Date: 3 July 2018. Making a Desk.
summertime often it is too hot to do much except plan the next
project. A few boats away from mine the owner has an air
conditioner. What his boat lacked however was a desk with great
visibility. I solved that with items from his back yard and a bit of
ingenuity. Here's how I made a desk for less than $5.
This is a 36' Gulfstar circa 1973.
Her name is Lefty.
Lefty ↑ is your standard trunk cabin vessel with a fly-bridge. Down
below and all the way forward is a cabin with vee-berths, a small
sink and a composting head. Moving aft on the lower level is a galley to
port. Across from that is a huge dinette on the starboard side. Up a
few steps to the main salon which also has a steering station. Down
three steps and you're in the aft cabin. In addition to bunks there
is a full head with a separate shower aft.
owner wanted a desk in the main salon. Fortunately where she is
normally docked there is a backyard shed. That building contains boat parts.
One thing I spotted was an old hatch cover. The size was perfect to
hold a laptop. So began the project.
The hatch cover was framed in
A trip to
the local hardware store was required. I wanted matching screws for
the project. Beach Hardware has stainless ones. They also have a
large selection of stainless perfect for boaters. Because this
project is for another boater, I opted to purchase matching screws.
Normally I just pick out some
screws that are about the right size from my screw box.
Years ago my daughter gave me this kit. Since then
I've refilled it numerous times. It's my Go-To for screws.
Aboard Seaweed I tend to use what I have rather than buying new.
Many times ideas are implemented while anchored without easy access
to a store. I do have a good supply of stainless hardware. In addition to
these I have many bottles filled with screws sorted by size.
most part I use what is in this kit. It is convenient and easy to
access. That trumps other considerations when projects loom. After
years of living onboard Seaweed things that are not used frequently
tend to be shoved into more difficult to reach spots. My "real"
nuts and bolts collection is a pain in the transom to get to.
Hardware ↓ has everything from hardware to plumbing supplies and
even fishing gear.
Jim and Kelley ↑ are always ready to help. You met Jim
Backing Plate Concerns article.
For the desk project, a quick trip down to Beach Hardware on
Madeira Beach was the simplest solution. Jim had exactly what was
required. He has a sizable selection of stainless screws. I was able
to find exactly what I needed in the proper length.
I drilled a hole in the fiberglass portion of the
hatch. It's in the middle of the top, inside the
A piece of scrap starboard was screwed to the
bulkhead between the two windows to support the desktop.
The owner sat down on the settee.
We chose an appropriate height and then screwed the starboard to the
bulkhead. Hinges were added to the bottom of the hatch. Then those
were attached to the starboard.
Reasoning: I chose to have the
starboard for a couple of reasons. First, four screws go into the
bulkhead. They spread the contact area thus providing a more secure
attachment. Because of the way I installed the hinges, when the
hatch cover/desk is raised it lays flat against the bulkhead.
The hinges naturally only open to
a point where the desk is horizontal. I did not believe that was
secure enough. That is why I drilled a hole through the top for a
piece of 1/8" braided nylon line.
The braided nylon attaches to a point in the
overhead, thus providing an additional steadying point.
This is not fancy. The former hatch
now has a new purpose. It is a desk.
When folded against the
bulkhead, the braided line ties to a small cleat.
This is a simple solution to resolve the need for a desktop aboard
would be to add some cork to the bottom side of the desk. Then the
owner would have a cork bulletin board when the unit is vertical.
That however is another project for a different day.
desktop I created for the laptop was inspired by this ↓ table.
Support for table top opens with
When not in use, the support
piece folds flat against the
bulkhead. Then the table top lays flush atop the support.
I love hinges. My dinette table now folds because of two hinges. I
showed you that in the
Dealing with Drunks (tool locker and
article. I still enjoy my new smaller dinette. It is where I do all
my writing and a lot of reading too!
In the meantime I'm laying low. Tomorrow is the 4th of July. Boating
on a holiday is not fun. I'll be home relaxing while reading my
Kindle. Life is good afloat.
boating to you, and thanks for reading.
Have you any fold-away items in your home? What?!?
Do you prefer your desk hidden away or out in the open?
Attaching Wires to the Bulkhead ~
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