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Old 02-10-2006, 12:59 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Removing living area cabinet-type things in 77 excella

I am in the beginning demo phase of re-do in my 77 excella
I really don't care for tambour doors and am planning to remove all of the vertical sets at least.... they are mostly in good shape except 2 I believe.
I may offer them for trade here later..
What are some alternatives? I really like the idea of frosted plexi but don't want it to look cheapo.. maybe a thicker plexi with beveled edges? Opinions on that?
Also I want to remove the street side cabinets I guess you would call them.. they run along the side from the cabinet under the front window to the sink about 5 inches deep... I think they are hideous AND they have tambours.double hideous. My question is... What am I gonna find under the back of them? the whole coach has the vinyl type wall and celing cover and I would hate to remove them and then have to remove the vinyl on the rest of the unit because there is a unevenness to the wall. Does that make sense? Anyoen have that vinyl business?
Thanks, True
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:47 PM   #2
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Hi, Dan,

I'm about to "lose" the tambour on the rear cabinet between the twin beds, and I'm going to "borrow" the laminate on the inside of the closet doors to make it look right.

I also have the really big horizontal tambours, both under the sink and on the rear end of the credenza. I'm also thinking about losing the gaucho in favor of a desk/comfortable chair arrangement. Again, I can get all the laminate sheeting I want from the three big hall closet doors.

Actually, I don't think that's vinyl covering on the walls. I think that the entire aluminum panels were made that way with the design already on the inside surface before it was installed. That said, my Excella's bathroom has a different print, so it may well just be a vinyl covering there.
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
Hi, Dan,

Actually, I don't think that's vinyl covering on the walls. I think that the entire aluminum panels were made that way with the design already on the inside surface before it was installed. That said, my Excella's bathroom has a different print, so it may well just be a vinyl covering there.
I felt like a dork after asking this because when the table is up you can clearly see the stuff runs all over.... That is wierd to me though ... Im going o have to do some researc/experimentation on the vinyl stuff because I am painting it... been scrubbed with bleach and the nicotine staining is not budging so paint I think is my option... I have a very plain vinyl (i dunno what else to call it) in the living room/kitchen then a gingham print in the mid bedroom area. Thanks for replying.True
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:59 PM   #4
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Vinyl Clad Aluminum

Airstream used vinly clad aluminum sheet, where the inner vinyl surface was permanently bonded by the supplier.. It won't come off, and paint doesn't hold real well without a lot of prep work.. Because of compound curvature of end caps (round like a ball, not just curved..) getting some other material to stick well is also very tricky. There may be some stronger forms of cleaner suggested here, as Future Floor polish has been declared a success at removing sticky filmy surface.. Don't know about tobacco..

You will at least face screw holes and lines where cabinets attached to walls, as well as possible faded/unfaded color differences. Search for "painting inner walls" to see previous stories about attempts to paint interior surfaces... You can buy replacement tambor, but if you don't like it, that is that...

John McG
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:46 PM   #5
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Attempting to remove the vinyl from any interior wall surface would be a mistake as would painting. All the interior shell walls (in trailers newer than early '60s) have this material laminated to the aluminum from the aluminum manufacturer. Some have different patterns. The bathroom vinyl is adheared to the ABS plastic sheet before it is vacuum formed to shape and is also permanent. The best cleaning method I've found is to use "Soft Scrub with bleach" and a natural bristle scrub brush. (Don't use a plastic bristle brush because they won't hold enough water.)Start with the mid-ceiling and work down. Dampen the brush with warm water, squirt a little Soft-Scrub on the brush and gently scrub the vinyl. Let it set for a short while (don't let it dry) then wipe with damp towel. Rinse the towel and wipe again. The bleach is not strong enough to hurt the vinyl, but is effective in removing most stains. This method also works on the Zolotone painted interiors, but be very carelful not to scrub too hard. Practice in an unseen area first. This is a project for full raingear or swim suit, because you WILL get wet!
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Old 03-19-2006, 06:29 PM   #6
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If it is real bad,I would try Mean Green diluted first, if that still don't do the trick go full strength, worked wonders on my coach.
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Old 03-19-2006, 06:55 PM   #7
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Hi, Dan,

There are no bad questions in this forum. Folks are here to help, and if you're lucky, you'll be able to find someone who has already done what you want to do. This forum is a pretty awesome resource.

You know what's behind my foldout table? The wall! You know what's outside on the skin in the same place? An access door to nowhere! Remove it and look in, and it's the back of the wall behind the table.

You'll find little odd things with your trailer as you go, but see if you can top a door to nowhere.

Lamar
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Old 05-13-2006, 03:33 PM   #8
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1976 31' Sovereign
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custom cabinets or home depot?

We are remodeling our 1976 Sovreign. We have the horrible off white tambor up above the kitchen sink etc and above the fridge area and the regular wood colored tambor underneath. I want to gut the whole thing and get new cabinets. Can you use pre made onese form home depot or does everything have to be custom. Our airstream is a guest house-- we are not traveling with it so it doesn't need to be light weight. We just got new stove, fridge and toilet. Suggestions??
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:39 PM   #9
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Kevin:

You can use cabinets from Home Depot or IKEA.

You can use a scribe (or use the existing panels) as a pattern to mark and cut the cabinets to fit the Airstream curves.

If you want to see the beautiful job member Simon Hanbury did with Ikea furniture, go here:

http://www.airforums.com/photo...00&userid=5481


Sergei
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:27 PM   #10
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I know that this post is old, but I just saw it. I was the person who helped Simon rebuild this trailer. In the kitchen we used gable end walls which eliminated the need to accurately scribe the cabinets. However, the scribing technique I used for the gables and dividing walls was a story pole. You don't want to use the original walls as a template, because the factory generally did a really bad job cutting the original panels and then covered it up with that plastic trim. To do it right you draw a square line on the floor that represents the edge of the wall or cabinet your are scribing (the inside hallway edge, not the outside edge.) Then you setup a vertical board from the floor to ceiling that is square to the floor and butting up to that line you drew. Then you mark the vertical board every 1/2" from floor to ceiling. Then starting at the floor, using another square, measure the distance from the trailer wall to your board at every one of those 1\2" increments. I had to clamp an aluminum metre stick to a smaller square to do this, as the distance from the wall to the story board gets shorter as you move up. Mark your measurements and then transfer them to the panel you want to scribe by placing dots on the panel at your measurements. If you measured correctly you will see a 'connect the dots' line that exactly resemble the curve of your trailer wall. To get a smooth line I tacked fine finishing nails at 6" intervals along the dotted line, bent a thin strip of poplar (any pliable hardwood will do) around the outside of nails and tacked more nails in behind to hold the strip in place. Now what you have is a row of nails that follow your dotted line (don't worry about the holes as they will inevitably dissapear with the saw cut), and a curved strip of wood that now creates a smooth curve that also follows your dotted line. Take a pen or pencil and connect the dots using the curved wood as your guide, pull the nails, remove the strip of wood, and cut. Your panel or cupboard end will match perfectly to the curve of your trailer. In some cases the aluminum trailer wall was buckled and a block plane was necessary to touch it up and make it fit.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:23 PM   #11
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I know that Danny’s way of doing this is the correct way, not from personal experience but because I was told how to do this by a cabinetmaker in Port Bruce who works for a yacht builder.

Unfortunately, I met him after most of my Ikea cabinets were cut. Also, I couldn’t follow his verbal description as well as I can now follow Danny’s written one.

Scribing in ordinary ways, like using a compass-like device, can’t be done accurately in an Airstream because you can’t stay “square” to the curved walls.

Eventually I found a fairly accurate way by drilling a 1/4” pencil hole in a standard plastic top from an aerosol can. This way the cap “rolls” along the wall and easily transfers the pencil tracing but Danny’s way is the correct, professional way to do it.

Boat builders and Airstream restorers have the same problem: curves.


Sergei
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:45 PM   #12
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Last week I had to cut a panel to fit the Airstream curve and used the “story stick” method the boat builder described to me and which Danny wrote about (above).

I set up a vertical board, marked at 1/2” intervals, square to the floor and counter and perpendicular to the wall in question

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Then I marked the “story stick” at each 1/2” level.

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We took the resulting measurements off the stick and wrote them out on a sheet of graph paper.

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Then I drew a graph using the numbers. When we connected the resulting dots, we had a paper pattern I could use to make a more substantial metal one.

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That's the aluminum pattern in place. It’s for the end portion of an aluminum panel that I will have bent to become part of the extractor fan above the cook top.

I found that my own rolling “hole in the cap” device was probaply faster and nearly as accurate.

Sergei
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