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Old 07-27-2018, 08:29 PM   #21
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Thank you for the time to provide an update to your project. Man, I hear ya on the VTS bulkhead wall mounting extrusion. I had a lot of trouble bending it. I don't know how Airstream does it, but I bet they heat the aluminum and have a roll die to form it. I saw them making window frames and door frames on my tour of Jackson Center some years ago. I did bend my wall mounts using my trailer tire as a "mandrel" and made it good enough, but it still had some buckles in it. The kerfs is a better idea.

My son and I made a "U" shaped dinette, or should I say "J" shaped, like you are doing. We found a pedestal that goes up and down, and rotates, but does not slide sideways like yours. Our table has "leafs" that fold up and down allowing for different sized table space. And it makes in to a large sleeping surface of course. We made this in his 69 Globetrotter.

Press on...

David
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
I wanted to use the bulkhead wall moldings from VTS to secure the interior walls. When I tried one last summer I found bending the molding was a problem as the extruded aluminum is very rigid. It tended to bow sideways. Probably because channel is on one side, not the middle. This time I decided mods were needed to make the pieces more pliable so they would fit the wall snugly and then I could reshape the plywood wall edge to match the shape. We're using the original plywood walls. They never closely match the wall shape..
This may be after the fact...but at this thread it was covered also...and they discovered that you could buy a better channel to use.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...150509-12.html

Start at post 161
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:05 PM   #23
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Electrical Rough In

Slowly catching up my posts. Electrical was daunting for me. First time to try and make 12 and 120 volt play nice together. Trying to hide as much of the new mechanical systems as we can. Except for the rear bath, most of the interior is original. Other exception is taking out the gaucho and putting in a banquette. After a couple changes decided to put majority of electrical (doing 400 watts of solar with 320 aH of lifo) on the curb side. Took a lot of inspiration from the system Troutboy created with AM Solar and Lewster.

My shore power panel is under the curb side bed (twin beds) along with some of the solar components (Orion DC-DC, BMS, BMV). The MPPT is next door in the bottom of the closet. The batteries (2 - 160 aHs) are under the frig. Circuit panel breakers are for 120 volt circuits that only function on shore power (AC, 120 v for frig, etc). Multiplus supplies 120 circuits that can operate off batteries.

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I got rid of the wall panel heater and replaced it with a furnace under the sink (street side). There is a narrow door (about 6" wide) that gives you access to the back of the panel heater. I decided that space would be great for all the electrical controls. Since we were going with the idea of maintaining the original look, I'm hiding everything behind the panel heater grill. I'm not putting the louvered center panel back on, too heavy. I will replace it with some type of light weight panel. Probably try to match the perforated panels used on some of the wall sconces and magazine rack.

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The grill panel and part of the cabinet wall are hinged to access controls. The side wall of the cabinet was in bad shape (next to door), so we took some architectural aluminum to cover it up.

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I may have to move the thermostat for better control of temperature, we'll see. To make work on the electrical reasonable the mounting panel is also hinged.

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I used a concealed hinge from Southco. I like that it has a 'lock' open feature and the plastic plate between the halves make for a smooth operation. the mounting panel is more of the 1/4" aluminum plate I bought. I used 4 hinges to make sure the weight was taken care of. The Blue Sea breaker panel handles both 12 and 120 circuits. The left and middle column are 12 volt. The right column is 120 volt.

https://www.amazon.com/Southco-R6-22...O&btn=seemore2
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:01 PM   #24
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It looks like you are doing a very nice job indeed. Keep up the good work. You will have a terrific 57 Overlander. Just for fun I looked at your first post with your trailer on the trailer. It didn't look so good back then.

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Old 07-29-2018, 10:14 PM   #25
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Bath End Cap

My trailer came with fiberglas/plastic end caps. I decided to replace with aluminum. The boss wanted the bathroom to be more appealing. We replaced the shower with toilet with a bathtub from an early 60's tub (curb side). Moved the toilet to the center and placed the original sink cab on the street side.

After reviewing several threads on doing the aluminum caps I decided to try using strips 11.5" wide X 60". Most of the threads I researched got by with shorter pieces but my rear window is narrower. On top of that it's off center about 1.5" (tolerances in 1957???). My goal was to have 10.5" exposed at the rib and narrowed down to about 3.5" - 4" at the window. To deal with the off center window, I did one piece on the curb side determined where that met the window and then 'adjusted' the the matching street side piece to hit the window at the same height. Hoping the 'optical illusion' would hide the lack of symmetry side to side.

I took my roll of material and had it cut at a fabrication shop with a large sheer. I stacked half of the pieces and clamped them together after marking the one narrow edge and one long edge to drill holes. Doing the long edge gave me uniform spacing between pieces. This is placed at the bottom. The next piece up determines where the top holes would be in the piece below and are drilled in place. Like lap siding on a house start at the bottom and work up. I didn't create the center piece at the top until both sides were in place. Wanted to make sure the piece would be symmetrical since both long edges are visible (trapezoid shape).

I decided to 'insulate' with 1.5" rigid foam insulation, cut into strips and glued to the outer skin. As you can see there are gaps, but I was more concerned with support for the aluminum strips. I used a 3M spray weatherstrip adhesive. Yes, it will melt the insulation if you don't spray a thin coat. It's a contact cement so both surfaces are sprayed and allowed to set. Nasty stuff in an enclosed space wear a painters respirator, not a dust mask with elastic straps.

I installed the stock side panels that go from the floor up to the old end cap. They are there more to enclose the sides to the floor. The top edge of the tub and the top of the sink cab determined where the aluminum strips had to start. Of course, those are different heights off the floor so the first strip on both sides are different heights. My goal was to have these pieces get past the bottom of the window so I could be symmetrical from that point up.

I made templates from a roll of floor protection paper. It's nice and thick and somewhat stiff, which simulates the aluminum (sort of). I taped the joints of the templates and marked the joint with a sharpie. When I took the templates down I cut the tape at the joint. From my experience with shaping metal for cars I wanted to cut the templates down so overlap was only an 1" - 1.5" wide. I figured I would get more consistent shape once the panels were riveted together, especially in the higher areas where the compound curves are tighter.

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To add a bit of appeal to the strips I added copper rivets behind the olympic rivets. It also adds more rigidity to the joint. I will be using an automotive cleaner and wax to keep them from discoloring.

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I moved the rear ceiling fan into the bathroom to eliminate having to add a separate bath fan. I added a flat LED light behind it to provide general illumination. To allow access to wiring the center strip and part of an adjoining strip are bolted in (circled in the picture). I installed rivnuts to the adjacent edges and small bolts that are allen wrench heads to help conceal the difference.

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Notes:

1) I used .032 alclad. It's fairly stiff. I believe the thinner material would be easier to work but could deform more at the rivet joints. (my opinion)

2) 10.5" exposure at the rib is a little wide. To do the front end cap I'm using 9" exposure.

3) copper washers this company has a washer that is sized perfectly for olympic rivets.

https://www.superiorwasher.com/washe..._value_+Copper
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:28 PM   #26
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Harold, things are looking good. I didnít realize Airstream went to the non-aluminum endcaps so early. My 55 has interior, 13 panel endcaps with the whale tail in the rear. I did jot down the supplier of your hidden hinges for the furnace cover. Iím stripping ours now and plan on doing basically the same as you. Youíre thinking ahead and Iím heading to bed. Youíre doing a great job. Good luck, Bubba
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:33 AM   #27
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Just to clarify Bubba, the heater panel/plywood are on a piano hinge. The aluminum panel for the controls has the hidden hinges.
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:18 PM   #28
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Just to clarify Bubba, the heater panel/plywood are on a piano hinge. The aluminum panel for the controls has the hidden hinges.
Harold, thanks for the clarification. That makes it a bit simpler. Thanks, Bubba
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:03 PM   #29
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Combiner Box details part 1

Slowly getting posts up. Solar is done. Had an opportunity to have Lewster install my panels and double check wiring before he leaves for FL, so I took advantage. I had already installed the combiner box and wiring down into closet. I did make a small modification to the combiner box to protect the wires.

I took a couple 1/2" pvc 90 elbows, modified them, and threaded on a short piece of pvc flexible 1/2" conduit (I left foam washer off to make install easier). These will protect the wiring as it goes through the inner and outer skins and turns it toward the combiner box terminal.

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The line drawn on the conduit lets me know which direction the elbow opening faces when I feed it from the inside.

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The holes on the outer skin are just slightly larger than the elbow tube diameter, but small than the flange of the elbow. The two holes have to be slightly overlapped so you can feed the piece in (opening of elbow will face towards overlap in holes to thread in, then turned to face the terminals). The flange on the elbow is against the outer skin, but won't fit past. The holes in the inner skin are slightly larger than the flexible conduit diameter and slightly overlapped, to allow you some wiggle room.

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I installed twice; first to confirm holes in skins were sized correctly and to mark conduit for length, cut conduit to length, and final install.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:13 PM   #30
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Combiner Box details part 2

Last photo was out of sequence a little. Here is photo of elbows in place.

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Hopefully you can see the elbow flange rests against the outer skin. Next I sealed the elbows in place to make sure any leaks in the combiner box wouldn't penetrate inside. The red line on this photo shows where I trimmed the plastic mounting panel inside the combiner box to allow the elbows to clear and allow the wire to have a clear path to the posts.

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Old 09-28-2018, 10:04 PM   #31
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Great work Harold!! All your engineering and fabrication is impressive!
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:35 PM   #32
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Rear Stabilizers

During the course of the rebuild I used scissors jacks at the rear to level/stabilize the trailer while rebuilding the interior. They work fine, but I wasn't happy with the bulk and size. They're great shin biters. Also, my sewer cap comes out the rear, just inside the street side frame rail so space is tight.

For camping/storage I decided to try something more compact. I purchased some 3/4 acme threaded rod and coupling nuts to try a different approach. My frame rail ends were a mess from being added on to for a storage box. I cut them off and added some new 2X4 tubing. All I plan on having on the back is storage for the sewer hoses and a rear bumper.

I took the coupling nuts and some 3" steel plate to make a plug that would fit inside the frame rail. The nut is only 2-1/2" tall so its placed at the top of the plug to rest against the top of the frame rail. The steel plates have holes drilled to do button welds on the coupling nuts after the nuts are tacked on from the outside.

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The plug is welded to the frame rails with more button welds after the top and bottom holes were drilled in the frame rail. The 2 steel plates should make up for any lost strength in the frame rails from those 7/8" holes. The end of the frame rail is shaped to match the bumper profile.

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The acme threaded rods go down to some cast aluminum stands. These are suppose to be replicas of some early style stabilizer jack bases. I'll weld a nut to the top of the rod for a 1/2" socket, so I can use a cordless drill to set up. (1/2" is same size for bolt heads on the tank support plates.)

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The bumper is a later model aluminum one. It's still in primer. I sold the original steel one to another member.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:09 PM   #33
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What a great idea. David
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:51 PM   #34
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Banquette

Time for a short update. We didn't want to keep the gaucho and stand alone folding leaf dinette. Decided a banquette that curves around from the range on the street side to the door on the curb side. I spent a lot of time looking at various ones done here and grabbed a few ideas. I had picked up some more metal working tools last fall and decided I wanted to try my hand at an aluminum frame. Ended up with 6 sections and a few redo's. Mainly on the curved pieces. The curved pieces are mainly aluminum angle (thin stock .063) curved with a shrinker and stretcher (example https://www.eastwood.com/shrinker-st...-two-jaws.html ) with square tubing verticals behind for strength.

There's a short floor step up at the front due to the fresh water tank #1, but it only intrudes about 4". The unit is offset to the curb side about 4 inches due to fresh water mechanicals under the street side portion. We haven't made a final decision on how to fill the gap yet. I'd like to retain the vertical storage somehow.

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The curb side piece gave me a few headaches I wanted the seat bottom corner and the seat back corner rounded. Ended up making the seat bottom piece out of square tubing and notching it to create the radius and welding the slots. The curved seat back is aluminum angle (thin stock .063) curved using a shrinker, than back with square tubing for support. The curved seat back panels are alclad .032 riveted to the aluminum angle top and bottom. They are quite rigid and only required three vertical supports (both ends and center). They bolt to the seat frame

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The street side was much simple. It end at the stove so it's just straight pieces. There is the original wooden panel that attaches to the stove side to fill the gap. It has a hinged support for the stove cover that turns into extra counter space.

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The supports for the seat bottom are bolted up to the wall on top of a piece of aluminum angle bolted into the wall with rivnuts. The seat bottoms are .050 aluminum sheet with some 3/4" aluminum angle (.125 wall) riveted underneath towards the center to prevent bowing and centering the panel in the frame.

Here its ready to go to the upholsterer. He doesn't have room for the trailer (I wouldn't leave it there anyway.) It breaks down into 3 pieces that I load into my truck. I made the wooden supports from pieces of the floor templates I made at the beginning of the build. I had just screwed all the pieces together so it was easy to break them down for reuse.

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By pure luck the extended street side cushions will fill in most of the table top for the bed. We'll only have one piece to store (12" X 40") that is the front edge of the table with the big rounded corners. It will fit under the seat on the curb side and still leave plenty of storage space.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:11 AM   #35
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WAY OVER THE TOP! I was wondering if some one would do this. I was thinking this myself. However I want to get my project done sooner than later and my woodworking skills and tools are already good. I admire the job you have done so far...
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:51 PM   #36
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Picked up the banquette cushions on Friday. Glad to have that done, they did a great job and the covers are zippered so we can wash if needed. Having seconds thoughts on the white back rests, but as the wife pointed out with the zippered cushions we can dye or reupholster.

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Here's the filler when we make into a bed. The cushions on the extended street side completes the bed, so we only have one cushion to store (12" X 41")

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The "ears" on the top of the back cushions are for quarter turn twist locks to keep the cushions in place on the road. The male piece will be riveted to the seat frame.

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The fronts of the seat frames will be covered with some architectural aluminum that matches what is on the end of the frig cab (see post 23).
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:19 AM   #37
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Been trying to get a few larger things done off the punch list.

Never liked the idea of a curtain as a bathroom door. Also, with the narrow aisle through the bedroom I didn't want to turn sideways to enter the bathroom. Decided to make a double door. The left side is hinged to the wall behind the tub and the right side is a pocket door (both sides open)

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I haven't reinstalled the original wall on the right that will hide the pocket door.

Slider closed:

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Hinged side closed

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I found a hook and eye latch with a spring loaded retainer so the hook can't come out of the eye.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hillman-Zin...-Latch/3036122

I use that to latch the hinged door open while traveling. Eye on the door lower right corner. Hook is under bed in toe kick area.

I may use the same type on the slider with eyes on the hinged door to latch shut and an eye on the sink cab to latch the slider open for traveling. Still playing with that part.

Also got the new insert for the old panel heater that covers the electronics. The original louvers were steel and pretty heavy. Didn't want that much weight on the piano hinge (see post 23, page 2) This is a perforated aluminum sheet that I bought through McNichols.com. I will also use it to replace the perforated metal on some originals shelves, a wall magazine rack and few other new things so it all matches. The boss hasn't decided on color yet so the panel heater case is still in primer and the insert is bare aluminum.

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Old 05-14-2019, 08:26 PM   #38
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That is a great idea for a bathroom door! Mine is a pocket door, and you are right. I must go through it sideways. But it leaves me perfectly positioned in front of the toilet. Efficiency.

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Old 05-14-2019, 11:10 PM   #39
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Wow amazing work! Love what you've done, you're an incredible craftsman that's for sure!
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:40 AM   #40
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Been reading your thread and admiring your work and skills without comment so far. Especially since I have little more to add them nice job, good work.

Your aluminum lounge however took me over the edge. What a beautiful piece of construction. Really liked the curves, the color, the upholstery colors and the idea of the upholstery fasteners to keep the cushions where they should be. We would like to consider the idea of aluminum cabinetry also for the look and durability versus wood as we live in extreme heat.

Also very much like the ReUse of the tall furnace door. We also have a vintage one in an avocado green and though we will likely not put the heater back in I now see a great repurposing for the door.

Thank you for the inspiration and the good postings of your work.
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