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Old 01-08-2009, 10:53 PM   #41
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Wow! That's some great work Zep! Wish the snow wouldn't have made travel such a bear to see you and your work.
Darn!
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:21 PM   #42
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Last week was warm and wonderful, so I did a lot of outside work on the Safari. This week is, like, 5 degrees, so back in the shop I go. Today I managed to get five drawer fronts fabricated. When it gets warm enough for double stick tape to function, I'll get them pasted (and screwed) onto the drawer stack.

The edge trim on the fronts are individual sections of "L" extrusion. As an alternative (and more professional approach), it would be possible to cut wedges out of a single length of channel, then bend it to fit around the face panel, but that would require cutting the wedges at very precise locations and then making very precisely radiused bends in the channel, using a block of wood and a hammer. Ummm, don't think so.

Tools: table saw, drill press, rivet squeezer, sandpaper.

Material: 3003 sheet aluminum, 0.032, and 1/2"x1/2"x1/16" "L" extrusion (soft)

It is a total thrill to cut narrow strips of aluminum in a table saw---NOT. I'd rather bungee jump. sheesh... Remember, the gold color comes off the rivets as soon as you start to polish them.

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What I learned in school today: I can build a haliburton box for my cameras!!!

Zep
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:34 PM   #43
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Nice work Zep, yeah I can imagine that thin strips on a table saw wouldn't be my cup of tea either.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:44 PM   #44
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Thanks, Scott.

Well, I just had to see how things fit. Not too bad, but obviously one drawer is installed about 1/4" off. I'll make a new panel to allow for that and then a kick plate the bottom and this stack will be finished. Yay!

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The panels will be attached to the drawers using double stick tape and the two screws that attach the handles.

The error on the drawer is the price you pay for having to park the Airstream 4 miles away and then not doing a good redline job on the drawings. Drat.

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Old 01-27-2009, 06:48 PM   #45
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wow it looks good, had you not mentioned the 1/4 I'd never have noticed. Love the magnet set up too.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:46 AM   #46
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Just catching up on this one, it really does look great!

-Marcus
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:28 PM   #47
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I'm thinking this will take a year, but I've been known to an optimist when it comes to projects.
Everything is looking great. Very unigue design. I am just glad that you didn't accomplish all of this in just one year. You are making us look bad enough as it is.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:13 PM   #48
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I have to admit that I am totally amazed how this is working out, given that there wasn't any plan... no drawings, etc.

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You can see that the drawer fronts are attached and the cutting board cubby has it's door on.

BTW, this is FOTOCHOP's fault--doesn't he have that aluminum cabinet in his bath area?

Zep
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:24 PM   #49
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It's really looking good Zep!!! It looks like it ought to be the galley in a Zeppelin.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:13 AM   #50
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Working on the other side of the kitchen, around the fridge. The big ticket here is the pull-out (I know it looks like a roll-out, but be patient) pantry. The existing cabinets are deep, dark, and shelves are closely spaced. Once this pantry is in, I'll convert the cabinet to a single door model with taller shelves.

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The issue is how tall should the edges of the shelves be? What you see is 3", about 2/3 height of a Campbell's soup can. I'm wondering if I should cut the edge of the shorter shelves down to 2-1/4"? That would allow the total height of the cabinet to be reduced a little (it's 65" tall, now). Somehow, this looks too cramped or something. The balance is off.

Now, about "rolling" vesus "pullout." I'm going to use full extension drawer slides, horizontally, to attach this cabinet to the side of the fridge partion. Those slides will guide the rolling cabinet, but the wheels will carry most of the load, reducing the bending moment on the partion. This does, however, raise the question of how level the floor is...

BTW, I always try to design one "mouse-proof" storage area in every remodel. This pantry should work out that way if I can figure out how to make the toe kick area tight, when the pantry is in place. There shouldn't be any access to this pantry (oops, almost left out the 'r') bigger than 1/8".

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Old 02-11-2009, 09:30 AM   #51
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Zep, very cool, I like the idea of the rollers to carry the weight, allowing the drawer slides to act more as guides and retainers.

Certainly your floor is level, yes? These Airstreams don't torque or move around at all, so everything should be completely plumb, level, and flat. No worries there.

On the height of the shelf edges, I think you can definitely use different heights depending on the storage application (which goodies you expect to put on each shelf). And if you make them easily removeable, you could even change them if they're not working for your needs, or perhaps even make the shelf heights themselves individually configurable! Okay, that might be overkill...

Anyway, great looking work. As I've said before, I always learn something when I read one of your posts, and there are many of your ideas I intend to blatantly rip off. But I will give you all the credit as I show them off.

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Old 02-11-2009, 09:47 AM   #52
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Oops, ran out of edit time

BTW#2, when you look at the same type pantry in a new production Airstream, both sides are open. That wouldn't be that hard to do, but having one side solid makes for a much easier problem in keeping it square. I think I can put up with the lack of light coming in, or access from both sides. But the production model sure looks great.

BTW#3, If you all are unaware, Airstream is not charging dealers for display models, so the showrooms are stuffed. Rocky Mountain in Colorado Springs has a 3-axle toy hauler that is pretty nifty, if you go in for the big guys. Plus everything else you can think of.

Marcus, you've got me thinking. The upper four shelves could easily be moveable. Just 16 nutplates and a few accurately drilled holes. Hmmm.

Zep
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:41 AM   #53
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Now, about "rolling" vesus "pullout." I'm going to use full extension drawer slides, horizontally, to attach this cabinet to the side of the fridge partion. Those slides will guide the rolling cabinet, but the wheels will carry most of the load, reducing the bending moment on the partion.
Zep
Zep,

Have you seen the Accuride 3832SC drawer guides? I saw them in an Airstream this weekend at the Texas Vintage Rally. They seemed to do a nice job of keeping the drawers closed. They say that they are "The only slide of its kind that is designed to close drawers completely and keep them closed. Perfect for a variety of needs including mobile applications and frequently used custom cabinetry to casework and furniture. Contains all of the same features of the standard 3832 series slides plus the self-close, stay-close mechanism. Full extension with 100 pound load rate."

I am also looking at their Magswitch Cabinet Latches to use on my cabinet doors (if I ever get to that point.)

BTW - I love what you have done.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:09 PM   #54
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The fridge vent shroud has been an unexpected 3-day delay. But once it's installed I will be a lot happier with it than with the plastic. I've always been rather nervous about making a microwave shelf above the fridge, since the plastic vent was exposed and could be damaged.

When I took the partitions away from both sides of the fridge, I could see the the plastic shroud was not only cracked and leaking CO into the living space, but it as aligned not quite right and was taller than necessary.

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I decided to replace it with aluminum. The first task was to bend some channel to fit the shell curve (I wanted a tight seal against the shell). Each one was done separately. The result was very different; as much as 3/4" difference along the curve. What this meant was that the shape of the inner skin of the new shroud would determine the construction, not the shape against the shell, since that varied so much. Sort of like building from the inside out, rather than the outisde in.

The end pieces were easy to cut--their outer edge matched the formed channel and the inside was measured from the top of the fridge and then the shape was just geometric, per the dotted lines you can see on the end of the plastic shroud in the comparison photo. Bending the inner skin was a challenge--the plastic mallet leaves small indentations along the crease, but not terrible. Getting the curve right without using a radiused form was just plain luck.

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The final design objective was to reduce the total space used by the shroud and perhaps get an additional shelf above the microwave. Stand by to see if I was successful...

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By the way, all the joints are sealed with Vulkem to ensure no fridge combustion gas is vented into the interior of the trailer.

Zep
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:16 PM   #55
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As usual Zep you make it look easy!! Great work. You should produce a video of you doing this kind of work so we can learn the secrets of your technique.... an airstream Norm Abram
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:19 PM   #56
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I need am outlet for the microwave shelf (above the fridge) and space there is tight, so I will put it in the chimney shroud. Sheet metal isn't all that stiff, so the recepticle box needs to be braced to prevent oil canning or permanently bending the surface if the plug is hard to insert/remove.

Since the chimney needs to be air tight, the flanges of the brackets also provide surface for the Vulkem to seal the box into the skin. One of the brackets was bent so that it would pick up the existing rivet pattern along the edge.

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I looked for a wall plate to match the skin, but the steel plates are too small and the decorator plates are either the wrong color or coated with thick lacquer, which looks bad up next to the bare aluminum. So I thought I'd try my hand at making one. It took about an hour. All that was required was a hard wood block with two edges shaped to form the edges of the plate, a couple clamps, and a mallet. To prevent multiple little ding marks on the edges, a long piece of 3/4" wood should be used against the slightly exposed edge of the plate. The mallet can be used directly on the corners to "shrink" them a little and form the rounded connection between the adjacent edges.

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Not perfect, but I like it better than what is commercially available.

Zep
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:42 PM   #57
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Nice work Zep, how did you cut the holes in the middle for the recepticals so accurately?
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:02 AM   #58
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Mostly drill and file, but I've got an air nibbler from Harbor Freight (about $20) that speeds things up a little. I wouldn't want to do more than a couple of these plates. The real experiment here was to see if I could round the edges adequately, without a crease at the corners. This was 5052H32, so I expected more trouble at the corners, but really didn't have any.

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:47 AM   #59
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You do such great work. I myself would have probably gotten some aluminum spray paint and painted an outlet cover. But that's because I don't have the tools or talent to go another way. Congratulations on your work, AND when will you be ready to tackle my 76 Sovereign? You're on a roll aren't you?
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:02 PM   #60
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Jus a quick look at the beginnings of the fridge and pantry installation. More shelves will be appearing on the aft side of the fridge.

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