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Old 01-25-2014, 09:25 PM   #15
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2012 30' Flying Cloud
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Lansing , Kansas
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Initial Plan 4

The last design below is only other viable option for is if SWMBO should ultimately change her mind. Note that the shower and toilet area are the same in both, all that moves in the unmarked, but outlined, chest of drawers and closets. Finally, I would like to be able to use all four of the aluminum overhead cabinets that I tracked down through private sales from both coasts, and laboriously cleaned and polished.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:29 PM   #16
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Rivet Question

Finally, for today, I have added a few photos of the structural rivets I am trying to find in order to put the window sills back together. Frankly, the ones that have come apart do not seem to have ever had the rivets, but do have holes drilled for them. The last is with my handy speed square for perspective. Anyone have a specific source or some insight?
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:57 PM   #17
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You are incredibly organized in this project, sorta makes my graph paper drawings want to run and hide. I do have a couple of thoughts that might help your decision making process. Try laying out your interior choices with painters tape on the floor of your cloud and see how they fit[S you, If you find something that works, mock it up in cardboard and try it on for size. Things that look great on paper often don't feel so good in 3D. Have a definite layout plan before you get to repairing and modifying your frame. this is where your layout will be critical in deciding tank locations etc.
As your window frame corner rivets are concerned, there are hollow shank rivets and a very expensive tool if you are trying for a museum quality resto. Otherwise just use a 1/8 button head pop rivet and forget it. nobody will ever notice or care, not even you.
tim
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:56 PM   #18
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Matt,
I also considered a double bed in the rear or on the curb side. The two windows on the curb side limits my choices. I plan to keep the two beds (one rear, one curb). I read that 1955 was a transition year for many things, like crank windows and fram size. I think the early built models had a three inch frame. Later has four inch. Mine is the later. You could verify yours by the serial number (7750-7975).

Gary
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:46 PM   #19
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I really like the double bed with the bath in the back and your drawings are awesome. Like to know how it ends up.
Cliff
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:21 PM   #20
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Love your ideas! What a cool Airstream! What are the measurements of the rear bed? I can't make it out in the brochure you posted. Will yours be the same width as the one in the brochure? We are putting a similar bed in our project and trying to decide on size. Will your mattress be cut to fit the curve or will it be surrounded by a frame and pulled in away from the end of the trailer not be curved itself?
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:38 PM   #21
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Quick answer to questions

Tim: Thanks for the insight on the rivets. They are definitely a much harder material than a standard aluminum rivet. I got super uncomfortable taking the interior panels out and the window sills started just falling apart on the floor.

Gary: I agree with you that the dual windows limit choices, especially if one wants to retain the two cabinets. I have tried to look at the bright side, literally, as they really let in a lot of light, one of the reasons that I like Airstreams in the first place. I believe that my frame is 4", at least for what is exposed of the front 40% or so (SN 7900).

Skatiero: The original concept sketches are just concepts without dimensions. Right now the bed measures 74" x 48", which means at the floor level, it is 51" away from the C-channel. I was surprised that this still left 30"+ of trailer length for the shower on the street side, and about a 26"+ wide chest of draw space next to the bed, which a few inches at the foot for the hamper, and few at the head for the headboard. The width of the trailer at the floor level is 87" to give you an idea of what is left beyond the mattress area. The mattress will need to be cut to the curve of course.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:43 PM   #22
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Door repairs 1

My first order of true business for work that I had to do on my own was to fix the door that had been ripped off. Fortunately the holes in the side of the trailer were not too bad. The hinges, sadly, each had about three extra holes and too much rust, so they had to go. They were a product some PO using steel screws that rusted. I put in some new .060” aluminum backing behind the only holes in the door, and in the wall of the trailer. I also realized that the new hinges would not cover all of the ten or so holes in the door within a door from the old hinges, so the new ones got an outline piece to cover that up.

The PO had also put a sliding bolt hasp on the top and bottom of the right side of the door to help hold it in place. Instead it just cut through the door panels. They had to be replaced. This was my first experience with buck riveting, and for such a high visibility place it went very well. Lots of trempro mess, but no big problems. I was pleasantly surprised at my ability to replicate the original sheet with as high, or higher quality cutting and sizing. My panels fit and line up better than the originals. I had a local sheet metal place put in the break on the curved piece on the roof.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:47 PM   #23
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Door Repairs 2

I had to knock a few dents out of the door within a door. Thanks to Chris of Fifty-Three Flying Cloud blog for his careful documentation on fixing his door. Helped me immensely. The handle mechanism was still in good working order, so I left well enough alone. I have seen a lot of people talk about different markings and graffiti from the builders on the inner walls of the trailer. Someone named Villalobos appeared to have marked mine. I would have liked to have found some more original brass screen, but the aluminum works well too (well, until recently, but that is another story).
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:50 PM   #24
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Door Repairs 3

One feature that I did add that was not original was to order a screen guard from David Winick, and it looks fantastic. Definitely recommend it if you can get it.

It only took about 73 tries to get the door lined up and hung properly. I did not want to mess it up. I tried to used closed cell neoprene for the door seal, similar to the original, but it has just not survived, so I will use some D shaped door seal, unless someone knows something else that is a surefire perfect seal.

Sorry I don’t have a picture with the door hung. Being western Washington in December, it was cold and rainy for about a week at the time, and I wasn’t lingering after getting it finished. SWMBO, who was assisting me in checking my alignment, was not sticking around either. Here is a pic of the trailer moving through Nebraska while we moved a couple days later.

Matt
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:25 PM   #25
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Matt -
Looks like a great trailer!
I look forward to watching your progress.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:05 PM   #26
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The first big mistake (and hopefully the last)

I was not looking forward to stripping all the paint off of the interior of the trailer. With the benefit of hindsight, I would have just stripped the interior endcaps and the center piece moving down the center of the ceiling and down each of the walls.

However…I priced the cost of paint stripper, tools, materials and the pain in the butt factor. When added to that SWMBO’s reaction to using volatile corrosive compounds in the enclosed space of the trailer, as she is an accredited public health official, it was far cheaper to try some sort of media blasting. Soda blasting was the most gentle available, and I thought it might work. A local media blasting place did a fantastic job removing the stubborn zolatone from every interior surface. But… it still left a slight texture in the alclad layer of the interior panels (7075-T6 Alclad by the way). Good news: discovered that several interior panels had too many big nicks, holes and corrosion areas that would render them unusable. Bad news: wasted several hundred dollars, and now those panels that I can keep are REALLY hard to polish to a high gloss shine. Good news: no small corrosion pitting anywhere on the interior. Bad news: it’s essentially one giant corrosion spot everywhere.

My adventures in initial polishing to follow soon. Preview: polishing the exterior at the end of this whole process seems like a piece of cake to be relished.

Here is a picture of the door as it stands. I still may reinforce the area where the catch goes on the smaller inner door to hold the door open. I don’t want to replace that panel, but I can see a small fissure in the aluminum. It looks dirty in the pic, but I am still confident that it will clean up nicely.

While I waited for the media blasting to be completed, I tried to keep my riveting skills sharp and find a way to finish my kegerator/keezer in the man cave so that it no longer looked like a dingy beat up old chest freezer. I saw many examples on line of fantastic wood work to finish kegerators. I lacked the tools, skills and desire to invest the required time and money into doing a fancy wood finish. So using what I do know how to do, an extra brand plate from VTS, some brushed aluminum from Airparts Inc. (I live about 30 minutes away from them) it turned out great.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:14 PM   #27
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Cleaning up cabinets.

Finished cleaning up the cabinets. 4-5 layers of paint on top of the zolatone for the ones that I purchased second hand. Took out the horizontal wood or aluminum sliders, and stripped. Citristrip and aircraft stripper worked the best depending on what type of paint I was going through. Two boxes of latex gloves and two rolls of paper towels later they were stripped.

Lots of corrosion. Some sanded out with steel wool on dremel tool, then smoothed and polished with spiral sewn cotton, and later sisal, wheels with black compound, then polished with Nuvite F7. Not perfect mirror, but they look good, with a slight amount of corrosion still remaining enough to represent some vintage beauty marks. I do like how the zolatone as it came off left the printing on the side of the aluminum sheet that indicated that the cabinets were made from 2024T3 Alclad.

I will be installing wooden doors that hinge at the top. Also interesting to note the slight design change in cabinets from 1955 to 1956. Two of mine came from a 56 and two from a 55
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:21 PM   #28
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Great Thread! Looking forward to seeing the progress.
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1955, air conditioning, axle, door, flying cloud, frame, holding tanks, polish, restoration, shell off, tank heater, window


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