. so, most of our meal prep is pretty easy. This new kitchen real estate should make it even easier
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2014 23D International Serenity - "Fortune Cookie"
2015 Ford F150 3.5 EcoBoost, Max Tow - "Cookie Monster"
And some stuff

Fortune Cookie: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57663633667345

"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:39 PM   #6
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Very creative! Was the original slide in the middle?
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:22 PM   #7
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Very creative! Was the original slide in the middle?
Thanks!

No, the original drawer slides are the lower pair. With the double-slide arrangement, there is notably less side to side 'wiggle.' Of course, a bit more effort is required to open and close the pantry, but it's hardly worth mentioning. Actually, the whole moving assembly seems more secure, with more of a [highly subjective] quality feel.

Rob
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"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:37 PM   #8
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Sry nice, good job...
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:31 PM   #9
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'Mod' for Additional Counter Space - 23D

Very nice idea; think I will do the same in my 25' Safari SS. What did you use for a fastener to keep the drawer from sliding open on the road?
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:30 AM   #10
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'Mod' for Additional Counter Space

Something entirely different; we had the 25' Safari with the identical small queen bed arrangement you have. It was hard getting into the bathroom; making the tight queen bed; sleeping in the small bed (even though I am only 5'8" and wife is 5'1") so we had a welder make us bunk beds out of 1-1/2" tubular aluminum. ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM. The bunks are both the same width; 32" wide. This opens up the back area where we even have a sitting area between the beds and the shower. Gave us a space to dress next to the beds and we can actually open the bathroom door about 150 degrees. I will send you pictures if you would like. Larry
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingLink5 View Post
Very nice idea; think I will do the same in my 25' Safari SS. What did you use for a fastener to keep the drawer from sliding open on the road?
Sorry to be so late in responding! The slide out pantry thingy is equipped from the factory with a nifty push-button latch to keep the thing closed... works nicely.
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2014 23D International Serenity - "Fortune Cookie"
2015 Ford F150 3.5 EcoBoost, Max Tow - "Cookie Monster"
And some stuff

Fortune Cookie: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57663633667345

"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:04 PM   #12
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OK, I just can't seem to leave well enough alone. After buttoning up this little project, I got to thinking that the 1/2" polyethylene surface was heavy and just a bit clunky... so, I made a new one from 1/4" Baltic birch, faced both sides with matte white Formica. I think it looks a lot better and it only weighs a pound and a half... the poly one weighed nearly six pounds.

So, NOW I'm done
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2014 23D International Serenity - "Fortune Cookie"
2015 Ford F150 3.5 EcoBoost, Max Tow - "Cookie Monster"
And some stuff

Fortune Cookie: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57663633667345

"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:57 PM   #13
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Really nice craftsmanship. Kudos! I like the look of the plywood version better as a bonus to the weight savings.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:42 PM   #14
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Rob,

revisiting this as we get our 23D ready for the maiden voyage in a few weeks. Where did you get the roller bearings/slide from?

Also, I assume you used a router for the cut out and nice round edges. Do you use a table? I can never get the curve at the corners, mine are always straight 90/90

Thanks
Rich
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:56 PM   #15
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Rob,

revisiting this as we get our 23D ready for the maiden voyage in a few weeks. Where did you get the roller bearings/slide from?

Also, I assume you used a router for the cut out and nice round edges. Do you use a table? I can never get the curve at the corners, mine are always straight 90/90

Thanks
Rich
Good evening, Rich

I got the drawer slide at my local Woodcraft store. I don't recall the manufacturer or their number, but since my Woodcraft store is pretty close, I can check it out for you and get Woodcraft's SKU for you and you can order it on line.

Yes, I used a router. I have a gigantic router and great router table that I built in to the side table on my Delta Unisaw (you can just barely make it out in the crummy photo below... messy, messy shop!).

I'll be happy to chat with you about this project sometime if you would like... just let me know, and I'll PM you my phone number.

Have a great weekend!

Rob
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2014 23D International Serenity - "Fortune Cookie"
2015 Ford F150 3.5 EcoBoost, Max Tow - "Cookie Monster"
And some stuff

Fortune Cookie: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57663633667345

"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:29 PM   #16
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Thanks Rob! Appreciate that. What a nice looking shop! I am a wood working novice, have the basic tools and such, just starting to get skilled enough to make things that could be seen by others, lol.

You have great craftsmanship in all of your projects, very professional. I just used a router to cut an access hole in the lounge of the 23D, where my lithium batteries are. I couldn't get the nice radius like they have, so mine furred out square.

I do consider it a success though, as it looks nice and I was able to keep the cutout as the cover.

Love the "no sniveling" sign, lol
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:02 PM   #17
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Rob, I remember following you in our Casita days! Been in an FC20 the last 3 yrs, went with the 20 for counter space for one reason. If I had known you were changing I may reconsidered. Always enjoyed following your mods.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:55 PM   #18
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Rob is a man with unprecedented skills and will not settle for less than high class custom. He is my role model
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:34 PM   #19
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I want to be Rob and have his skills when I grow up!
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:45 AM   #20
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Took me a while to find this mod that Rob did to add extra counter space, not sure why...but may need to take some time are re-read the entire 23D thread.

Rich, not sure if you ever had an answer on your question about rounded corners with a router, but for the project you mentioned, cutting a hole in a wall - if you build a frame with simple 1x scraps around the hole your cutting and use a plunge bit on your router, it will give you a perfect cut out with rounded corners, as the base of the router moves inside the square corners of the scrap frame. The radius of the corner will be the same as the diameter of the bit you choose.
Am not in my shop but guessing the round base on my router is 4 inches, so if you want an opening that is 6 x12 inches, the rectangular frame that you lightly screw on the outside of the wall would be 10 x 16in (ie a 2in radius from the cutter on the router to the edge on the router base, on both sides of the frame. Attaching the frame allows you to get it level and perfectly square, yielding a better than factory look. Use trim screws to attach it and apply some small light matching hole filler when you remove it after youre done.
Always good to do a test in some scrap first, both to build confidence and to double check your measurements.
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