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Old 07-25-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
Confused in Bham
 
1964 24' Tradewind
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Creating Light Strong Walls

Hi Everyone,
Its been awhile, but after a move up north, and an actual place to store 'Jack', I'm back at it. I have built the bed in the back, and am now creating and installing the walls to the bathroom, and shower. My question is regarding how to install light, but strong walls. My dismantling was long ago, but remember that the F shaped metal flange was used quite a bit, and I still have one of them. If I don't use a flange the 'errors' in my wood curve will show, and will have to use two sheets of 1/8-1/4 plywood, with spacers in the middle to attache in the middle to the inner skin. I have sourced the F flange from places like Brunner Ent. but no one seems to be able to bend them to the correct shape.
Any suggestions as to how to create strong inner 'room' walls, that look good?
here is the link F250; for 1/4 in. - Aluminum Corners, F, h, H, T and Z - Aluminum angle, Aluminum tube, Aluminum extrusions, Anodized aluminum, Aluminum pipe, Aluminum channel, Extruded Aluminum angle, brunner enterprises, Aluminum bar, aluminum rod, aluminum edging

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Thanks for all of the continued help,
beyond
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:26 PM   #2
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The F extrusion bends really easily, if you can make a template of the wall you could gently tap the F around the curve no problem. I used the old F; two strips and made a sandwich of plywood and styrofaom/ Teklam/ Honeycomb that slid into the two F's. Complicated but weirdly the trickiest part was pop riveting the F's to the wall; I even ground down my cheapest pop rivet puller to make it easier.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:32 AM   #3
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Truck is right on with that template method. You should be able to bend that curve, for it is not too dramatic.
A 1/4" plywood with 1x3 glued to the perimeter was how the original was made. It is actually very strong and not all that heavy.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:47 AM   #4
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I was just measuring one of the bulkhead walls in my 70's trailer, and it is about .2 inches thick. It appears to be very thin plywood, with laminate on each side. (plain white on the back side, which forms the shower wall on one side, and the fake-woodgrain on the living area side). I have some of the trim strips of laminate material that were used to trim out the cabinets/bunks, and it is about .05 thick.
I'd like to replace the bulkheads with some real light-colored wood, like a birch plywood. Question is can you get something that thin? if it was going to be natural on one side, and formica laminate on the back, the ply would have to be .15 inches thick. don't know exactly how close to original you need to be in order to re-use the original F-channel to attach to the shell.

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Old 07-26-2011, 08:20 AM   #5
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wow, such precise measuring. You know metric is even more exact

the "f" channel is roughly 1/4" thick. When you buy plywood called 1/4" is is actually a slight + 3/16" or 4 millimeter. All plywood is metric even though it marked in empirical terms to make it easy on Americans. Each time you add a layer you increase the thickness. If you add a laminate to one side of the plywood you need to veneer the other side or add laminate there too. The reason for this is to balance the sheet. if you laminate just one side the plywood will warp, guaranteed. The moisture levels are always fluctuating and if one side is easier to absorb than the other, you end up with a pringle. Balancing is equally important when applying finish. Both sides of a panel or the wood need to be sealed. Once you have your panel made up you can cut a rabbit into the rear edge so it can slide into the "f" channel.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:21 AM   #6
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You can get baltic birch down to a 1/16" and the thicker 1/8" would be 0.125, except most of them are metric so it pays to check first as they come in thinner.

+what Frank says
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
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I wanted to add that the number of plys to the sheet will effect the strength. Baltic birch is some of the best quality you can get due to very uniform and consistent plys. It also has very few voids within the sheet. 2 mm(1/16th) plywood must have at least three plys to be stable. The center one is usually very thin but needs three plys to be balanced. The cheap 2 mm board is just 2 plys.
For what you plan to do, use a 5mm board.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
wow, such precise measuring. You know metric is even more exact
I have a caliper micrometer that measures in 10ths of an inch. I haven't been able to get a measurement on the panels because all the edges are capped off with some sort of trim, or 1x2 aluminum channel. since I removed the bathroom, I can get to the inner edge of the wall, where its cut out to span the battery box. So I put the caliper there, and thats how thick it is.

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Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
the "f" channel is roughly 1/4" thick. When you buy plywood called 1/4" is is actually a slight + 3/16" or 4 millimeter. All plywood is metric even though it marked in empirical terms to make it easy on Americans. Each time you add a layer you increase the thickness. If you add a laminate to one side of the plywood you need to veneer the other side or add laminate there too. The reason for this is to balance the sheet. if you laminate just one side the plywood will warp, guaranteed. The moisture levels are always fluctuating and if one side is easier to absorb than the other, you end up with a pringle. Balancing is equally important when applying finish. Both sides of a panel or the wood need to be sealed. Once you have your panel made up you can cut a rabbit into the rear edge so it can slide into the "f" channel.
So...are you saying that a natural wood bulkhead shouldn't be attempted? stick with the dark colored fake-walnut, or fabricate some light-colored fake-birch? Or is there some other way to create a waterproof back-side/shower wall?

(btw: the black-tank that I was bragging on being in such perfect condition on the vap last week is indeed cracked. see my thread. )
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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Morning Truck,
Are there some F forms that are stronger than others that would turn out to be too strong to bend? Does anybody have suggestions for the F aluminum on the west coast (shipping)? Am in north Washington.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:11 AM   #10
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So...are you saying that a natural wood bulkhead shouldn't be attempted? stick with the dark colored fake-walnut, or fabricate some light-colored fake-birch? Or is there some other way to create a waterproof back-side/shower wall?
How 'bout if I just use a sheet of formica, but don't cement it to the panel...just secure it around the perimeter with a couple of pop-rivets?
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:04 AM   #11
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Hey Beyond, I don't know what type of Aluminum the F's are made with but it's pretty malleable much like "O" grade sheet. It doesn't seem to have much if any temper. I don't use anything like this at work and used the original stuff on my trailer so I can't be much help in specifying what you'd even be asking a moulding vendor for. Maybe a call to InlandRV or another experienced re-builder could help define the material.
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