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Old 01-04-2018, 09:12 AM   #127
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66 question for you.

By delaminated wood I'm thinking you are describing several layers of wood near edges that has come apart or started to peel back like onion layers.

With a proper moistening process and a regluing process can wood be reshaped or encouraged to adhere back to itself.

We have some older cabinets in a 1961 that seem to be in very good shape but the bottoms may have experienced some exposure to moisture thereby having peeled back on the corners.

When we get to that project it would seem as shame to waste most of the cabinet when it's only the bottom corners that are damaged.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:07 AM   #128
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66 question for you.

By delaminated wood I'm thinking you are describing several layers of wood near edges that has come apart or started to peel back like onion layers.

With a proper moistening process and a regluing process can wood be reshaped or encouraged to adhere back to itself.

We have some older cabinets in a 1961 that seem to be in very good shape but the bottoms may have experienced some exposure to moisture thereby having peeled back on the corners.

When we get to that project it would seem as shame to waste most of the cabinet when it's only the bottom corners that are damaged.
Hi, I must say that I am new to this type of repair, but I have been encouraged about my chances for success by talking to others that have tackled these types of repairs before me.

I did not mention it, or previously post a photo, but the bottom of the Kitchen/Bath wall pictured above was pretty warped before I started the gluing process. The bottom edge was probably 1" offset from the straight part of the wall. I misted both sides of the panel and a little bit in between the layers with a spray water bottle. I then set the panel on a flat surface, wrapped the panel end in plastic to hold the moisture in, put a flat board on top, and then started adding weight, at first a little to not risk cracking the wood and not enough to get it completely flat, and then more weight as time went on and the panel seemed to straighten. Over about 24 hours, I got most of the warp out and probably could have gotten more out if I worked with water and weight longer. I eventually removed the plastic layer and reapplied the weight to allow the wood to dry straight(er). Once I removed the weight after drying, there was still a little curl, but much less than original and subsequent the glue and clamp between flat boards process has re-hardened the wall in a completely straight/flat condition.

I was intimidated before I started this part of the project, but in retrospect it does not seem like rocket science. Time will tell how long the repair will last, but I did choose a Wood Glue that was certified as "water resistant". I sanded the inner wood layers as best I could to remove old glue and dirt before applying new glue. I found that West Marine Epoxy Resin Syringes worked well to get the Wood Glue deep under the lifted top and bottom layers of the plywood (although you need to clean the glue out of them very quickly using hot water or soap and water, if you want to reuse them - I have already had to cut the tip off one that set up before I got done clamping). Once the glue was injected, I used a thin metal putty knife/scrapper to spread the glue around. I glued both the top and bottom sides at the same time. I then put wax paper on both sides and them clamped the wall between two boards to keep it straight while the glue dried.

I found the glue started to set up so quick (within maybe 3-5 minutes, but that is a guess since I was not watching a clock), such that I could only do a few inches (maybe 8" to 12") at a time. It took me three glue sessions to just get the bottom edge glued (I am now working additional glues sessions to deal with lifting up one side of the panel). Working the small area was also dictated by my not having an unlimited supply of clamps. I tried to put the clamps very close together to maximize the pressure while the glue dried.

These first panels are tests for me as the majority of the bottom edges will be hidden between cabinets after re-installation, so perfection is not required. When I get to edges that will be visible after re-installation, I may end up having to apply a slightly larger than original shoe molding at the bottom if there are small places that the top layer is missing. The other option would be to find a donor panel and cut little veneer patches out of using an exacto knife that could be glued in to fill in missing areas. This would pretty much be invisible at floor level unless one was inspecting on their hands and knees. Time will tell if I find any areas that I will try this type of veneer transplant.

Good Luck with your project!
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:15 PM   #129
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66

Thank you for the very well written and clear response to my question. It will certainly be well worth a try when that time comes. If I get it done anytime soon I'll let you know.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:44 PM   #130
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Quick update. As I continued work today I had the second syringe plug up as I worked and had to cut the tip off, which shortens the length, but worse greatly increases the width of the tip making it harder to get in tight spaces and increases the glue flow rate, making it harder to apply glue in a controlled manner.

The West Marine syringes must be at the limit of what works for wood glue. I need to go buy more tomorrow, because the West Marine near me is already closed for the day and I need the tiny tip for my next glue session. I'd recommend the 12-pack (rather than the 2-pack I originally purchased) for anyone with more than one panel to repair.
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:05 PM   #131
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Gotta show a little progress from time to time. Since my last post I have continued to work on cabinets. A little more gluing has occurred, but I am far from done on that task. I did learn that a pin can unclog the tip of the West Marine syringes, so I keep one handy and no longer need to cut the tips off. A woodworking store recommended "Hide Glue" for veneer repair, so I bought a bottle and may try that next time I need to glue down some lifted veneer. They also recommended oxalic acid for brightening wood that has darkened due to water exposure. I bought some, but have not used it yet. It comes as a powder that you mix with water.

Now starting to strip the finish off the cabinets and other woodwork. After some tests to figure out what they were "varnished" with, I came to the conclusion that they were refinished, probably in the 1970s or 1980s or maybe even 1990s with . . not lacquer . . . not shellac . . . not polyurethane . . . but alkyd varnish. Denatured alcohol did nothing (would have removed shellac), lacquer thinner did nothing (would have removed lacquer). Several other chemicals did nothing. This indicated they were re-coated with either varnish or poly. Given the yellowing, varnish it was and a more aggressive stripper was needed.

I hate working with harsh chemicals, so first I tried stripping with a heat gun and scrapper. It worked, but was slow. The woodworking shop recommended Blue Bear Paint & Urethane Stripper as reasonably easy to work with and not too caustic, but not as fast as the nasty chemicals. It cleans up with water, so that is good. I still need to do some cleanup with a scrapper and occasionally the heat gun and/or a rub down with denatured alcohol and a rag after the chemical strip if there were drips or other irregularities in the varnish application thickness, but it seems to get the job done. So far I've only stripped a few pieces, but now that I know what I'm doing it should go faster.

I even though the stripper fumes are low enough to work in my basement, I still suit us as "Chemical Man" when working with the chemical stripper.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:10 AM   #132
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Around the World Airstream #6768

Nice to see a portrait of a person wearing good PPE for the task at hand!!
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:33 PM   #133
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Hi Joe: I just read your great article in the Nov 17 Blue Beret. (At least I assume it was your piece.) I found it very, very interesting, truly an adventure of a lifetime for the participants. It was the mother of all WBCCI caravans. This was all done after Wally Byam's passing.

It sure puts new meaning in your Safari project for me. I can hardly imagine your trailer being pulled out of Southeast Asia mud by a couple of elephants.

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Old 01-16-2018, 09:31 PM   #134
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Hi Joe: I just read your great article in the Nov 17 Blue Beret. (At least I assume it was your piece.) I found it very, very interesting, truly an adventure of a lifetime for the participants. It was the mother of all WBCCI caravans. This was all done after Wally Byam's passing.

It sure puts new meaning in your Safari project for me. I can hardly imagine your trailer being pulled out of Southeast Asia mud by a couple of elephants.

David
Hi David,
Yes, that was my article in the Blue Beret.

Not being pulled by elephants, but the attached photo is my trailer being pulled thru the mud on the Kra Peninsula in Thailand. You can barely see the trailer, but I know it is mine because I can identify Ralph & Gerry Cramer's tow vehicle, a Ford F250 4x4 pickup with a unique cap on the back.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:09 AM   #135
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Thank you for the photo. I don't see any elephants in the mud scene.

Okay, now back to work on 6768, one warped and delaminated piece of wood at a time.

David
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:30 PM   #136
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I had planned to leave my biggest woodworking project, rebuilding the bath cabinet, to last so that I could hone my woodworking skills on easier projects before tackling it. Today I decided that would not be a good plan in case I hit some bumps in the road while rebuilding it.

I partially disassembled it today and bought some new wood to redo part of the framing that had rotted and also to add a little more structure where Airstream didn't originally feel it was necessary. I have some lifted veneer to repair on the front of the cabinet, pretty much just the area above the black tank cutout. I will add framing structure behind that area to reinforce it, because it was only the 3/16" plywood when it left the Airstream factory. I will also replace the interior floor that is totally delaminated, but again is nothing more than 3/16" plywood. This part should be pretty straight forward.

My challenge is what to do with the top. The 5-layer plywood is toast, pretty much totally delaminated and wavy the full area. The Formica still looks good, so I have the possibly insane idea that I can strip the Formica from the bad wood and re-glue it to a new piece of plywood to make a brand new top with Formica that that still matches the Formica on the kitchen counter and over the fridge.

That was it today. I'll get back to repairing minor determinations and stripping the finish from other wood items when I get pockets of open time.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:22 AM   #137
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Removing Formica

Joe,
I found this on the WEB:

Removing Formica

repair-remodel-improve-decorate-fix

I get this question a lot so I thought I would post it. In my opinion removing old formica and trying to reuse the old top is not practicle for several reasons.
1. It is time consuming and somewhat expensive.
2. There is some danger involved as you are going to work with a highly flammable solvent.
3. By the time you figure your material cost and time you will find that a ready made top is not that much more money, less mess and a whole lot quicker.
If you decide to give it a try make sure that there are no open flames or pilot lights, no smoking, plenty of fresh air and protect your eyes and skin with safety goggles and apply skin cream to exposed skin. Use solvent resistant rubber gloves.
Still want to try it? OK lets get started.
Materials Needed:
Several thin putty or narrow spackle knives
Lacquer thinner
Safety glasses and rubber gloves
Shim shingles, available at most home bldg supply centers
3-4 pcs of wood 1/2-3/4" thick, 3-4' long
Lots of newspaper to stand the countertop on and absorb the mess.
A fresh water supply nearby for accidential contact with exposed skin as the lacquer thinner will Burn.
Avoid working in direct sun or in a heavy breeze but make sure you have PLENTY of fresh air!!
Turn OFF any and all pilot lights and no open flames or smoking.
When finished soak all rags, newspaper, wood etc in water and allow to dry before disposing. If contained in a closed trashcan or bucket they can burst into flames (spontaneous combustion)

Remove the old top and stand it on edge. Take a thin putty knife or spackle knife and work it into the crack where the formica meets the wood. Once you have the knife inserted a little pour a little lacquer thinner into the crack. The lacquer thinner will soften the adhesive and you can start working the knife in deeper a little at a time. As the glue loosens you start driving in thin wedges of wood, shim shingles are good for this as they are tapered from real thin to about 1/4" thick. As the crack opens keep adding more thinner and drive the shims in until you can start inserting pieces of longer thin wood up to 1/2" thick and as long as the countertop is wide so that they reach the bottom. Try to work the whole edge evenly so as to keep a nice pocket for the thinner. Leave the outside edges intact until the very end.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:27 AM   #138
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Formica Removal - YouTube

And a YouTube example:

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Old 01-19-2018, 09:52 PM   #139
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Thanks StevieB,
The lacquer thinner method certainly looks quick. I already had someone suggest the heat gun method to me. We'll see what I decide when I get to working on the top, since the plywood is almost totally delaminated. I may only be removing one ply.

In the meantime, today I stripped the last side of my two streetside walls that separate the kitchen from the bedroom and the bedroom from the bath. These large panels are a challenge as they take up my entire work table. Luckily I am done with large panels for a while until I decide to do the two closets. Lots of smaller items (cabinet doors, drawer fronts, shelves, etc.) to strip before I get to the closets.

I also began re-gluing the veneer on the bath cabinet today. Quite a bit was lifted on the curbside end over the black tank, and I needed to re-glue it before any more cracked off. I need to make it solid again before working on the framing structure. I also noticed that I will have to re-glue the entire lower edge at the floor that has also lifted due to water exposure. Gluing all the veneer on the cabinet may take a couple more days because I run out of clamps before I run out of things to glue, and because I decided to try the Hide Glue. It is a little more runny, but more sticky than the standard wood glue I used on earlier veneer repairs. It sets up slower, which gives me more working time, but also increases the time needed to fully set up to 24 hours. The hide glue seems to work great in the West Marine syringes.
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:56 PM   #140
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Lots of pieces parts, all of which need your skilled attention. Your trailer is like restoring a Le Mans winning D Jag. It's going to be a fantastic piece of Airstream history.

David
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