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post #442 of Old 09-08-2012
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!

I think I posted some in-progress pics in another thread last winter, but not the finished product. So here's my under-$100 drop leaf cabin table upgrade.

The Catalina 250 is blessed/cursed with an oversized cabin table that is great for opening charts (and eating), but severely hinders access to the settee lockers and front v-berth (and its ample storage underneath). Also, the paper-thin white melamine laminate was yellowing from bleed-through of the brown sublayer, so I wanted to spruce up the appearance. (Also, I couldn't find matching melamine edgebanding, so I needed to resurface the whole table.)

Here's a "before" pic, with my proposed drop leaf seams Photoshopped in to see how it might fit:

Cardboard mock-up of the table:

Test of the drop-leaf brackets on my cardboard mock-up:

Table right after cutting with a circular saw:

After applying unfinished cherry veneer:

The finished product:


Cherry veneer: $40
Drop leaf brackets: $16
Nickel plated piano hinges: $9
100 SS screws: $10
Polyurethane clearcoat: $8

Note that I am in a freshwater environment and run a dehumidifier 24/7, so corrosion is less of a problem than it might be for some of you. I expect the chromate coated drop leaf brackets to hold up OK in this environment, but salt water might have required powder coat or $tainle$$ brackets (which I was unable to find at any price).

After almost a full season of use, this has been one of the best things that I have done for my boat. Access to all of the storage under the V-berth and settees is significantly improved. I keep the leaves down basically all the time, but flip them up as needed almost every time I am on the boat.

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2001 Catalina 34MkII Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
PO of 1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (new owners relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
1991 17' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)

Last edited by TakeFive; 09-08-2012 at 01:59 PM.
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