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Old 06-28-2009, 08:46 PM   #57
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Dealing with imperfections

The appliance garage provided many challenges during the build process. Even after I got everything to fit, I had major issues with the door.

The problem is that I was starting with a framed cabinet skeleton that was not built to the same type of tolerances as a frameless cabinet. When it came time to create an inset door, I noticed for the first time how warped the frame was. I have included a picture when I tried to put a straight piece of 1/2 ply into the door hole. The frame was warped out of true by over a 1/2 inch in one corner.

I considered my options: 1) rebuild the cabinet skeleton, 2) just put the door in and get used to the ugly gaps between the door and the frame, 3) create some type of door that mirrored all the imperfections of the frame. After building everything very tight to this point I wanted to try and do something. Rebuilding the skeleton would have been way to many steps backward and lots of work around the plumbing and electrical already in place. So I tried to create one crazy looking warped door.

Again lots of measurements, then some angle cuts on the table saw, some compound angles with hand tools, and finally I created a door frame that I was going to try and stretch a 1/4 ply piece across. My wife thought the result looked like something Escher would do. Then I brought out all my clamps and sure enough got that 1/4 ply to work.

So now when you see the door mounted in it's hole, it's edges match up perfectly with the frame, but when you swing it open you can see the crazy design.

Still not done though. I created some of my own problems by creating a door that is too thick for the hinges I have so the inner edge rubs slightly when it's opened. And I didn't allow enough space for door swing, so I can't get the door open as far as I would like. But we can get all the appliances in and my wife wants me to keep making forward progress instead of going backwards.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:25 PM   #58
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1957 22' Caravanner
Port Hadlock , Washington
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Really nice work, Mike. Look forward to your posts.

I think I may need to steal your idea on the microwave platters.


Forum Thread: First She Had to Take a Ride on a Boat

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Old 06-28-2009, 10:39 PM   #59
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1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
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Mike - any chance you'd like to visit the NW and fit out my Tradewind? Looks great!
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:18 AM   #60
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
Folsom , California
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I'm one of many subscribers I'm sure - Great Work, Nice Design.
Any chance you know or can find out the bathroom sink fauset/shower fixture manufacturer? Also, I'm assuming that's a furnace under the microwave (?), can you share that info as well?

Aluminumbskull with Led Balloon in Drag
Birch Plywood and Aluminum go together like
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:23 AM   #61
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Thanks Everyone.

Steve (Soldier medic) - I am a constant watcher of your thread(s) also.

Steve (Pbear) - Definitely run with the sleeve idea. I really like how snuggly the platters fit in mine with the 1/2 inch ply.

Mark (3Ms) and Steve (Pbear) - I lived on the east side of the Seattle area for many years and look forward to traveling back there at some point.

MarkR - most of the fixtures in the trailer - sinks and faucets were purchased at Ikea. The special shower hose and plug that goes into the bathroom sink was picked up by Colin Hyde so I'll check in with him or if you know him feel free to mention the 53 Flying Cloud from Vermont. The furnace is nothing special, just a regular one. I'll look at my paperwork. It has no ducting. The bathroom my get cold in the fall, and our grey tank. But the black tank, the fresh tank, and the batteries are all above the floor in the main part of the trailer.
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:41 PM   #62
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Kitchen cabinet finished

It took longer than I expected, like everything else so far, but I finished the kitchen cabinet this weekend.

I started with a framed cabinet skeleton and went about half way toward converting it to a frameless design, which I have used on the other cabinets I've built so far in the Flying Cloud. By half way, I made all the doors inset. The front has that flush look, but it's missing the cherry trim I have used on the other cabinets.

It took a while because the cabinet I started with was not square so getting some of the doors to look flush was a challenge. The hinges I'm using are reasonable quick to install and I've done enough now that I have a sequence I go through each time to get them evenly set in the opening. The magnets that I'm using everywhere to keep the doors and drawers closed take a lot of time to get set right.

Here's a long photo shot through the front window of the work done to date, and then a kitchen cabinet shot through the door.
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:50 PM   #63
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Inside the Kitchen Cabinet

I have some sections of the cabinet set up with built-ins to hold specific items like the appliances, the microwave platters, and the trash can. The latest sections I finished, I put doors on and will rely on my wife to find the perfect combination of bins to store what she wants in this area.

Compared to the applicances where we are able to agree on what we would take traveling, the rest of the kitchen supplies are in flux so we will just rely on bins to corral them.

Here's a photo shot of all the sections of the kitchen cabinet opened up. Actually quite a bit of usable storage when you consider what it is built around. And some detailed shots of the last section under the sink with the doors added and my use of magnets for door closure.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:01 PM   #64
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Next buildout - the dinette

Now it's time to face my biggest challenge - getting the dinette design right.

In this small trailer everything has to serve double duty. We want to use our dinette to sit at a table AND we want to lounge back on each side of the dinette facing the rest of the trailer and maybe watching a TV. So the seating has to work in both directions.

I want the table to function as a place to eat of course, and I want to do computer work on my laptop. Usually I've found a lower table height for the laptop to be more comfortable for me. So I'm thinking adjustable table height by maybe starting with a boat chair with a lever to raise and lower it.

And then there is our Newfoundland dog who really likes to get underneath whatever table we are eating at where she is most comfortable.

Here are a couple shots of the space which just has the 20 gallon fresh tank and two battery boxes. There is an extension of the kitchen cabinet and countertop that runs out into this area and the dinette will be built at a slight angle, which makes access easier and will help getting both benches oriented toward the TV.

Could be a while before I make progress on this, but I'll post updates in stages.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:33 PM   #65
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Impressive use of space and craftsmanship. Thanks for sharing!
Lisa and Paul

2008 23' Int. CCD "The Atomic Pod"
1973 13' Boler (fiberglass egg) "The Boiler" (

WBCCI #23223 (=23 CCD)
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:40 PM   #66
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Finished buildout on Street side bed

It took a while to decide how we were going to use the last storage space under the street side bed. It has a pipe right in the middle going down into the grey tank, so not that much space.

I thought about really custom drawers with a buildout around the pipe. In the end my wife found a couple of bins she wanted to use and talked about extra toilet supplies that would work in there. So it was simplified to one shelf and a door. A good Sunday afternoon project.

I had to make one decision on the appearance and chose function over asthetics. The question was how many finger holes and where to put them. There is only one door, but what would be the best way to match it's appearance with the line of drawers that already existed under this bed.

I decided to make the front look like two drawers with two finger holes on the same horizontal line as all the others. But I put the finger holes on the left side of the door to make it easier to open the door. I'm using rare earth magnets everywhere for my door latches/holders. And it's a balancing act trying to use the right size and number of magnets to have enough holding strength, while still being able to open the doors. I started with my usual magnet for strength and couldn't open it with a center finger hole. So I had to move it to the left side for more leverage. It works now, but I wish I had been able to mirror the look of all the other drawers in every aspect.

Oh well, time to move on to the dinette.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:56 PM   #67
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All I can say is "WOW!"
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:14 PM   #68
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
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I have spent some time yesterday and today reviewing this thread, and I am ever impressed with the appearance and sturdiness of your work! Would you consider posting some close-up shots of the structural elements of your cabinets showing how the framing is built, and how the cabinets attach to the side wall, ceiling, floor, other cabinets, etc.? Also some shots of your framing for the beds?

I do not want to be a pest, but for those of us who are designing floor plans and cabinets, some structural photos would be great.

Thanks again for sharing your photos and descriptions. I look forward to seeing photos of your dinette.

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Old 10-17-2009, 06:11 AM   #69
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Waukesha , Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by hjlairf View Post
Would you consider posting some close-up shots of the structural elements of your cabinets showing how the framing is built

Look back to some of the early posts... there are LOTS of structural pictures. If you would like to see them closer up you can click on the thumbnails... if you would like to get even closer, try right clicking on the enlarged photo and select "save as" from the menu. This will allow you to use you photo viewer to zoom in as far as you like.

Make sure when you get to doing yours you post a lot of photos. Threads like this are invaluable to all of us.
Steve & the crew
'70 Ambassador International Twin
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:15 AM   #70
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Havelock , where we park it
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Thumbs up

Absoluutley some of the most beautiful interior work I have seen....

Marvin & Annie
Niki (fur baby)
1979 Argosy 30 (Costalotta)
WBCCI 10103
"Happiness is a warm Puppy" Charles Schulz
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1953, flying cloud

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