Up on a Pedestal

I finally pulled the trigger on a pedestal that will help convert my back dinette table to a queen bed. Because, you can’t have a mobile home office without a comfy place to stretch out and take a power nap. Right?

This one is made by Garelick and runs $712.94 on Amazon.com. It’s an aluminum three-stage device with a gas (pneumatic) assist and stainless steel hand (not plastic) ring clamps. It ranges in height from 12-3/4″ to 28″, which is as good as it gets without drilling a big hole in your floor so the post can travel under deck. That may work for boats, but not necessarily for land yachts.

This means my bench boxes now need to be 3/4″ taller so that the cushions will all be at the same level. Fortunately I haven’t cut them yet and have enough slack in my stock to make those adjustments.

But this also made me rethink my floor levels and I realized (too late) that my galley countertop was also going to fall 3/4″ shy of my 36″ target height, which is the standard ergonomic metric for counter height. But I lucked out again, because I have enough waste plywood from my first round of cuts to remake those five vertical pieces.

What’s the old saying? “Measure twice, cut once?” Well, that only works if your assumptions are right the first time around.

Basically, the entire RETROvan will have a 3/4″ plywood floor behind the cockpit. But the three base boxes I’m building will have their sections of the floor built-in, for modularity purposes. So in the case of this table pedestal, if the minimum height is 12-3/4″ from the top of the floor to the bottom of its table’s plywood, that means the bottoms of the middle cushions will rest at 13-1/2″ above floor level. Therefore the bench boxes must be a total of 14-1/4″ tall, including their section of flooring. My cushions are 6″ thick, but of course they’ll compress when you sit on them. So they should still come close to the standard 18″ back-of-knee height for seating. Perhaps even closer than before.

Here’s my amended cut plan, with “bad” cuts in red and “better” ones in yellow. This includes a new 24×48″ piece for the dinette/berth table:

Not a lot of waste, eh? By the way, the Garelick pedestal narrowly beat out this unique one made (and subsequently discontinued) by Springfield:

I liked this design better, but its range was shorter (12″ to 25″) and I had concerns about its mechanical stability, just looking at it. Plus, it was mysteriously cheaper and didn’t have any published reviews. Perhaps it just wasn’t a good product? As several contributors pointed out, the Garelick simply looks sturdier because the physical load is straight up-and-down. And that was the clincher, especially considering the RETROvan will be a rough ride once underway.

Oh! The folks at CushionSource.com sent me photos of a short prototype head rest today, and it’s looking great:

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