Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Weather Did A 180!

 The weather did a 180...going from the 90's down to 24 in the mornings for a few days as a British Columbia low barreled through.  We're back on track for high 90's every day and no rain in site until fall.   The brush and trees in the chaparral that surrounds us has a fuel moisture so low that any spark will set it ablaze and roar up the canyon.  Going to be a very tough year for wild fires and this is the last year I will be responding with a federal Fire management team and going around the country.  With the restrictions on our movement when we are on two hour, it's tough to get into the back country.

Here's a shot of the deville in the front yard with the pond and waterfall in the foreground.  We're thinking of having a permanent "camp" right there and use the trailer as a guest room.
The cactus are blooming and the hummingbirds are back in force.  Next...coveys of baby Quail running around the place.

Next up is taking the tin off and rebuilding the front end Birch and supporting wood.

For All The Folks Outside Of the US... 

If you are viewing and reading this from outside the US please take a moment and make a comment.  I am curious as to how you found us but would also like to hear about your interest in vintage trailers (or whatever you call them in your country)  I am amazed the the many locations around the world that have checked in to take a look.  Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Been a while since I updated.  Been busy with other chores around the ranch and projects.

The Deville sits right below our house while I am restoring
The driver's side window and wall

Started on the wall on the driver's side of the dinette that was pretty rugged.  I was going to try and save it.  Started off by removing the window and took it out to polish.  I stripped the wall several times and scrapped the old shellac off in layers
The dinette seats are reupholstered and ready to go back in when I get the front end re-done.  the original water tank waits for replacing as well.

what did we do before these cool sanders?
A sanding with 120 grit and then again with 220 and i was ready to pre-stain and stain with golden Oak.  I found a light coat of Golden Oak matched the patina of the 1950's original wood when covered with the Amber shellac.

One solid coat of Golden Oak stain and I'm ready for the Amber shellac.

I apply the Amber shellac with a terry cloth pad.  I cut the shellac almost
Five coats of Amber over the golden Oak stain
50/50 with denatured alcohol.  By the time I have got to the bottom, I can do another coat.  The alcohol evaporates and leaves the shellac in a thin coat.

After that goes on,  I lightly sand it with some 000 steel wool and wipe it well.  It's time then for the French Polish technique.

Multiple passes in a circular motion

I apply the shellac...still with 50/50 alcohol with the pad and continue layering.  I'll do twenty layers and the spirit off the residual oil and shellac.  I evaluate every twenty layers for color and depth and shine.

When it's the way i want it, I switch to clear shellac to finish building up.

The end result is what I was hoping for.  I can salvage another piece of original birch and it looks pretty cool to boot.  Matches the other stuff that's done.

Works for me!

 Now, there are as many ways of refinishing the birch on these old trailers as there are types of finishes.  I tried using a brush to apply the shellac but was never happy with the results.  I kept wanting the shellac to behave like varnish does but....it wouldn't cooperate.  I am very happy with how the French Polish technique is turning out and I have the time to "take my time".  It may not be for everyone.

Next up is finishing the last two windows by polishing and redoing the putty tape and new screws and replacing the wood in the front end along with some birch paneling.  Once that's done, the front end is pretty much done.  Yahoo!