Dinette Table swap-out


Advanced Member
Sep 3, 2020
For the past few months my weekday lunches have been eaten sitting at the dinette in my Alaskan; inside my shop with the top removed. Seemed like as good of a place as any in the shop to do so.

However… After many lunches and loads of contemplation, I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the standard Alaskan table. I’m constantly taking it on and off, storing it, it’s overly wobbly, the size isn’t to my liking, I need to do a bit of refinish work, etc.

All in, I’ve been considering alternatives.

After a few brainstorming sessions I came up with a list of things I wanted - and those I DIDN’T want - in a dinette table:
  1. Looks good in the space,
  2. Sturdy, yet not over built,
  3. Attached, yet can be sufficiently ‘out of the way’ for travel,
  4. Correctly sized for the space (imho),
  5. Sized for the space with an ability to transform into a smaller café table

From these pretty basic ideas I looked at design possibilities wood selection, color, paint-vs-dye, and... of course ended up over-designing a table.

This morning I decided to just build the table using shop materials already in house: ply, oak strips, screws unhand, etc… and a quick trip to Rocklers for specific parts. The pictures below show progression to the point of hanging a table on the forward cab bulkhead

In a nutshell: It’s a Honey amber stained, 1/2” cabinet-grade ply, bifurcated, folding table affixed to the cab bulkhead using 16” heavy duty (100 lbs capacity each) folding shelf brackets with shelf extenders and brass butler tray table hinges. As you’ll see in the pics, it was a couple hour build and I didn’t take my time with either cuts nor hinges inletting. That stuff will happen with a production build.

What you see here is a templated approach to the problem.

Note: I’m finishing it with clear gloss multiple coats. That’s not shown here. I ended the day hanging the unfinished table. I'll post finished pics when it's done.

Have a look. I’d love your feedback, insights, comments. If there's a way to make the current design better/more functional... lmk.

Vic Harder said:
Nice! can you still use it to convert the dinette into a bed?
Great question! The simple answer is, no, I can't.

However, I've already thought about that problem and have cut oak strips to bridge the gap. Part of the design for the bed is to use 1" nylon webbing to interconnect the wood slats so they roll up into manageable size and stow for when I need to set the bed. (I've taken that design from Ikea bed slats that we installed in my daughter's dorm.)

In the not.so.distant.future I'll post pics of that design as well.
Updates on the table build:


The brass pieces areas follows...
1. Knurled 10/32 brass for a light
2. 1" brass 10/32 bolt
3. Brass Washer
4. Brass lock washer
5. Hobby Lobby leather wristband 9pack of tw0 in light and dark $3.99) cut to size and modified to accept the knurled end

Update on the slat sets:

As with the table, I used materials on hand: excess webbing from another project, the original 2 slats that came with the Alaskan plus red oak offcuts I had in inventory at the shop, and a simple hand staple gun (which I think I bought at our local Ace Hardware).

Hope this helps somebody walking down the same path...

Very cool idea Kans, I think the OG table is a bit bigger than we need as well, so I have been contemplating some mods or changes. I am going to embed one of your pics here to make it a bit easier for others to see what you have done.

Top Bottom