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Project Log:  Saturday, September 24, 2011

With significant cuts in the galley cabinet my next step ahead, it was time to sort out the cuts' final dimensions; despite the previous time spent on the layout, the only real way to confirm the cuts would be correct was for me to inspect and measure the stove and refer units that would be placed in the cutout areas.  I'd specifically ordered both units earlier, so they'd be on hand at this point.

I began with the Engel refrigerator.  I unpacked the unit so I could confirm its overall dimensions, and while it was out I decided I ought to plug it in and make sure it worked, in case it'd been damaged in shipment.  It did work, and I left it plugged in for an hour or so to let it cool the interior.  I was really looking forward to this luxury, I admit.

After confirming the measurements, and looking over the included instructions, I decided to slightly enlarge the width of my planned opening--partly to give the refer additional air movement space, and partly because I realized that if I installed cleats to support the countertop lid that would cover the space, they'd impinge on the operation of the refrigerator lid.  So I expanded the opening by an inch or so forward (to the left in the photo), making the opening 16" wide, which allowed plenty of room for the 14.5" wide refrigerator.

The built-in trim kit for the stove had been confusing me since the day it arrived.  The instructions left something to be desired.  They offered four different ways to install the trim kit, and the one I thought I wanted to use just wasn't making a lot of sense to me.  So I decided to unwrap all the trim pieces and see how things were supposed to go together.

The installation method I'd originally hoped to used called for installing the trim on the surrounding cabinet, which could allow the range to be mounted flush with the countertop.  The more I looked at this, though, the more concerned I became.  First and foremost, installing the trim in this way would require extremely accurate and precise measuring and, even more so, cutting, since the trim would butt against the opening and not overlap the cutout at all.  This seemed impractical to me.

Reviewing the various choices once more, I eventually decided to install the trim on the stove itself, as called for in one of the other options in the instructions.  This would allow the trim to overlap the opening a bit in all areas for that clean appearance I was striving for.  The only difference would be that the trim would stand proud of the countertop (and cabinet face) by the thickness of the trim, or about 5/16 - 3/8".  This wasn't a problem, and in fact I thought it would ultimately look and function better than my original plan.

To test this out, I temporarily installed the trim kit on the range in the desired position.  I then measured the actual clearances required, which, with the position I chose, required a slight modification to the depth of the cutout in the counter, by 1/2" to allow for the required 2.5" open space behind the stove (for ventilation and to provide adequate room for the LPG hose and connections).  The other dimensions as originally laid out in the range instructions were correct for this installation, but different trim placement options would require different cutout dimensions.


With these key dimensions confirmed, I took the countertop down to the shop and cut out the top parts of the two large openings.  While I had it down there, I cut out the opening for the sink in my chosen location, which left enough room between it and the stove for some sort of hidden trash bin.

Back in the boat, I reinstalled the counter, and transferred the cutout locations to the cabinet face; they lined up with my layout lines, except one side of the stove cutout where I'd run the saw blade on the outside, rather than inside, of my layout mark, so the opening was 3/32" wider than the planned 22"; not a problem for the trim kit, but it slightly changed the corresponding mark on the cabinet face.

Then, I cut out the front section of the two openings and tested the fit.  There wasn't much of the galley left.


With the cabinet front back down on the bench, I started to lay out some additional cabinet doors and openings in the forward section, but quickly realized that I'd need to order certain parts to have on hand before I could make any cutouts.  Specifically, I needed to locate, and purchase, whatever trash can pullout device I wanted, so I found something suitable online and ordered it.

Similarly, I planned to build a recessed area to contain foot pedals for the galley sink pumps, but found that my planned space for this was interfering (possibly) with the size and location of the trash bin.  So I was forced to put these cuts on hold for the time being, till I had all the parts in hand and could accurately determine various locker sizes and shapes.

In the meantime, I prepared some support cleats from scrap lengths of hardwood, and installed cleats around the new stove and refer openings to support the transverse bulkheads that I'd install to complete the openings, divide the storage lockers, and also support the remaining galley cabinetry.  I also installed cleats at the top edge to give a bearing and fastening surface for the countertop.

Back in the boat, I used a level to strike plumb marks down from the openings on to the hull, to give me at least rough locations for the bulkheads at each of the three locations.  By now, it was late in the day, and I reluctantly held off beginning the bulkhead templates. 


Total Time Today:  4.5 hours

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