Compact Jr. Winter rework session - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-22-2007, 12:52 PM   #15
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I've been thinking about the behind-the-microwave space. Does anyone know how much space is needed behind the microwave for ventilation? I think it would be more in a completely enclosed space like that than in a kitchen where it is sitting against a wall but open to the room. But one option that I was thinking about last night was just a narrow vertical slot that would hold my laptop, accessible from the other side of the bulkhead. I'm not going to cut a hole in the bulkhead, though, the wood is thick and I think it needs someone with more woodworking skill than I have to do a neat job.
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I plan to leave about half an inch behind the microwave, based on the fact that our kitchen microwave seems to work fine with about that much space.
For the area behind it, right now I'm thinking that a tall narrow deep (odd proportions, I know) drawer, facing the dining area, would be best-- a cabinet behind the microwave would be very deep (19 inches or so), and it'd be hard to get to stuff at the back. A drawer, you just pull out, and the stuff at the back is perfectly accessible.

(What a lot of carpentry I'm signing up for! I'm gonna have to lug my tablesaw out to the carport, or I'm going to exhaust myself with repeated trips up and down the stairs, in and out of the house! )

I'm also going to end up with a narrow slot right next to the microwave (the existing drawer is 21" or so wide, and the microwave is only 18 1/2"), and I haven't quite decided what to do with that, either. Perhaps a slot for a cutting board?
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:54 PM   #16
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I think a good rule of thumb is that any household appliance needs a minimum of 1" of ventilation space next to each surface. Hopefully, the 1" of space behind it is contiguous with 1" of space on top and to the sides, which in effect will vent it to the front. One idea I can think of would be to plumb in a 2" in diameter vent thru to the outside with a louvered cover on it.
There is plenty of space behind and on the sides currently, none on top since I set the shelf right over the microwave. But I know that's okay because a microwave can be mounted under a cabinet with no top space. I looked at the space behind the microwave- there is not as much as one might think, because the cabinet frame is not exactly flush to the trailer wall. But there would be room for a nice little cubby.

Another option for using it would be to just cover the drawer supports so it is a ledge back there, and you'd have a hidden place for things like purses, wallets, etc, reached from the bottom cabinet. Awkward to get to, but that would make it a safer hiding spot.

Bobbie
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:59 PM   #17
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I've messed. I even brought the plate home from the one at work and tried it to see if it was the plate, and the new plate did the same thing. I'm going to pull it out, set it on the perfectly level floor, and see what happens. If it groans, it goes back. If not, it may be something to do with how it sits in the trailer.

Bobbie

On Sis' Compact Jr., the cabinet faces slope back somewhat (that is, the aisleway is wider at shoulder level than at ankle level). That means that if the surface your microwave sits on is perpendicular to the cabinet face, it's sloping down at the back, which might account for your groan.

The stock drawers in the Compact Jr. are installed perpendicular to the cabinet face, that is, they slope down towards the back.
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Old 09-22-2007, 01:03 PM   #18
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On Sis' Compact Jr., the cabinet faces slope back somewhat (that is, the aisleway is wider at shoulder level than at ankle level). That means that if the surface your microwave sits on is perpendicular to the cabinet face, it's sloping down at the back, which might account for your groan.

The stock drawers in the Compact Jr. are installed perpendicular to the cabinet face, that is, they slope down towards the back.

I tried it on the flat, same problem. I think the unit is just defective-same model at work does take some fiddling with the plate to get it right, but eventually it works. This one does not seem to have a "right' position.

Steve, what are you doing to keep the cabinets from popping open? And did Cory have problems with the door popping open?

Bobbie
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:21 PM   #19
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I tried it on the flat, same problem. I think the unit is just defective-same model at work does take some fiddling with the plate to get it right, but eventually it works. This one does not seem to have a "right' position.

Steve, what are you doing to keep the cabinets from popping open? And did Cory have problems with the door popping open?

Bobbie
Well, here's my current plan:

Each cabinet door will have a brass pin extending from one edge. When the door is closed, the pin will fit into a notch in the door frame, and a slide-bolt will cover it, holding the door closed. Here's a picture of a mock-up I made:

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..and here it is, with the door closed, but the slide-bolt not yet in the latched position:

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(Pardon the blurry pics)

It ought to be really secure, and not too obtrusive.

The drawers don't have any problems with inadvertent opening (they're designed so you have to lift them slightly to pull them open) so no slide-bolts for them.

The main door doesn't seem to have any popping-open problem; there is a separate lock, not built into the doorknob, and it's a big old sliding bolt type.
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:51 PM   #20
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That looks like a great idea. I only have a problem with the closet door opening- the smaller ones have not opened in transit. I may try it there and see how it works. I know my parents used child-safety latches on their camper to keep doors shut but they are more annoying in use than your design would be.

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Old 09-24-2007, 08:40 PM   #21
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I finally got the cabinet "travel locks" finished; here's a picture:

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They're the brass sliding bolts below each door. The closet has one, too, installed above the door. Here's a picture of it, unlocked:

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Next project: Microwave installation!
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:59 PM   #22
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I really like those. How did you cut the grooves for the pins? Those are larger pins than I imagined.

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Old 09-25-2007, 10:03 AM   #23
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I really like those. How did you cut the grooves for the pins? Those are larger pins than I imagined.

Bobbie
I bought a little router base attachment for my Dremel tool:

http://www.amazon.com/Dremel-565-DREMEL-MU...395&sr=8-22

and a 3/16 router bit. Made a wooden guide, so the tool didn't go charging off across the vast unmarred expanse of the cabinet frame. Clamped the guide to the cabinet frame, zip, zip, zip. Worked very well.

The pins are 5/32" brass rod. The sliding bolts are 2-inchers, from Ace Hardware.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:03 PM   #24
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That looks like a great idea. I only have a problem with the closet door opening- the smaller ones have not opened in transit. I may try it there and see how it works. I know my parents used child-safety latches on their camper to keep doors shut but they are more annoying in use than your design would be.

Bobbie

Steve forgot to mention that I was VERY motivated to get some sort of cabinet-door-locking thing, as MY closet door would swing open, too, despite bungee cords across it. There's a long mirror on the door, and finally I decided it was the weight of the mirror (rather than what I put IN the closet) that made the door want to swing so much.

Steve had put a strap on the inside of the door to keep the door from opening too far (and thunking into the back cabin door's trim).

But had so much trouble with that door opening itself and swinging around, during my road trip to Yellowstone the closet door fell off completely, only kept from tumbling to the floor by the strap & a couple of loose bungees!!

Believe me, it behaved itself much more nicely packed away in a bench compartment the rest of the trip!
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:36 PM   #25
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Well, the microwave carpentry is finished. The installation looks like this from the front:

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The slot just to the right of the microwave is officially a cookbook niche. It'll hold useful books like "1001 Tasty Meals You can Prepare in a Frying Pan" and "The Frying Pan and I" and "Fear of Frying".

This view from above shows the cookbook niche and the Secret Cabinet behind the microwave:

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The cabinets won't have ceilings; with the icebox above them, there didn't seem to be any point to it.

And this last pic is the sliding door access to the Secret Cabinet:

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Well, actually it's just the sliding door's tracks; right now the sliding door itself--a piece of 1/4 birch plywood--is in the workshop being varnished. I got a really cute frog handle for it, too. The door will be partially blocked by the sofa cushions, so if Sis wants to get anything really large in or out she'll have to disarrange the cushions. I stuck up an LED tap-light inside the S.C. to light it up when you're trying to find something.
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:40 PM   #26
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And one last pic for now. This Decorative Element was added at the request of the trailer's owner, and the Chief Engineer, Carpenter, Plumber, and Electrician takes no responsibility for its tastefulness or lack of same.


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Old 10-02-2007, 08:43 PM   #27
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I love the secret cabinet. I may have to do that. I'll wait and see how the sliding door works out. It seems like a great idea. I was thinking about having a folding table fold down over the opening. Where did you get the Samsung microwave? I really hate the microwave I got at Target but it fits the slot (very hard to get the rotating plate not to make horrible noises.)

Bobbie
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:36 AM   #28
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Steve, how are you venting the microwave. That particular model has vents on the sides (???) the moisture has to go somewhere....
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