Blue Barrel Folding Tabletop

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http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/CooperMcCrea/slideshow/Blue Barrel Tabletop

I cook atop my blue barrels, or at least what passes for cooking; mostly heating water in the JetBoil and smearing peanut butter on bread or cutting cheese. Even with that simplicity there isn’t much room left atop the barrel for other cook wear, condiments or meal prep.

I need a larger work surface. Something like a donut shaped ring that will fit atop the barrel lid and provide additional horizontal work space.

I figure that four or five inches per side will suffice. That would be an 18” or 20” circle. Or a little larger; I’d like to hinge it for storage inside the barrel but I have no idea how to calculate that folded-donut dimension to determine if it will fit when hinged.

Time to make a template. I’ll start with a scrap of Luan and go as big as I can for starters. The flat edges due to the odd Luan shape may be beneficial later. 22” in diameter, discounting the two flat edges.

Cut to size and it fits like a charm atop the barrel. I want it hinged to fit inside the barrel. Time to cut that test template in half and add some temporary duct tape “hinges”.

So close, but about an inch too wide. I should have gone with my original estimate of 4 or 5 inches per side instead of 6 inches. Time to cut an inch off the donut’s perimeter.

If I was smart I could probably figure a way to shape the folded donut into a custom fitted barrel divider and keep my stuff bags of food on either side. Or to use four hinges and somehow quarter fold the table top to fit inside even smaller. Maybe later, when I’m smarter.

Actually, if I saw smart I would have made a cardboard template before cutting the Luan. So much for getting smarter.

One inch cut off all the way around, including the flat edges fits inside the barrel near perfect. 30L barrel = 20” outer diameter donut. If the formula holds a 60L table top would be 23” in diameter.

Time to make the beta model, using some scrap 3/8” plywood and hinges I have lying around.

Oh heck yeah, I’m liking this. At nearly 2 lbs the plywood version is way heavier than need be, but when I have the design details* worked out I’ll cut a Mark II version out of Airex or Hexcel or whatever that lightweight, corrugated resin impregnated stuff if called. That should weigh in at ounces instead of pounds.

*Design details. I opted out of the flat edges. My thought was to hang small mesh bags from those flat sides, and I may still do so. Or to cut narrow slots in the tabletop to hold my fork and spoon.

But before I start cutting up a piece of Airex or Hexcel I think I’ll epoxy coat the plywood Mark I model and spray paint it white for easy cleaning. And play with that one for a trip or three to see what design details develop in the field.

Does anyone know that that corrugated resin impregnated board is called?
 
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Ingenius design. Very crafty.

Re corrugated resin-impregnated board... do you mean OSB? oriented strand board... it's a bunch of wood chips twisted every which-way held together with a good glue of some sort... Masonite is thinner than most plywoods, but heavy... you could also get a piece of 1/4" luan and cover it with fiberglass and expoxy.

seems like some sort of plastic sheet ought to work too, but I don't know anything about plastics.

you could make it even smaller if you the tabletop from 6 or 8 pieces, like a pizza, with hinges for each section... it might even lay flat on the bottom then... but it would be heavier due to hinge weight, unless you figured out a way to make it in plastic, with plastic hinges too.
 
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Re corrugated resin-impregnated board... do you mean OSB? oriented strand board... it's a bunch of wood chips twisted every which-way held together with a good glue of some sort... Masonite is thinner than most plywoods, but heavy... you could also get a piece of 1/4" luan and cover it with fiberglass and expoxy.

seems like some sort of plastic sheet ought to work too, but I don't know anything about plastics.

What I want to find is the rigid composite resin-impregnated (or impregnatable?) material that is used for seat hangers in the Monarch and Sea Wind, or the rear “bulkhead” in a Clipper Sea-1.

I’m not sure what it is called, but it is stiff, waterproof, durable-tough and lightweight. And probably pricey. I’ll resin and paint the plywood version and make my design mistakes first on that freebie scrap version.

you could make it even smaller if you the tabletop from 6 or 8 pieces, like a pizza, with hinges for each section... it might even lay flat on the bottom then... but it would be heavier due to hinge weight, unless you figured out a way to make it in plastic, with plastic hinges too.

I wish I was smart enough to cogitate that design; folded 4 ways on four hinges it might be made to fit flat inside the top of the barrel. For the Mark II version I’d like to find stainless steel piano hinges in a 5” length.

When the plywood test model has seen a few coats of epoxy resin and, once cured, white enamel paint, I think I have a KISS solution design improvement.

I’m going to run two pieces of cord around the perimeter halves of the table top donut and SS staple them in place sized to hold my fork, spoon, insulated freeze dry meal coozie and etc around the edges.
 
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You can probably find stainless steel hinges at West Marine, if you have one... they have all kinds of cool marine fixtures, fasteners, and hardware there.

Can't help you with the material... I know they sell 1/2" corrugated plastic sheets. I had an office guy who bought 2 sheets for us once, and cut them in half so we (4 teams) would each have a 4x4 sheet as a map board... iirc, it ran about $40 a sheet. It's the same stuff real estate and election signs are made of, but 1/2" thick instead of 3/16" or whatever. maybe a local slgn maker would have some of that to experiment with.
 
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Blue Barrel Folding Tabletop Redux

Blue Barrel Folding Tabletop Redux

Or re-do.

A suggestion on CCR made me reconsider the donut-style tabletop for blue barrel design concept.

chris randall said:
Instead of a hole in the middle opt for complete coverage and figure out some form of clamping ring on the underside to fit it to the barrel.

One thing that does worry me is that if you spill food onto the table/barrel it may make it more attractive to bears.

Yup, I think a flush top overlapping the barrel lid is the way to go. I’ve already got the epoxied plywood donut. And enough scrap luan in the shop to make half circles to laminate on top. Time to retrofit the existing donut ring with flush top surface.

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/CooperMcCrea/slideshow/Blue Barrel Tabletop

Two half-circles of luan, three coats of epoxy and two top coats of varnish. That’s a good enough a sealing finish for the flush-surface plywood prototype. If I really cared I’d wet sand the top and do a final varnish coat. I don’t – maybe next time.

First flush-surface retrofit problem – the original hollow-centered donut shape, resting a couple of inches below the lid, seated firmly in place on its own. The flush top not so much; it is too wobbly to be useful, even with the snug fitting 3/8” deep ring surrounding the lid beneath.

I don’t want to go with some complex and awkward to reach clamping mechanism under the top. A couple of piece of 1” Velcro attached to the bottom of the tabletop and wrapped around the handles firms up each side and resolves any wobble in KISS fashion.

I want some way to secure/hang my knife, fork and spoon from the edges so they are not cluttering up the surface (and so I don’t knock them off into the dirt). For the prototype I’ll just use a length of cord with calculated slack.

I especially want something to hold my freeze dry meal coozie in place away from my hands or lap when pouring boiling water. Odds are that the most dangerous thing I do when tripping is pouring boiling water; at least a twice a day hazard.

I would like to eliminate the food-odor holding and hard to clean perimeter cord on the lightweight beta version, but for the plywood experiment I’ll want to play utensil restraint edging and see how many of what best fits where on the “kitchen counter”.

For the lightweight Mark II version I think I can use some combination of pad eyes and deck hooks to attach the perimeter cord (or maybe twisted bungee loop) making it removable and storable in the barrel, so that the entire tabletop surface is easily cleanable. I’m thinking more for rodent-chew proofing than potential bear attractant in the areas I frequent, but easily cleanable for the latter would be a bonus.

I know I want a hanging pouch to hold boiling-water-ready oatmeal and Via packs, and later the resultant trash. That hold-all bag can be suspended from a pair of deck hooks for easy removal.

I’m liking it and can’t wait to field test it in practice. And then make a more refined lightweight version that weights ounces instead of almost three pounds.
 
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Blue Barrel Folding Tabletop Mark II

Blue Barrel Folding Tabletop Mark II

The best of the new gear ideas was the folding tabletop for the 30L barrel.

http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/showthread.php?517-Blue-Barrel-Folding-Tabletop

That thing is awesome. I WILL figure out how to make a lightweight version with composite materials.

My search goes on for the perfect material for the beta version. Preferably something very stiff, very light and fully synthetic

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/CooperMcCrea/media/NY VT NH and ME Lake Trip/P7261159_zpsdfcfff5d.jpg.html?sort=2&o=2

I have not yet been able to find a source for the honeycombed fiberglass and resin board I thought would be ideal. And then it occurred to me that I’d seen a heavy duty plastic signboard constructed in the same fashion.

There will be a brief pause while I kick myself for not hording materials appropriately. A couple of years ago I disposed of a large political yard sign for a friend. Made of stiff, corrugated plastic.

Very large, as in 3 feet x 5 feet. And very thick; it was a double sided sign, made of two pieces laminated together. A little research reveals that the corrugated sign plastic is Coroplast.

http://www.coroplast.com/catalog/coroplast/

Why oh why did I cut that piece up and throw it in the trash? Dammit. If Coroplast works I could have made a half dozen tabletops from that sign. I don’t want to wait until after the next election season for free material, but a trip to a sign shop provided a 22” x25” scrap of 3/8” thick Coroplast for a couple of under-the-counter bucks.

It is 100% corrugated plastic, stiff and extremely light weight, but in marking out the saw cut shapes on it I notice that it is easily begrimed. And, in wiping it with a damp rag, hard to clean. Still, it might make an ideal lightweight rigid base, with something more easily cleanable top glued to the top.

Hmmm, “Something glued to the top”. What is Coroplast made of?

Well dang, Coroplast is polypropylene. Pretty much the only common plastic to which G/flex will not adhere. A call to Coroplast reveals a curious adhesive recommendation:

“Hi, I have a piece of Coroplast I want to glue something too – what adhesive should I use”

“Krylon Fusion spray paint”

“I actually want to glue a backing to the surface, not just paint it, and don’t know what adhesive to use for polypropylene”

“Krylon Fusion spray paint”

“I should use Krylon Fusion spray paint as the adhesive”

“Yes, use Krylon Fusion spray paint as the adhesive”.

Well, damn, I *may* have learned something here. I have not been impressed with Krylon Fusion over cheaper Rustoleum enamel as a spray paint for RX hulls, but if it actually works as an adhesive for I can finally glue spangles to my old polypro long underwear and play backcountry superhero again.

Before spraying the surface of the full tabletop I’ll try a test (or seven) with the scraps of Coroplast I have left over. Krylon Fusion first. I have no idea of the best Fusion application, so:
Krylon Fusion sprayed on one piece, clamped to another.
Krylon Fusion sprayed on both sides, clamped together.

I still have ample scrap Coroplast pieces, what other adhesives do I have open and available?

G\flex of course. I have heard that polypropylene is one of the few plastics to which G\flex will not adhere. But I might as well give it a try. The data adhesion and prep sheet doesn’t mention polypro, but I’ll go with an alcohol wipe and propane torch pass before coating with G\flex.

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-epoxy-adhesion-data/

What else do I have open? I can’t move forward on the tabletop until I discover the preferred polypro adhesive and might as well investigate the adhesives box.

Vynabond. I think there’s a good chance Vynabond will melt polypro into a useless droopy mass, but I’ll give it a try.

3M 5200 Marine Adhesive. Nah, nix that, a 7-day cure time is longer than I want to wait. 3M does make an adhesive that (supposedly) works on polypro – Scotch-Weld High Performance Industrial Plastic Adhesive 4693H. I don’t have any and can’t find any locally. But I’ll keep an eye out for it.

http://www.shop3m.com/62449526318.html

I do have an open tube of vinyl adhesive made for waterbed repairs (works well on dry bag patch repairs, and come with vinyl patch material). It’s open and worth a try.

I might as well give the old shop standbys a shot while I’m at it.

Dap Weldwood Contact Cement (red can). It doesn’t spread well on the glossy polypro surface, but two thin coats, almost dried, heat gunned and clamped together is the best I can do.

And Amazing Goop Plumbing Formula. Likewise hard to spread into a thin even coat.

Time will tell. I’ll give them all 24 hours and try to pull them apart tomorrow.

I love a good shop experiment.
 
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Well, very small folding aluminum tables might do the trick and save you some shop time. They are not expensive, and when I bring mine along, others seem to mosey over and find a place for their favorite beverage container.
 
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Well, very small folding aluminum tables might do the trick and save you some shop time. They are not expensive, and when I bring mine along, others seem to mosey over and find a place for their favorite beverage container.

Why would I want to “save” shop time. I thoroughly enjoy “spending” shop time, especially if it involves working on some project in which I have to make it up and experiment with materials as I go along.

Most of the small aluminum tables I have seen are far too short. They might make a decent side table on which to set a drink, but for meal prep purposes their height is little better than cooking on the ground.

On family and group trips I occasionally bring the ubiquitous “Roll-a-table”

http://www.camptime.com/roll-a-table.htm

It does weight 10 lbs, and takes up significant space, but when cooking and doing food prep for 4 or more people the surface area is beneficial.

On family trips we sometimes bring an Alps Mountaineering Chips table; about the same size, but half the weight.

http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/alps/products/furniture/tables/chip-table#.Uh8zM5I3ttw

We don’t use it for cooking or food prep, but family card games are a raucously competitive camp tradition in the evenings.

I’m chomping at the bit to test the adhesion of the various glues and sprays on the polypropylene Coroplast sheets, but I’d like to give it a full 24 hours cure time.

If I discover a suitable adhesive for polypro I should be able to create a simple folding tabletop for the blue barrel that weighs 1 lb and sits at a convenient 24” above ground.
 
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Well I thought experimental work in the shop was the allure. And I am much curious to see the outcome of this interesting project. Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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Polypropylene Glue Experiment Results

Polypropylene Glue Experiment Results

It’s coming up on the 24 hour mark. Time to give my test-glued and clamped pieces of Coloplast a tug and see which if any shows decent adhesion.

Krylon Fusion, sprayed one side. Not great, the pieces pulled apart fairly easily.

Krylon Fusion, sprayed both sides. Better, but still separable with a harder tug.

G/flex. Stuck beyond what I wanted to pull apart by hand.

Vynabond. Came apart like there was nothing there.

Vinyl adhesive. Ditto

DAP Weldwood contact cement. Nope, only a little better than the vinyl adhesives.

Plumbers GOOP. Also nope.

It looks like my choices are Krylon Fusion sprayed on both surfaces or G/flex.

Since I’m down to two choices I’ll extend the experiment and submerge the two successful adhesives in a bucket of water to see if that makes any difference.

30 minutes later the pieces glued together with Krylon came apart rather easily, although I noted on the Fusion label that it is “fully chip resistant in 7 days” - a longer wait time might have produced better results.

The G/flex was still impressively well stuck and it looks like that’s what I’ll be using.
 
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Um Mike first you refer to Coroplast and then to Coloplast which made me think of gluing my colon. Not pleasant! I know I can google to find out what is right :)
 
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Coroplast. I guess I should add that to spell check.

The two cut-to-shape pieces of Colonplast that make the 21” x 19” tabletop weigh 8oz. I saved some pieces from cutting out the preliminary tabletop and used them to shape thickening and stiffening pieces for the bottom of the fold-out hinged edges, to provide a larger butted surface. And for making a lightweight “donut” ring under the tabletop to help it seat around the barrel lid.

It would actually be a lot easier to make both the table top and underside donut from full sized pieces, but my sign shop scrap wasn’t large enough. A full sized donut on the bottom would only have added another couple of ounces.

I keep a small-weight food scale in the shop - with the various double-thickness Coroplast stiffening parts and pieces the tabletop is up to 11oz. It might be fun to keep track of the weight as the hinges, hardware and G\flexed stiffening pieces are installed.

Time to glue the hinge stiffener and donut ring of Coroplast onto the bottom. I’m going to try for best possible G\flex application, especially since I’m using it on polypropylene.

I alcohol wiped both surfaces to remove any contaminates and sequentially flamed each piece, fully sweeping it with the blue tongue of a propane torch. I flamed each piece to be adhered, coated it with G\flex and then flamed its tabletop trace and immediately put that piece in position.

Epoxy on plastic technique often calls for “flame treating” the plastic and gluing within 30 minutes, but shortening that to 30 seconds can’t hurt.

And repeat and repeat until all 6 of the bottom braces and pieces where laid in place.

And yes, at first just laid in place. I know from gluing and clamping the test pieces that G\flexed Coroplast wants to walk out of position when clamped; I let the G\flex set up a bit before clamping compression boards over top.

It was close to an hour before the G\flex set to where the pieces were sticky enough to clamp together without sliding out of position. Clamped and walk away until tomorrow.

It isn’t a fast build, but neither was cutting, gluing, epoxying and varnishing the wooden Mark I version.

I re-checked the finished weight on the Mark I wooden version; after all of the epoxy and varnish coats, hinges, J-hooks and etc it came in at 3 lbs, 3 oz. I’m not sure all this Coroplast effort is worth saving a pound or two, but if it works I’ll have a new target weight to beat and the material should be easy to come by after the next election cycle.

If I’m lucky I could be cutting the cheese atop an image of Lyndon LaRouche’s face in 2016.
 
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Not to be crude..but you did it again! Is an colonoscopy in the future?

Never mind. The History Channel has ads in the daytime for those of a certain age. I hope I never need the Coloplasts. Now I am going to be all mixed up.
 
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Not to be crude..but you did it again! Is an colonoscopy in the future?

(OK, that one was intentional)

I had the can of Krylon Fusion on hand from the failed adhesive experiment. I intentionally over-sprayed the test glued pieces, and while the Fusion wasn’t a great adhesive it did seem to be a good topcoat for polypropylene.

The Coroplast is easily begrimed and hard to clean, so I sprayed the tabletop pieces. White may not be the ideal color for the top, but I can always repaint it some other color and the Fusion is much less susceptible to smudges and fingerprints than the raw Coroplast.

Since this is an experiment I’m trying to use materials I have on hand. I used small brass hinges and stainless machine screws, all shop leftovers. The 10” strips of double-sided Velcro that secure the tabletop to the barrel handles are likewise shop scrap.

I laid out a test burden of stove, canteen, cup, mg and etc with the top in place on the barrel. Eureka, it holds my typical breakfast needs with only a tiny bit of droop. And I know how to fix the droop.

The rigidity of Coroplast comes from the linear plastic channels |||||||| along its length.

Construction would not only be simpler with two sheets of Coroplast laminated together (one full piece for the top and one full-sized donut for the bottom), but the two pieces of Coroplast could be laminated together at right angles to form a very solid honeycombed ###### grid.

But for the first experiment with Coroplast it looks promising. It’ll come on the next trip for the acid test. I’m anticipating that white will not be a good color, but I have a box of various spray paints. Anyone have a color suggestion? Camo perhaps?

Now for the moment of truth. With the hinges, Velcro and trash bag J-hooks attached the completed Coroplast tabletop weighs………… 1 lb, 1 oz.

A double layer ##### Coroplast top might add another 3 or 4 ounces, but 7 oz of the final weight is in the hinges and hardware, and that could probably be halved with lighter materials.

I have a Mark III target - less than 16 oz. I think I can do it using two pieces of Coroplast, laminated #### and using lighter hardware.

Come on, next election…Mikey needs a couple of yard signs to play with in the shop.

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/CooperMcCrea/slideshow/Blue Barrel Folding Tableto Mark II
 
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