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  1. One of the things I asked Oliver to do for me was to install a 12" counter extension to the right of the cooktop that could be folded down when not in use. I figured we could use the extra counter space, plus I wanted a buffer between the cooktop and beds for splatter. This is what they came up with - This was perfectly fine and exactly what I was expecting, and we've really enjoyed using it. The only thing I didn't really like was that the hardware was finicky and just didn't work well. And the top ended up about 9" rather than 12", so it was a little small. And we had asked if they could make a piece of fiber granite to match, but they'd have to make a new mould for it so that wasn't going to happen. It also would have been nice if the extension were flush to the counter. So maybe a lot of problems. But we were happy with it nonetheless. But one day when I was running some wires through the pantry, I had removed the countertop beneath for access and just naturally set it down on top of the counter extension. Well, it fit perfectly; and thus, a new project was added to the list. I asked Oliver if they would sell me an extra top and picked it up when I got my trailer out of service a few weeks ago. I believe they charged $150 for it. Since I was redoing the top, I figured I'd search for better hardware as well. I found several options, but the ones that stood out were these from Amarine. They're super heavy duty and stainless steel. They work much better than what we had, and look nicer to boot. The only problem was that they were about a half inch too long for the countertop, so they'd have to be cut to size. But worth the trouble, so I ground the ends off a half inch. If you don't want to go through that trouble, my second choice was these, which are small enough to fit without modification. I cut a ½" piece of plywood that I could screw into to use as the base for the top. A ½" sheet will sit flush to the lip of the counter, which is what I wanted, but to make the countertop flush to the existing counter, it meant the hinges had to be high enough that I had to grind out a small notch for each hinge to clear. No big deal - btw, a Dremel with a small sanding cylinder works really well on the fiberglass, and leaves a smooth edge and no chipping whatsoever. Wear a mask. Here are the notches - The brackets are easy, just mark the holes, drill, and screw. I used ¾" #10 stainless on the bottom legs and ¼" #8's on the top. And 3M 4200 along each leg and on each screw going into the fiberglass to prevent it from backing out over time. Since none of the surfaces in the trailer are perfectly 90°, I needed to shim something to make the counter level. I considered grinding down the latch that holds the brackets at 90°, but that would have been difficult and if I ground off too much, I'd have to buy another bracket. Instead, I decided to shim between the plywood and fiber granite and then glue the top to the plywood with more 3M 4200, which I'm using so much that I've started referring to it around the house now as Snowball Glue. It's only about ⅛" max to shim - I used some stainless washers that I had lying about and just glued them down in each of the corners. I found that the top was a bit warped, so I had to weigh it down while the glue set - See, I knew lead acid batteries still had a use. I let it sit overnight and in the morning, I had what's in the photo above. Cool. BTW, if you want to do this and have mattresses, then you'll want to check their thickness to make sure the extension will clear when folded. Measure down 12" from the bottom lip of the counter. If your mattress is below that, you're good. If you have cushions, then no problem, but you'll need to move one of the back ones out of the way when raising or lowering the top. More pics -
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