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P4trols rear door table.


P4trol
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OK, I know a rear door table isn't something new; however I thrive on borrowed ideas and necessity. The thing I love is that it is cheap to do these mods, practical, and no-ones going to sweat about a few holes in the car. There are a thousand pics of door tables on the net, but here's mine. I've seen quite a few others, taken good points and bad points. Hope it gives people some good ideas for their own.

Aim: Functional, maximum shelf space, to use mostly stainless steel

Materials:

2 or 3mm thick stainless steel from the tip shop $8

A fair amount of stainless fittings. The final ones were not too dear. The amount I bought anticipating it would work, is amazing. (I'm sure the local hardware now see me as competition with the amount of fittings I now have.

Marine carpet scrap I was given by the local trimmers (Thanks guys!)

LED self adhesive light strip $20 approx

12v dimmer

Click on pictures to enlarge. Some pictures may be too dark to make sense on eg tapatalk.

This is the finished product.

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A full length hinge was used to strengthen the table, instead of glueing a backing or bracing on.

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Put a twist or half twist in the supporting cable so the cable twists in as it folds up.

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The table folded up.

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Closeup of the fittings used to support the table. This part caused me much thought and trouble. When I initially planned it in my head, I needed to see it before going further. When I actually got this far, I found several shortcomings in the work so far. I knew I wanted to suspend it on a cable, but how? How to keep it up when folded? Spent quite a while browsing online marine shops, google images etc. Finally went to the local show, and someone was selling stainless steel bits. I could wander, fit bits together etc.

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Side view of table folded. Sorry about the not-rotated pic. The edge was rolled - a tricky task. If you choose stainless steel, it is hard to work without a workshop. The rolled edge gives it a bit more strength.

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To best view this pic, make sure no-one is looking, then tilt your head to the side. A daytime view of the LED strip. Quite unobtrusive.

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Here is the LED switch and dimmer knob -off. The dimmer came with it's own box, the knob on the box. I opened the box, and there was enough length in the ribbon cable to cable tie the box near the variable resister (unseen part of the knob) mounted near the switch.

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Here is the switch and dimmer - on. I love that switch. Ebay jobby, and it sits almost flush with the trim. The LED can be wired so it is always on, only on with the switch, or off when the switch is on. Polarity doesn't matter!

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Detail of the top of the table surface and support.

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Boring pic - I meant to show how dim the LEDs would go. Literally if you are really steady with your hand, you can dim them so they are visible, but don't give any usable light.

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An example of how dim the LEDs go. Minimum practical lighting. If you once again turn your head on the side, and imagine the pic taken facing the end of the RH rear door.

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Facing the table, with minimum practical lighting. Of course it is a bit hard to compare the pics directly. They are taken on the phone. The phone tries to make everything the same lightness. Maybe in a few weeks when I get the DSLR back up and working, and set it to manual. Maybe not - it's not a headlight comparison!

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Maximum brightness.

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Maximum Brightness. In this one, you can see where I have muffed some polishing I did. I have some polishing attachments for a drill. Unfortunately the fine cotton wheel was slightly out of round, and I didn't clean off the rougher polishing grit. So it roughed instead of polished!

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My humble pieces of advice:

Stainless steel is hard to work with.

Wood is easy to work with, and provides easy options for support, bracing etc.

Do some browsing around for ideas/inspiration

If I was to do it again:

I would fold down the edges of the table and braze/weld the corners. The sides would allow somewhere to mount the cable support.

Edited by P4trol
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