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Old 06-27-2009, 07:14 AM   #1
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Wood Veneers Anyone.....

Just planning things out for the FM (Full Monte) of our 76. Has anyone here used wood panels, or wood veneers for their interior wall covering?

We plan to re-install the interior skins for the structural value, but we really do like the warmth of the old birch interiors of some other vintage brands. I am curious if anyone here has had any luck doing this, and been successful.

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:32 AM   #2
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In several places where there was water damage on the original wood, I put on some mahogany veneer. I used the recommended adhesive from the specialty lumber supplier that you apply to both sides and wait for it to dry. Over time, probably because of our summer heat, the veneer on the fridge cabinet wall just inside the entry door started to buckle on the side of the trailer that was exposed to the afternoon sun. I then peeled back enough to allow access and applied gorilla glue. It has held now for two years. The veneer has also shrunk over time as I originally applied the veneer to the cabinet and then trimmed it to size. It has shrunk approximately 1/16". If it gets so bad as to really bother me, I'll pull it off and try a mahogany door skin that is a little thicker. I doubt it would shrink.

Good luck with your interior. and let us know how it goes.

Brad
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:32 AM   #3
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If I read your post correctly, you're wanting to cover the original metal/vinyl interior skin with wood, or at least veneer. I agree that it would look great! If you search the Interior Restoration forum very diligently, you may find someone who has done this; seems to me I've seen this somewhere. This is one thing I like about the older "canned ham" trailers- they are ALL wood inside. It would not be easy to do, with the curves/domes involved, and there'd be a lot of it in your 31-footer. Makes me tired just thinking about it, but if you do it I'd love to see the results! Good luck- tim
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Applying Veneer over any of the vinyl covered aluminum surfaces will not work unless ply is first riveted to the aluminum due to the hugh differences in expansion between the two. Many have riveted or screwed thin birch ply to the interior aluminum skin. Applying Veneer to the vinyl coved masonite surfaces of the 70's trailers might work be it would me expensive for that much veneer. If you want that birch interior look I think it would be alot less headaches to simply replace the Masonite with birch ply. The endcaps would be much more challanging.
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:34 AM   #5
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silver-suenos - Home

my little wood interior of an airstream project..... first time online.
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jimcathexis View Post
silver-suenos - Home

my little wood interior of an airstream project..... first time online.
Your "little wood interior" is absolutely stunning! You are very gifted in your craft! Be proud of that beautiful, artistic work!
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:04 PM   #7
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jimcathexis,
Beautiful job!
How did you attach wood veneer to the interior skins?
Thanks,
Suti
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:11 PM   #8
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it is 1/8" birch panels - available at the orange box hardware store. most are screwed with short deck screws, some glueing where i thought it was necessary. been ten years now, no real problems. ( have to oil it occasionally if stored in heat.) just follow the size, shape of the interior aluminum panels... in the corners, sanded the backs of the plywood to make it even thinner to make bends.... details should show how.... just sadly sold it, but will find another project soon i hope....


jimcathexis,
Beautiful job!
How did you attach wood veneer to the interior skins?
Thanks,
Suti
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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Thank you and good luck with your next project.
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:44 PM   #10
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the airstream, while not used as much as i desired, it was a catalyst to so many dreams and thoughts, and a fabulous escape physically, psychologically and emotionally, - just having it somewhere, was of so much value. can't let that go away.... and found someone who seemed to love it as much as i did, so decided to share it.... since this is a wood conversation, i will go back.... it is not as hard as it looks. especially if you gutted your trailer first. ( i didn't, was not confident of that big a project...) trailer didn't have a couch or bed, so just built them at same time. ) and not that expensive.... just attention to the woodworking maxim "measure twice, cut once...." a lot of scrape wood for campfires... but totally changes the feeling inside the trailer. A lot restoration guys seem to be doing this now, I did a couple of trailers for a trade show in 1997 this way and just got hooked.... always wanted a little log cabin. thanks for the compliments.
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:35 PM   #11
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Wood over the old Laminate

I have had wood veneers put over some of the plastic laminate on my 72 Tradewind and then have also put in 1/4" Oak to replace some of the original and then stained with Minwax Provencial 211 stain. It is a great match to the old panels and looks good. Also put in a new tambour panel under the sink and stained it to match. (photo taken before the tambour was redone)
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:26 AM   #12
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If you subscribe to Airstream Life there is exactly want you in the Andoranack Article. A company that was just on thevap.com called Vintage-Vacations.com specializes in it. If you email him for some tips he may be willing to give you some pointers. It may save a lot of money by getting it right the first time. either case it will be a lot of work but just imagine how it would look? I tried to go to the Airstreamlife.com webpage but it is not working this morning. If you need the photos let me know and I can scan them for you.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
Just planning things out for the FM (Full Monte) of our 76. Has anyone here used wood panels, or wood veneers for their interior wall covering?

We plan to re-install the interior skins for the structural value, but we really do like the warmth of the old birch interiors of some other vintage brands. I am curious if anyone here has had any luck doing this, and been successful.

Thanks,

Kevin
Hi Kevin--

For anyone planning a Full Monte, I highly recommend reading through the Major Renovations, linked here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

There are many of them, and a lot of them are quite lengthy, but the value in knowledge gained is immeasurable in my opinion. I consider them to be absolutely necessary homework for anyone planning a major reno, and the added benefit is that most of them are a lot of fun to read.

To answer your question specifically, there are a couple of threads in those major renovations where people have installed wooden panels in the interiors of their Airstreams with beautiful results.

One of them, Carlos Ferguson, removed the aluminum interior panels altogether and replaced with Baltic birch plywood. His thread is here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f321...ari-15592.html

Another, Jordan aka A-Merry-Can, installed the Baltic birch panels OVER the aluminum interior skins. You can read about it here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ent-17197.html

Good luck, and if/when you begin your renovation, we'd love to see you document it in similar fashion, so that others can learn from YOUR work too!

-Marcus
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:25 PM   #14
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Yes we've been doing our research. I've read the first 21 pages of Jim & Susan's "Doin’ the Full Monte" thread, and Truckasaurus' “Transmogrification” thread too. And yes we still plan to proceed!!!

We came to the stark realization last Fall that we did not want to just do a "Patch Job" restoration. We recognize that this is a very big project that has the potential to take several years a plenty of cash, but this was my Dad’s AS, and therefors we’re in for the long haul.

So we bought a 2nd trailer (73 Avion) and started putting together plans to proceed with the FM of the AS.

We plan to break the project in to three distinct phases.

1. Demo –
a. Remove Interior –
i. Cabinets
ii. Fixtures
iii. Skins
iv. Insulation
v. Floor
vi. Belly skins
b. Assess
i. Frame – Either Repair/Rebuild/Replace
ii. Tanks – Likely just replace
iii. (having now realized what we’ve gotten ourselves into, try to stop the overwhelming urge to cry uncontrollably)
iv. Setup an open account with Inland RV and ODMRV.

2. Dry-In -
a. Re-seal exterior seams
b. Replace all gaskets
c. New plumbing – subfloor that is
i. (possibly lose all hope of ever completing this project)
d. Replace subfloor
e. New electrical
i. (seriously consider listing the empty shell on eBay)
f. Insulate walls
g. Re-Install interior skins
i. (regain hope, that there really is light at the end of the tunnel)

3. Rebuild -
a. Build new interior cabinetry (really hate the vinyl walnut stuff that is there now)
i. (2nd mortgage the house)
b. Install new appliances
c. Overlay exposed interior skins with birch (maybe, or might just go back with raw aluminum skins – Hence the reason for this thread)
i. (seek emotional counseling)
d. Fabricate new end caps to replace the plastic that is there now
e. Install floor covering
f. Install fantastic fans
g. Install new axles

So we will be starting a new Full Monte thread soon.

Thanks All,

Kevin
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