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Old 05-08-2013, 03:26 PM   #85
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Oh yes leave the channel the the ribs attach to on the floor not the shell and brace the ribs with wood braces since you are detaching the channel. Makes the whole process easier.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:36 PM   #86
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We really are rethinking the shell off after much research. Looking at going with a shell on refurbishment.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:31 PM   #87
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enosburg , Vermont
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Ok, wow, I have tried to get down the upper interior skin, but it was hard on me and I got tired. I will get help for the rest of it. I don't plan on putting back the same interior skin. I am going use something else. I think I understand it better now, I use the clecos to temporarily hold panels until I rivet them back. Right? Yeah, I'd like to see your photos.
Concerning the original interior skin. Those full size aluminum panels account for nearly half the structural strength of the body. They or new sheets are gonna have to go back in. Wood paneling can't do the job. New sheets will be very pricey. However, with the skins out laying on a flat surface they are fairly easy to clean up and re prime. You can then reinstall and finish coat in place. Use some type of ID on the back of each piece as you disassemble so you can easily reinstall them using the original rivit holes. Makes a much neater finish.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:41 PM   #88
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Shell on is a good option! You have to do only what is needed and that which you are confortable with. Your floor looks pretty good except in the bath. My shell off has several reasons and floor rot is only a small part. Keep up the great work i am enjoying the read.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:52 PM   #89
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Concerning the original interior skin. Those full size aluminum panels account for nearly half the structural strength of the body. They or new sheets are gonna have to go back in. Wood paneling can't do the job. New sheets will be very pricey. However, with the skins out laying on a flat surface they are fairly easy to clean up and re prime. You can then reinstall and finish coat in place. Use some type of ID on the back of each piece as you disassemble so you can easily reinstall them using the original rivit holes. Makes a much neater finish.
That is VERY good to know. I have labeled the back of each. I mainly did that as a template, but I did not realize that wood can't do the job. Very interesting. So, what do people do put paneling over it? Doesn't it make it heavy?
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:24 PM   #90
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Shell on is a good option! You have to do only what is needed and that which you are confortable with. Your floor looks pretty good except in the bath. My shell off has several reasons and floor rot is only a small part. Keep up the great work i am enjoying the read.
I hope so. I think it gives me more confidence in going forward and doing it here. Now, to get the bellypan off.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #91
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Can I just say you're my new hero????! I'm reading this thread with such inspiration. My husband & I just got a '57 Overlander....neither of us are handy folks, but we're looking at a complete restoration....
Aww, I don't know. I am going in blindly. Not much of a hero yet. Maybe I will be if it gets done. Wow! A '57? That has to be amazing. Keep me posted with your progress!
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #92
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Given your progress I assume you have read some of the other posts showing similarly brave owners. Here are a few links you might have missed:

You'll find an interesting thread on wood interior work here:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f321...i-15592-3.html

This link will lead to an aggregated assembly of restoration links:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

Try this link to reignite your dreams about how your baby will ultimately be decorated on those days you feel it might not be worth the effort:
Airstream interiors

I do colonial period furniture woodworking but haven't encountered any need to remodel our trailer yet. However, that doesn't mean I never dream about that day.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:19 AM   #93
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As an Aerospace Engineer, I am not sure I buy the interior skins being all that structural. The interior pop rivets are pretty weak and soft and usually pretty loose so I don't think they would do much if any real loads were imposed on them. The outer shell has real structural solid buck rivets and most of the strength of the shell is on the outside skin. The way the Airstream is built the strength of the shell is not really used very well to stiffen the whole structure. This being said, it is probably easier to leave the old skins in there and put wood on the inside of that. Then you don't have to worry about hitting a stringer to attach the wood. You can put a fastener anywhere you want to.

If you were to put in new aluminum skins, all you really need to know is where the ribs and stringers are and you can drill new holes as needed. You can use the old skins to figure out where the ribs and stringers are for the new panels. You would make lines to mark the rivet centerlines on the new panels with a sharpe marker and then remove the marker with ethanol when you are finished.


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Concerning the original interior skin. Those full size aluminum panels account for nearly half the structural strength of the body. They or new sheets are gonna have to go back in. Wood paneling can't do the job. New sheets will be very pricey. However, with the skins out laying on a flat surface they are fairly easy to clean up and re prime. You can then reinstall and finish coat in place. Use some type of ID on the back of each piece as you disassemble so you can easily reinstall them using the original rivit holes. Makes a much neater finish.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:30 PM   #94
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Perry,

I was hoping to NOT put back the plastic/metal skins. I was hoping to put in all new insulation and then wood. Is that too heavy yet not strong enough? If I used aluminum, I would rather it be as little as possible on the inside. What do you think?
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:38 PM   #95
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Put wood over the old skins. There are some folks on here who have done wood on here. Just do some searches and PM them and ask some questions. I don't know if they left the old skins or not.

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:05 PM   #96
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We paneled our "back room" with 1/8" birch plywood over the original interior skin (which had ghastly white paint that still felt tacky). In most of the rest of the trailer, the interior is covered with cabinets. I don't think the added weight of the wood over aluminum is much more than the overall increase in weight you'd get from having wood instead of aluminum in those hidden places. I haven't run any calculations, though. That might help you decide.

We spray painted the bathroom and left the remainder of the wall original. It actually makes it lighter inside than wood would, which we find helpful.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:39 PM   #97
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I got my screens back from being powder coated silver and I rescreened them. I used the original spline after I cleaned it really well. Viola! New interior screens! Now if I can figure out how to get paint to stick to the plastic handles.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:09 PM   #98
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Did you try Krylon paint? It's for plastic.
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