Gertrude's Renovation

Gertrude is a 1961 Airstream Caravel. This blog will document the progress of her renovation,

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Getting Ready for the 4th

I can't believe it has been a month since I posted. Gertrude looks like a different Airstream these days. At least inside she does. All of the wood has been sanded, stained and given two coats of shellac. The old floor is up, and new black and white square tiles are down on the floor. All the floor needs to be complete is trim work. The front goucho has been painted, reassembled, and has a new futon mattress.

I was able to test the wiring and wire the new umbilical cord onto the trailer. We plugged it into the tow vehicle and amazingly enough the lights work. The wiring was the part I was sure I would have to hire someone to complete. I hooked up the propane tanks, and tested the stove burners. I haven't attempted the oven yet. Somehow I don't see us baking much while camping.

Some very small projects remain for the weekend trip:
Clean, paint and reinstall the grates on fridge and floor furnace
Clean and reinstall stove burner grates
If spray fabric paint arrives in time, paint the curtains
Reinstall curtains and rods (painted or not)

Then we pack!!! Luckily we already had much of the stuff we will need from out tent camping days. All of that stuff has been packed in the trailer. Mostly we will just need to pack our food and clothes.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Day Weekend

Well, I did not get even close to camping this weekend. Just too many projects and not enough time. But I had a very productive three-day weekend.

I had already removed all of the drawers, closet doors and cabinet doors and stored them in the garage. This weekend I sanded and stained all of the pieces in the garage, as well as the wood in the trailer. It badly needs to be reveneered, but that is "sometime in the future" project. I stained the wood golden pecan. it is darker than the original, but does not show the bad marks as much as a lighter stain would have. I put two coats of clear shellac on the pieces in the garage.

I also removed all of the broken and loose tiles from the floor. I scrubbed the old tile, and the floor is now ready for prepping for new flooring. Next weekend I will complete the shellac and remove the old toilet from the bath. Hopefully I will also be able to prep the floor for the new tile.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sunday, Day Five of Five

A light day today. I cleaned the screens and reassembled the vents. Much better. I got way too much paint the other day, I needed a pint and got a quart. So I used the leftover paint to paint the aluminum walls in the closet and small cabinet gray.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Polish test Posted by Hello

Saturday, Day Four of Five

Today is beautiful. I opened up the front rock guard and cleaned the front window. What a difference it made. I decided to clean the two windows on the curb side as well. It looks SO much better. Then I decided to polish just a small area and see how it worked. I have Nuvite F7, which I plan to compound with. I took some of that polish and a towel and polished an area about the size of my hand. Just that little bit of hand polishing made a bright, shiny spot. Just think what it will do with the compounding polisher.

Today's "major" project was removing the old carpet. It was stapled down all around the perimeter. In the narrow "hallway" along the bed it was in small pieces and stapled all around each piece. After the carpet was out, I removed loose tiles in front of the door. The floor underneath was solid, no damage at all. I pulled loose tiles all around the edges and in the closet and when the dirt was vacuumed out, the floor was solid.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Friday, Day Three of Five

I reassembled the stove this morning. I lost two nuts along the way, so back to the hardware store. The rest of the day I spent removing all of the cabinet doors, hook and hardware that were still in the trailer. I also removed the closet doors and all drawers. I organized all of the parts in the garage and removed all hardware. It is all ready for sanding and then staining.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thursday, Day Two of Five

Today I continued stripping the door. It is about 98% complete. I realized part way through today that the remover has eaten away the edge of my plastic scrapper. I switched to a metal one and scrapped very carefully. It was amazing how much quicker the stripping went.

After a trip to the hardware store for more paint, I completed the trim painting around the vents. I also painted the inside (under the burners) of the stove. It was very rusty under there and a coat of rustoleum black stove paint did wonders. With the top on the stove, you can't tell it is a different color. That should stop the rust and give the stove a few more seasons.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wednesday, One of Five

Today's major project was stripping the zoltone from the inside of the door. I have decided to strip the door down to the aluminum and polish it. I stripped the old pint from the zoltone with Klean Strip, but needed something tougher to complete the project. I am using Klean Strip's Aircraft Remover to strip the zoltone off the aluminum. It took two applications of the remover to get about 90% of the zoltone off the bottom and left side of the door. Tomorrow I will work on the right side and top of the door.

I also taped and prepped for some internal trim paninting, and painted the trim around the back window. The paininting goes really fast, but the prepping takes a very long time.