We use 1 (overheads) and 2 (spotlights) all the time, but never in almost two years of ownership have we ever had occasion to use 3 (formerly fluorescent tube, since converted by us to LED).
Those formerly-fluorescents did not bother me until I spent 17 consecutive nights lying in bed staring up at them.
|Based on this view, am I in a high-end Class B RV, or have I landed in the county morgue?!|
May I borrow a quote from Robert Munsch and say, "Ugly, ugly, very ugly."
OK, so I had an inkling that I would like to put a shelf beneath this cabinetry, to help tame the Clutter Monster that constantly impacts life in a Class B where there are few storage surfaces upon which to simply "set things down". The shelf must reflect the same sophistication and design quality that characterizes the rest of the Interstate build. How to begin?
|Start by measuring the entire area in order to help provide a feel for what might be appropriate for the space.|
|In this case, the relevant numbers worked out to be whole and half inches. Convenient for ordering standard hardware such that individual modifications would not be necessary. |
Incidentally, those tubes you see above the bottom cabinet plate are my custom clothing storage system.
|12 inches, 0.5 inches, 3 inches, and about 41 inches (under-cabinet separation between spotlights at either end of the jack-knife couch) were the numbers du jour.|
|After various trials and experiments, I concluded that 9" x 36" felt like promising dimensions.|
That cardboard you see is the same piece that I used when mocking up the computer table that I built using much the same logic, so ignore the original measurements written on it. I re-cut it for this project.
|Same bad hair day, different overhead space management idea.|
- I decided it needed to be a bit deeper than the light fixture, so that I could comfortably insert my hand into it to grab items that I know would tend to slide toward the back wall (the cabinet is slightly sloped backwards).
- In order to prevent a deeper shelf from interfering with the movement of people, I felt it necessary to recess it.
|That's why it's only 9 inches deep on a 12-inch under-cabinet. I thought it would remain out of the way with a set-back. Plus I did not want the wood to be dominated by it - I wanted a light, airy feel with some visual reveal of the wood.|
Now, I'm going to skip a lot of detail in this next part and just cut to the chase. Suffice it to say that I spent hours pondering many, many different approaches to hanging these shelves. Finding what I consider to be an optimal solution was not any easy process, and I probably uttered more expletives during this project than during our solar project and hitch carrier project combined. But in the end, here's how it went down.
|As with the custom computer table, I filed down sharp edges and trimmed the perforated aluminum with belt webbing. I bought a whole spool of it because I seem to need it a lot (it's called Dritz 100% Polyester Belting 1" Wide 15 Yards-Charcoal Gray). I sewed on the edging using embroidery floss.|
These pieces of perf'd aluminum were longer than they were wide, and they tended to bow more than the computer table piece, so I clamped them down while doing the edging.
|I then took the workpiece to Lowe's hardware store to select the hardware. Where possible, I like real-time fitting at a brick-and-mortar rather than ordering off the internet.|
|The Tee nuts were my husband's suggestion and they were the key to this project.|
|I used these to lock down the shelf on the bottom bolt heads, so that it would not bounce around while the Interstate was under way. I also used small quarter-inch washers that were sold loose, hence no mug shot.|
|I even measured the size of parts that were already represented as being exact, just in case.|
|There's the tee nut that has to be totally within the interior cabinet space, both shaft and flange. The aluminum skin of the Interstate is to photo right, so you can see what kind of an inset I was having to deal with.|
|In being forced to inset the rear, I opted to also inset the front for symmetry.|
|It wasn't that bad of a compromise. Insetting the bolts would actually help to prevent items from sliding off the ends of the shelf during acceleration and deceleration.|
|This part was easy... four Phillips head screws held it up there.|
|Disconnecting the electrical (he knows more about wiring than I do), and shrink-wrapping the wires for safety and possible future repurposing. They were triple shrink wrapped and re-inserted into the original conduit.|
|And here's what the template looked like when taped up under the cabinet. I probably re-positioned it 8 times before I was satisfied with the placement. Once again, you only get one shot at this.|
|My calculations indicated I needed about 1.77 inches in order for the tee nuts to clear the rear strapping. I moved it up and rounded it to 2.0 inches, adjusting again after this photo was taken.|
|Here is what four of those tee nuts look like from above, inside the cabinetry. They sit flush so that they won't interfere with the use of the cabinetry (i.e., won't create snags).|
Now all I have to do is repeat the same process all over again for the second shelf, which will go above my husband's side of the bed.
|I think I'm pretty much there. Even the work projects are a fun part of this life, expletives and all.|