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Old 07-27-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Wood veneer on inner skin

I am soon to begin a renovation on a 1971 Sovereign. I was thinking about putting wood veneer over the inner skin. Has anyone removed the inner skins, used them as a template, and attached the veneer to the skins prior to putting the skins back in? Is there any reason that this would not work?
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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I am thinking of something similar with upholstery fabric. The main problem you might have is the vinyl covering gives off an oily sticky substance.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:39 PM   #3
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Is there something to take the oily sticky substance off?
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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Is there something to take the oily sticky substance off?
You can get it off with cleansers like Basic Green and TSP, but it comes back after time.

I have however glued Reflectix insulation to the inner skins with Weldwood Contact cement and it seems to be holding after 6 months. I also tried spray adhesive with limited results.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #5
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I'm working on an 85 Excella. The walls were not sticky, but I scrubbed and rinsed them twice before starting the painting. I'm using Benjamin Moore indoor/outdoor primer. So far, so good.

I was thinking about lining the whole thing with wood veneer or something but worried about condensation. Lumatic, I'm up here on a ranch out of Tierra Amarilla where we can go to -30F on a regular basis. I was thinking of lining the whole thing with Reflectix insulation during the winter. It's amazing how I suddenly don't care what anything looks like when it gets cold - like when the Hudson Bay blankets suddenly get nailed up over the windows in the old adobe house. Still thinking about condensation and mold.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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I thought about doing the same thing but the expansion coefficients between the two was to much and I was afraid that the thin veneer would crack and peel, so I shelved the idea.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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Also, don't forget that the inner skins form a whole with the outer skins and the floor that keep the entire trailer together.

In other words, they aren't just decoration; they are structural.
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #8
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You may want to consider another option for a wood look. I am a chippy (carpenter), and was looking for that warm feel of woodgrain in one of my restorations. Upon realising the amount of cuts and how much of a wrestling match it would be to fit the segments of ply or veneer into the compound curves, I decided to go for a much more user friendly option that gave me the look I wanted, could apply myself, utilised the original interior skin panels, and was a stable, washable material. Basically it was a digitally printed vinyl wrap, similar to what you might see on a promotional vehicle or the like. Firstly, I bought some real birchwood ply panels and finished them in a flat lacquer/ polyurethene. These panels were then digitally photographed and given a little tickle up on a computer ( some colour was taken out and they were sized to be printed onto sheets that I could cut the applicable panels out of). A sample was printed and signed off on. A clear washable overlay was then applied when the final run was printed. Patterns for the panels were made with thick building paper and then cut out of the printed panels and applied over the interior skin. I had no experience in applying the film beforehand and was a little nervous at first in case I stuffed it up. It was a very forgiving material and even when it did run off or get a bubble behind it, it would still be able to be gently removed and refitted. You do need to be careful not to stretch the film too much though. There were some minor bubbles or low spots on the skin which disappeared over a week due to curing. and you could pinprick anything else. Really the sky is the limit with this sort of format, if you can print it, you can have it in your trailer. Surface preparation is still very important. But given my experience as a tradesman, I would not hesitate to use this method.
Good luck!

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Old 08-20-2013, 03:00 PM   #9
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Basically it was a digitally printed vinyl wrap, A sample was printed and signed off on. A clear washable overlay was then applied when the final run was printed.
Did you do this yourself? Sounds beyond most streamers. Did you farm it out? who? and how much?
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I was thinking of lining the whole thing with Reflectix insulation during the winter.
The R value of Reflectix is increased significantly if there is a dead air space behind the insulation. In other words seal the Reflectix so there are no drafts but seal only the edges.
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Did you do this yourself? Sounds beyond most streamers. Did you farm it out? who? and how much?
Yes I did it myself. It is not as hard as you might think and if you are even contemplating using real wood or veneer, then this option is easier by far. It is lighter, durable, repairable, and you keep the integrity of the inner skin intact. You do need to do some surface preparation and to some degree are dictated by rivet lines and seam of the inner skin but I just olympic riveted a aluminium cove over them where practical or replaced a pop rivet with a countersunk rivet to smooth the skin if needed. There were a few spots in the skin I had to fill with bog and sand smooth. Cost for the print was about $1600. You need to allow for waste so if you make your patterns first, you will have a pretty close idea of how much you need. Labour-wise, I cannot remember accurately but I know it would have to be less work that trying to cut and place then fix a veneer. If you are doing a trailer restoration- I would say you are more than capable of using this method of finishing. Always start in an area that is less likely to be seen and as you get better, move out to more exposed areas. It is not that hard, just methodical-sounds like restoring an Airstream anyway!!!!

Pete
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Cost for the print was about $1600. You need to allow for waste so if you make your patterns first, you will have a pretty close idea of how much you need.
Looks very nice, Pete, but I must admit you surprised me with the cost of that printed material.

How do you think that would compare to using a real wood veneer over the aluminum?
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:06 PM   #13
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I wanted a wainscot around the lower panels. All were flat. I bought maple veneer and thought I could glue it on in strips to give the impression of separate boards. I tried veneer straight on aluminum and after that failed I tried a base of cork with veneer. Both tries would split/rip because of the differences in the expansion and contraction of the aluminum and the veneer/cork. A lot of work and glue and to have it all fail. I ended up using 1/8 birch ply cutting lines in it to give the board impression. The ply also did not need to be glued entirely but only in spots.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:21 PM   #14
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This what I have been doing in the shower area of my Tradewind. It is the technique basically used in cedar strip canoe building. If you look that up it will explain the process in detail. Basically rivet or screw stringers along wall and glue bead and coved cedar strips to it, along it. You glue the back to the stringer and the bead and cove together. You staple it to stringers as you go, as a clamp. Remove staples and coat with epoxy. I also fiberglassed it. You can see a few more pictures in my recent post. The back where I am working is the hardest part. If find it satisfy work.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ic-108378.html

Good luck

Tony
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