Sunday, March 27, 2016

Getting ready for a trailer raising

Our wedding anniversary is April 1, so we thought we'd try and turn a 3 day weekend into an old fashioned trailer raising.

To get our trailer kit ready, we finished gluing up all the framing to the wall panels.

We then built up the framing for the windows and the vent.

Usually, you'd replace these parts as you go or build them up on the wall panels, but our templates were in such poor shape, we were worried about the holes in the skins fitting properly, so we'll attach this framing once we test fit the roof skin again.

Finally, we installed some welting on the wall panels.  This hides the joint between the walls and ceiling and also prevents wood on wood squeaking.  It's not our favorite look, but it's a hallmark of a properly done restoration. so we're using welting that matches the birch as closely as possible.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Shellacking the ceiling, Part 2

Last week, we glued up two of the ceiling panels.  This week, we all had the flu and in a moment of fevered boredom, I shellacked one of the panels so badly, I had to sand it down this weekend.  Unfortunately, the sanding did not go well, the panel no longer takes shellac evenly and I'm planning on hiding this panel behind the kitchen cabinets.  What a bummer as it was out best sheet.

Once the week went on and the fevers passed, we cut down the rest of the ceiling panels and gave them 3 coats of amber.

Unfortunately, this lot of wood is much redder and darker than those we used on the walls.  This trailer is going to be a patchwork of wood tones and grains, but our house is a little like that too, so maybe it's just us.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Finishing the walls, starting on the ceiling

We spoke to an old school trailer restorer and he recommended 5 coats of amber and 2 of clear, so that's what we did.

The result is still pretty light, but we like the contrast with the darker ash cabinets and the birch should age over time.

This round of finish, we used a $2 home depot foam applicator with a jersey knit fabric on top.  It allowed us to apply the shellac quickly and evenly and we could store the applicator in a ziploc to reuse later.

We also sorted through 40 sheets of 1/8" birch plywood to find the 6 that we needed for our ceiling.

Instead of twisty nails, we are just gluing up the rafters and then pre-finishing the panels before installing.  This will let us get the trailer together in a long weekend, and be structurally sound in the face of the crazy weather we've been having.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Shellacking the walls

Got 3 coats of amber shellac on the walls.

Wife is on board with the honey color, but I was hoping for something closer to to the more golden color of the existing ash cabinets with only 2 coats of amber.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Refinishing the Cabinets, the Final Cabinet

After recouping from the shellac in the washer fiasco, we still managed to get 4 coats of shellac on the closet.

The closet was the last cabinet (well, the upper above the dinette is still in pieces, but we want to see it all together before we decide on how to rebuild this one), so it's time to face the new birch walls.  As it's still rain/wind season here, we propped them in the center of the garage, using some screws to wire the tops together and some wood with screws to capture the bottom of the wall teepee.

Uh Oh Part 7

Note to self...while refinishing your vintage trailer closet, don't perch a full can of amber shellac on the edge  of your open clothes washer or you will no longer be refinishing your vintage trailer closet and will instead be googling how to take a top loading washer apart.