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Old 11-03-2008, 07:41 AM   #1
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Here's a little project that I'm happy with, thought it was worth sharing. When rebuilding my Compact, I changed the two bunk layout to a U-shape, to grab some extra storage. Then came the decision of where to reinstall the table leg - foward to maximize floor space, centered to provide better dining, or fully back to maximize usable table.

I decided to try mounting the table on slides so I could have all three, and it worked pretty well.

Here's what I did: mounted the female tracks on trimmed-up 2 by 2's (poplar, seemed like it warranted more than pine), then mounted them to the bottom of the table. Then I mounted the male slides on the edge of a 3/4 plywood plate, and mounted the top table mount to the bottom of it. Finally, I drilled a guide hole in the plywood for a clevis pin, and used a compression spring and clips to create a plunger, that 'falls' into four holes drilled into the table bottom for stops.


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So, when we're not dining, the table is fully retracted...


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When there's just two us of seated, we can set it at 'half mast'....


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And if four of us are at the table, we can fully extend it, once everyone is seated....


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This full extended position also allows access to the forward storage compartments while the table is in place.

There is a little wobble when the table is fully extended, four factors seem to be at play. First, drawer slide quality - I decided to do this late in the rebuild, time was getting short to camping season so I just used off-the-shelf Home Depot slides; a tighter slide set would help minimize this. Secondly, and you'll realize this if and when you start to layout your own version of this project, oversized slides (length) would be necessary to avoid having the minimum and maximum settings being at the 'end of travel' But, you might run out of room under the table with oversized slides...


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Thirdly, there is a bit of 'cantilever' effect in full extension. Fortunately, the originial table mount set was 'old school', deep embedment, full taper. I had wanted to replace the table leg and mounts with new shiney ones, but couldn't find new ones of the same quality as the old. This effect is not that bad with the old mounts, full dinner and elbows on the table barely deflect it at all.

Last, the plunger system I used needs some refinement. The guide hole is a tad too big, allowing a bit of front-to-back slack. I'll fix that soon by using a short aluminum sleeve to line the guide hole.

The geometry and layout of the project was somewhat challenging - upside down and backwards, several varibles. As with any thing complicated, I had to draw it out in detail, dry fit it, and use a bit of trial and error. But it worked!

Hope you find this helpful...


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Old 11-03-2008, 07:54 AM   #2
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Very nice...mine is an Astro, its a compact/hunter/campster clone built in 1971 built in Ontario Ca. but my model 8-T has a front window, did you eliminate the front window in yours? If so how did you pull it off and did it work for you?

Harry
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:56 AM   #3
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Clever solution! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:49 PM   #4
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That's going to be one of my winter projects and I think you have just made it easier. Thanks for sharing. I also like the job you did on your benches. Maybe some more pictures would be nice.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
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That's going to be one of my winter projects and I think you have just made it easier. Thanks for sharing. I also like the job you did on your benches. Maybe some more pictures would be nice.
Hey Rick,

Glad to share. I've gotten a bunch of great ideas/solutions from the good folks on this site, hoped to pay it back a little.

Here's some shots of the benches/storage bins. I made it fairly complicated, everything interlocks, etc. I dry fit all of the pieces, then prefinished all of them before installation.


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The driver's side is one longer compartment, the space between the water tank (under the portable stove and tarps in the second pic) is big enough for my axe, saw, shovel and camp rake. Split the passenger side in two, one for the battery, charger, fuse box and tools (soon to be vented), and one for pure storage - I've been using it for surplus grub, beverages, and a towel bag.

The front two bins are working well for bedding and all my little camp stuff.

The complexity of the interlock seems like it was worth the effort, no sqeaks, very sturdy. One of the things I'm happiest with is the lid holder-uppers (can't recall what they're really called). Got them at Boaters World, $10ish for the smaller ones in aluminium, around $20 for stainless. I also put four 'hard points' inside of the storage areas, one at each corner - to tie down bikes and heavier 'stuff' (extra water in a jerry can) when under tow.


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I used the original foam, had the seamstress cut it up and re-piece it to make six cushions in lieu of the original four. Chose a Sunbrella fabric - that deal wasn't cheap, almost a grand in fabric and labor....

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Old 11-07-2008, 02:52 PM   #6
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Phil -

Wonderful idea and great job on the table, and on the benches!
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:12 PM   #7
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Phil
Your trailer is a piece of art, great workmenship. How long did this take you?
Rick
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:45 AM   #8
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Hi Phil

Thanks for sharing your storage bins. It's nice tho have everything so accessible.

Debbie
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:13 PM   #9
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Very nice. Lovely workmanship. We were trying to get ready for a trip and did not have time to do what you did. The previous owner had put down a new laminate foor but had not re-installed the receptacle for the table pedestal. So for a quick temporary solution we atached the table pedestal receptacle to a piece of unfinished 1/2 plywood that would lay down in the space between the benches. The goal was to have this available to also be a base for the table outside. It worked well for that and it worked well to support the table inside and allowed us to move the table back and forward in a manner similar to your slide. It was a temporary solution that will likely stay permanent.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #10
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Phil
Your trailer is a piece of art, great workmenship. How long did this take you?
Rick
Thanks Rick, nice to hear that the long hours are noticed.

It took a little more than a year, all weekend work. Probably put in about 400 hours - took her down to the frame, replaced the subfloor, did a bunch of body prep, desinged/built all new cabinets, etc., etc.

I'll post some more shots of the new cabinets soon....
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:33 PM   #11
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We will be waiting for more. Do you have before pictures?
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