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Old 12-23-2015, 11:07 AM   #15
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1967 28' Ambassador
1964 19' Globetrotter
1960 24' Tradewind
Edgewood , Kentucky
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Long days

So I have been steadily working on this project and I have officially turned the corner. Cabinets are being wrapped up before the end of the year. I am pleased with the way the interior is coming together. I haven't shared any progress in a while but I will start where I left off. I built the dinette area with two pullout drawers along with two access hatches, one for storage and the other for storage and access to the pump and strainer. I made the frame out of metal studs and then 1/2 ply on top. 1/4 ply on sides and will trim it out in wood soon as we are ready for stain. Both drawers are heavy duty drawer slides capable of 75 lbs. of storage in each. All drawers were custom made with biscuit joiner, table saw, miter saw, router, and brad nailers. I also glued all joints. just an FYI, I was in AP woodworking in high school and should have pursuit it as a career, I just couldn't see myself building with only wood forever. I still have to make all of the faces for the cabinets and drawers. The flooring material will continue on top of the dinette, along with cushions.

And for some odd reason no matter what orientation these pictures are originally they default back to these positions so some appear upside down, if anybody knows how to fix this annoyance please PM.
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:17 PM   #16
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1967 28' Ambassador
1964 19' Globetrotter
1960 24' Tradewind
Edgewood , Kentucky
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Kitchen Galley

Once the dinette was close to being finished I went to building the galley kitchen area. I started by building the lower cabinets and stringing the counter top. I then I ran a rough in layout for fitment. Then made a custom built pull-out pantry / silverware drawer. It was purposefully built to hold cans and large bulky items, I staggered the shelving so there was some versatility with oddly shaped items. Then ran your usual silverware drawer directly on top of the pantry accompanied by a "junk drawer" area. Once I finished that I made two pull-outs alongside the oven. The left pull-out is primarily for spices and such and the right one is for cooking utensils and a knife holder. I also built a pull-out underneath the sink for the waste and recycling baskets. Once again I still need to face all of the cabinets and lay the Formica top. The stove-top was placed directly above the oven and the sink is placed centered under the sink. I went with a 13" x 22" stainless dawn kitchen sink. I am hoping to use the existing vintage appliances hinging on if I can re-chrome a lot of the old parts. If not ill revisit that issue. I then ran the 10' upper cabinet unit. This was tricky giving that I wanted to keep the ceiling exposed inside of the cabinets and keep the contour of the ceiling. After lots of stringing and squaring, I managed to set the cabinet and begin to wire it for lighting. The cabinets were mounted with L-type brackets for framing houses, eight of them with three of them riveted into a rib. I tested it with 220 lbs. and did not even flinch. The back of it is sitting on a ledge that was built up to support the cabinets. I have ran aluminum underneath the cabinets with LED spot task lighting. I will soon light the inside of the cabinets with LED activated when opened. Then top it out with crown and a accent light above that. Soon to come!
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:51 PM   #17
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1967 28' Ambassador
1964 19' Globetrotter
1960 24' Tradewind
Edgewood , Kentucky
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Electrical System

Now I'll explain my electrical system install. I made the coffin box on the street side in front of the wheel well, 16" x 16" x 72". Those dimensions work great for storing batteries and an inverter. It also doubles as a full size bed. I will install another piece of ply on top of the cover with a piano hinge. When folded out, it will be the width of a full size bed. I made the box out of 1 5/8 metal studs and 1/2 plywood.

For the service, I went with 50 amp. I mounted the shore power twist-and-lock hookup in the back bumper and ran 6/3 romex to the box. I am using a Magnum inverter 2012 2000 watt pure sine wave, recommended by some great support (thanks Lew!). I understand now why he is so adamant about these systems. I will never install anything other than Magnum brand in my trailers. I also partnered it with a Magnum battery monitoring system, DC shunt, 300 amp fuse, and the control panel. I used the Blue Sea disconnect switch ,transfer switch, and DC fuse panel. The transfer switch is for when (if ever) you would like to only run off of the TV power and not the bank. It will switch between the bank and the TV power, they are never married due to different battery charging rates. For the batteries I went with six 6 volt 220 Amp Hour AGM Trojan batteries. They are ran in a parallel series to equal out to 12 volts @ 660 AH. The inverter has adequate spacing above it because I used lexan between the inverter and the mounted accessories, raised off of the inverter. I used 1/8" x 1" copper bar for the run between the batteries and the inverter all bent and shrink wrapped. I installed the AC breaker box and DC fuse box on the exterior of the box for easy access.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:58 PM   #18
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1965 24' Tradewind
1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
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Wow, nice
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Old 12-24-2015, 06:49 PM   #19
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Wow is right! You have made some tremendous progress on your rebuild. Your aluminum end cap and "flat" ceiling look great. So does the woodwork. Cabinet building is one of the hardest aspects of an Airstream renovation. Your overhead locker in the galley is great.

Thanks for posting the thread for all to see. It is a very special trailer.

David
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:01 PM   #20
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boca raton , Florida
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Thanks for keeping us up to date. We have a new to us 68 overlander that I am getting ready to start on. Are you going to build the rear end cap also? It looks like you have changed the bathroom layout. Are you keeping the shower or converting to a wet bath? Im 6' and im going to toss the shower and maybe shretch the bathroom out an extra foot so I can take a comfortable shower.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:39 PM   #21
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1967 28' Ambassador
1964 19' Globetrotter
1960 24' Tradewind
Edgewood , Kentucky
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Exterior almost done

The exterior is nearing completion. The polish is on the third stage (final stage). I used many products before finding the right one for me. Nuvite was the go to polish IMO. I went with the F9 grade for the initial polishing using a 7” wool polishing pad. I went through 5 pads total for this stage and 4 1lb. cans of F9. I proceeded with a Grade C compound for the second round. This is where I broke down and ordered the BuffPro buffer. Hoping it would cut my time in half and use less product I was deeply disappointed. I spent 500$ on a machine that in my opinion is only good for the final or yearly re-polish stage. This machine cannot take 50+ years of oxidation off easily. The problem is that whenever you increase the surface area of which your working the polish it will take more torque and pressure. The motor on the BuffPro is your typical 7” buffer motor. The motor cannot handle this increased surface area; therefore, you cannot work the machine like you need it to remove oxidation. With a 7” pad tilted on its edge @ a 30-degree angle will give you a focal point of about a silver dollar. Allowing you to focus all of the torque and pressure to that area making it easier to manage. After messing with the machine and different techniques for a few days I went back to using the 7” buffer. I will continue to use the BuffPro machine but only for final stage purposes. The final coat will be done with the Grade S and the cyclone buffer with a microfiber blanket. POLISHING IS NOT FOR THE WEAK HEARTED! Once you start you better finish! Its daunting, dirty, and down-right boring. But…. When you are close to finishing there is nothing like seeing it with a mirror finish. I also purchased two 40# aluminum LP tanks and polished them also.
I sandblasted the tongue of the trailer and coated it with primer and POR-15. I also added a 3000 lbs. electric jack for ease when hitching. Then I reran the umbilical cord with a hyper-flex 7-way trailer hookup which happened to be close to airstream blue! All exterior lighting was also replaced with a L.E.D. equivalency.
I tackled the front quarter-panels that were damaged by debris over its life out on the open road. I pulled all of the major dents with a dent puller and dollied some high spots. I then laid a bed coat of Bondo Hair over the entire panel. Once dried, I then applied regular Bondo to fill the dents and pinholes. Sanded smooth and glazed for final surface. I then used primer and used an enamel spray paint similar to the sliver shade of POR-15.
The windows have all new hardware (cranks, latches, and knobs) and seals. They will also get a 20% mirror tint film added to them. I also popped out the two stationary windows (curbside by door and street side closest to the front) and resealed them because both were leaking.
The access doors for the rear and curb side will be fabricated and installed soon. I will also have pics of how I did the sewage discharge port and the shoreline hookup and city water hookup inside the rear bumper.

More pictures will come in a couple days!
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:18 PM   #22
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Yep, polishing is boring. I found the Nuvite process the best. As Nuvite says on their website, you can't hurt the aluminum with a wool bonnet and Nuvite polish, even 4 pounds of F9 ! I tried the Jestco buffer and their gray and pink bars and had bad results. It left bad "strike marks" all over the trailer.

They say a polished Airstream in good condition is worth more than one that isn't polished. And the polishing tends to "heal" the aluminum making future corrosion less. You probably noticed how your cleaning rags glide over a polished surface versus dragging over the corroded surface. You made your aluminum skins very smooth indeed.

You're going to have a very special Ambassador when finished.

David
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:03 AM   #23
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1974 25' Tradewind
Lexington , Kentucky
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Cool We're watching you !!!!!

Just keep it up and watch what happens..........
Thanks so much for the great pictures and description of your work.
We have removed everything down to just the floor and outside skin of our new-to-us 74 25 ft twin. Axles ordered from Colin yesterday (great price and service), and we are learning from this outstanding Airstream forum.
If truth be told there are probably 100 or more folks watching your re-build.
You could run for President since you are doing such a good job!!!!!!!!
Thanks,
The Twinkie and us
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:42 AM   #24
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1967 28' Ambassador
1964 19' Globetrotter
1960 24' Tradewind
Edgewood , Kentucky
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Thank you Twinkie!

I'll be doing another update here at the end of the week. I'm a few items away from starting to staining process. I thought the metal filleted end cap was impressive when finished... wait til you see how the galley kitchen turned out. I think it will steal the show. I'm still waiting on the Formica top to be delivered and the parts to the appliances to return from chroming. I'm glad to see people are as excited about this build as I am.

Little side question here (I should probably already know this)...
I'm located in the upper mid-east states, what is the best rally or function I should debut this monster of a project in? I'm planning on being finished by early spring? Before I part ways with it I would like to give it a "test drive" to go show it
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:37 AM   #25
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1974 25' Tradewind
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RV shows

I'd GOOGLE RV shows....
I know there's one in Lexington, Ky. in the Spring.
.....Cincinnati and places close to you.
Park in the parking lot or a noticeable location as can , set out some chairs and have your info ready to hand out!
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:27 PM   #26
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Greetings the twinkie, welcome to Air Forums where folks who enjoy vintage Airstreams hang out. You have "subscribed" to a good thread as we watch Artisan Air overhaul into a lovely vintage Overlander. I'd love to see it when it's done.

I'm guessing you picked up a 73 Trade Wind judging from your comment it is a 25 footer. I have a 66 Trade Wind twin bed that I have been fiddling with for the last couple years. I enjoy working on these old trailers, except for the polishing part. Mine is not as nice as Artisan's by any means, but it is travel ready and all systems work, and the beds are reasonably comfortable.

Glad to meet ya,

David
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:10 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Artisan Air overhaul into a lovely vintage Overlander.
I've got 2 whole feet more than a overlander. .... but who counting anyways, I appreciate anyone's interest in my build, call it whatever you want. I love these trailers no matter the size.

But just to get everyone on the same page it is an ambassador that I am working on.

Thanks everyone for your inspiring comments, I'll have more to show here real soon!
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:50 PM   #28
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Opps, my bad! I must have had Overlanders on my mind for some reason. The Ambassador is the model Tim Shepard renewed in his book "Restoring a Dream", which is a fun read.

Ambassador

David
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