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Old 06-24-2019, 05:44 PM   #1
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Interior wall construction

What is the easiest way to make/ frame in an interior wall? That would be the one for the rear bath? I am thinking 2x2 framing, but how to attache the inner skin (1/4" ply)? Glue?
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
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I assume you mean a "bulkhead" style wall that separates one interior area from another(?) One way to do it would be to get an F-channel extrusion, insert your 1/4" panel into the extrusion, and then rivet the extrusion to the inner skin. This is how it was done in the 70's and you can still buy those same extrusions, though bending them to fit the curve may require an aluminum stretcher.

Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:01 AM   #3
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I made a couple of bulkhead partitions and used the F channel as mentioned. To get the F channel to fit in the thickened partition, I set the table saw at the correct height and depth to accommodate the channel and ran the bulkhead through. I had a 1/4 bulkhead template that I put in a vice and worked the F channel around the template curve until it was good. You can also make a thicker bulkhead if you want by using framing between the 1/4 plywood. Depends on what you want.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
I made a couple of bulkhead partitions and used the F channel as mentioned. To get the F channel to fit in the thickened partition, I set the table saw at the correct height and depth to accommodate the channel and ran the bulkhead through. I had a 1/4 bulkhead template that I put in a vice and worked the F channel around the template curve until it was good. You can also make a thicker bulkhead if you want by using framing between the 1/4 plywood. Depends on what you want.
So the inside portion against the wall is held there with channel, but what was the rest of the 1'4 held to the framing with? Like say a door frame. Did you juts nail to the framing and then trim around it?


Thanks,


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Old 06-25-2019, 12:36 PM   #5
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Seth, you can make any thickness work for a bulkhead and still be securely attached to the wall. For instance, say you want a 1 thick bulkhead. I would first take a 1/4 piece of stainable plywood and scribe/cut to the exact configuration/curvature of the exterior wall. When it fits neatly, trace on another sheet so you have two just alike that fits the wall. Then, lay one piece on your workbench. Cut some 1/2 x 2 light weight strips like white pine (I used cypress). Glue and staple (or clamp) those strips around the edges and a few through the center for support. Note: along the edges where the F channels go you will hold your 1/2 x 2 framing pieces shy of the edge so the F channel will slide onto the bulkhead. If you use staples or nails to hold the initial framing to the first sheet of plywood, make sure they are the correct length and dont go through the face. Once that is dry, glue the other piece of plywood on the framing. Once all is dry and stable, support the bulkhead on edge and, using a rubber mallet, tap the F channel along the edge of the bulkhead. On mine, I drilled small holes through the edge of the F channel and installed #8 x 1/4 SS pan head wood screws every foot to hold the channel to the bulkhead. Then I set the bulkhead in place and used pop rivets through the F channel into the wall. On the bottom, you can trim out with a 1/2 aluminum angle secured to the floor and the edge of the bulkhead. I know this sounds complicated, but its really simple. There are multiple steps but built well and lightweight. Clear as mud? If you want, PM me your number and I will give you a call to better explain. Or, text you some pictures. There are several ways to do this. Back then, all of Airstream cabinet doors were hollow core and that is one way to build a lightweight thickened bulkhead.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:23 PM   #6
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So, starting with the 1969 model year and through the 70s, Airstream used 1/4" plywood for the interior "walls." These were not attached directly to the inner skin, but inserted into ingenious aluminum channels that had about a 1/2" or 3/4" face on either side.

The channels were riveted to the inner skin. Now the plywood "walls" were cut to allow a bit of a gap between the edge of the plywood and the inner skin. This allowed the plywood walls to "float" in the channels without touching the inner skin. The plywood walls would be attached to either the floor, or to the adjacent cabinetry, or another appliance that was bolted to the floor.

The clever idea behind this arrangement allowed the shell to flex and jiggle as it does when traveling over roads and bumps without transferring all that stress to the interior walls, doors, cabinets, etc. Rather, the walls ride in the aluminum channel (or, more accurately, the other way around)

Hope this helps
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
So, starting with the 1969 model year and through the 70s, Airstream used 1/4" plywood for the interior "walls." These were not attached directly to the inner skin, but inserted into ingenious aluminum channels that had about a 1/2" or 3/4" face on either side.

The channels were riveted to the inner skin. Now the plywood "walls" were cut to allow a bit of a gap between the edge of the plywood and the inner skin. This allowed the plywood walls to "float" in the channels without touching the inner skin. The plywood walls would be attached to either the floor, or to the adjacent cabinetry, or another appliance that was bolted to the floor.

The clever idea behind this arrangement allowed the shell to flex and jiggle as it does when traveling over roads and bumps without transferring all that stress to the interior walls, doors, cabinets, etc. Rather, the walls ride in the aluminum channel (or, more accurately, the other way around)

Hope this helps
That was going to be my second question. In that do I HAVE to use the f channel, or can it be directly framed to the wall. I guess that I will have to order some.

Has anyone just framed them directly in like the picture attached? I would not be using 2x4, but would be going for 1 1/2" with 1/4" for 2" total width. Shipping f channel up here in 8 foot length is going to cost more than the rest of the entire wall.
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:45 PM   #8
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Can you source aluminum angle, maybe 1/2" x 1/2" locally? If so, you could forego the F-channel and just mount an angle on each side of your panel.

good luck!
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:59 PM   #9
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Would it be possible to bend a 1/2" by 1/2" to the contour it needs to be? If the cabinets are all directly mounted to the wall, is it too much of an issue to mount directly to the wall?
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:36 PM   #10
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Ok, lets check a few presuppositions:

1) Are you wanting to maintain the mobility of the trailer, or is it going to stay fixed at a spot up North in Alaska? (If so, AS trailers are no way insulated for that climate)

2) Do you care more about doing this as cheaply as possible, given the difficulty and expense of shipping to Alaska, or do you care more about maintaining the value of the trailer when you resell it later on?

If it's going to stay put and you don't care about resale value, then you can do whatever works best, fastest, cheapest, and it does not matter how you build the walls.

In any remodel, the more care and craft go into it, the more likely it is to maintain its value, and the cheaper/faster you go, the more the trailer will depreciate in value.

If you want to keep it mobile and not tear itself apart once it hits the hard Alaska roads, then you'll want to design the walls to withstand the stress of travel.

Generally, in an AS, there is no need to add framing to the walls because the walls do not bear any structural load. So the walls are kept thin and light to maximize space and minimize weight.

One idea to do this cheap while keeping the travel stress from the walls: cut the 1/4" plywood 3/8" short of the inner shell. Get a pack of right angle aluminum braces and rivet the braces to the inner shell on either side of the wall, but don't attach the wall to the brackets; just let the wall ride in-between them. If you wish, add a foam weather strip or pipe insulation at the top of the wall to hide the gap.

Alternatively, construct the walls out of ballistic nylon or other durable cloth, punch in grommets every 8" or so, and hang the walls on hooks you attach to the inner skin. This is lightweight and private, but would not allow you to hang as much weight on the walls.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
Seth, you can make any thickness work for a bulkhead and still be securely attached to the wall. For instance, say you want a 1 thick bulkhead. I would first take a 1/4 piece of stainable plywood and scribe/cut to the exact configuration/curvature of the exterior wall. When it fits neatly, trace on another sheet so you have two just alike that fits the wall. Then, lay one piece on your workbench. Cut some 1/2 x 2 light weight strips like white pine (I used cypress). Glue and staple (or clamp) those strips around the edges and a few through the center for support. Note: along the edges where the F channels go you will hold your 1/2 x 2 framing pieces shy of the edge so the F channel will slide onto the bulkhead. If you use staples or nails to hold the initial framing to the first sheet of plywood, make sure they are the correct length and dont go through the face. Once that is dry, glue the other piece of plywood on the framing. Once all is dry and stable, support the bulkhead on edge and, using a rubber mallet, tap the F channel along the edge of the bulkhead. On mine, I drilled small holes through the edge of the F channel and installed #8 x 1/4 SS pan head wood screws every foot to hold the channel to the bulkhead. Then I set the bulkhead in place and used pop rivets through the F channel into the wall. On the bottom, you can trim out with a 1/2 aluminum angle secured to the floor and the edge of the bulkhead. I know this sounds complicated, but its really simple. There are multiple steps but built well and lightweight. Clear as mud? If you want, PM me your number and I will give you a call to better explain. Or, text you some pictures. There are several ways to do this. Back then, all of Airstream cabinet doors were hollow core and that is one way to build a lightweight thickened bulkhead.

Thanks! Few questions. I posted a picture for reference.

1. If do you use F channel on both pieces of the plywood where it meets the wall?

2. For a single wall in the back, should I make it in several separate pieces? I am guessing that making a single wall would be a huge PITA.

3. How do you get wiring and plumbing in the wall if you prefab? Would it be advisable to do one half of the ply with the framing glued, the install it, and put the second piece of ply up after the wires and plumbing is installed?

4. For a shower head, would it be advisable to put it in the corner, and build a separate "wall" to conceal the plumbing instead of putting it in the bulkhead wall (like in picture 2)?
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by badpaddler View Post
Thanks! Few questions. I posted a picture for reference.

1. If do you use F channel on both pieces of the plywood where it meets the wall?

You can use F channel on both sides or use it on the most exposed side and welt on the other. The key is to cut your bulkhead pieces conforming well to the curvature of the wall.

2. For a single wall in the back, should I make it in several separate pieces? I am guessing that making a single wall would be a huge PITA.

Use a scrap piece of 1/4 and make a template. You can use the same template at each location but tweaking it to fit the new place.

3. How do you get wiring and plumbing in the wall if you prefab? Would it be advisable to do one half of the ply with the framing glued, the install it, and put the second piece of ply up after the wires and plumbing is installed?

Sure. Figure out what you want in the wall and where. Like you said, build one side with the blocking. Place and install whatever youre placing inside the wall. You can use double sticking tape if you need holding power until the other sheet is placed.
4. For a shower head, would it be advisable to put it in the corner, and build a separate "wall" to conceal the plumbing instead of putting it in the bulkhead wall (like in picture 2)?
I guess if you have the room you can place in the corner. In most situations the shower bulkhead is also one side of the adjacent wardrobe. I plan on installing on the bulkhead wall mainly to get to the fittings and shutoff valves in the wardrobe. Mainly its whatever you prefer. Just make sure its ergonomically correct. Sometimes its easier to explain options when verbally discussing versus in text. If you ever want to discuss, let me know. Hope some of this helped.
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by badpaddler View Post
Thanks! Few questions. I posted a picture for reference.

1. If do you use F channel on both pieces of the plywood where it meets the wall?

You can use F channel on both sides or use it on the most exposed side and welt on the other. The key is to cut your bulkhead pieces conforming well to the curvature of the wall.

2. For a single wall in the back, should I make it in several separate pieces? I am guessing that making a single wall would be a huge PITA.

Use a scrap piece of 1/4 and make a template. You can use the same template at each location but tweaking it to fit the new place.

3. How do you get wiring and plumbing in the wall if you prefab? Would it be advisable to do one half of the ply with the framing glued, the install it, and put the second piece of ply up after the wires and plumbing is installed?

Sure. Figure out what you want in the wall and where. Like you said, build one side with the blocking. Place and install whatever youre placing inside the wall. You can use double sticking tape if you need holding power until the other sheet is placed.

4. For a shower head, would it be advisable to put it in the corner, and build a separate "wall" to conceal the plumbing instead of putting it in the bulkhead wall (like in picture 2)?
I guess if you have the room you can place in the corner. In most situations the shower bulkhead is also one side of the adjacent wardrobe. I plan on installing on the bulkhead wall mainly to get to the fittings and shutoff valves in the wardrobe. Mainly its whatever you prefer. Just make sure its ergonomically correct. Sometimes its easier to explain options when verbally discussing versus in text. If you ever want to discuss, let me know. Hope some of this helped.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
I guess if you have the room you can place in the corner. In most situations the shower bulkhead is also one side of the adjacent wardrobe. I plan on installing on the bulkhead wall mainly to get to the fittings and shutoff valves in the wardrobe. Mainly its whatever you prefer. Just make sure its ergonomically correct. Sometimes its easier to explain options when verbally discussing versus in text. If you ever want to discuss, let me know. Hope some of this helped.

It definitely did. I think I have a basic idea of what I am looking at doing now. The other side of this bulkhead will be a wall next to a pull out sleeper. Guess I will go with a corner mount. Wiring in the other wall is easy enough. I will just string it in when I install the wall. I will definitely shoot you a message if I have any other questions!

Thanks!!


Seth
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