Long story to ask: anybody have a good idea on how to make a professional looking, easy to access panel?
I have 2 panels
at the nav station, 1 with distribution circuit breakers, the other with some electronics
in it. They were installed by a previous owner, and are made of plastic then screwed to the face of the cabinet after enlarging the original opening (each about 12" x 30").
Getting behind the panels
to replace, repair
, add, etc. anything is a pain in the butt to remove the screws while holding it in place, then attempt to lay the entire panel down on something soft, then if I need to throw a breaker to test something, to hold it back up again. I can already see a crack growing from the edge towards one of the breaker panel corners, no doubt from flexing as it is lowered and raised again.
I would like to put the panels on a piano hinge to support the entire length, then have 2 screws on the top into threaded inserts, so that it can be quickly opened for work
The hinge wouldn't lay flush against the cabinet when closed, so there would be gaps along the side unless I mortise the hinge into the wood
, which would go through the veneer into the ply. The ply would be exposed along the knuckle of the hinge when the panel is closed, and would no doubt be a source of irritation.
Screw heads would have be on the inside of the hinge in order for it to close, so there would be a row of protruding machine screws and nuts, which I suppose I could live with by using those fancy cap nuts if I can figure out how to get the panel to lay flush.
So, as I started: anybody have a good idea on how to make a professional looking, easy to access panel?