A simple conversion, a big improvement – modifying the TD side curtain storage
Adding a hinged top to the TD storage compartment is a big improvement and simple process, Following are two options.
Materials: for modifying existing lid
2- 1½” X 3″ brass or chrome plated hinges, reuse existing lid screws and finish washers.
Material costs @ $5.00.
Process using existing lid: With a pencil lightly trace the outline where the aft edge of the lid contacts the Tub. Remove the existing lid by removing the two screws and finish washers holding it in place, there may also be a few screws or nails holding the back edge up against the tub rail. Remove the whole lid by lifting and sliding forward. Measure ¾” to the outside of each snap on the lid and with a square, draw a perpendicular line from the front edge to the aft pencil line marking the tub.
At the table saw set the fence to plunge cut the aft pencil line between the two 90 degree lines marked outside the snaps. With a fine kerf saw cut the two short lines measured outside of the snaps back to the hinge kerf.
On your work table align the front edges of the two pieces and center the new lid and install the hinges. You’ll have a ⅛” gap from the saw kerf on the hinge section, use the two hinges @ ½” inside the two end cuts. You can also cut a piano hinge for a full length hinge to cover the saw kerf. Fit the new lid in position and replace the two screws on the lid, the closure strap snaps and two or three 1 ¼” drywall screws in the aft section of the lid into the tub rim.
If replacing the lid you’ll need –
12″ X 48″ matching upholstery material if not using your original.
¼” plywood 5″ wide x 44″ long (original is ¼” thick, I used ½” oak and modified where necessary for fit), 2 – 1 ½” x 3″ brass hinges, 3M spray adhesive Cost @ $25.00
Remove existing lid, use as pattern and trace on the measured plywood and cut out the new profile but leave an extra ½” on the front edge when ripping to width. Mark the snap points and slide the lid into position it should fit well but be a bit deeper from front to back by a ½”. Once the back edge and sides fit properly mark the aft section with a pencil where it contacts the tub rim. Remove the lid and mark the lid ¾” to the outside of each snap position, using a square mark two pencil lines from the front edge to the aft tub pencil line. Plunge cut the long aft line on the table saw and the two short lines to create the moveable lid. At the bench install the two hinges. Using original lid as template mark the front edge of new lid and rip the front edge to depth of original lid. If using ¼ ply rip a ¼” x ¾” X length of moveable lid and glue and staple on underside as a stop for the front panel to fit against when closed. This also adds strength to the lid. You’ll also note the aft end of the original had a ¼” strip on top of the lid where the lid meets the tub surround. So add a piece to the aft edge to duplicate. Wrap the entire piece with new material using 3M spray adhesive or reuse your original upholstery from old lid. This material will hide your hinges; you can cut the material along the two side kerf openings with a razor blade. Do not cut the long kerf where hinges are the material will act like a hinge and keep kerf covered for a clean appearance. Install and attach two screws and finish washers to the vertical supports, the two snap buttons for keeping the lid and front panel in place when closed and three 1 ¼” drywall screws to the edge under the tub rail.
You may want to reline the compartment with Black Felt I would recommend stripping all old material with a razor blade, wire brush the metal and spray with Rustoleum Rust converter then top coat with black enamel Paint. Spray adhesive is used to install the mid to heavy weight black felt. A yard of felt will do the trick. This adds about $25.00 to the cost.
— Graham Gill