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Old 09-25-2015, 05:15 PM   #1
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Fun at the Sign Shop

I'm finally getting near the end of my restoration to original condition of my 23' 1969 Safari and I have really noticed as the desperation to complete it sets in, documenting all the stuff I have learned and used to share right away with others here on the forum has fallen to the wayside.

In starting this thread I will attempt to dig up in no particular rhyme or reason order the things I have learned and done with this girls restoration, the lack of rhyme or reason to this is due to the fact I have so many different devices between work and home that I have stored info and pictures and files and notes on that I won't even bother attempting a from start to finish trajectory..

I am a scout leader here in Canada and one of the things we teach our youth is to be wise in the use of all resources, one of my best resources has been the sign shop I work at. I have had much fun playing at work on my trailer stuff whenever it is slow right down to stripping and refinishing my trailers original woodwork here at work and most recently I printed out a tile look shower wall. To be clear I am not a vendor trying to sell stuff, my boss and I are just a small two person company with no website that mostly caters to our local real estate agents and various fleet companies.

So I am just sharing all the fun stuff I have done in hopes of encouraging you to think outside of the box, use your resources, improvise and have fun with your late 60's and early 70's trailers.

This is an open forum, if you have done something you are proud of, or think is just plain awesome and just outside of the box thing in your attempt to keep your trailer as original as it can be but still get it out on the road and you think others with this vintage can benefit from your knowledge feel free to share it here.

I enjoy helping and answering questions, many of which have come in via Private Messages, anything I have answered behind the scenes that I think others could benefit from I will cut and paste into this thread.


One thing to note I am an originalist, I prefer keeping the trailers that had real wood with real unpainted wood for their futures and that sort of thing. Don't share here about how you gutted or painted something awesome cause that will just make me sad.

I would also like to publicly acknowledge my most precious resource, my partner Mike who has been there for me with his patience and vast mechanical knowledge, oh so awesome welder, automotive tool collection and who has been my muscle and my cheering section as well as the poor bastard that keeps towing trailers home for me when I find yet another sad rescue trailer with potential.
Love Ya baby,...again... thank you for your patience XO.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:20 PM   #2
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
One if the benefits of working at the Sign shop, My girls nicely decaled up
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:45 PM   #3
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
A list of tried and true products I have used

When you start to do a restoration the options of products for you to use is endless...now I am not saying this list I have compiled is the best possible stuff for your job, just that I researched the heck out of stuff, bought multiple different products and of all that I have used, these were the best for me and my '69 Safari.


Number 1 item I could not have lived without is Rapid Remover. It is an industrial grade adhesive remover. I have used it in every possible way on my trailer. It removes the old Vulkem sealant, butyl tape, duct tape residue, Tuck tape reside, sap, tar and pretty much anything sticky like nothing you have seen before. Spray it on, leave it 60 seconds and scrape off into a paper towel repeat and wipe it down, and safe on clearcoats. Best part it de-stickifies the interior of the old vinyl walls:-) I buy it from my sign supplier, it was about a hundred buck a gallon and worth way more than that in the time it saved... Adhesive Remover | Rapid Remover | Rapid Tac Inc.


Number 2 item is actually two things, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and any mildew killing bleachy type of bathroom cleaner. Restores your interior vinyl walls to epic proportions. What was a grey dull interior trailer in mine was actually a beautiful bright creamy white..DON'T PAINT your VINYL WALLS try this. Buy the extra strong ones and they get smaller as you use them and they have to be wet to work
Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser® Extra Power


Number 3 favorite item is an old dental scaling tool, They are hard as crap to get, you can't buy them you can only plead with your dental hygienist to sneak you one of their old dull ones if you promise up and down to to never use it on your own teeth. I used mine endlessly in the old sealant removal process. The world ended whenever I misplaced it. The similar looking picks you can buy at an auto store do not compare...don't waste your cash on those...


Number 4 item I could not have lived with out was the rivet remover tool I bought from vintage trailer supply, best 40 bucks I've ever spent Rivet Removal Tool
I wasted a year without it, what the heck was I thinking...?


Number 5 favorite item is Krylon Fusion for plastics spray paint. It molecularly bonds with your old yellowed plastics and make them look awesome again, I am a big fan of the dover white colour as it matched the colour of the vinyl walls in the 60's and 70's trailers pretty well.... Fusion for Plastic® | Krylon
I have used this paint for everything from my yellowed bathroom fixtures, restoring my plastic cabinet clasps, fridge interiors, hood scoops, toilets and ABS endcaps (Don't use it on the gel coated fiberglass ones) I'll post some pics of this stuff later.


#6 Next favorite thing is my Olympic rivet kit from vintage trailer supply. you can do repairs to your trailer without gutting it...
Olympic Riveting Kit
But if you do gut it buy this kit, Airstream Buck Riveting Kit this kind is much cheaper in the long run if you have access to both sides of the panels you are working on. I bought both...


#7 most reached for item is an old dull chisel I had kicking around. I have used it to chisel off uncooperative rivets, stubborn 47 year old sealants and multiple other things



Above are my favorites, but I have also used the products below extensively and couldn't have gotten the job done without any of these items...



Products I used for sealing my exterior:
Aluminum tinted gutterseal (for sealing the window and door gutters and the thin overlapping panel seams) Aluminum Pigmented Gutterseal
Sitkaflex 221 grey for all the bigger gap areas
& then Captain Tolley's Creeping crack cure (for the rivets, each and everyone)
Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure


Then the items I used to properly coat my frame, step, tongue, bumper, tanks etc...
The POR 15 collection of:
POR Cleaner/Degreaser
POR 15 self etching Primer
POR 15 Silver and finally
and most importantly
POR15 TopCoat Silver
Stop Rust with POR-15® - We Know What Permanent Means!


Silicone remover, many options are available at your neighborhood hardware store. They all work... It is well worth it to buy some if you find some dumb a** has ever put silicone on your rig. (don't ever use it anywhere on your trailer, it etches the aluminium finish and nothing ever sticks properly on that area after you remove it.


Wine corks...they're free and work like an eraser on many old adhesive residues


Trempro 635 for sealing new overlapping panel areas, and dipping olympic and buck rivets in before setting them
TremPro 635 sealant


If you have the real wood interior... After testing many, many products I found I liked the Watco brushable lacquer. It is a nice finish, can go over top of most surfaces with proper prep work and it doesn't darken the wood you are applying it to. WATCO® Lacquer Clear Wood Finish Product Page


Nyalic for clearcoating. I used this for sealing up any patches so they don't get corrosion issues in the future, as well as for clear coating my taillight bezels after I restored them and for protecting my Belly pan molding after I refinished it. Nyalic®


MDO, Medium Density Overlaid Plywood: it is an exterior grade plywood commonly used in the sign trade because of it's wonderful outdoor life span. I used it for my subfloor and countertops and after sealing all the cut edges I could literally dunk my trailer in a lake for a month and I'm just going to be replacing my soft goods Canadian Plywood Association - MDO - Medium Density Overlaid


Roxul, Rock wool insulation, it's water, noise, fire and pest resistant and awesome. Ya, people in some geographical areas like the stuff that looks like bubble wrap covered in tinfoil, But I'm on the nice mild west coast of Canada, I'm not keeping heat out like the guys in Texas
Overview


Fiberglass, Carbon fiber and yellow ABS adhesive. I have used this for repairs on my plastics from the backside where needed


70's style grey window gasket for old leaky windows (fit perfectly on my 69)
1970 Airstream Window Glazing Strip


Scotch bright, lots and lots of scotchbrite...pads, wheels etc...


And of course since I'm TheSignLady my paint of choice is One Shot Lettering Enamel Home
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:34 AM   #4
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
It's so nice to be finally feeling like the end is near. I got the underlay down and started on installing the cork flooring today. I am using metal trim that is covered in a vinyl finish for the edging...man it is a P.I.T.A** to work with, but at least I now it won't swell up and die when exposed to moisture or humidity.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:27 PM   #5
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
Three Rivers , California
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 247
Good job, must be a good feeling and great fresh construction scents. i've always loved those smells of fresh construction. Takes me back to my youth when they remodeled the back of our house. Ahh fresh cement curing, fresh wood cut.

I'm however just pulling my shell and can't wait to get rid of all the old smells.

I have a sign business in SF. I'm done with it after 20 years it has beat me down...tough business.

I also am using sign MDO pre-primed painted. After cutting just need to seal up edges and then using rigid insulation underneath. All new infrastructure also so I won't go into that...don't want to make you sad...LOL!
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:50 PM   #6
Peapod
 
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1985 31' Excella
Dade City , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 124
Blog Entries: 1
Would you mind sharing the name of the font you used for your decals?
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:50 PM   #7
E Pluribus Aluminus
 
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2008 34' Classic S/O
1967 22' Safari
2005 30' Classic
Land Of Enchantment , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,284
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Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us, great resource info!!
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:20 PM   #8
Fleets
 
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1993 34' Excella
Vintage Kin Owner
Hudsonville , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Wonderful thread! Thanks so much for taking the time to document this all. We have been Airstreamers for 23 years but I picked up several tips here! I also love the Magic Erasers. They were the only thing I could find that removed the black rub marks made by aluminum in transit. Your Airstream looks fantastic!
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:26 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
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1979 31' Sovereign
1950 22' Liner
Powhatan , Virginia
Join Date: May 2009
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Blog Entries: 52
Your AS looks great! And we all appreciate the product list. I wish we were that far along on our 1950. Just starting out, you can't get a glimpse of the finish line.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:55 PM   #10
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Yup that finish line is always further away than one thinks. I am pretty sure I've been telling people its a month or two away from being ready for sale for about a year. A least now I'm down to saying its a week or two away from ready....been saying that for about 3 months...
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:10 PM   #11
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenSanLan View Post
Would you mind sharing the name of the font you used for your decals?
The 69 Safari scripting on my trailer is not a font per say, but I did design it loosely using freestyle script as my started point

Here is a link to a thread I did on fonts and pantone colours for the various years of Airstream. Please remember these are logos and as such are property of airstream covered under trademarks, using them personally on your own stuff is probably a grey area, using them on anything for sale is not...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...rs-126334.html
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:02 PM   #12
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Here is the link to the thread I made for using Krylon Fusion spray paint for plastics to rejuvenate my end caps in my 72 Argosy. BUT... I want to clarify this only works on the abs plastic end caps NOT the fiberglassed gel coated ones. The Krylon will NOT bond to gel coat but it is amazing on plastics.

How do you tell if you have ABS plastic and not gel coated fiberglass you wonder?
Well...if it is yellowed and looks like poop and you hate how ugly your endcaps, fridge scoop, fridge interior, bathroom fixtures, toilet, tambour doors, etc look like well I can almost guarantee its old ABS.

Gelcoat looks shiny even if its old and from what I read on my POR15 can when working on my frame you can paint gelcoat with POR15 but I have never had to try it out because my 69 still looks great.


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...ly-124989.html
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:22 PM   #13
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
This butt ugly toilets so ugly I wouldn't want my butt on it. And bam, fixed with a few a shots of krylon fusion for plastics and she's not a scary toilet anymore
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:42 AM   #14
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
The bathrooms ABS in the '69 was very sad. A lot of yucky yellowed plastic and water stains in the tub and sink from pools of water being allowed to stand too long and one very nasty rust stain from a large paint scraper that had been left on the shelf area over a whole winter. And caulking...47 years worth of layered caulking... I cannot express enough how worth it it is to buy silicone remover I spent a lot of days and nights picking away at caulking before I saw some on the store and gave it a go. Lots of brands out there they all work the same. Brush it on wait several hours scrape it off, repeat as needed

The fixtures were all given a good sanding and cleaning and painted with Krylon fusion.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:47 AM   #15
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
She's a happy pretty bathroom now
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:00 PM   #16
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
I love how large these bathrooms used to be made. Three full closets and five storage cubbies, pretty darn awesome...
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:11 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
Join Date: Aug 2004
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You have done a great job on your trailer! I too have done much of what you have on some previous trailers.

Another line of paints you may want to add for plastics, trim, etc..... is SEM paints. I have used this paint with great results in some automotive interior restoration. IN the future I will be using some for our interior endcaps. They are starting to look ugly.

Home | SEM Products
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:42 PM   #18
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
I had some repairs to do in the bathroom. There was a large distorted spiderweb crack in the big molded cabinet by the tub. From the backside I used PVC adhesive and fiberglass and gradually fixed one web of the crack at a time by cutting the fiberglass into thin strips and putting a piece of tape at each end, I would stick one side of the tape down and pull it together until the crack closed up perfectly, when I was happy with how it lined up I slathered some adhesive on it and let it dry and continued working the cracks until I had pulled all the distortion out. For the final steps I used a couple large pieces of carbon fibre on the backside to tie it all together then applied a couple layers to the front side and sanded it out and sprayed it all with Krylon Fusion a few days later after it had cured. I used PVC adhesive as it was what I had on hand at work, so I did a test for suitability and it worked great, the yellow ABS adhesive will work the same for this process if that's what you have on hand :-)
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:42 PM   #19
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
Replacing a '69's wing window

Here is the thread I did on wing window replacement using Lexan

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...ow-128056.html

Vintagetrailersupply.com now carries a gasket that fits the '69 and early 70's trailers so you could buy this and not have to bed it in Sitkaflex

1970 Airstream Window Glazing Strip
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:43 PM   #20
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 677
'69 shell on floor replacement

And here is the thread I did on the floor replacement needed due to that busted wing window

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ri-126227.html
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