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Old 05-15-2008, 11:26 AM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
Hendersonville , Tennessee
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building custom cabinets

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
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:02 PM   #2
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Definitely a market for selling your existing appliances, fixtures, and cabinetry if it's still in good order. You could start by posting it here, there are always other Airstreamers looking for stuff.

As for building your own cabinetry, I'd continue to search the forums. Some people use the lighter softwoods for building frames, and use thin plywood over that for the rest of the carcass. There are also some people who have used aluminum to create the framing with plywood or other materials for the carcass.

It sounds like you are considering a complete renovation, in which case I would highly recommend reading through the "Major Renovations" threads. Some of them are lengthy, but they are absolutely full of detailed explanations and innovative ideas.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

Good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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thanks for the reply. I think a major renovation is in store for me. Thanks for sending me in the link
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:49 PM   #4
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No problem, welcome to the Forums, you'll find the people around here to be very helpful.

You'll also find that they're going to ask you to post pictures of your rig, so you might as well get started with that.
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
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1962 26' Overlander
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do you have any pictures?
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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Welcome MJ -- and thanks for your post. I hope to one day get to the cabinets in my trailer and so I have the same questions as you. I'm still working on the frame but one day I'll be there so I'll be following your progress. Take lots of pictures and keep posting your questions and progress!
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:36 PM   #7
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Hi mj welcome. I have built a lot of cabinets but when I took apart our 31' 1970 I was pretty impressed at how Airstream used all light weight material and still had good enough lasting power to go 35 years and still be in good shape. When you take yours apart look at how they did it and you may want to use some ideas that they used. Have fun Dave
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:57 PM   #8
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Anybody got some good ideas on storage under the galley sink counter? In my 71 Tradewind the original shelf is missing although some of the backets are still there. Under this counter is the furnace, water pump, water valves and lines and furnace ducts. Maybe a shelf(s) that slides out?
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:29 PM   #9
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1981 31' Excella II
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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
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:44 PM   #10
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service manual

Consider getting a service manuel for your year model if you don't already have one. I recently did a complete strip of the interior of my trailer and found the service manual invaluable and probably essential as a reference. There are schematics and breakdowns of all the systems and parts diagrams. Highly recommended.

Here's a list from the main index: chassis, shell, floor plans, refrigerator, furnace, water heater, range & oven, air conditioner, water system, gas system, drainage system, electrical system, furniture, drapes & upholstery, bathroom, extrusions. There are further sub-indexes for each of those sections.

Since you are interested in cabinets here is a partial breakdown of the sub-index for furniture: laminates and tambours, roof lockers, galley assemblies, galley removal and replacement, refrigerator cabinet assemblies, front travel lounge assembly, bed assemblies, credenza assemblies, dinette seat assembly, vanity assembly, wardrobe assemblies, towel cabinet assemblies, header and door assemblies....etc. Well you get the picture!
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:56 PM   #11
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Lumatic - ours has a middle shelf all the way across, then has under that shelf two shelves that slide out, probably had a small tote on them originally but seem to work well for foil, zip locks, that kind of stuff. Also picked up from Zep some mid-70's plastic rolling drawers in their own frame that I put in above the furnace which fit perfectly. See them on ebay from time to time as well.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:09 PM   #12
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1969 21' Globetrotter
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Cabinets

Hi MJ:

I'm brand new to this ... but I've been a part time cabinet/furniture maker for about 30 years. If the cabinets are structurally sound (despite the contact paper) you might want to consider refacing them. You should be able to find all kinds of info on the process by doing a web search. In simple terms you can reface them with wood veneer and/or formica. Easy process beautiful results.

Good luck.

Joe
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:12 PM   #13
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1981 31' Excella II
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Hi Joe,

As I was taking some photos (will post soon) that thought did cross my mind. I'll have to do a search and see what I can come up with, I'll let you know what I find.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:16 PM   #14
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1981 31' Excella II
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Hi Todd,

A service manual sounds good. I have the owner's manual but it just has basic operation stuff. Where is the best place to order one?

MJ
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