Monday, September 12, 2016

Room in the Reefer

Guilty.

I am guilty as charged.

Yes, there has been an unconscionable gap in posting to this blog - it's just that not everything in our lives is related to boating, and a bunch of that stuff came up recently.  OK, enough of the Mea Culpa.

Eolian's refrigerator compartment is huge for a boat.  But because it is so tall, much of the space in it either goes to waste, or we spend a long time sorting thru piles of things in there with the door open, looking for something.

Something had to be done.

I decided to make a shelf that would add 50% to the horizontal storage space in there, and put some of that vertical space to use.  Because I am a professional scrounge, I have a good collection of teak scraps discarded by others, gleaned from the dumpsters.  I brought some of this, and a collection of tools to the boat:

Some of the tools

Making a mess of the dock
In a project like this, it is important to make dimensional decisions that will fit with what you plan to store in the reefer.  To that end, I think I may have disturbed some folks at Safeway by walking around with a tape measure, measuring beer boxes, soft drink cartons and other things.  It was kind of surprising to see the variability in carton sizes, even for canned drinks.

The trick in building this shelf was that it needs to be removable, yet it needs to stay in place with a load of food on it when the boat is in a seaway.  I was most worried about the shelf tipping over toward the door when on a starboard tack.  Here's how I dealt with that:
  • The left-hand support bracket has a foot that goes all the way to the door, about twice the length of the bracket.  With this extension, it would be very difficult indeed to tip the shelf on this side.
  • On the right-hand (aft) side, I made the last of the shelf boards extend behind the holding plate, preventing any movement on that side.
Finally, to lock things together when it is in place, I made rabbits in the top edges of the support brackets to accept a rabbit on the cleats on either side of the shelf.  When the shelf is installed, it cannot move toward or away from the door because of these interlocking notches.

Three pieces, with clever interlocking

Yes, the shelf slats seem to be sort of unevenly spaced from side to side.  This is because the left-hand side of the reefer is deeper than the right-hand side due to hull taper.

Sadly, in my first attempt at making the side brackets, I failed to take into account that the rear wall of the reefer matches the hull contour.  So I had to redo the brackets.  In fact, every board was custom cut and fitted because of the hull contour and because the hull is tapering in as you go aft (to the right in the picture).

But in the end I got it.  And we've added 50% to our reefer storage.

Et voilĂ !
Seems like a pretty small thing for a day and a half's work.  But there was a lot of thinking and trial fitting.  And that beer box is no longer full...


Share/Bookmark

3 comments:

LittleCunningPlan.com said...

Well this post certainly gets my little grey cells moving. Aboard Galapagos we, too, have a cavernous fridge. It's about to get bigger because we've decided to go for a free standing freezer unit and stop trying to make this space both a freezer and a fridge. This is a useful idea that may find its way into our discussion about division of space in that fridge. I would like it to feel less like dumpster diving when I open the lid. Thanks!

Patrick said...

Nice to see a 12 pack of Fremont IPA in there! That's my favorite, and a regular presence on our boat.

Anonymous said...

Nice work. But the carpenter in me is forced to go into teaching mode and point out that a rabbit has long ears and a cotton tail. A rabbet joint is a method of securing pieces of wood.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbet

Thanks for the great blog and keep up the good work.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...