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Old 11-11-2019, 12:29 AM   #1
marklg
 
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Default Kitchen Remodel - 2007 Great West Legend

We have a 2007 Great West Legend. The countertops were covered with thin Melamine. Here in the AZ heat, the Melamine was peeling and cracking. The fridge was a Dometic absorption model that did not work well in the heat. Temperatures in the refrigerator section got up to 50F on a hot day, risking spoilage. The sink was plastic. The stove did not have an igniter.

Here is the original setup, before the countertop started peeling.

Original.jpg

I decided to first remove everything and see how they were attached. The countertops were attached to brackets with screws from the bottom. With the countertops off, you can see the fridge and plumbing.

Counter_Off.jpg

I used the original countertop as a template.

Template.jpg

You can see the peeling and cracking.

I removed the old fridge and some of the wood sealing it up in the back so the new one would fit.

No_Fridge.jpg

I added Polyiso insulation where it would fit on the sides. I put more Polyiso on the top and back of the new fridge and slid it into the space, securing it at the back with some screws into the wood. I had to make a couple of 3/4 in high wooden slats to go below the feet at the front of the fridge. The feet at the back sit on an existing piece of wood. The new fridge is not as tall so I made trim pieces for the top and bottom and stained them to match the original woodwork .

New_Fridge.jpg

Continues in the next post.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:47 AM   #2
marklg
 
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Default Re: Kitchen Remodel - 2007 Great West Legend

The original countertop is 3/4" thick and the new one needs to be the same thickness to fit under the trim at the window in the back and to allow the distances to the plumbing fixtures to be the same as before. Everything is shoehorned in. There literally was 1/2 an inch to spare between things like the sink and the cabinet walls.

I cut the new countertop out of one piece of 1/4" Baltic Birch and one piece of 1/2" Baltic Birch. That is so I could sandwich elevator bolts between them for a more secure mounting.

Cut_Wood.jpg

Notice that I cut things several times. My crappy jigsaw just would not cut straight. I finally cut approximately by hand and finished with a Router and trim bit, using the old countertop as template.

I then drilled holes in the brackets to fit the 1/4"-20 elevator bolts.

Bolt_Holes.jpg

Elevator_Bolt.jpg

Elevator bolts are basically have a wide, flat head with square shoulders so they don't rotate.

I cut holes in the 1/4" plywood, and using a Forstner bit, made space for the bolts to fit flush.

Bolt_Hole.jpg

continues in the next post
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:06 AM   #3
marklg
 
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Default Re: Kitchen Remodel - 2007 Great West Legend

Here are views of the bolts pushed through the 1/4" plywood.

Bolt_Top.jpg

Bolt_Bottom.jpg

The head is flush with one side and the bolt sticks out the bottom.

I then attached the 1/2" piece of plywood on top, sandwiching in the elevator bolts. I smoothed things out, routed the edges for a nice look, stained and finished it.

A new stainless steel sink was mounted underneath with custom bent clips. I could not find one of the right shape.

Ready_to_Install.jpg

You can see the sink, the clip and one elevator bolt ready to be attached to the bracket.

I used flange bolts with serrations and Loctite 243 to attach the bolts.

Flange_Bolt.jpg

After everything is installed, this is what it looks like.

Installed.jpg

For the igniter I added to the cooktop, see this thread.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=80208

Mark
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:25 AM   #4
MsNomer
 
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Default Re: Kitchen Remodel - 2007 Great West Legend

That is a really good looking replacement.

I’m doing almost exactly the same thing right now, except I’m replacing my varnished Baltic birch counter after 3.5 years because of water damage—and changing its shape a bit. That thin top layer is very vulnerable. My first intent was to formica the new one, but I can’t make myself do that because I so love the look of the wood. My compromise will be a formica inlay in the most-used area. Also, I figure I can redo in another 3.5 years if I need to. In my case, replacement involves nearly 100 screws.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:19 AM   #5
marklg
 
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Default Re: Kitchen Remodel - 2007 Great West Legend

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNomer View Post
That is a really good looking replacement.

I’m doing almost exactly the same thing right now, except I’m replacing my varnished Baltic birch counter after 3.5 years because of water damage—and changing its shape a bit. That thin top layer is very vulnerable. My first intent was to formica the new one, but I can’t make myself do that because I so love the look of the wood. My compromise will be a formica inlay in the most-used area. Also, I figure I can redo in another 3.5 years if I need to. In my case, replacement involves nearly 100 screws.
That's good to know. If this lasts 3.5 years, I will be OK with that. I had started to look around for someone to make a solid surface countertop. Many were just not interested in such a small job. Others were booked for several months. One quote I did get was for almost $900. I can make this countertop a dozen times for that amount.

They wanted to make it 1/2" thick in the middle, and 1 1/2" thick on the edges, built up to sit on top of the counter.

If they did that, the sink would be mounted an inch higher and the plumbing would not fit. If you look at the drain, it is made up of Canadian plumbing fittings not available here in the US. Everything just fits as it is. If the sink moved up, I would probably have to cut the pipe at the floor and completely rebuild the stack, which I really did not want to do.

Plumbing.jpg

Also, the back corners would not fit if the countertop moved up, requiring me to cut multiple trim pieces.

Back_Corner.jpg

That would not be good either. I could not find matching gray fabric, so I really don't want to mess with it.

So, costing me $900 and making a lot or work for me was not the way to go. I started out to make a fit template, but it turned out way better than expected, and my wife agrees we can just keep it for now and see how it lasts.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:21 PM   #6
Midwestdrifter
 
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Default Re: Kitchen Remodel - 2007 Great West Legend

I have had good luck with spar urethane, 3-5 coats (sprayed is best). Very tough stuff. You could get some thin hardwood laminate, and glue to the top of the plywood. You would have a couple of seams in the top, but would be more durable than the birch plywood if a high density hardwood was used.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:56 PM   #7
marklg
 
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Default Re: Kitchen Remodel - 2007 Great West Legend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
I have had good luck with spar urethane, 3-5 coats (sprayed is best). Very tough stuff. You could get some thin hardwood laminate, and glue to the top of the plywood. You would have a couple of seams in the top, but would be more durable than the birch plywood if a high density hardwood was used.
I used 5 coats of sprayed Spar Urethane.

I've used Ellis Pinnacle two part Polyurethane for my stairs and trim at home, but that stuff needs to be sprayed with a HVLP sprayer, a real respirator and a bunny suit in a spray booth. Too much work for this "temporary" countertop. It also is over $100 a gallon.

Regards,

Mark
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