Tuesday, February 5, 2013

1947 Airstream Travel Trailer - Bottom Shelf Repaired

Fig.1 Inside Cabinet
By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
Airstream Silver Streak Travel Trailer 1947
Caulking, clear 
Clorox® Germicidal bleach
Cordless screwdriver with Phillips bit
Melamine shelf 2 by 4 by 3/4
Plans paper 
Phillips bit
Radial saw
Sponge (bleach applicator)
Wood glue

Tim Baker owned an old 1947 Airstream Silver Streak travel trailer completely restored in mahogany. He spent thousands of dollars of repairing, and polishing the exterior skin. The interior was like a show wood boat, all the surfaces were highly polished. The Airstream had only one drawback, it smelled moldy. Tim tried to find the area but could never find the damage. It took some time to find the problem, like Tim I looked at cabinets, beds, underneath the carriage, tires, trunks, roof and then the water heater. It dawned on me that the water heater had an underneath shelf and that was part of the problem, the water heater leaked. The bottom shelf had become warped and the skin of the mahogany was destroyed. The shelf was filled with cleaning supplies and packed neatly that would have been the reason why Tim had not seen the damage area. The job was to fix the bottom shelf and do it before the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show. 

This post shows the eight steps that describes how the problem was solved.

Step 1: Once the smell was found, apply liquid Clorox® Germicidal Bleach to the area using a sponge, this bleach kills the mold and the smell. Use a small fan to dry the area before working on the shelf. 
Step 2: Fig.1 shows the shelf was removed and only the cabinet rungs were left behind. 
Step 3: Fig.2 shows the plans were drawn to come up with a shelf solution.
Fig.2 Template
Step 4: Fig.3 shows a jigsaw was used the cut around drain pipes and later the back corner cuts. 
Step 5: This is the shelf that will be restoring the water heater integrity. The shelf is 3/4 thick wood paneling with a melamine exterior on all sides. The middle area had clear silicone applied to protect the shelf from moisture. Fig.4 shows the corner was measured and traced with a marking pen.
Fig.3 Cutting Template with Jig Saw
Fig.4 Cutting Corners
Step 6: Fig.5 shows the new shelf that will replace the damaged water heater shelf. In this picture the shelf is not cut in half.
Fig.5 Cutting in Half
Step 7: Prior to driving the deck screws pre-drill each hole with a wood bit. Fig.6 shows a cordless drill and Phillips bit was used to drill and drive decking screws into the new shelf into the cabinet supports. 
Step 8: Fig.7 the shelf is not mahogany, the mahogany shelf has been ordered but would not arrive before the technical show. This completes the job and keeps the water heater integrity.
Fig.6 Phillip bit
Fig.7 Job complete Shelf Complete

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Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

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