Sunday, July 19, 2020


Almost a year and no posts, because Blogger is all but a dead platform and I have too many other priorities to convert my content to a more secure space.

Anyway, this project was enough of a pain in the rear end that I figured some instructions were warranted for anyone who may wish to try something similar.

I started out with a pair of Zevro dry food dispensers in this space, which I installed several years ago, and which looked really cool.  But these things were a nightmare of under-engineering.  They may be fine for climate-controlled kitchens, but they don't work in an over-the-road scenario.

Exquisite design style, but useless, representing thirty bucks I will never see again.
The bottom caps would fall off with a clatter whenever we hit a good road bump, and then cereal would start dumping all over our galley kitchen.  Even in the best of times when we could wrap them with rubber bands to keep them together, the containers were not air tight, and the cereal would get soggy in high-humidity conditions.  So, as attractive as the Zevros obviously are, and as well-scaled for the space, they had to get gone.

I decided I wanted to retain the cabinetry end cap space as a cereal storage area, though, because it is so convenient.  On long road trips, my husband and I typically eat a large meal in the middle of the day, then drive until nightfall, park in a Cracker Barrel or Wallyworld, grab a quick bowl of cereal, and get to sleep as fast as possible.  It's just so easy to reach up there and grab cereal without having to rummage around under the galley in the dark.

My construction and installation sequence went like this.

(1) I ordered two of my favorite storage bottle - the Nalgene 48 ounce silo, directly from Nalgene.  I did not want any printing or graphics on the bottles - I just wanted a clean, unmarked style.

(2) Husband and I designed a holding platform to fit the cabinetry end cap.  The space is a difficult configuration, with a headknocker abutting it from the sliding door, the curved cabinetry and side of the van, etc. We settled on a simple design with the bracket in the center rather than on the edges as a typical suspended wall shelf might have, because of the geometry of the space. 
Ignore the red thing - that's our rear door prop, which received a second coat of red enamel at the same time.  The two pieces of the cereal shelf were painted to match the Interstate's countertop and other gray items.
(3) I made a stiff paper template in order to position the hole locations on the cabinetry.  The geometry of the work area meant that the holes had to be drilled from the front and screwed from the back.
Template on the wall-facing part of the shelf.  You can see how closely the paint color matches the countertop.
Template on the end cap.  I had obstructions behind that face on the top and bottom, so I had to choose my screw locations carefully.
(4) I then screwed the assembled shelf / bracket to the wall and set about figuring about how to make stretchy retaining loops for the two containers.  There could be no chance of them falling off the cabinet because this area sits right above our glass-topped sink.  One falling bottle would cost us a few hundred dollars for a new sink top.

(5) In order to make the hold straps, I used fabric elastic and double-cap rivets (here, and here) that my husband got us so that we could replace the stock straps on N95 masks with something more fitted and comfortable (with the coronavirus pandemic and material shortages, single-use N95s are being stretched out for use over several months apiece).  I would prefer to use shock cord in this application, but I could not find professional-looking and properly-sized end finishes on short notice.

The elastic strap was held in place by simple eye-screws that extend into the end cap.
In order to get the elastic band into the eye screws once they were screwed into the cabinet, it was necessary to Dremel out a narrow channel where the round terminus of the eye almost touches the shaft. 
For a smooth fit, the elastic was sewn together around the middle eye screw.  A single large loop would not have worked in this application because each Nalgene silo had to be held securely.

(5) Once the eye screws were installed and the elastic eased into them, the silos can be added.

Close-up of the rivet:

And with that little project completed, we'll continue to enjoy Blogger while we can.
From Techcrunch.

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