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Old 12-26-2018, 12:35 PM   #1
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Shelf above front dinette in Escape 19'

When I first saw Jim's Prairie Schooner, I was delighted with the shelf that runs across the front, above the dinette. Now that we have our own 19', I'm not so thrilled anymore.

That's because of the 4" deep edge that stops things from falling out of the area but also makes it difficult to find anything lying on the shelf, out of sight, and impossible to store reading material other than Kindles and small paperback books.

What I want is an edge that can be secured when we are travelling but can be removed or dropped down when we are stationary.

I had thought of cutting out the edge completely and replacing it with a barrier made of the same fabric (white duckcloth) in which our cushions and valences are upholstered. I thought that perhaps I could secure the barrier to the bottom and sides of the shelf with heavy-duty velcro.

I would be grateful for comments and recommendations that reflect my complete lack of skill with tools and woodworking. And my only marginal skill in sewing.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:41 PM   #2
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How about placing something light on the shelf that raises it to maybe 2" or place plastic baskets from the dollar store and place items in the baskets.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:02 PM   #3
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That's what we're doing now, but it limits what I can place on the shelf. For example, last weekend, I brought up Barbara Kafka's Microwave Cooking (a wonderful source for using the microwave to cook rather than just reheat; I've been using it since 1982), and can't put it on/in the shelf because the book is too big.

Here's a photo of our shelf in the Wilderness 21', which is what I'd like to replicate. The Escape shelf would not, of course, be as deep, but it would be deep enough to place the cookbook on it.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:39 PM   #4
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Having just looked at my 2018 model shelf, the front lip could be picked apart with a screw driver and hammer. Donít forget the screws inside the side cabinets need to be removed as well.
Then I would make an L shaped lip that was aprox 4 inches on the horizontal and 2 inches high. Cover it in fabric and install.
This can be done if you have the skill. I have made it sound easy but there would be a page worth of detailed instructions and tricks to make it happen. A lot of work to only get another 3.5 inches of depth max due to the side cabinet doors.

I would suggest that you consider a lower magazine rack along the front wall. Cut some plywood, cover it in your fabric and install with some brackets.

Good luck
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:53 PM   #5
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I just put stuff on that shelf that fits.
Cribbage board, cards, bird book, stuffed frog.
I drilled through the bottom for a hook and was surprised by how thick it was. Might want to check with ETI. May be a structural element.
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:24 PM   #6
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If your leftover cloth is not big enough to cover a floor style magazine rack you could make it out of wire shelving. The wire shelving is a bit more weight than the plywood, but not by much.
Cut the shelf to width, put the lip on or just above the floor (so you donít loose any toe room) to form the rack base and attach with some wire clamps to the side walls.
I have seen piles of this kind of shelving cheap and available used at Restore which is a used building supply store.
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:42 PM   #7
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When we had our 19', I purchased some cloth-covered boxes (think, CD-type boxes) from Target which fit perfectly in that space. We could then put in our cribbage board, Kindles, etc., and lift the entire box down when looking for anything. They were similar to these (https://www.target.com/p/small-recta...3/-/A-52071049) but cloth-covered.
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I just put stuff on that shelf that fits.
Cribbage board, cards, bird book, stuffed frog.
I drilled through the bottom for a hook and was surprised by how thick it was. Might want to check with ETI. May be a structural element.
Same as us. We have a number of items that are a perfect fit and secure because of the front ledge.

The shelf, like other parts of Escapes consist of a thin upper and lower panel with solid wood battens. If you had solid wood you were drilling through a batten. Mostly there's just air space between the upper and lower panels.

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Old 12-26-2018, 03:27 PM   #9
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A picture of the only hole I've drilled.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:24 PM   #10
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The couple we bought our 19 from made four removable bins that fit snug on the shelf. We put all kinds of stuff in them and they stay firm in place when traveling.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:26 PM   #11
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"...I would suggest that you consider a lower magazine rack along the front wall. "

I'm with Eggscape. Before doing something not reverseable that may not turn out to your liking, you might try a variation of what I did. I keep my laptop under there.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:01 PM   #12
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Yes, I did the same in Prairie Schooner, added a shelf underneath with a hole for the table leg support...
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
"...I would suggest that you consider a lower magazine rack along the front wall. "

I'm with Eggscape. Before doing something not reverseable that may not turn out to your liking, you might try a variation of what I did. I keep my laptop under there.
Very fancy Myron ! Like ! Pat
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:03 PM   #14
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I do like the under-the-table shelf. We put one in, too, but it just rests on the either side of the bench seats. It's where I keep my ski boots with their boot heaters plugged into the electrical system. The shelf isn't permanent because we don't need it in the summer.

I am impressed by all of the ingenuity! Jim and I think that the battens are definitely structural: they brace the side cabinets above the dining area, and strengthen the shell. So they can't be removed. BUT the photo of the hook screwed into the bottom of the shelf indicates that the bottom is solid plywood (I will find out by banging a nail into it). That opens up a lot of possibilities!

Thanks to you all!
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