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Old 09-10-2003, 07:17 AM   #29
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A thought on late model Bambi/Safari cabinets

In thinking over the various options, I am wondering if it would be possible to gently heat the vinyl woodgrain finish and MAKE it release. If this could be done, then a new real wood veneer such as available at Oakwood Veneer could be applied. While not a simply undertaking, this would maintain the lower weight of the existing cabinetry, and the underlying wood composite would make a perfect underlyment for the veneer (at least it would seem that way after reading the info on the Oakwood Veneer website). Of course you would still have to apply some sort of finish to the veneer, but this would seem to be a bit easier than retroengineering a whole set of cabinets. The one thing that I quickly realized in reviewing the Oakwood Veneer site is that this would NOT be a cheap project. With the veneers running $150-$200 or more per 4X8 ft sheet (most veneers around-$5.50/sq ft) and the Burls running $12.99 or so per sq ft, the the cost for veneer alone will be $600-$1000, but the ability to create a stunning, totally unique interior is the offsetting benefit.
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Old 09-10-2003, 07:32 AM   #30
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Re: New interiors

Quote:
Originally posted by 3Ms75Argosy
Hi all.... I have seen the inside of the CCD's, and love the laminate. It's the substrate that doesn't seem all that light to me. It appears to be garden variety particle board - even heavier then solid wood.
The substrate for the Internationals (CCD and AS) is "light plywood", not particle board. This material is quite light compard to solid wood. If you look at the parts catalog, you will find that the "light plywood" is available with a number of backside finishes from plain wood tthrough matt white to gloss white.

I removed some sections of the material on my trailer and was amazed to find how light it was for 3/4" thick material. For instance, I was able to remove a piece about 10" x 18" that was hidden above the stove vent hood and use it for a change I made elsewhere. The piece was very light.
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Old 09-10-2003, 08:19 AM   #31
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Probably the same as used in the Bambi/Safari cabinets

John,
Even though the AS and CCDs have the Wilsonart laminate surfaces, I bet A/S used the same lightweight, airfilled wood composite material found in the non-CCD Bambi/Safari units as the underlying construction material. As has been done with many engineered materials, the proper mix of materials (wood/plastic) and lots of air results in a much lighter weight, yet stronger material than would otherwise be expected. Given the problems that the solid cabinets in the Classic have demonstrated (dimensional changes due to humidity/temp resulting in doors that won't close, etc), I think the engineered stuff is actually a better product for RV use. I do wish that A/S used the Wilsonart laminate thoughout the product line though, as I fear the vinyl woodgrain material used on the non-CCD units may have problems delaminating over time (as has already occurred to at least one owner). I am curious if you have had any delamination of the Wilsonart product?

I have order several samples from Wilsonart of potential candidates for a cabinet reskinning project on our Bambi. I have yet to determine if I want the robust surface and lower cost of the Wilsonart product or the warmth, high price and more difficult installation of the real wood veneer such as from Oakwood Veneer. Installing the Wilsonart product would be a straightforward laminate process, while the wood veneer would involve a similar process, but then require applying some kind of finish to the wood after installation.
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Old 09-10-2003, 08:46 AM   #32
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Re: Probably the same as used in the Bambi/Safari cabinets

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Originally posted by dtbw
John,
Even though the AS and CCDs have the Wilsonart laminate surfaces, I bet A/S used the same lightweight, airfilled wood composite material found in the non-CCD Bambi/Safari units as the underlying construction material. G
No, all of the flat portions of my cabinets are "light plywood", 3/4" thick with 9 thin layers. Wilsonart on the outside and various thin laminate finishes on the back sides anywhere from bare where it is hidden to gloss white inside the wardrobe. I have a piece of the plywood here on my desk right now. Probably a bit heavier than the air-filled stuff and lighter than ordinary plywood. I haven't found a scrap of the any other material in the trailer.

The curved portions of the cabinets are separate and heavier plywood, also laminated. The flat and curved portions are joined by rows of screws in pocket holes and, presumably, glue.

Some edges are Wilsonart laminate and some are of a vinyl material with the same finish. I have had problems with the laminate on the edge of the bathroom door coming loose by clothes dragging against it. I have also one cabinet end edge with about 4" that came unglued. I reattached the cabinet end with a hot iron and I used gorilla glue on the bathroom door edge. No trouble with delamination on flat surfaces.

You can successfully remove the laminate with heat. I have done so to get a matching piece to trim an edge on the dressing table that I cut down. The resulting glue area is rough, though, and it might be really hard to get a smooth finish later with a thin laminate.
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Old 09-10-2003, 09:31 AM   #33
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My $.02...aka "War & Peace"

Thanks for the deco-kudos yukionna! And David..."the check's in the mail!" Talk about a beautiful decorating job...yours is terrific too!

Having just completed the dinette in Maxwell, I want to contribute a few thoughts that may help folks considering refacing their cabinets. I worked first-hand with both Wilsonart plastic laminate (table) and real wood/veneers (bench seats). I did the all the work myself using a friend's shop and tools, although most of the tools I used I could have done at home with our "DIY" ones....it was just nice to have all the layout space in the shop, the professional power tools (I felt like Tim Allen!) and the mess away from home.

Frankly, I think working with the wood is easier. It's thiner, lighter and can be cut with an Exacto knife. The plastic laminate, requires a router and special bit to cut/trim it, although that's no big deal if you already have one, if you have to go buy one...add that to the cost of the laminate and the difference in $$$ is reduced.

I looked at the referenced site and they have beautiful products, however their prices do seem a bit high and then you have to add shipping to that. Most cities have wood-working stores and local distributors for wood veneers, you may want to check one out. I am certain the pricing would be equal or better, the selection/variety about the same and you could see it in person and select you graining before purchasing it.

As far as "finishing" the veneered pieces...it's very simple...just lightly sand the panel once it's adhered, stain it the desired color and then clear coat.

Another consideration is, edge trim. With wood, you can stain the substrate edge to match the face or use a veneer tape. With the plastic laminate the edge is going to be more apparent because most likely on thin panels, you wouldn't use edging so it would be a painted or ??? surface. On thicker panels you will need either metal or vinyl t-mould or plastic laminate edge trim, which entails more routing and a special bit!

Also, if you are using plastic laminate over existing cabinetry the thickness may be and issue that affects your hinges & hardware...although A/S tolerences are probably okay. The plastic laminate is thicker than the veneers which might mean you have to relocate hinges, thus affecting stability or "solidness" because the new holes are "so close" to to the old ones or the hinges are stressed from not being relocated....know what I mean? I'm having trouble comunicating this point....

One other thought...I have been told many times by professional cabinetmakers in my 20+ years as a commercial interior designer, that when using plastic laminate (or wood veneers for that matter) that both sides of the panel need to be covered in the same material. This is to prevent warping and twisting due to environmental conditions. Think about it...if plastic laminate is on the outside and either plywood or ??? is on the inside, moisture from the air can only get in from one side. this could cause the panel to expand/contract and cup making the fit questionable.

And finally, the wood veneers will, IMHO, give you a more "custom" and time-enduring look than a plastic laminate ever will. It will also be warmer to the touch and a cozier feeling...if that's what you're going for. It you're looking for the CCD-look, laminates would be perfect!

Okay...enough food for thought, just my $.02. Whatever you decide to do is up to you...YOU are the one that has to do the work (or pay for it!) and be happy with the results. There is no "right" or "wrong" way just considerations that need to be taken into account. The most important thing is the that the result fits with your lifestyle...good luck! Please share photos...

Shari

BTW if you would like to see more pictures of the dinette work in progress, check out Maxwell's website or click on the "photos" button below.
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Old 09-10-2003, 10:35 PM   #34
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straw board

Steph, here is the web address for the www.environmentalhomecenter.com . Look under "lumber" and "finish carpentry." There should be a photo. The store is right by Safeco Field, if you're ever in Seattle. The finished tables I spoke about were quite smooth, and the grain interesting to look at (sort of like cork is an unexpected floor medium). The picture really doesn't do it justice.

I think I'm leaning back to birch ply... I've been up late nights trying to figure out a lightweight framing scheme.
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Old 09-11-2003, 05:18 AM   #35
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I'm leaning toward the solution of just replacing the doors. In my Airstream, the doors are the only parts of the cabinet that are seen when standing in the Airstream. I will also have to consider a solution for the magazine rack and the shelf over the refrigerator.
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Old 12-15-2003, 09:40 PM   #36
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Some good advise here. I made new panel doors. I used 2"x 3/4" solid oak. Routed the inside, cut with the chop saw, bisciut joined, and popped in a 1/4" oak plywood panel. Little stain, little gloss varnish. Bam! I impressed myself.
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Old 12-15-2003, 10:48 PM   #37
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I made replacement cabinet doors as well. My tambour doors were missing when I purchased my trailer.

I didn't care for that style anyway. I got 1/2 birch and routered the edges and stained them.

Turned out pretty nice I think. I also had to make a new shelf for behind the couch since it was deteriorated.

To be honest, I made all the calculations and my cousin cut the wood. Then I stained them.

You can see some pics here.
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Old 12-16-2003, 08:37 AM   #38
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Guess I'll jump in here for a bit. There is no simple single answer as you can see from the above posts. For myself I prefer solid wood and suggest that depending on the wood you choose could be heavier or lighter than what is currently in place. I also prefer traditional finishes over the modern poly's or laquers but that is another discussion. In my business I find need sometimes for plywood and will use it when necessary. The cabinet boxes could benefit from being made from baltic birch plywood but I would make the face frames from solid stock. The raw material on solid stock is typicaly less expensive than the plywoods the cost of additional labor involved using solid stock is what drives up the price. I own a vacuum press and can produce curved pannels up to 5x10 feet if needed.

Case in point for strength, my first reloading bench was made from 3/8" baltic birch ply to save space and weight when transporting. It got it strength from its design and adding about 200# lead to the bottom shelf during use. That bench served me for over 15 years, many thousands of rounds and is still in use by a friend. My current reloading bench is much larger as the need for small space and portibility no longer an issue. It is made from Alder, a rather light weight wood but again gets its strength from design, the use of mortise and tennon joinery and a couple of hundred lbs of lead on the bottom shelf. Hickory would be a better choice when weight is not an issue but the alder was available. :-)

As to stability, I have been building using solid stock for over 35 years and have yet to have a problem with anything warping or coming apart after compleated. On the other hand I have seen plywood warp and composites degrade with time. Attention to consturction and design will serve you well no matter what material you chose.

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Old 12-16-2003, 09:13 AM   #39
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Royce:
I agree 100% that design is a huge part in strength and weight. I was impressed at how light the cabinetry was in our 59 as I dissassembled it to replace the floor. As light as it is it feels every bit as solid when it's installed as my home cabinetry.

The one thing that I can't stress enough is you have to watch the weight. Every pound you add means a pound needs to come off what you pack.
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Old 12-16-2003, 09:23 AM   #40
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I was in the cabinet business most of my life, and yes, it is advisable to cover both sides of the doors, especially with wood veneers. Laminates don't move as much from the elements.

I re-did my cabinets in laminates and covered both sides, for aesthetics and to keep them straight. The doors are hollow inside to keep them very light. Probably not much heavier than those tambours. Those things are weighty!
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Old 12-16-2003, 09:53 AM   #41
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Wow that's some impresive cabinetry. I like the curved door.
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Old 12-16-2003, 10:55 AM   #42
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for sure, what ever you do to one one side of a piece of wood do the same to the other side. Amazing how many times I have seen pro's only finish one side and then wonder why it warped. I remember Bud Hood telling me to finish both sides the same when I was about 12 years old and he about 80. What a wonderful influence he was on my building. Time and again I have been the grateful reciepient of when the student is ready the teacher will appear.
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