Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ventura California. Looking for new shop.

This week is a little slow. We're in Ventura looking for our new Southern California shop location.
In the meantime, here's a couple of gratuitous pics.
The new Deluxe Sofa Bed design, which is based on the prototype I built a couple of weeks ago. I personally designed the operating mechanism and think the bed will ultimately be one of the Airstream's highlights.
You'd have to see it in person to see why.

I hadn't included any pictures with the floor in previous blog entries,
so here you go.
Not bad.
Side table / Cabinet designed for a friend.
A lamp I designed last night.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Little X Little, the Airstream lives on.

I've gotten through most of the tedious interior work. The stuff that takes the most time, but is the least interesting (electrical, plumbing, leak repairs, caulking, hole
fixes, riviets, clean-up, etc..). I'm finally well into the fun stuff.
Masking Tape Removal

The finished paint scheme

Check out these cool coat hooks.

I hate to admit it, but they're IKEA. At least they're not particle board.

I've had trouble articulating what I was trying to accomplish with the paint scheme.
I'll let you be the judge.
What I was going for, was mid-century Space/RV/TV Sci-Fi. Not the cool part of Sci-Fi, but more like my impression of the kind of graphic design an old guy would do for a NASA office, 1965. Before Star Wars. An era when people thot we'd all be driving flying cars by the year 2000. A little bit Six Million Dollar Man, but in this case, more like Six Hundred Dollar. I also didn't want to use too bold of colors. Something simple, official, clinical and sanitized.

As much as I want to show everyone all that I've accomplished so far, I don't want to reveal too much too quickly. For now, here's a few shots of the sofa-bed prototype, which has been completed since these photos were taken.

You should also check out this cool link, which was in Monday's SFGate, the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Finally, here's a shot of the new door knob. Someone had drilled the lock out of the original one, and I couldn't find replacement parts. $160 later...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Airstream Electrical, and a little polishing

This things taking forever. I'm having a good time though. We don't really have it in the budget to polish the Ambassador, but I had to see what it would look like if we did, so I stuck a guy on the back end with a buffer. It's every bit of the process that people warn about on the websites, and 300 hours seems about right for someone who can work hard. The rest of you might end up spending 500 hours.
Juan was doing fine with the aircraft polishing compound and the equipment we had, but a couple hours into the first day a loud chain smoking hippie came by.
"Flour! You gotta use Flour!"
He spent several emphatic minutes preaching to Juan about the merits of flour, how it would save his tarnished soul. Juan stared blankly at the man, as if he were speaking a foreign language, which of course, he was. Then the man proceeded to take the buffer from Juan and began to work a 2x2 section.
"How do you slow this thing down? Here.... wipe that off."
He grabbed Juan's bicep, squeezing it while looking at me, "You gotta put some muscle into it! This guys strong" he said, as if trying to boost our confidence before the big game. "Just keep going. You guys'll get it!"
He was right. After he left I re-explained to Juan what the man had said, and his results instantly improved. The next day we had some flour, which he told us to put on our rags when wiping off the polishing compound. I guess that worked too.
And the results...

Here's a few electrical changes, such as 110v track lighting.

I modified the original circuitry. I took the four 12v circuits that went to the original "Airstream Control Panel", figured out what went where, and diverted two of the circuits to a new 110v panel. The result was that I had two 12v circuits operating off of the original battery back up, powering the original fans, and a couple of 12v lights, .
Then, with the other 2 circuits now powered by the new 11ov panel, I was able to use the existing in wall Romex to hook up new 110v lights & receptacles, without having to actually re-wire much of anything. The only thing I screwed was leaving the 2 forward 12v sconces on a 110v circuit. Instantly blew the bulbs. I'm hoping I can just wire up a 12v transformer at the sconce and the problem will go away.

I also moved the "Airstream Control Panel", as you can see in this picture, and the one below. I temporarily mounted it on a piece of OSB approximately where it will end up once the new cabinetry is installed.

I added a couple more receptacles using surface mount "Wiremold" above where the new desk will be. When all is said and done, the trailer will have two 12v circuits, six 110v circuits, and one 220v circuit to operate the new electric on-demand water heater. I'll include the schematic I drew up in a future post, just in case it helps any owners of a 1968 Ambassador Twin.