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Old 09-10-2015, 10:33 PM   #15
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Aluminum channel

There is an extruded aluminum channel that holds the divider panels in place... it is designed to accept 3/16" paneling.. With a wide screwdriver or narrow putty knife it is possible to "tweak" that channel enough that it will accept 1/4"
paneling. It's a fair amount of work though it goes quickly and you test it to make sure the 1/4"paneling slides into it easily enough to allow the necessary adjustments of fitting new paneling in.

Chuck
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:30 AM   #16
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Ash paneling

It's out there, but it may take some searching to find roto-cut panels with similar growth rings to the sixties Airstream. I wholly understand your quest for ash. It's certainly a commendable effort. To me, it's a mystery why Airstream specified ash in the late sixties. Perhaps it was the cheapest sourced wood or that some relative/friend had an forest of beetle-kill. The factory fogged a veil of lacquer on the wood, much of which has evaporated thru time.


It seems most folks cannot distinguish ash from oak, we're easily fooled, it usually takes a woodworker's eye. Fine furniture collectors disregard oak. Sixties Airstream ash plywood is remarkably beautiful. I find ash a most noble wood. My hockey stick, shovel, hoe, rake, adze handle, baseball bat, wheelbarrow handles... a long list where ash has proven superior.


I searched online, and didn't find a way to select the appearance of the grain in ash plywoods offered. None of the illustrations I found looked like sixties Airstream ash. One might find an oak plywood locally that better matches the sixties ash. Sometimes there's an interior for sale in the classifieds.


I re-sawed every piece of the original ash interior into a new configuration, and true to Hillbilly protocol, fitted the cabin and bath with whatever was laying around the shop, matching grain and color with a “good enough for who it's for” theme. So far, my cabin and bath is a blend of...
Ash
Oak
Cherry
Mahogany
Maple
Spruce
Pine
Redwood
Fir
Birch
Cedar


Most folks just rub their hands on it and say, “oooohhh! This is Real Wood!” They don't wonder any further.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:27 AM   #17
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Aluminuminum

Your cabin mix of woods looks terrific. My compliments. Your trailer looks fabulous.

Dan
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:09 AM   #18
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Question for expert woodworkers

Airstream's old literature says that the wood paneling in the 1966 trailers is ash. On the other hand, I've seen posts here that say it's really elm.

Here are some close-ups of a scrap of plywood from our trailer. Can anyone look at the grain in this wood and tell me what it really is?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:30 PM   #19
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Couldn't see the picture...

There was something there, but it was not visible...
I talked with someone this weekend whom I consider pretty much of an expert. He said that much of what is considered ash is really elm cut a specific way to show off the grain. I showed him mine and he said that it was elm. Can you find ash or elm somewhere? Probably if you look hard enough. If you do, will it match the paneling that Airstream used in the 60's, probably not.
Oak is pretty much universally available where ash and elm will take more effort and money to acquire. If you have a small panel that needs replacing then I'd suggest hunting down a scrap from trailer that is being parted out... at least this way it will match pretty well. If you need a major amount of paneling like I did then consider rebuilding everything with oak paneling over the original frames and you will not be unhappy with the results or the cost. That's not to say it was cheap, it was not but it was less expensive than figuring out what that wood was, finding a source for replacements, and then paying through the nose for it.
Remember that wood can be very regional... even the same species of wood will have different characteristics based upon where it comes from, how it was cut or shaved to make paneling, what it was treated with to bring out its color and character in the finished piece. The paneling in question has about a 32nd of an inch of the wood in question laminated to it. Forget trying to sand it as you will punch right through this layer to reveal the lesser wood used below... I know as I tried to re-use a bit here and there and had to abandon any attempts to refinish it... it was what it was and that is how it had to be re-used if possible. The frames on the other hand were solid and were completely refinish-able as long as they were not discolored or rotted.
I had a minimal amount of that and was able to use some portions of cabinets/trim that I did not re-use to fix the ones I did use.
I could have rebuilt everything in a wood of my choice using the originals as templates... oak, maple, ash, black walnut, hickory, mahogany, along with a host of exotic woods like wenge and paduk that would have made for some dramatic results, but most people don't even know the difference much less appreciate it. If you have unlimited time and budget then anything is possible... if not then make do with what is readily available.

Just my not so humble opinion...

Chuck
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:11 PM   #20
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Hardwood panel varies a pretty good bit in thickness these days. Quite a bit of it is made over seas using metric measurement system, while that made here in the US is inch measurement. The US made is quite a bit better. Have used thousands of sheets of each in the last 30 years in my cabinet business.

Tom
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Old 09-13-2015, 05:20 PM   #21
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Thanks Cwbiii. Don't know what happened to the pictures. They were there when I posted, they were there yesterday, gone now.

I've just noticed that the wood in the rest of the interior looks a lot more like the ash I see in pictures on the internet than that sample. That was a piece of the water tank cover that had to be replaced.

Fortunately, most of the wood is in great condition and won't need replacing. I've been corresponding with another forums member whose trailer needs a whole new interior, and we've been trying to identify the wood for their use.

If those pictures ever re-appear, I'd still appreciate your opinion on what kind of wood that might be.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:11 PM   #22
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A few more pictures...

Here are some pictures of the interior with the bathroom door staged "in place". It still needs polyurethane, all of its hardware and to be actually hung so that it will slide in and out of the pocket.
You can also see the effect of the hidden led strip lighting above the cabinets which also provides excellent lighting inside the cabinets.
There are several shots looking forward, one shot of the original cabinet end panel in ash/elm, one of a transition (corner) with ash/elm above and oak on the wall,and another of just oak.

The grain on the ash/elm is different, but the color is very similar so it transitions very well.

Enjoy
Chuck
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:23 PM   #23
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One other detail of using standard 1/4" oak paneling is that one side is plain luan instead of 2 sides of oak... you can see we chose to orient the oak such that when you are sitting in the gaucho looking back you see the oak, when you are sitting in the back looking forward you see the painted side of the paneling which matches the vinyl paint we applied to the inside vinyl coated skins. It is a very pleasant effect from either view.

Chuck
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:36 PM   #24
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One other thing I should mention... My wife's Bachelors degree is in Interior Design and she has owned her own business for over 30 years with a bunch of prior experience in the commercial sector (Including the interior finishes of a new corporate Gulfwing jet)
I consulted with her on many occasions to make sure my intentions were in sync with hers... (I would not have heard the last of it had I not ...(;-))

Chuck
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:57 AM   #25
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Is Airstream ash white, black, brown, blue, or green? Yup, there's five names describing four species. I really doubt if Airstream ever knew the botanical name of the species supplied to them, and honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't know their elm or ash from third base. Someone published in a brochure that it was ash, so we all believe it to be. Could it be elm?? 'Spose so...


Identifying wood by its surface grain is tricky, ash, oak, elm and others can look alike. You need to look at the end grain too. The herringbones between the grain that may be common to elm, can be found in some ash samples. I would know if I were felling an ash or elm tree, but looking at a veneer surface, couldn't say. The experienced Canadian veneer cutter, and now others referred to, contend that Airstream used elm, perhaps they're right. Back in the Sixties, I wonder why someone would market elm veneer as ash?? What's the point in lying about it?? So, jbobarino3 maybe you're looking for elm?? Either way, it's pretty wood.


I photographed a few veneers in my trailer to compare Mahogany, Cherry, Oak, and 1968 Airstream Ash/Elm?


I measured the 1968 aluminum extrusions...
The “F” channel that rivets to the inner shell wall to fasten bulkheads measures 0.227”, 5.77mm.
The textured “C”channel edging measures 0.180”, 4.57mm. An interference fit to plywood edge.
The plywood itself measures 0.185”, 4.7mm. So it's safe to call it 3/16” thick, interestingly, it has finished veneer on both sides.


The ash/oak cathedral grain comparison is from the internet.


TouringDan, Thanks, it's a never ending puzzle of space, balance, aesthetic, economy, function, scale, utility...


Mimiandrews, Your wood looks like mine. It's now another mystery, either Esh or Alm.


Cwbiii, The1968 TradeWind Double has to be the pinnacle of Airstream's entire history. Thanks for keeping one on the road, and so tastefully done. It's nice to see a rebuild/upgrade that respects the originality. You'll enjoy the free photons through your new pocket door.


"I consulted with her on many occasions to make sure my intentions were in sync with hers... (I would not have heard the last of it had I not ...(;-))"



Yup, Everything is submitted to "the boss" for her approval here too. One example, my six lite pocket door design was rejected, she specified fifteen, and chose the Japan imported plasticized Shoji paper. As the lites descend, they increase in size by the ratio of phi. Challenging to fabricate, but it's for the best, and Hey, who doesn't like woodworking??
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:54 AM   #26
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The wood is listed as White (or light) Ash is my documentation for my 69. I have had two different cabinet makers in my trailer that have called it white ash without me telling them what it is so I am going to assume it is indeed white ash. One of the posters here put a set of pictures up with more of an amber tone but the correct grain, I suspect that that particular set of cabinetry has been top coated with a varnish that yellowed with time.
My cabinet finisher said the factory likely used the ash as it used to be common and plentiful in the area of the factory
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