Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bifold door mod

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bifold Door Mod for our Jayco Jayflight.

The first step I took in this project was to order a custom sized bifold door from my local lumber store.
I asked for a 26x80 inch door (as our opening was 26.5x81 inches.) They cut down a standard 30x80 inch door. The only problem with this is that when the door arrived it was only 78.5 inches long and 25.5 inches wide. I am not sure how that happened, but my guess is that a standard 80 inch door is actually 78.5 and so they only cut down the sides, they could not add to the bottom. 

white painted wood header for above door.
It was a week before holidays when it arrived, and so I decided to add my own white header on the 
ceiling to make it work the way it was. But I am sharing this information so that if you decide to do this  mod you can be aware of the issue.

Once I received the door I removed the ugly brass hinges that came with it. My idea for hanging this door is that it would look good on both sides, and so I was planning to use a piano hinge instead of the standard hardware.

If I was to do this project again, I would ask the factory not to attach the hinges in the first place, and it would have saved some work filling the holes.

Here is how the door looked once it was stained. I used 2 coats of a Varathane brand stain, which came in a black tube and was water based. I used the colour "Early American" and I coated the door with two coats of oil based urethane afterwards. This combo turned out to be a perfect match for the colour of our Jayco cabinets.

Once the door was stained, I attached a 72 inch  piano hinge to it on the two sides that would sit to the rear when installed. (These are the two sides that do not have a factory hole drilled into the bottom or top of them.)

We attached our home made wood header to the ceiling to give us the extra inch of height we needed, and then we added the factory hardware onto that. There was a solid wood backing behind the ceiling panel where the privacy curtain was previously attached.

We took the curtain that was previously attached to our bedroom and installed it on the bunkhouse door which gives our teenagers more privacy when sleeping and allows us to go to the bathroom at night without disturbing them with the light. It also serves to create a private dressing area for anyone who is sleeping on the jackknife sofa.

Next we installed the hardware that attaches to the wall and floor.
We used a measuring tape to make sure this was sitting evenly with our
top track.

all that remained was to snap the door into its track. You will see in this photo that I chose to have 
the door close flat into our bedroom rather than into the entrance way. This allows us to keep our coat hooks and stool as they were.

With the door opened
Here it is with all our stuff back in place. It is a very small area, yet it has now been configured with a proper door, coat storage, a stool and a countertop extension... and it all works!

With the door closed

One final bonus is that I now have a place to hang our wet bath towels in our room, and as you can see in the next photo, the door still folds totally flat, and they stay hidden.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A weekend in the Tin Can Cottage

** Note** If you are looking for the before and after decorating photos of my glamorous trailer makeover, please click on the blog post called "Lady Wendolyn goes Glamping" Posted in the May 2012 section .. located on the right hand column of this page.

A weekend in the Tin Can Cottage
So... for our second weekend out in our new trailer we had rain, rain and more rain!
You can see it running down the edge of the canopy here. It came down in buckets!

But the view from our campsite
was really pretty. This new campground has been carved out of an old area of trees and marsh.. so that everywhere you look it is green, green, green.

So even though I was stuck in the
"Tin Can Cottage" almost all weekend, the view out my window was beautiful and there were all kinds of birds flitting around (including humming birds)
whenever the rain let up for a while.
I am going to bring a couple of bird feeders out for the summer so that I can enjoy the birds up close.

There is nothing like being curled up with a blanket and a book (or now a days an iPad) to help you relax and disengage from the stresses of everyday life, which really is a main reason that we go camping.

I have to say that upgrading to a large trailer was a brilliant idea. The weekends of rain have shown us how functional this little place is, and we found ourselves happily occupied in spite of the lousy weather.

On our last, the weather improved slightly and we were able to take a stroll on the old fashioned boardwalk and enjoy the view of lake Winnipeg which goes as far as the eye can see!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lady Wendolyn.. Jill of all trades.. Camper modifications

** Note** If you are looking for the before and after decorating photos of my glamorous trailer makeover, please click on the blog post called "Lady Wendolyn goes Glamping".. located on the right hand column of this page.

Lady Wendolyn.. Jill of all trades...
This post contains before and after photos of a countertop extension project, and some shelving.

I grew up in a family where my parents did a lot of remodelling to homes, and by involving us as children in these projects they conveyed to us that we had the ability to change and improve things that we didn't like.

 This was an incredible gift which allows me to try things without worrying too much about failure..,
My mom in fact used to say "Well, a blind man would be glad to see it", when she finished a reno project that had a few imperfections.

So when we recently purchased our new travel trailer, in addition to decorating it, I decided to modify a few things in the interior. What follows are some photos of my recent projects. The first some shelving I added to our bedroom closet and the second is a counter top extension for our little kitchen.

My Closet Shelving Project.
 So this was a really easy project.

Here is the closet that I am adding the shelves to. The first thing I needed to do was remove the closet bar.. Sorry Jayco I don't wear that many dresses when I am camping.

The next thing I did was make marks an equal
distance from the base of the closet, all around.
I made two rows because I am adding two rows of shelves.

Then I cut my trim wood to size, and pre-drilled and installed the screws.
I used one and a half inch deck screws for this project.

The closet is really small and awkward and so pre-drilling etc. makes everything easier.

 I like adding a layer of panel adhesive which really helps to hold the wood to the walls without having to use too many screws.

Here is a picture of the closet with the side trim pieces in. It may look crooked.. but its just the camera angle. 

And here is the finished product....
I even found shelving wood at home depot that matched the cabinets.. !

Now onto something more complicated..
The countertop extension ...

                                               My countertop extension project..

Ok.. so the first thing to know about adding a countertop extension in a Jayco trailer.. is that there are some obstacles you will have to overcome.

The biggest issue is the "plastic lip" on the existing countertop. (Pictured on the left.. ) You are looking at the underside of the counter which shows the 1/4 inch plastic lip. You can not attach anything to it because it is plastic and flimsy.

The second obstacle that I had to overcome was that the countertop extension piece that I had ordered from the local countertop place was 1/4 of an inch thicker than the counter that I am attaching to.

So all of these factors had to be considered...
 and I solved both these problems by doing a bit of math, and then cutting and routering a custom piece of wood that would even out the size of the two countertops and also beef up the area with the flimsy plastic lip...

Here is what the custom piece looks like. It is 5/8 of an inch by 1 inch.. and I had the lumber store router out a 1/4 inch edge.

The next step was to pre-drill the holes for the piano hinge that I planned to use. I didn't want to have to work upside down once the piece of wood was attached under the counter edge.

Then I added some panel adhesive 
to the wood piece and clamped it in place along the counter edge.


Here is a picture of the clamped wood from the bottom.  You can see how the routered out section now covers up the plastic lip. The finished piece sits about 1/4 longer than the countertop which will allow me to attach the piano hinge at an even level to
the bottom of both counters. 
So well that was drying, I pulled out the bottom drawers from our counter
and beefed up the inside, on the right hand side of the unit, with a piece of wood, so that I would have 
a wood 3/4 inch thick backing to screw my support bracket into later in the project.

This is the piece of wood I used with panel adhesive on it.

 I braced it in place with a scrap of wood so that
it could dry without slipping down.

 I then took the piano hinge, and marked and predrilled the holes on the small counter extension piece that I was going to attach.

  I was now ready to remove the C-clamps and screw the piano hinge to edge of our counter. I used a ratchet adapted with a screw gun bit because the space was too tight for my drill.

 Here is a close up of how it now looks under the edge of the counter with the piano hinge attached, and the wood "bridging" the plastic lip problem.

At this point I had a couple of helpers hold the counter top extension in place and I screwed the piano hinge to the bottom of the extension. Boy am I glad I pre-drilled everything.. it made it so much easier.

Now.. it sorta looks done.. but it needs something to hold it up!

So the next thing I did was find the placement for the bracket I had chosen . (I bought this one for $2.49 at IKEA, and stained it to match the cabinets.) Once I had figured out the placement, I screwed a piece of piano hinge into place where it needed to sit, The screws are going right into the backing board that attached inside the cabinet earlier.

So the piano hinge gets attached to the bracket on one side
and to the cupboard on the other side.

Here you are seeing it in the position where the 
bracket will sit when the counter is in the down (hanging position) It simply folds flat against the cabinet.

The final thing I did was to attach an adjustable 
screw foot to my bracket  because even with a level block of wood in place, the counter seemed to slope a bit, and so the adjustable screw foot allows me to set it perfectly level with the other counter.

And here is the finished product.... 

Like I said.. My parents convinced me that I can 
figure out anything if I just put my mind to it..

And they were right!  I am very happy with and proud of the finished project!