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Old 01-02-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
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Replacing fake wood with real wood

The dark fake wood has to go, and real birch will take its place.

I'm going to try to chronicle this in real time (unlike other projects that get blogged after the fact) for several reasons:

1) I have no idea (well, not much) of how I'm going to tackle the order of things.
2) Maybe someone has a better idea for something I'm about to do.
3) It's warmer in my office than out in the Airstream right now.

The goal is to get rid of the old particle board interior parts and also to give the desk more leg room, with an option to use it for storage. I'm thinking of some sort of removable/foldable shelf or basket system that could be cleared out of the way when we're using the trailer as a work-from-home station.

In the end, all the brown will be birch, and the kitchen counter will be covered with something that doesn't look quite so sickly next to the warm birch. We'll keep the oven, I think, but it could use some love and rust removal.

Yesterday was take apart day. I got the stove loose and fixed the cover so that it sits flat again. I got the cabinets empty and the doors off. I got the old desk almost completely out.

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Next, I'm going to wrestle with the old furnace ducting...
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Looking forward to following your progress. Real wood was one reason I got a 68 Trade Wind. One tip, label everything and make tons of pics. Also mark orientation on all trim pieces. 6 months from now you will be so glad you did because it will save so much time.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:10 PM   #3
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Are you keeping the aluminum frames or building entirely new cabinetry?
Iíve kept and modified the frames.
Used rolled veneer to replace the inserts, removed the laminate and replaced the panels with ľ inch Hickory veneer plywood.
Additionally since we're doing it a section at a time it maintains some continuity side to side, front to back.
We opted to retain the tambour to maintain the í70s look. Replacing the tambour is pricey for the commercial stuff and a pain to make yourself.
The laminate panels are held in the extrusions by metal clips. Itís easier to slide the panels off than to try prying them off.
Hope this gives you an idea of where to start.


Good Luck,
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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Thanks, Tom.

We've done some wall replacement already, having gutted and rebuilt the bathroom due to rear end rot and separation. So I'm familiar with those pesky clips that hold the 1/4" stock in place.

We're replacing with birch but keeping the aluminum frames both for weight and style considerations. Even though I'm changing the finish, I still want it to look like the Airstream it was when we started (well, except for the dinettes I built to replace the two gauchos). I have a roll of birch veneer, or what's left of it, already varnished and ready to cut to size. Finding out that scissors worked better than a utility knife was a huge time saver on that one.

The good news is that the horizontal trim may all be able to slide out on the right side once I take that end off to replace it with real plywood. This means I probably won't need to disconnect all the extrusions from each other. It's less work and the rivet drilling and re-riveting wouldn't do anything to help structural integrity. The vertical trim can all come out the top once I take the counter off to redo the laminate.

The surprise today is that most of the weight of the oven seems to be carried by a couple of aluminum extrusions about 3" wide with only a tiny bit of thickening at the edges. Once I get someone to help me move the oven out of the way, I'll try to determine if that piece of vertical wood alongside the tambour roll cover is or is not actually supporting the counter and oven by resting on the edge of the heater duct.

In any case, it has the heater duct pinned in place and I need to lift it to get the duct out. The furnace is long gone, so this will open up the space under the sink. Yay! It will be nice to have some room to move.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:23 PM   #5
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The surprise today is that most of the weight of the oven seems to be carried by a couple of aluminum extrusions about 3" wide with only a tiny bit of thickening at the edges.
When I rebuilt the sink cabinet I found the same thing. The stiles were bending under the weight.
I backed up the extrusion against the bedroom wall with a 1x, built up the underside of the new counter to fit an added angle along the street side wall to support the back of the new counter. 2 years and so far so good.

Tom
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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webspinner,

See that office space just to the left of my gallery, here?:

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Both the desk top and bottom shelf (for the printer, files, supplies, etc.) slide out.

I modified an IKEA wardrobe cabinet but you can build your own using commercially available drawer slides. Good quality ones are available even at the big boxes, like Home Depot.

I borrowed this idea from Zeppelinium. He posted something he'd built like this, using real wood. Maybe you can track it down or write him. He does really good work.

More here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...tml#post474955

Sergei
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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Barbie you're a real inspiration!

Can't wait to see all the upgrades to the Pickle at Casini!
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe View Post

I borrowed this idea from Zeppelinium. He posted something he'd built like this, using real wood. Maybe you can track it down or write him. He does really good work.
Sergei
Sergei, that's a really pretty interior.

It's Zep's fault that I even started doing woodwork inside my Airstream. He posted a dinette that I used as a starting point for the design of my first one. He does beautiful stuff.

For this project, a pull out desk would leave no room to sit since we've build a dinette where the back gaucho used to be. So the chair goes in the "hallway" and knees must have space under the fixed desktop.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:43 PM   #9
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OK, I understand. In my case I have my bed across the aisle - which pulls out to serve as a seat for the desk when I'm doing office stuff.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:04 PM   #10
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That's what Zeppelinium did with his, too, as you know. We set up our bed on the first dinette I built, at the front. It's so comfortable that we just left it at that...and I built another dinette in the back room. It's our indoor hangout space, although the front bed also serves as a lounging sofa. The back dinette was built to convert into a bed, with ledger boards on the wall above for a bunk board, so the kids can sleep inside at Burning Man.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:08 PM   #11
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Progress today:
Removed the oven (with help from my daughter - that sucker is heavy)
Removed the old funace duct (furnace is long gone, but now we have even more space)
Removed the sink - someone glued the slip joint on the non-nut side of the P-trap so it was a bear to get out. I couldn't just remove the P-trap, nor would it swivel out of the way of the drain pipe. I had to keep it attached to the sink.
Removed the faucets - dealing with 40 year old faucet nuts under a counter makes me glad I'm not a plumber

Pics tomorrow. It's a short list, but I'm woofed.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:19 PM   #12
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Either there was a 'splosion in my trailer, or I'm making progress. I'm not a tidy workier, especially when I have forward momentum, so you'll just have to pardon the mess. Tidying is for times of boredom and finals week.

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I got the counter off this morning. That's as straightforward a process as anything so far: if it connects the counter to something vertical, unscrew it. I'm still not sure what the final surface is going to be.

Then off to the lumber store and TechShop to do the major cuts on the single sided birch ply the local independent lumber store had in stock.

The challenge today was getting the old veneer out of the flat aluminum extrusions on the front of the sink cabinet. There were no visible rivets holding the horizontal pieces to the vertical pieces. That's because they hid them behind the trim veneer on the vertical pieces. So, basically, the entire cabinet has to come apart to get the old trim out and the new birch veneer in.

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I'm doing one horizontal at a time in order to maintain some semblance of structural integrity on the cabinet. I'd rather store them in situ until I can get them all birch-ified and sturdy again.

I actually got the bottom strip of veneer in, too. That means I can put new veneer in the left side upright. I'm waiting for coats of varnish to dry on the one piece of plywood in the cabinet, to the right of the sink while I'm doing the painstaking trimming of the veneer strips. If the strips are just a wee bit too narrow, they pop out of the grooves at the side. If they're a hair to wide, you can't cram them, even pushing ever so gently and firmly, into the track.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:49 AM   #13
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Nice! I was thinking of doing the same thing on mine, using veneer for the trim strips.
Most of the "bulkhead" panels could be replaced w/ 1/4" birch ply, but I'm still kvetching about doing the one's that form the rear bath, as the bathroom side is a formica-like smooth finish. Replacement panels would need to have a sheet of formica laminated to that side to form the (waterproof) shower wall; Its been asserted here that laminating a sheet to one side of a plywood panel could cause it to eventually warp.
So, maybe I could keep the originals, and use birch veneer on the forward facing side?

Anyhow--on the galley, did you find out if those vertical tambour boxes are actually supporting anything, or could they be removed?
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #14
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Most of the "bulkhead" panels could be replaced w/ 1/4" birch ply, but I'm still kvetching about doing the one's that form the rear bath, as the bathroom side is a formica-like smooth finish. Replacement panels would need to have a sheet of formica laminated to that side to form the (waterproof) shower wall;
We replaced the bathroom walls with 1/4 birch ply and waterproofed the bathroom side with glass cloth and clear epoxy. It looks fine. One of the walls has served as our shower wall and works well. The fiberglassed epoxy makes the 1/4" plywood a snug fit in the molding that connects it to the wall, but it does fit.

Quote:
Anyhow--on the galley, did you find out if those vertical tambour boxes are actually supporting anything, or could they be removed?
The main vertical tambour box, or a piece of 1x1 attached to the outside of it, does seem to play a supporting role. At the very least, it is the main attachment point for a piece of 1/8" ply that provides support for the shelf under the sink. That plywood also runs up to the underside of the counter. It isn't attached there, but it may provide stability nonetheless.

The vertical tambour assembly provides stiffening for the central stile, which I think it needs. It doesn't have the right angle connections, to the bulkhead or cabinet side, that the side stiles do. Without something backing it up, that flimsy aluminum trim would have a hard time supporting the load.
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