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Old 10-20-2004, 12:39 AM   #1
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Wood Cabinets in 1970 Overlander

I've read a lot on this forum about restoring wood cabinets... my question is what do we have in our 1970 Overlander? Is it wood veneer over plywood? Can it be sanded down and stained? Or better to use Formby's to restore the luster? Or do they have to be stripped first?
Thanks for any advice you can give me. We're restoring our AS on a television series called "Classic Rides" which airs on the DIY Network (the 10-episode series will air in the fall of 2005).
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Old 10-20-2004, 08:13 AM   #2
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We are doing the same thing with our newly aquired '69 Safari. We have removed some of the panels and have found that they are oak veneer over plywood. Since we are going to change out the wood species on the inside, we are going to use them as templates. I have used Formby's products before. They make a product that is stipper that is very liquid that you can use a very fine steel wool with to remove the finish. I would try a small area first if your not familiar with stipping furniture. This product almost disolves the finish. It's not like the stuff you need to brush on and leave sit for a while. You could also sand it. However, if you don't sand it evenly, you might end up with a blotchy finish when you apply the new coat.

I'll be anxious to watch the series on DIY. Good luck.
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Old 10-20-2004, 08:46 AM   #3
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My understanding that 69 was a transition year - still had the old wood cabinets. In 1970 the cabinets were a formica over plywood. I would be very difficult to bring them to a nice cabinet grade wood. If you want wood, you need to rebuild - make sure though that you use relatively thin (not 3/4 in) plywood to keep the cabinets lite.

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Old 10-20-2004, 12:40 PM   #4
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I'm rebuilding all of the cabinets in my 67 Caravel. They are really pretty simple. Like Ken said, I'd stick with 1/4" plywood for the panels. I'm doing the Caravel in knotty pine. Another idea I had tossed around would be to buy some wood veneer laminate. It looks just like formica except that the face is real wood. I've used it before and you can't tell that it is .035" thick once it is applied. You could take your old cabinet face frames, apply adhesive to the front and backside of the laminate, then apply the laminate and once it is dry come back with a laminate trimmer (or router) and route the openings. Then apply whatever finish. I didn't do it in the Caravel because knotty pine wasn't available in this type material. The stuff I used before had a honduras mahogany face. it stained and finished just like regular lumber, just have to be very careful not to sand through the veneer.
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Old 10-20-2004, 12:40 PM   #5
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The partitions, and cabinet doors in my '67 Overlander are a wood veneer plywood which complements my cherry face frames well. I am undecided as to exactly what species the veneer is.

During the restoration, before reinstalling the woodwork, I cleaned it well with soap & water, then applied a coat of satin polyurethane. I think it looks great. You can kind of see some of the cabinets in my photos if you are interested.

Tom
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:34 PM   #6
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Our cabinet frames and doors are pretty well shot. We are planning on using either Birch or Maple for the frames and doors with an attempt to keep it very light inside. Plus, we are installing all new appliances as well. We're thinking about a thin veneer of solid surface material over 1/2" plywood for the countertop. This poor Safari is a rescue from years of neglect. I'll try to get some pictures posted soon.
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Old 10-20-2004, 03:34 PM   #7
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Hi Cr...How much of the restoration will you be doing yourself? or will you be subcontracting most of the work? I really admire the people on this forum who tackle AS projects of any size.

Your series won't be airing for another year...so at least you are realistic about the time element...unless you will have a big crew coming in to make it look easy like the home improvement shows...I had this horrible thought that you would make it look so easy that hoards of people will go out and buy up all the vintage ASs and start the nightmarish projects thinking it could be done in 10 easy hours...and no sweat, blood and tears...

I'm a restoration(no...more salvage and improvement) junkie...but only sit in the peanut gallery.

Good luck...can't wait for the show to air...meanwhile I have all these forum members' projects for my vicarious entertainment.
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Old 10-20-2004, 03:54 PM   #8
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Hi Trailerbunny. Unfortunately most of that time will be editing & TV stuff... we really have 3 months to do this. That being said, we're not doing major work that most would send out to professionals. Our projects will be typical DIY stuff (some simple, some more advanced). This will be 10 episodes with 4 projects per episode!
Yes, we produce some of those other home improvement shows. The purpose is to give straightforward instructions - just like how-to books. We try to point out difficult situations and problems that can come up (as we usually experience them too!). We'll also have a number of restoration and RV experts on the show and will tape a tour of the Airstream facility in Jackson Center.
Any good DIY project ideas are welcome!
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Originally Posted by Trailerbunny
Your series won't be airing for another year...so at least you are realistic about the time element...unless you will have a big crew coming in to make it look easy like the home improvement shows...I had this horrible thought that you would make it look so easy that hoards of people will go out and buy up all the vintage ASs and start the nightmarish projects thinking it could be done in 10 easy hours...and no sweat, blood and tears...
Good luck...can't wait for the show to air...meanwhile I have all these forum members' projects for my vicarious entertainment.
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