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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.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, 50 Ton Master and OUPV
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106

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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina

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