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Old 12-17-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
West Linn , Oregon
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What type of wood should I use in my 1956 AS

I am still working on the full frame off restoration of my 1956 Airstream Flying Cloud , going on 8 years now! I am ready to build out the new face frame wood work and trying to figure out what I want to use. My last Airstream, a 1963, I used red oak and it was beautiful, see pictures under my name Dan Clayton. But this time I want to use a lighter color wood that will stand up to the temperature changes, and wont warp. I was considering Alder or Birch. Any wood workers out there have a suggestion?

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Old 12-17-2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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I'm not a woodworker but birch would give a vintage look, Inside Out ,I believe ,used birch with a shellac finish, very vintage. These project can take forever but keeps you dreaming, thats half the fun. I see you are in Oregon too, I'll keep an eye out for a good looking 56'.


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Old 12-17-2009, 10:43 PM   #3
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wood for trailer

obviously this should be a personal choice, and im sure your oak came out very nice but a couple issues i have with oak; very common and very heavy. Birch is nice, but boring and yes reminds me of vintage versions, and although your trailer is vintage it seems to me if you want to show people that you have done something yourself I would pick a wood not as commonly used. Alder is incredible! often overlooked but the grain, color, and working properties make it awesome for trailers. The ply version is harder to find, but the hardwood is readily available, relatively cheap, very light, and tools easily. its not the hardest wood obviously. i re-built a 70's boler in alder and i think its one of the nicest ive done, and the most satisfying.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:34 AM   #4
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We were trying to stay true to the original for our '56 Safari and used Birch. Some re-used panels & pieces, some new panels, some new hardwood & plywood and some new veneer. Most were readily available so it was easy to mix and match as needed. We are very pleased with the end results...they look as good (or most say better) than when the trailer was new - but ours was a restoration, not a remodel. If it had been a remodel, we would have considered other options.

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Old 12-18-2009, 08:09 AM   #5
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WOW! More than a restoration

I looked at your pictures Dan. That is beautiful. There is an ad in Craigs list right now for flamed maple plywood and planking. That would be unique. Of course alder is great too. I used that in my home and love it.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
West Linn , Oregon
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Thanks for all the responses. I think were going to go with alder at this point. The birch that I used to cover the walls looks great and will go with alder quite nice I think. I plan on only clear coating all the wood work any how. Our 56 does not have as much light inside as our 63 did, so the lighter the better. Im really not looking for a full vintage look, as much as just a clean look.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:28 AM   #7
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
West Linn , Oregon
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Update on the project. Well after spending a couple of hours at the lumber yard I decided to go with Red Oak rather then the Alder. The red oak has such nice coloring and I know what to expect from it since I used it in my 1963 AS restoration. I will drop some pictures when I get rolling on the assemble. Thanks for all the imput.

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