In parallel with mounting the insulating panels I worked on preparing the countertop. I ordered it to size so that I would only need to make two parallel cuts to make up the sections I needed. The delivered countertop was exact to size with razor sharp cuts. Perfect.

To get the same thickness as the old countertop and to make it possible to mount teak fiddles on the edges of the countertop I sandwiched the compact laminate (12 mm in thickness) with a 6 mm sheet of marine plywood. I glued the pieces together using contact cement, which created a super strong bond. My idea was to be able to drill from underneath to screw the countertop in place. But this proved to be impossible. The material was simply too hard to drive a screw into. Thus I had no choice but to glue it in place for the final assembly.

The teak fiddles were epoxied in place using West System epoxy and their 405 filler. These were then sanded up to 400 grit paper and varnished with Internationals Gold Spar Satin varnish, with at least 5 coats.

The cutout for the hatch I clad with 4 pieces of teak trim which would create an edge which will prevent any water on the counter to seep into the fridge. These were also epoxied in place and varnished.

The corresponding cutout in the countertop for the hatch was finished with a router to have it be of a perfect fit. On the bottom I glued the plug in place. Also using a router I made a hole in the top of the hatch for a latch. The latch was bedded in place in epoxy mixed with West Systems 403 filler. I am particularly happy about this neat solution.

At this point all that was left was to put a seal of sikaflex on the top of the counter and to mount everything back in place. This involved rerouting the propane hose as it previously ran through the area occupied by the box.

In the next post I’ll wrap up by explaining how the compressor was installed and I’ll show you the finished result.

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