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Old 04-01-2016, 04:26 PM   #1
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1957 18' Wanderer
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Birch paneling

I am putting birch paneling in a 57 Airstream. I have seen photos of it done. Has anyone here done it? If so do you have panel measurements (yes trying to save time on templates and math). This unit has 7 panels in the domes. Any help would greatly be appreciated!

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Darrell RV
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Old 04-01-2016, 05:43 PM   #2
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Just like a 50's or 60's Ferrari having the drivers door smaller or larger than the passenger door, your 57 Airstream will be different than any other trailer; even same year and model. Somebody else's templates will get you close but probably will only frustrate you, especially if the next piece you cut from the template ends up being too small.

One suggestion would be to tape a very flexible material (fabric) into place by whatever means necessary (double sided tape would be good). Use two continuous laser markers to light up the ends of the segment that you want to make, then very carefully pencil along the laser line. Once both lines have been transferred, pull down material and cut along lines to produce your template.

As a proffessional high end cabinetmaker myself, I don't envy you trying this, but will admire it once you complete it.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Just like a 50's or 60's Ferrari having the drivers door smaller or larger than the passenger door, your 57 Airstream will be different than any other trailer; even same year and model. Somebody else's templates will get you close but probably will only frustrate you, especially if the next piece you cut from the template ends up being too small.

One suggestion would be to tape a very flexible material (fabric) into place by whatever means necessary (double sided tape would be good). Use two continuous laser markers to light up the ends of the segment that you want to make, then very carefully pencil along the laser line. Once both lines have been transferred, pull down material and cut along lines to produce your template.

As a proffessional high end cabinetmaker myself, I don't envy you trying this, but will admire it once you complete it.

Cheers
Tony
Thanks for the info Tony
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:00 AM   #4
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1989 25' Excella
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Roughly hewn lumber on interior walls

Does anyone know a source for roughly planed lumber thin enough for interior walls? Has anyone done this before? How thinly should the wood be planed? How is it attached to the walls?
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:12 AM   #5
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Hard work but satisfying

I paneled the entire interior of my 55 Cloud in birch. I perfected the method as I went along. Here is the final version:
1. Pre drill flat bar trim at 3 inch intervals and attach to riveted seams with sheet metal screws.
2. Tape cardboard over panel and trace screw heads with sharpie pen.
3. Remove cardboard and cut on marked lines.
4. Test fit template and adjust as needed.
5. Tape template onto birch and cut to size.
6. Test fit birch and trim if needed.
7. Clear coat birch.
8. Slide birch under one trim piece and attach adjacent piece.
9. REPEAT

Note: Templates could not be reused as the trailer was not symmetrical, either side to side or front to back.
See attached pics.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:24 AM   #6
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Very nice well done.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:31 AM   #7
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Looks great . Where did you source the flat bar trim.? Is it aluminum ??
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info Tony
most fabric will stretch slightly - I'd consider white butcher paper or brown craft paper instead. PLUS you'll have to allow for the thickness of the birch itself along curves and you'll have to bevel it very slightly inward on the curves or the pieces will be too big.

I'd presume that you'll actually cover the seams with a metal or wood trim though - a little more forgiving plus you could make it a contrast color if you wished to, plus trying to make a perfect match with perfectly meeting seams - how to go NUTS in short order!

could be beautiful!
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:33 AM   #9
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Your birch paneling is gorgeous!

We are not paneling the curved sides of the Excella. We are merely covering interior walls that are the sides of the kitchen cabinets, refrigerator, and closets in the bedroom. The photo I posted shows flat walls on either side of me. These are the ones to which I refer. We are wondering how to attach either wood or (something I found at Home Depot) 3/8" planks fabricated from wood fibers to the luan (underneath the vinyl wallcovering). Someone suggested liquid nails.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:43 AM   #10
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Emily...have you considered using click flooring, The wall sections you mention are all flat, I believe. Pergo is what I have used.....there are many other types and many color choices.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:56 AM   #11
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Emily...have you considered using click flooring, The wall sections you mention are all flat, I believe. Pergo is what I have used.....there are many other types and many color choices.
Weight is always a consideration - and Pergo is heavy, but then even 3/16 birch isn't light! If you already have mouse fur on the walls I don't know if you might want to remove it first. If you ever had a leak behind the wood, whew. With thin birch you'd see damage appear, with Pergo would water penetrate to the front?

Paula
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:36 PM   #12
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We've been getting ours up and in these past few weeks. I drilled out the rivets along the seams of the original aluminum panels and ran the birch behind them to get a cleaner line.

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Old 04-15-2016, 09:08 AM   #13
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We are putting Pergo on the floor. But no, I want a more textured finish for the walls. Kind of like barn wood. The flooring we are getting snaps together like Pergo. I'll take a photo when it comes in.
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:12 AM   #14
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What is mouse fur? What we have is the original fake-wood-vinyl-covered-luan or some sort of wall board. As for the possible leakage issue, these walls are sides of kitchen cabinets, closet, and the other side of the bathroom wall. I guess the shower could leak; otherwise, I don't think leakage on the interior would be a problem. Again, this is not going on the inner lining of the of the Excella's shell.

Here I am with the kitchen wall behind my right arm and the refrigerator wall to my left. These are what we are covering with faux wood.
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