|Project by sepeck||posted 07-03-2014 01:52 AM||2491 views||3 times favorited||3 comments|
Several years ago I bought the plans from Blue Sky Kitchens for their camp kitchen boxes. They were just a set of plans with sufficient notes to do all the take offs and had a cut list as well. If you’ve worked in constructions they were plans and you know that you start with the plans and you need to do a lot of your own planning from there so it was a couple of evenings planning.
Overall the plans were solid. There was a note about ‘modifications’ to the plan to improve them but I skipped that for this set. That note makes complete sense in hindsight but doesn’t actually affect anything so my next set I will use it. Cutting out all the parts in the cut list and getting everything to size too pretty much all my Saturday. I was using 1/4” plywood I already had and some redwood 2×8’s as well.
Assembly took all of Sunday plus a few evenings. Most of the time spent verifying things and making some ‘optional’ pieces. The plans have some measurements but suggest the leaf be at least 3” wider then your ice chest and to store the ice chest between them at camp which space wise I thought was a pretty nice idea. I finished it with a couple coats of spray spar urethane.
When I make my next set I will be making the drawers differently. They work, I just didn’t like the way they came out which in part was my lack of precision with the suggested jig and cuts but I think simpler will work better for me. NOTE: The measurements in the plans are pretty serious. I will strive for more accuracy next time though the little errors I had were small and could be corrected. Next time I will spend a little more time planning the order of my cuts on the table saw so that things were more consistent (i.e. cut all redwood to 1/2” width before cutting anything to length, match dimensions on the various plywood parts)
Overall, the height is the same as my kitchen counter. This gets rid of 2 1/2 Rubbermaid boxes that I used to haul, keeps them off the ground and since we cook then clean up while we camp, the kitchen setup is essentially packed at all times. They are for ‘car camping’, not hiking/back packing but the built in counter, virtually always packed whether on the shelf or in camp was an appealing part of the over all design.
In one of the Lumberjocks reviews by 'easiersaidthendone' he didn’t like that the base wasn’t ‘secure’ to the box. It’s not something that bothers me since I knew that going in but the BSK has two solutions for that now mentioned somewhere on his site (either dowels or rope, neither of which I liked). Easiersaidthendone mentioned he made some ‘locking bar wedges’ to hold this together. I like that idea and will be making some of these. In part because where I camp is often not level and having a few pieces of wood that I can use to level the setup will be convenient especially if I can avoid barked knuckles at the same time.
Fully loaded one box is 43 lbs, the other is 35 lbs. We have full size pots and pans as well as place settings for 4 a spot for blue paper towels and a loaf of bread. All in all, for something that stores and packs in a small space and gives us a huge built in counter + convenience it was worth the cost in plans and pushing my sort of rusty wood working skills.
I am looking forward to testing this out in August at our annual cousin camp.
[edit: Added a picture from camping. It probably solved an hour of setup and packing up because as long as you keep your site clean, it’s essentially packed and ready to load in the car when clearing out. worth the time invested to make it.]
-- -Steven Peck, http://www.blkmtn.org