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Old 04-26-2005, 11:22 AM   #1
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Pictures of aluminum interior after paint stripping?

Hi,

Does anyone have any pics of their stripped interior?

I'd like to achieve the brushed CCD look in my 59 (doesn't have fiberglass caps) and wondered if anyone had tried stripping the paint and finishing with a scotch brite or 3m pad?

Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:40 AM   #2
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My 59 does have fiberglass end caps. It also has several coats of paint over the factory paint. There are several threads dealing with how difficult the factory paint is to strip. I am planning on covering it up with new aluminum sheeting for "the Look" after cleaning up the original. Even with the panels out they don't give up the paint easily.
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:53 AM   #3
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I've had 'moderate' success using the heavy-bodied stripper and following it up with acetone (and lots of rags). It's slow, to be sure... be better than stripper the wood cabinets in our kitchen!


I was curious, mostly, about the brushed look. I read several posts about folks trying to polish it to a shine, which I'm not sure I would like (luckily).
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:58 AM   #4
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Hi,

I stripped the paint off my galley cabinet after it started flaking away. I used regular peel and strip paint remover. I got it all off in two applications, plus elbow grease with a wire wheel and steel wool. The aluminum underneath is not shiny, though certainly not as dull as my well-patina'ed 45 year old exterior.

The one thing I would say is that it's a messy, tiresome job. Reapplying zolatone would be much easier, I'd think.

Mary
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:03 PM   #5
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I agree with Mary, stripping the aluminum is serious work. And polishing it is a big deal too, not to mention maintenance. At that point you might as well consider replacing the aluminum with the new stuff used on CCDs (which is the same aluminum using on the exteriors of new trailers). No polishing or maintenance required. We did that on the Argosy (Project Vintage Thunder).
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:13 PM   #6
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I saw the Project Thunder article and the aluminum looks stunning! Great lighting too... but I'm at a bit of a loss b/c I don't have end caps to cover the 'fanned' pieces.


Still no stripped pictures from anyone?
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:52 PM   #7
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Doug;
I stipped the interior coats and coats of all different paints with aircraft paint remover to the bare aluminum. I then sanded a few areas and even polished a few spots to see what it would look like. I wanted to see if I could get the same "look" as the new trailers,but what I found out was that it gave the interior a gloomy and dark look (I guess it was altogether a different aluminum back then) and I decided to go with a painted interior.
I will dig up the pictures and e-mail them to you. I still don't know how to post them here.
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Old 04-27-2005, 12:19 AM   #8
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Hi Doug -
There are a couple of pictures of the stripped front end cap on my website:

www.airztream.com

Not the best but you get the idea. Most of the aluminum on the inside is certainly a different grade than the exterior. In fact its several different grades, right next to each other. The center panel over the front window polished up like the outside but the adjacent panels never did polish up as nice. Alot of the center area panels had scribes in them from the factory workers indicating where the ribs were located for attaching with rivets. Besides the interior was just getting too busy with all of thise reflections.

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Old 05-13-2005, 12:26 AM   #9
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Nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rluhr
I agree with Mary, stripping the aluminum is serious work. And polishing it is a big deal too, not to mention maintenance. At that point you might as well consider replacing the aluminum with the new stuff used on CCDs (which is the same aluminum using on the exteriors of new trailers). No polishing or maintenance required. We did that on the Argosy (Project Vintage Thunder).
Hey Rich,

That's exactly what I am thinking of doing. Just checked out your photo on the Vintage Thunder blog. That Aluminum on the inside looks great! I also noticed that you purchased it from the airstream factory store. I would love to hear any tips suggestion you may have on this. I was not aware one could purchase Aluminum directly from Airstream.
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Old 05-13-2005, 08:11 AM   #10
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Well, technically, you need to purchase the aluminum through an Airstream dealer. We got our directly from Airstream because they were supportive of Project Vintage Thunder. You should tell your dealer you want a sheet of the current aluminum used on trailer exteriors (which is the same stuff used on the CCD interiors), and Airstream will drop-ship it to you, I believe. If you contact them and this info turns out to be incorrect, please let me know.

The aluminum is not cheap. I can't quote prices, though. Still, when you figure the labor and lousy results of trying to strip and polish utility aluminum that was never meant to be polished, I think this is the only way to go. Plus this stuff comes with a plastic sheet which protects the aluminum until after it is installed. So you can write on it with a marker, and then peel the plastic off when the job is done. Boy, does it look GREAT once you do that!

thenewkid64 posted some notes about the installation process on the Project Vintage Thunder thread on the forums here. Basically we removed the interior skins (easy, just drill out the pop rivets with a 1/8" drill bit), marked them carefully with a black marker to indicate window openings, and used them as templates to rough cut the replacement pieces.

Long straight cuts were done with electric shears, tricky little cuts were done with hand shears. You'll want to have a helper for all of the big cuts and the re-mounting. Don't try to match the rivet holes, just drill new ones at installation time.

We took pains to make sure the seams of rivets and aluminum sheets looked right. This meant installing a few pop rivets just for cosmetic reasons, and measuring where every rivet went. This is definitely a "measure twice, cut once" operation.

I believe we spent about two and a half full days (two people) working on the aluminum forward of the first bulkhead, which included the kitchen and dinette area. Those were 17-hour days, too. It's real work. But the results were worth it.

You can see the trailer at Homecoming and International this summer. We keep a schedule of events where we will be showing Vintage Thunder on our website at www.airstreamlife.com/vintagethunder.
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:52 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info and suggestions Rich. I'll check with Dealer here and post any info I get. Looking at those pictures you have posted it looks like you guys left some of the interior skins up and covered them with the new stuff. Was it easier that way? This picture shows what I am referring to.

Man, that thing looks so nice. Just like the CCD's on the dealer's lot. I can't make it to Homecoming this year but maybe if your ever out west I'll get a look at it.
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Old 05-13-2005, 12:39 PM   #12
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The picture you are referring to....

The section of original vinyl clad interior was left in place. This was behind the base cabinet for the kitchen sink and would not be seen under most circumstances. We did leave some of the original inner skin on and overlaid the new. There was a method to the madness. I did not want to severely weaken the structure of the trailer by having one rib be where the sheets met and overlapped. The inside sheets normally are full sheets that run stem to stern. These sheets add tremendously to the shell structure of the trailer. Seaming the old and new on a rib would create a weak point in the structure, IMO.

We removed the inner skins for a number of reasons. One was to get to all the wiring. Another was to fix leaks, and the third was to remove weight. We made it a point to transition from the new to the old at a visual break point. In our case it was the bulkhead walls. We also left the original aluminum under the new sheet for a span of 2 ribs, minimum. This means the transition is spread over the two ribs and reduced the weakening of the interior structure. All the old rivets were drilled out and new rivets used to go through both layers of inner skin and the original, tying it back to the rib.

I will confess, I do not have a degree in structural engineering, but I can look at how it is all put together and apply my general mechanical knowledge to the problem and stresses at hand. This seemed like the way to do this. It has held up well and AFAIK Rich did not lose any rivets on the sojourn home.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:34 AM   #13
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Just a thought.. I had my body off the frame and really wanted the CCD look. I read that most people were having bad luck with stripping and such. When I had the body off I had to have all the panels off. I stored them untill I was done with the frame and floor. When I was putting it back together again I wondered if I could just flip the pieces inside out. I know you will end up having holes that don't line up and some of the panels won't fit, but I really thought you could work something out doing that. Maybe you'll have to buy a couple of peices and cut here and there but it might be a whole lot easer then trying to strip, etc. You could just put rivet's in the extra holes.. no one knows what is what anyway, except an other AS owner.

I can say that the stock finish was a good idea because it does act as a insulation when it comes to an electrical short. Like if a hot wire touches the bare alum. you have a major problem, if it touches the paint your ok. Plus as everyone is seeing with how hard it is to strip, it's that strong. If it's really dirty or yr's of smoking, etc..... Laquer Thinner works great. Yes it smells but it really kickes. I cleaned all my pieces before I replaced them with it and it looks like new. The guy before me lived in it fulltime and smoked like crazy, averything was yellow and sticky. There were bugs stuck everywere from the tack. Now it looks great. Not sure if the inside out idea is off the wall, but with some thought it could work... just remember the insulation part. My2cents
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:51 AM   #14
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by 59er
Hi,

Does anyone have any pics of their stripped interior?

I'd like to achieve the brushed CCD look in my 59 (doesn't have fiberglass caps) and wondered if anyone had tried stripping the paint and finishing with a scotch brite or 3m pad?

Thanks.
I have a 1971, ABS and fierglass end caps...I stripped the walls and wire brushed the cieling. Here are a few pics:











be sure to post pics when you are finished.

Joshua

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