Thursday, January 3, 2013

Just Hold It

The doors for the overhead cabinets in the Scamp are designed with the hinges at the top. Probably the best option given the space, but a bit of a pain when looking for things in the cabinet or stowing gear. Lots of people have set out to resolve the issue in one manner or another.
  • Don used dowels cut to length, shaped to fit, and then fitted with a loop of Velcro hook material so the dowels can be stuck to the headliner when not in use.
  • Robert uses a wood strip, hinged at the door end and notched at the other to fit over the frame.
  • Pat uses a section of a screen door spring, screwed to the door at one end, and to the door frame at the other.
  • Bob used a similar spring but attached it to the door with a link of sash chain so it could rotate.

After consultation with a wise friend about his experience, I went with a slight modification of his version. (See - I'm learning!)

Each spring (one per door) was fabricated from a section of old style screen door spring - in my case, a Stanley #4 spring. The spring was cut to length with loops on each end bent to right angles, more or less.

Instead of using a link of sash chain like my wise friend, the upper end of the spring was attached to the door using a mount style zip tie.

The zip tie was drawn up snug and cut flush, then screwed to the door with a #8 screw. The zip tie forms a hinge point for the spring as the door closes.

The lower point was attached to the door frame using a #8 truss head piercing screw with a metal washer under the head and a plastic washer between the spring and the door frame. This screw is left a bit loose so that the spring can rotate around the screw as the door closes.

The door on the hatch in the loft required gluing a block of wood for the lower mount since this cabinet does not utilize a standard face frame. This technique is one that could be used with the fiberglas cabinets common in most eggs.

No longer will I have to use my noggin to hold the door open while putting my clothes away.

Time to pack for our next trip.


  1. Another mods well done, John. I wasn't aware of different kinds of zip ties. My toolbox just contracted a new form of envy. (wink)

  2. I see McMaster-Carr offers a good selection. Next order from them I might just toss a size or three of these into the shipment. They can't add much weight to an order. :)

    1. Thanks for the link to McMaster-Carr's selection of ty-wraps - they've got styles I've never seen before!