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Old 02-24-2010, 09:50 PM   #15
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Dinette Update

Well, life being the way it is, things get interrupted. But I'm back on the task and I would guess I'm within four days or so of finishing the benches.

Now that the supports, seats, and backs are varnished, I'm fitting the "standoffs" and the shelf behind the backs to the shell. Note that the standoffs are attached the bench bottoms with three screws. There are three standoffs for each bench--two against the side walls of the shell and one against the forward wall. The two against the side walls establish the lean back angle (14 degrees) and the third standoff provides spacing to the front wall and supports the arm rest.

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I've decided to install the benches in with their faces parallel--the seat edges are 28" apart. (This is good because the minimum dining table width is about 27-28".) The other choice was to angle them so that the open end of the dinette was slightly wider than the end up against the shell. The table would have to be tapered in the opposite manner so that it would fit as part of the bed. This would have provided a small amount of table overhang above the seats at the shell end, and negative overhang at the other end. This would have made entry and exit easier and could have accomodated the larger people at the open end (we're not talking "large" people here, just guys versus dolls).

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The next step is fitting all the other pieces that provide the final bench-to-shell fit. Here I'm trimming the shelves behind the backs to conform to the shell. These shelves are the landing zones for every piece of junk you happen to have in your hands when you come inside! The front edges of the shelves are trimmed with a 14 degree edge, so they provide a very fitted and firm support for the back of the bench.

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The one thing you can't see in the photos is that the benches are attached to the floor with "screw blocks" along their bottom edge. Likewise, the standoffs and the shelf. More photos later.

I can't wait to get started on the arm rests. They are going to be a real treat, since they fold, are sloped outwards at 14 degrees, just like the backs, and they slope fore to aft at 4.5 degrees to match the seat. Urk.

Zep
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:26 PM   #16
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I see that the benches are sloped for optimun seating comfort, but do you ever plan on using the dinette for a fold down bed, or am i missing something that levels the benches for a more coplaner bed deck.

Still in Ill.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
I see that the benches are sloped for optimun seating comfort, ...
They are sloped 1.5" across the seat. I figure that a slope at the foot end won't matter much and a nice pillow at the other end will pretty much take care of that slope. Hey, I'm not the one sleeping on it. It'll be better than a tent!

Zep
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:23 PM   #18
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Great work as usual Zep. You've given me several ideas I can bring to Little Girl once I get to that stage.

Chris
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:47 PM   #19
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So, it looks like you split the door side seat into 2 halves, but not the streetside? Or is that an illusion?

Chris
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
So, it looks like you split the door side seat into 2 halves, but not the streetside...
The door side has two drawers next to the door. The other half is configured for 16 bottles of wine and 4 of the hard stuff. The bottles stand up and are easy to get to from the top. I previously did a bench like this in my Caravel, but you had to get to the wine rack from the front of the bench, which involves getting down on your hands and knees. Lesson learned. Besides, the wine isn't in there long enough for it to matter...

The other side is a full storage area, 45-1/2" long inside. The whole seat lifts up.

Both arm rests also swing so you can stuff pillows, etc., in there.

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Old 02-28-2010, 07:05 AM   #21
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Zep looking good, keep posting the pictures, made your thread a favorite for future, you have some great ideas..........thanks toastie
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:32 PM   #22
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A side benefit of getting the goucho out is being able to get into the shell up front. I've been wanting to take care of the dent under the wing window for years. With the aid of Kip's (AEROWOOD's) roller, it took about 5 minutes once the inside skin was off. I didn't get a completely smooth skin, but it's reasonable, considering all the rock dings across the front of the Overlander. For those who think they can get it smooth by using a bucking bar and a hammer--don't do it. The aluminum will thin and buckle. You can do a little bit of hammering if you use a semi-hard backing like a block of wood, but you have to be extremely careful not to expand the aluminum.

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I also added some stringers in the center panel between the two benches. The skin there is plenty strong to support a table in the vertical, but flexes in a way that allows the far end of the table to wobble a good bit. The upper stringer will add the stiffness needed to get that under control.

The bottom stringer will provide support the extension of the table support. It's a bit complicated (photos to follow), but this small stringer will allow me to cantilever the table, using what will be bed legs when the table is in the bed position.

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A small technique note: Getting the frozen Vulkem tube out of the fridge and letting it thaw every time I needed a dab was getting old. So I went to a veternarian store and bought a bunch of small syringes. I loaded about 20 of them full of Vulkem and froze them. Even though the tip had a [very] small hole, the frozen Vulkem did not cure in the tip. It takes about 4 minutes to thaw out the small syringe under hot water and it's ready to go. I used a small drop under the head of each bucked rivet when I installed the stringers. The tip can be cut to provide a larger bead, if needed.

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Old 03-07-2010, 01:51 PM   #23
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It's been 12 days since the last progress on the benches themselves, and none of it wasted. Lots of time has been devoted to getting the standoff pieces (the pieces at the corners that match the bench to the walls) trimmed and polyurethaned, as well as fitting the shelf behind each backrest.

One of the bigger [anticipated] challenges was the armrests. These suckers slope back a 4.5 degrees, slope outward at 11 degrees*, and match the curve of the skin. Turns out it wasn't that big a deal, only about 20 trips from shop to trailer to get them to fit (which is a low number compared to other efforts in the past). One thing I discovered to today is that the seat back cushion will prevent the armrests (at their current width) from swinging open. I'm thinking I'll cut 3-1/2" off of the tail end of each armrest and fill that space with a larger corner piece.

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The table will be designed to support a bed, but you can see from the dimensions that it'll be too short for an adult, only 69" long. I guess one adult will be able to sleep a big sideways on it, but it's really only good for kids, or anyone shorter than about 5'4". Could this have been wider? Not really. In order to provide a comfortable seat width and a reasonable seat back angle, the benches couldn't be any narrower or closer to the wall. Plus, the ability to store folding chairs behind the seats would have been compromised.

The last big challenge is the corner piece that will fill in between the seat back the armrest. It's got more angles and curves than any other piece in the whole project. Ick.

Zep

* they slope outward at the same angle as the seat back leans back. This was a combination esthetic design decision as well as recongnition of the fact that it would provide a comfortable support (with suitable pillow) when sitting side-saddle on the bench to watch a TV that's on the fridge partition.

PS--did I ever say thanks to UWE for the motivation to make the dinette? I love the look of Paula's remodel that he did.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:08 PM   #24
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Hi Zep, Looks nice, you are doing a great job. You will love the drawer by the door, I did the same thing when we did our trailer. We use it for dog toys and shoes. Keep up the good work.

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Old 03-07-2010, 02:19 PM   #25
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Marvin,

How about a photo towards the front so we can see how you mounted the table and what you did with the paneling across the front skin?

What's that beside the drawer? Looks big enough for a dump hose...

Zep
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:36 PM   #26
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I will look for some of the front, I know I have some. The thing along side the drawer is 2 rolls of paper towels. I would like to have made the drawer wider but the back moves forward and back so that is why it is like it is.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:41 PM   #27
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ZEP, Do you just live in the happiest much happinest place in the world???
I know reading and seeing your projects bring much joy to my life.
What it must be like in your ever so tactile world....

THANK YOU FOR HOURS OF THOUGHT PROVOKING THREADS AND VISUAL STIMULATION! LOVE ALL YOUR WORK!
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:46 PM   #28
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This isn't very good pics but all I can find now. I used the old table slide and changed the leg and of course the top. If you look if you look on a thread called "Costalotta Start to Finish" I think there is some better shots of it.
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