bikeryder

Updating Drab Looking Entry Well Stairs - 2003 Monaco Cayman 36PBD

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Blake, if you notice carefully, those lights are led, on the right and left side there is a semicircle that is actually routed into the material with an inlay appearance. Also under each bullnose of the stair treads there is a cross from side to side. These lights can be obtained through ebay and other sources, they can be cut at the three light intervals and wired so that a single source can operate each section. It is best to buy the waterproof version because they have a plastic sheath that cover the lights already made onto them with 3M peel off adhesive on the back side.

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Just today I located a local Corian fabricator / installer who has a solid 5 star rating on Yelp, and is willing to provide the cut to size pieces of Corian required to complete my stairwell upgrade. So this weekend I will be very busy taking accurate detailed measurements of each piece of Corian required. After I submit all sizing, I will then be given pricing. So, nothing more to add until then . . .

As to running wiring for illuminating my stairwell, I'm assuming I can access the 12 volt wiring right at the porch light switch - located just above water bottle resting sideways in cup holder [see pic]. I am wondering if I remove trim cover plate at toggle porch light switch, I could run a thin coat hanger wire down inside the wall and then drill a very small hole near the floor to pull wires through, These would be directly behind the passenger drink holder [meaning I will need to temporaily remove this drink holder also]. Then I was pondering to perhaps have a small groove routed into underside of top Corian trim piece [U-Shaped] running round floor perimiter. Wires could be consealed into this groove. Then all I need do is determine the best location to place lighting fixtures. Does this sound like the correct approach for low voltage wiring?

Eddie

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Carl, I think he wants to use the porch light switch to tie into, switch is already in place with current already present, and will turn the entry lighting when the porch light is turned on. Eddie sounds like a very good plan, you may just as well served to add another 3/32 inch piece of luan plywood to the left side of the entrance before taking measurements for the corian. Wire runs can be more easily routed, or simply carved into the plywood with a utility knife and already in place prior to installing the corian, and will lesson the cost of extra lobor for the corian, and also weakening the more expensive corian. Don't forget to add the bull nosing to the two middle steps, and leave a 3/8 inch between between the riser and the turndown of the bullnose to hide the led strips so that the lights don't show when not illuminated. You are on the right track to a great looking entrance. Kay, by the way, most on the forum do not know that for 21 years prior to moving to the electronic field which turned into computerization,  I was a professional cabinet maker, with 15 of those owning my own shops for building and designing the likes.

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Well, I’ve run into a bit of a snag. Now that I’m at the stage of making detailed measurements of the individual pieces of Corian, I’ve come across something that is an easy fix if only I could access [3] anchoring screws located at the very back end of cavity that receives stairwell cover when in closed position. 

When standing outside the coach facing stairwell, the left side has virtually 3/16” gap between the metal roller and fixed plywood on left side stairwell wall [not good]. The right side stairwell wall has 3/4” gap [much better]. Pics attached.

All need do to correct this situation is remove the left side metal roller assembly, and install an additional 3/4” thick piece of plywood to provide proper clearance at stairwell wall.

So my challenge is figuring out a way to unscrew the [3] anchoring screws at the back. The vertical clearance of this pocket is only 4”, and screws are located approximately 32” back from the front. The screws are not only screwed into the 3/4” plywood, they also go into the metal sheathing behind the plywood making removal more of a challenge being my arms cannot reach that far into this small recess area. I’m wondering if using extensions with a knuckle joint would do the trick. I already have a knuckle joint, I just now need to gather some extensions from friends to get the length needed to reach to the back area. Once removed I’m confident I can reinstall with little problem if any.

Eddie

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jleamont   

Ed, I would try a 1/4" extension, with a socket on the end that would allow for a philips bit, if need be tape them together so the bit doesn't fall off. A trip to a home center should get you going for a few more $$. Isn't that the way it always goes ?? :)

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OK call me dense but I am not sure I see the screws.

In the second picture did you see where the board that the roller is attached to is pulling away from the top structure? The staples are coming out.

Bill

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manholt   

I saw that also.

Kay, your right...up above.  You really were a Custom Cabinet maker?  I'm impressed, that's a long way from Electronics!

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First off, I very much appreciate all the feedback.

1. As to the 3/4” plywood pulling away from the subfloor [staples at top showing], I thought the exact same thing at first. Then I noticed the bottom side of metal rolling mechanism is resting firmly against the metal galvanized bottom plate of the recessed pocket area. BTW the 3/4” piece of vertical plywood [that rolling mechanism is attached] sadly was not cut straight [shoddy craftsmanship]. Since all the weight is transferred directly to that galvanized metal plate I feel a little more comfortable. 

Those [3] screws at rear area are hard to see. I’ve cropped that original picture to better reveal screws in question [pic attached].

2. After spending several hours monkeying around, unsuccessfully trying to get those [3] anchoring screws to cooperate and loosen, I decided to try another approach. The current thickness of plywood on the stairwell walls are 3/8”. I took a trip to Home Depot and purchased a 2’x4’ piece of 1/8” thick birch plywood to use in place of the existing 3/8” thick plywood. I believe this will solve my clearance problem between outside edge of sliding metal arms of rolling mechanism, and face of stairwell wall plywood. The clearance now varies between 3/8” to 7/16”. I’ve learned that 1/4” thickness Corian material is available to use as wall material. Providing the thickness of adhesive material is [hopefully] not more than 1/16”, I believe clearance problem is now solved.

I’ve uploaded a few pics, but unfortunately it was too dark to take pics of newly installed 1/8” thick birch plywood on stairwell wall. I’ll take those tomorrow.

Eddie

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Carl, with Jimmy Carter as president and rising interest rates due to inflation, the cost of material was skyrocketing at a faster rate than I could keep up. If I bid on a job, by the time I got an OK to build, the cost of material would be more than I had bid on the job. I saw the writing on the wall, and went to a local junior college at night to take course in electronics, by the time I finished the course, my brother was just starting his computer business, and was begging me to move back to Alabama from Florida. I moved back to Al., was the best move that I ever made. Although I still love cabinet and furniture making, it has only been a hobby since.

Eddie, good thinking about using the thinner plywood, hope the project continues to go well, as I feel that it will. An angle drill head and a long extension may come in handy for reaching way back in the cavity to reach those screws, in case you still need to change them.

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I truly am enjoying working on this stairwell entry upgrade project. Over the weekend I decided to literally rip out the bottom stair tread as it was not only flexing a little when weight was applied from standing, the 3/4” plywood appeared to be slightly dry rotted. Oh man was that bottom tread ever glued down with heavy industrial strength black double sided tape. By the time I had completed the tread removal process, all that remained were shredded fragments of what once was a 3/4” piece of plywood. My left thumb is sore from being beating more than a few times.  I have a couple of small areas of plywood yet to remove due to darkness. More fun for next weekend.

I plan on installing a 3/16” thick steel plate sheared to size [11 1/2”x28”] on bottom tread prior to installing the 1/2” thick Corian directly on top on new metal plate. The top of new lower Corian tread should just about be the same height of the 3/4” plywood tread that I ripped out.

Pics uploaded.

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Herman,

I did indeed. This morning I cannot determine if my left thumb is more purple or green in color due to being the receipient of some of that therapy session . . .:wacko:

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Holy Smokes Bikeryder!

Very thorough job!  Can't wait to see the finished product.  Cutting some plate steel is a great idea to add stability.

Blake

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Next time you have to remove some thing like that a stiff putty knife (about 2") sharpened like a chisel and a heat gun will help. Drive the edge under the bottom layer and let it set with some heat on it. The glue will release.

Great job of getting the old plywood out. 

Bill

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First thing this morning I ventured to a local metal yard and found a remnant of  3/16” metal plate for my bottom step just inside the entry door to my Cayman coach. I had it sheared to size; 11 1/2”x28”. Next up is to have countersunk holes drilled into this metal plate to secure it permanently in place. A few days ago I obtained some nice pieces of 3/4” red oak planks for the facing of my sliding cover. I had those cut down to size and had countersunk holes drilled. Lots of busy small detail work left prior to taking final measurements for the Corian pieces [pics attached].

Eddie

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3/16” thick metal plate now fully deburred of sharp edges, drilled and countersunk, awaiting wiping down oil preservative, primer and paint, then the long awaited permanent stairwell install. WooHoo!  🎉 

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manholt   

3/16" is the front bumper of my Jeep! :o  When you get everything finished, have the coach weight corner to corner, probably a noticeable difference on front left.  Adjust tire pressure to compensate.  Hope you had it done before the project also!

Your handy!  Also looks like you don't have a shortage of tools in the garage.

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Manholt, thanks for the tip on having the coach weighed corner to corner. I will definitely do that. 

My concern was adding something solid that wouldn’t flex when stood on, and at same time not succumb to the elements such as moisture. I’d hate to end up with wood rot on bottom inside stair tread [with Corian slab glued to it] if I were to choose wood over steel.

The added weight of this steel plate was and remains a genuine concern of mine. Which is why I’m performing this stairwell entry upgrade prior to my driving to Source Engineering in Eugene Oregon, to have my original factory suspension upgraded to their custom fine tuned 4 bag with ping tank. Hopefully those good folks will do all that is required to make my Cayman handle on the highways as it should. 

More later...

Eddie

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jleamont, thank you kindly.

I always say; “If you don’t have time to do the repair right, just don’t do it, get a professional”. Which is why I’m going to have the folks at Source Engineering install their precise engineered suspension system on my Cayman, as that installation is way over my pay grade. 

Eddie

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