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Old 05-16-2008, 10:46 PM   #15
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MJ, I got mine through the contacts on the Vintage Airstream Club website but you can also apparently order them online through the Airstream website. Here's the pertinent forum thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f157...ual-29177.html. A service manual is as close to a set of blue prints for an AS as you are likely to find!
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:29 PM   #16
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pics

I have some pictures. They are in the members photos category, under my user name. I guess you could search for 1981 excella2 and find them as well. I'm sure this is a simple process to the regulars on the forums. Here is a pic for this thread.
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mj81excella
thank you for the warm welcome. It sounds like this is going to be a great place for some good advice. I will get some pictures soon, first must visit "how to post pictures" forum. Will for sure be taking a close look at the existing construction. The reason I'm looking to replace the cabinets is that there is some kind of contact paper (wood grain) on everything and the heat/cold has caused it to peel off. Some are still OK but I'm not sure I want to try to match the old with new. That is why I'm thinking of a rebuild. Yes I know...pictures. Will try to work on that tomarrow
In your year the cabinets are not really wood, it is imitation wood. That contact paper you mention is probably the laminate or foil surface that is intended to give you the illusion or delusion of real wood. You are right, the hot/cold has caused the glue that holds the surface to fail. A more modern version of the material can be used or a veneer plywood can also be used.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:32 PM   #18
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Todd, when I look for a service manual at airstream.com they don't have 1981 listed as an option. Should I get 80 or 82 service manual?
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:33 PM   #19
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62averlander, did you use a veneer on your cabinets?
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:43 PM   #20
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Check with the other source, Vintage Airstream Club. I had to make a phone call and leave a message but they will call you back. I think it best that you get a manual for your year model.
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:45 AM   #21
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62averlander, did you use a veneer on your cabinets?
I did a combination of things. My cabinets were constructed of different materials in a different method than yours. The major problem I had was de-lamination. The plywood had sucked up moisture from the floor and the hot/ cold cycles caused all the layers to separate. Anywhere that this had taken place I removed the plywood entirely and replaced it with new material.
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I had to cut down the cabinets by 11mm also to compensate for the new cork flooring. When I did that I installed a piece of vertical grain douglas fir at the bottom to keep it all together and give a new attachment point at the floor. I used a Kreg jig to create pocket screw holes to put that on. Click image for larger version

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Originally there was a gap left at the bottom to allow air to come into the cabinet and the rise and leave the top. I used an arched piece that still allowed for that and helps make the cabinet more rigid side to side. After the frame work was repaired, new 3mm plywood was glued and stapled to the frames. I used a router with a pattern bit to remove the excess plywood.
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After that I filled all the holes and seams with polyester filler and sanded it smooth. I then veneered using a paperbacked veneer and BondRite contact cement. This is now what the wood looks like in fiddleback maple.

Sorry if I gave you too much info, that is my nature. In reviewing this, I could have answered your question with a simple "yes". I do want to say that, when I begin taking on clients for this work, I will only build them new. I won't take the slight chance that more de-lamination might (very unlikely) occur to the old plywood.
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:03 AM   #22
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62 overlander

thank you that is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:10 AM   #23
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I used a Kreg jig to create pocket screw holes to put that on.
What kind of toosel is a "Kreg jig"?
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:14 AM   #24
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It is the blue thing in the photos... it guides a drill bit at the right angle to make a pocket screw hole. It is a very simple technology and is used mostly to build face frame cabinets. A square drive washer head screw(also in the photo) holds the joint tight.
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:15 AM   #25
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oh yeh, they sell it at both the orange and blue box....
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:17 AM   #26
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I want to build cabinets for my 81 excella and I was wondering what the best material to use would be. I've seen some solid wood cabinets and they looked heavy. I want to keep the weight down. any suggestions. Is there a better alternative to a rebuild? Also, is there a market for selling the existing cabinetry and/or appliances? I'm still in the planning/thinking phase, everything is still intact. I'm most interested in ideas for cabinets right now. thanks, mj
Alder is one option. It is not quite hard enough for a desktop or floor even though used that way. It is hard enough for cabinets and is very light for its strength. Alder is also used as a mimic wood as it stains easy and is inexpensive. You can also do frame and panel using 1/4" material for the panel to save weight. Take it one step further to stressed skin and 1/8" Finnish birch ply could be used. The canoe in my avatar is one example of stressed skin, the hull is 3/16" thick and weighs in at 27lbs. To put some perspective to the photo, I weigh in at 250 lbs.

Example of Knotty Alder used for a table.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/404446-post40.html

Example of Knotty Alder used for Dinette end panel.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/563283-post1292.html
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:18 AM   #27
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62 overlander

thank you that is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for
You are extremely welcome. If you need any more help feel free to contact me.
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