Saturday, September 28, 2013

1968 Caravel, Up Next

The next project up is a 1968 Caravel built at the Jackson Center, Ohio, factory. 

Her  owner has had her and used her for a number of years. She has begun to show some signs of her age.

She looks real good on the exterior. 

Most of her seams have been sealed over and over. Silicon was very popular in these sealing jobs. Most of the applications were wide reaching and will require a great deal of clean up to be sealed properly with the correct material.

There are a few trouble spots.

Most of these trouble spots have leaked very badly over the years causing a great deal of rot.

The rot has allowed some things to move that should not have.

This is the only real exterior flaw. I don't think the segment is going to be replaced for this one.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Not Even a Kiss Goodbye

The 1964 Overlander named Fred had been front and center for a number of months now. I thought I might give you folks a little update on his status...

Unlike previous projects, the entire bathroom module was reused. This meant repairing a great deal of broken plastic parts. Many repair broken plastic by using a plastic welder. I do it a little differently. I have had great success with using ABS plastic cement and fiberglass roving. The process fuses the pieces back together and adds a great deal of strength to the broken area.

This entire corner was broken completely off and through a little patience and a bit of skill I was able to fuse it back together. In the photo above you see it after the two part epoxy primer has been sprayed on.  You cannot see the damage at all.

On top of the primer a highly metallic paint was applied followed by a special clear coat. This entire system is very high tech stuff and requires very careful measuring of materials and spraying within a timed perimeters. In addition to the bathroom module, all the wall track, lighting fixtures, and some key elements were also sprayed.

The results are a very convincing aluminum look. All the items came out perfectly even though it took more than one try on some of the parts. My standards are very high and one speck of dust has me doing it over (do overs are always on my time).

While I worked on the bathroom parts Michael was very busy running all the wiring and insulating. Two layers of Reflectix with an airspace between the two is now a standard in my shop. The Reflectix works extremely well in a trailer application since it is non absorbent and there is nothing for the mice to like. No pink fiberglass is used in my shop.

The end caps were repaired of any errant screw holes while still on the shop floor. On the end caps the second layer of insulation was then glued to the back side and they were installed back into the trailer. It all went back right where it came out of. Once in place they were sanded and made ready for the Zolatone. 

Michael was skeptical, but all the aluminum went right back into its original position. All the holes lined up just as they should.

A great deal of work went into the repair and or replacement of the original furniture. Here you see a door where much of the original veneer was in very bad shape. Missing pieces had to be carefully toothed in with new oak veneer. Good luck finding where those repairs were done. There are a lot of them but I bet you a lunch, you cannot find them. 

Some of the cabinets had to be rebuilt.

While I was working on the furniture, Michael was busy learning how to spray Zolatone. Zolatone primer was shot first then top coated with the paint. 

The Zolatone Michael selected was the water based variety. Unlike the industrial line it did not have nearly the VOCs. I tried to get a good shot of the finished color but unfortunately, a camera is unable to do it any justice. Michael is a quick learner and did a fantastic job.

You can barely see it but 12 x 12 cork flooring was glued down throughout. I find cork an excellent choice for Airstream interiors. All of Wally Byam's trailers had cork flooring in them even though all of the production trailers used what people refer to as 9 x 9 asbestos tiles. This is kind of improper term since asbestos was not really the main ingredient and some years the tile had none in it at all. You can also see the new stain color of the furniture in this shot. We went from dark brown to Mission cherry. It is redder than in real life the photo above. In the photo below it a little browner. Capturing the exact nuance of colors is difficult.

Here is some more of the furniture going back in...

New counter tops were fabricated by my friend's cabinet shop, Hayford Builders. They do all my laminate work for me. The laminate has a nice retro feel.

Like most projects, the push at the end had me so wrapped up that I never got to take any finished shots of the interior. It is always a frantic race to the finish line and suddenly, without really seeing it coming, it rolls away. Godspeed Fred. 

I assure you a complete set of photos will be posted as soon as I can get them. The entire project came out beautifully making this 1964 Overlander new again. I am extremely proud of the finished product. She will look really good polished someday. 

Please tune in soon. I have already launched into my next project and I think all of you will enjoy following that one from start to finish. Just a teaser; She is 17 feet long. She was built during the Vietnam War. She is going to be a shell off restoration back to original condition.