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Old 06-07-2007, 06:24 PM   #1
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Question Working on the inside...woodworking...& refinishing

Hi Folks, I have a '66 Overlander and a need to refinish her woodwork....From all the pictures I've seen posted.....how exactly do you take the cupboards apart to take out and refinish and get them back together when you are done?
Also, she was orginally light wooded but someone stained her dark...any thoughts on the possibility of turning her naturally blond again or is it a lost cause? What does anyone recommend for stripping the wood? Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dureedesign
Hi Folks, I have a '66 Overlander and a need to refinish her woodwork....From all the pictures I've seen posted.....how exactly do you take the cupboards apart to take out and refinish and get them back together when you are done?
Also, she was orginally light wooded but someone stained her dark...any thoughts on the possibility of turning her naturally blond again or is it a lost cause? What does anyone recommend for stripping the wood? Thanks!
Sorry I couldn't seem to locate any of your pics. In any case, a good pic or two would help greatly in indentifying the wood specie of your cabinets. I'd guess they were Oak if they were once light. If they are stained, your likely stuck with that with the exception of sanding it off. Most readily availiable stains are "penetrating" stains (such as minwax) and do penetrate the wood to some extent making strippers somewhat useless. Strippers will remove surface finishes well, not so well with penetrating finishes. It's really not necessary to remove the cabinets to refinish them. In fact, if you do remove them it may be just as well to build new. It's posssible Oxalic acid may lighten the cabinets back up, but I'd strongly suggest testing on some inconspicuous area first before doing the whole she bang. (I've had varied results with it.) If the wood still has the original finish, NOT polyurethane, simply giving it a light sanding and applying an oil finish will renew them. Airstream used Watco oil in "natural" back then. Watco oil is availiable at some smaller hardware stores and I think Lowes carries it. Oil finishes offer some protection, but don't set a cold drink on your newly refinished woodwork, it'll leave a ring. On the plus side, the woodwork can just be wiped down with the oil finish every so often and will look good as new. MAKE SURE you don't leave the oily finish rags laying around. They can cause a combust! Soak them in a bucket of water them get rid of them. If you get a moment, either post some pics, or direct me to them, and I'll be able to help you further. --dave
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:04 AM   #3
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Dave, thanks for all the info...you confirmed for me and I wil indeed lightly sand and oil...perhaps work on a two tone approach. Thanks again.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:10 AM   #4
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A word of caution...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dureedesign
..... I wil indeed lightly sand and oil....
I dont know how thick the veneer is on the wood, but I can tell you I was recently shocked to find how thin it was on a piece of veener oak ply I was using to build a new folding table for my Trade Wind . Make sure and keep us all posted and put up some before-during-and after images for us to see . Good luck!
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:25 AM   #5
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MAKE SURE you don't leave the oily finish rags laying around. They can cause a combust! Soak them in a bucket of water them get rid of them
I can't tell you how important this is, and I would take it one step further - After soaking in a bucket, lay them out FLAT to dry. Once dry they are safe.
I can't tell you how many fires I've investigated where this turned out to be the cause. It is so painful to watch a homeowner look at what's left of the project they were almost done with. And the guilt, knowing they caused it.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:55 AM   #6
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I have rebuilt and finished several pieces of cabinetry wood in my '66. I use oak veneer plywood to replace damaged pieces. I then finish it with several coats of Watco Danish Finish Oil in Golden Oak and then spray a light coat of polyurethane to complete it. Everyone that sees the finished product has said they didn't even notice that it was not original, it blended in with the old woodwork.

As for refinishing what you have: First question, this isn't an International model? They had walnut stained wood, IIRC. If you want the golden oak look, you are out of luck really. There's no way to go back to lighter wood. You sand it too much and you wear thru the veneer on the plywood. However, you could reface the cabinet frames. For the rest of panels, quarter inch oak plywood is, well, not expensive, at the home store. OR...you could get the 1/8 inch stuff that Lowes sells for the end panels on their cheap oak cabinets, and resurface some of the non-u-channel bound panels, basically refacing them. Then replace everything else you can't cover with new.

Sounds like a lot of work. Might be cheaper to convert it to a fake International, sell it as such and buy plain trim model. Not that I'd recommend that either.

Or figure out how to live with the dark stuff, by lightening up with accents, lighting and interesting trim, like birch or bamboo edgings, or a new maple surface counter top, edged with walnut. Very striking. Up to you, your taste and your pain tolerance.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:21 PM   #7
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(Snip from above) As for refinishing what you have: First question, this isn't an International model? They had walnut stained wood, IIRC.

The wood used in the older ones was real walnut (or oak, or mahogany) not some other wood stained to look like walnut. (Although I did find one board in ours on the rear roof locker that was oak stained dark) Also, It was not stained, just finished with oil.

As an aside, the veneer on the plywood used in that era actually had some thickness to it, not like the rotary cut nearly transparent veneers found at the box stores today, so it can be sanded down a bit without sanding through the veneer. GOOD plywood is still around, but it requires some legwork to find a supplier. Find a wholesaler to cabinet shops and go there. It cost me about $60 for a 1/4" 4x8 sheet of walnut plywood and about $80 for 3/8". The rest (face frames) are solid walnut. One thing about oil finishes- the will impart an "amber" hue to the wood after a few months or so. At first, the new cabinets I built looked contrasted with the originals, but now they match so well that it's impossible to tell the difference between new and old. If you'd really like to give the woodwork an all out glow, try this- Give the oil finish a month or so to cure and wax it. I like to use Johnson's past wax sold at Lowe's and Ace. (it's for wood, not auto wax) and wax the woodwork with a piece of #0000 steel wool rubbing WITH the grain. Let it dry a few minutes or so and wipe off. Your wood work will feel buttery smooth and have a little depth. It'll help highlight the ribbon grain in mahogany and pop the warm amber tones of walnut. --dave
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:32 PM   #8
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You'all are just great,thanks!

I'm new to all this, so all of you are an amazing source of wisdom and advice...afraid I won't be posting pictures quite yet, are you kidding.....I'm learning all about Airstreams and trailering and now you want pictures...? Palease!!!! Let me figure out all the other things like electric, water, propane, and all.....But, again, thank you for all your imput, your voice impacts all that will happen when it comes to making "Pearl" the best she can be....Andra, The Glass Goddess.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:22 AM   #9
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STEEL wool?

Streamin65

Did you mean to say 'Steel wool'?? Thought that steel wool left zillions of 'ick-ies' if there is ANY moisture/ humidity.... Wonderin'...

Axel
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:22 AM   #10
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Streamin65

Did you mean to say 'Steel wool'?? Thought that steel wool left zillions of 'ick-ies' if there is ANY moisture/ humidity.... Wonderin'...

Axel
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Yup. #0000 steel wool. No problems with "ick-ies". --dave
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:21 PM   #11
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Yup. #0000 steel wool. No problems with "ick-ies". --dave
Where people run into problems with steel wool is when you are resurfacing with a water base product after it's use. You can get very small rust marks as a result of the moisture.
Dave
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:29 PM   #12
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Where people run into problems with steel wool is when you are resurfacing with a water base product after it's use. You can get very small rust marks as a result of the moisture.
Dave
I will use 0000 steel wool on med to dark woods and abrasive pads on the lighter woods like maple or oak. Not much of a problem on oak but sometimes you can see the steel wool on maple even with an oil finish. Depends on the grain as much as anything.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
I can't tell you how important this is, and I would take it one step further - After soaking in a bucket, lay them out FLAT to dry. Once dry they are safe.
I can't tell you how many fires I've investigated where this turned out to be the cause. It is so painful to watch a homeowner look at what's left of the project they were almost done with. And the guilt, knowing they caused it.
Dave
In the late 70's I had a house custom built on a man made lake in Davis, Ca. I was adding a few coats of Watco to the parquet floors and had left some of the rags on the fireplace hearth when much to my dismay I noticed them smoking. Ran them outdoors and hosed them down and all was well. That experience has made me very cautious with finishes.

I assume that the curing process is exothermic and the wadded rags allow the reaction to concentrate heat and accelerate?
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