Airstream Remodel (Part 3) – Utility cover

Covering the Utility Tunnel under the new dinette turned out to be trickier than expected, because there was one level I wanted to keep everything at, so the cushions will lay flat over the whole area. So I built the seats based on the height of the existing tunnel wall, and I want the covers to sit down in there flush with that.

The seats are actually 3/4 inch higher, because the tunnel covers need to be higher next to the seats, and lower in the middle area, because when the table is folded down, that is where it will go, and then the whole thing should be flat.

Because I am concerned about weight, I didn’t want to just use 3/4 Plywood for the raised part, so I used 1/2 ply, and 1/4 strips to make a frame under the ply to add up to 3/4. Maybe more work than necessary, but it also let me use some scraps instead of cutting into another expensive piece of 3/4 ply.

Then I did build the table out of 3/4 ply, because I want it to be strong and sturdy.

And by some miracle it actually all fit together and is nice and level on top. But when I looked at mounting the leg on the table, I realized I had forgotten the leg was long enough it would need to go under the table and back into the tunnel area.

This caused me a lot of headach as I tried to figure out how to remove the existing support, build a new support that would hold up the two tunnel covers, and yet make a little slot for the leg to fold up into, and there was also a limitation of how far down the whole assembly could go because the whelwell liner is in the way. I ended up needing to use my new dado blade to remove 1/4 off the bottom of the table, and then I could modify the tunnel structure just enough to get my piece in there, and by golly, it all worked, at least in theory, since the table is not fully assembled with the leg yet, but I’m confident I’ve got it worked out. Everything test fit ok.

A little bit off the table…
Just enough room for the folded up table leg.

And everything fit back together just right.

The hand slots make it easy to pull up those tunnel covers for maintenance.

Now to finish the table and get that all assembled. Waiting for my awesome retro Wilsonart Laminate to arrive…

“Betty”!

More to come…

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