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Old 06-20-2005, 12:36 AM   #1
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renewing interior wood paneling

We are restoring a '69 Overlander with real wood inside. Fortunately, it has never been painted and is original. The only problem is that it is very dry and dull. Can someone suggest the best product for restoring the wood? I don't want to varnish it--only, perhaps, to put some sort of oil or moisturizer on the wood to bring out the grain and to give it life. Any ideas?

Marian
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Old 06-20-2005, 06:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mjmcwhorte
Can someone suggest the best product for restoring the wood?...Any ideas?
Marian:

I used Tung Oil on the (mostly wood) interior of the 345. The Tung Oil finish is directly proportional to the amount of work you put into it. The more rubbing, caressing, and polishing you put into it the more it responds with a deep patina and a luster that just is not possible with any "plastic" product.

A real advantage is that should a small area be damaged it is possible to give it a light sanding and bring the damaged area up to par with the rest of the finish with very little work.

I have added several panels to the interior, and, with a bit of work, have matched the finish to the point where it is impossible to tell which of the panels were original and which were added later.

Post some pictures.
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:29 AM   #3
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Marian,

Depending on what wood you have, there were two kinds of treatments used, either Danish Oil or Lacquer. After trying Danish Oil (Watcos is the brand they used and it's still commonly available in independent hardware stores), I found that the red oak woodwork still looked awful and dull. So, then I checked the FAQs at the Vintage Airstream Archives:

"Q: What are cabinets in our Airstream finished with?
A: From 1947 to 1971, the finish was a natural finish semi-gloss catalyzed lacquer except on the exotic woods (mahogany, cherry, walnut), where the finish was a Natural Oil Finish. From 1972 to the present-day Polyurethane finishes, it was wood-grain vinyl.
Legend has it to be one exception: the interior wood of the then inexpensive 1961-1963 Bambi was finished with an opaque paint/varnish. This was done because the plywood veneer used was visually flawed and had been rejected by the production line for the larger Airstreams."


I found that I could not find the "pre-catalyzed lacquer" originally used in the trailer. I ended up cleaning up the wood using Fornby's, then finishing with Bartley's oil based lacquer, in a matte formulation, which ended up giving amazingly good results.

Good luck,

Mary
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Old 06-21-2005, 12:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for all your good information. Does anyone know where I might look in order to know the exact wood that was used in the '69 Overlander? It's fairly dark with a slight reddish tent. I think it will have a very deep and rich finish once I've worked on it. I wonder if it would hurt, for the time being, to use something like lemon oil, just to treat the dryness? Or, should I leave it alone until I'm ready to use Fornbys, Watco products, tung oil, or whatever. I think I'll try to find a hidden spot to try before I tackle the whole thing. Again, thanks to you all.

Marian
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Old 06-21-2005, 12:58 AM   #5
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Marian,

We have a 1970 and I am quite sure it is mahogany. I used a lemon oil and it really brought the wood back to life. Attached is pic of our interior after oiling.

I think that 1970 or 71 was the last year of the wood and I'm glad we have it.

Ken
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Old 06-21-2005, 08:19 AM   #6
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We have a 1970 and I am quite sure it is mahogany. I used a lemon oil and it really brought the wood back to life. Attached is pic of our interior after oiling.


a very pretty interior ken!
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Old 06-21-2005, 12:35 PM   #7
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It's hard to say...from the sounds of it, it may be oak or it may be mohagany. Oak tends to have a more visible grain on it--you may need to have someone who is familiar with wood look at it. Generally, most of the wood was veneer, so bear that in mind. With care, though, it can look amazing.

Mary

(still refinishing my wood, btw)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjmcwhorte
Thanks for all your good information. Does anyone know where I might look in order to know the exact wood that was used in the '69 Overlander? It's fairly dark with a slight reddish tent. I think it will have a very deep and rich finish once I've worked on it. I wonder if it would hurt, for the time being, to use something like lemon oil, just to treat the dryness? Or, should I leave it alone until I'm ready to use Fornbys, Watco products, tung oil, or whatever. I think I'll try to find a hidden spot to try before I tackle the whole thing. Again, thanks to you all.

Marian
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Old 06-21-2005, 02:17 PM   #8
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Renewing Interior Finish

Tom,

Your wood looks beautiful. We will try the lemon oil.

Thanks,

Le & Don Pace
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Old 06-21-2005, 06:19 PM   #9
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Watco worked well on my Bambi II

Check out this thread I started last year with information on using Watco.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:57 AM   #10
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Oh, I thought of one other thing last night dredged up from my long ago experience working as an order clerk in High School for Cabots Stains (in the day when they had their own Danish Oil). One benefit of Danish Oil (that is, if you don't have lacquer, in which case, it won't soak in) is that it is a true polymered finish, which is pretty unusual. This means that it soaks in, then hardens. This allows you to clean the finish. It also it food safe. However, it does not create much of a sheen, iirc.

Cabots should make it again! It was great stuff!

Mary
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:55 AM   #11
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Going Crazy

The cabinets in my '58 are making me crazy. They are scuffed and scratched in places and are all covered in a VERY thin birch veneer (I think). The lightest sanding with anything from 220 to 400 grit sandpaper seems to start making dark marks in the veneer which is, I think, the wood underneath the veneer showing through.

I see pictures posted by folks like Yukonia, in a different thread, where their wood looks like this: http://www.airforums.com/forum...6&d=1089844296 and also by Cruiser, in a nother thread: http://www.airforums.com/forum...9&d=1080602354

But no wood in my trailer looks like that, except for the non-visible, unfinished plywood, like the insides of the wardrobes. But I could care less about that wood, honestly, I want to get the birch veneer patched up and shiny again. Any ideas?

Here's an example of what my wood looks like, attached. Note the scuffs and scratches. If I were just to go over this with Watco Danish oil, would it hide those? Then I suppose I could just replace the veneer in places where it is chipped off, right?

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2005, 02:17 PM   #12
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Wow! The lemon oil really appears to do the trick - I am going to give that a whirl in my '69. I am having the same problem with a wood interior in very good condition, just neglected. Thanks for some great tips in only my first 15 minutes as a member!
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Old 12-31-2005, 03:27 PM   #13
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Mary,

I know that it has been 6 mo since your responce, but I did a little looking around....

http://mohawkfinishing.com/item_view...1&itemNbr=9823
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:10 PM   #14
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Wood finish

From the owners manual of my '69 Overlander,"The interior wood in your trailer is lacquered for greatest durability and beauty. A cloth moistened with plain water is the best cleaning agent. Do not use alcohol or any petroleum-base solvents; they will attack the lacquer and mar the finish. " end quote. Everything I have found has pointed to the wood being walnut.

Hope this is of some help.

Happy New Year
Loren
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