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Installing a wood headliner?
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ConcreteBalloon
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject: Installing a wood headliner? Reply with quote

Has anyone attempted to install a wood headliner, westy style? I've wanted a wood headliner almost as long as a bus, and was wondering if anyone had installed one themselves.

I'd imagine you could use that flexible wood used in many carpentry/home/auto projects. The name escapes me at the moment. but how would you go about attaching it to the roof? Glue?

I'd really like to do something non-permanent, or something that could be removed fairly simply, but not something that could fall off randomly during a drive.


Anyone done this? I'd appreciate some tips!
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truckersmike
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i just installed a new headliner in my westy pop-top about a month ago. this requires two 5'X5' sheets of 1/8" baltic birch for the entire rear of the bus. the pop-top section was roughly 49"X53". the rear was smaller, ??"X53". after getting the correct measurements, I cut a hole large enough for me to pop through then carefully installed the headliner and positioned it. next i popped through the hole and traced the outline of the pop-top to get the correct size. word of caution, make the corners a little smaller and round them out. this will help hide the edges after installing new molding.

baltic birch is extremely flexible but you still need to be careful. i was able to install and uninstall several times to get my measurements correct.

the panels require nothing to keep them in place as long as you fit them into the channels in the edges of the roof. westfalia inserted thin strips of wood about 2" wide & 1/8" thick (just use some scap) into the channels to prevent the liners from creeping up.

finish the seams with trim for a nice look.

hope i was of some help.
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ConcreteBalloon
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AH! I forgot about the lip! that makes things much easier!
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ConcreteBalloon
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to say thanks!

well, thanks! Now I know how to get my dream headliner! WOOT! and the fact that it doesn't need glue/attachment makes it MUCH better that a standard headliner.
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rebapuck
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you were probably thinking "luan". It's the stuff covering hollowcore doors.
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truckersmike
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rebapuck wrote:
I think you were probably thinking "luan". It's the stuff covering hollowcore doors.


nope, it was definitely baltic birch.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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peaceful warrior
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Truckers Mike!

I am using 1/8" birch in my 68 Westy (yeah I know wrong forum), but it is easy to work with and holds a clear sealer or stain quite well.

I am building my cabinets out of 1/2" birch ply as well!
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LAGrunthaner
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

truckersmike wrote:
i just installed a new headliner in my westy pop-top about a month ago. this requires two 5'X5' sheets of 1/8" baltic birch for the entire rear of the bus. the pop-top section was roughly 49"X53". the rear was smaller, ??"X53". after getting the correct measurements, I cut a hole large enough for me to pop through then carefully installed the headliner and positioned it. next i popped through the hole and traced the outline of the pop-top to get the correct size. word of caution, make the corners a little smaller and round them out. this will help hide the edges after installing new molding.

baltic birch is extremely flexible but you still need to be careful. i was able to install and uninstall several times to get my measurements correct.

the panels require nothing to keep them in place as long as you fit them into the channels in the edges of the roof. westfalia inserted thin strips of wood about 2" wide & 1/8" thick (just use some scap) into the channels to prevent the liners from creeping up.

finish the seams with trim for a nice look.

hope i was of some help.


truckersmike,
My 67 Westy Pop-Top is completely apart and I have everything, I see the wooden bows still on the roof are they for aid in installation and to keep them in place? I wondered if the wooden headliner is screwed into the bows. I understand my new canvas for the pop-top gets fastened to the bows right?
Thanks Linda
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Lind wrote:
Have you considered simply starting with a nicer bus? I don't know what your skills are, but the race is easier if you can see the finish line. If you are not a runner, don't start off doing a marathon.
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sub-hatchtim
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey mike where did you find the wood
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truckersmike
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

squareback_fiend wrote:
hey mike where did you find the wood


i got it at a place called woodworkers source but there are a few other places here in phoenix that sell them.

Quote:
truckersmike,
My 67 Westy Pop-Top is completely apart and I have everything, I see the wooden bows still on the roof are they for aid in installation and to keep them in place? I wondered if the wooden headliner is screwed into the bows. I understand my new canvas for the pop-top gets fastened to the bows right?
Thanks Linda


the bows are for the pop-top assembly and have nothing to do with the wooden headliner. westy headliners are only fastened in at the metal bows of the roof where it butts up with another headliner. you can see the trim in one of my pictures that covers where the two headliners meet. other wise, the headliner is kept in place by the pressure of the bent wood and the channels in the roof.
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StockNazi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the headliner in my 66 had a few screws that secured the roof wood to the bows. i think there was 3 screws at the rear of the headliner, the headbanger cabinet covered the screws. there was a single screw at the front directly behind the airbox.
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sub-hatchtim
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the headliner inmy sub hatch in the rear had a wooden bow tht screwed into the liner
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ConcreteBalloon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...

I might do some wood bows just for looks...
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LAGrunthaner
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

truckersmike wrote:
squareback_fiend wrote:
hey mike where did you find the wood


i got it at a place called woodworkers source but there are a few other places here in phoenix that sell them.

Quote:
truckersmike,
My 67 Westy Pop-Top is completely apart and I have everything, I see the wooden bows still on the roof are they for aid in installation and to keep them in place? I wondered if the wooden headliner is screwed into the bows. I understand my new canvas for the pop-top gets fastened to the bows right?
Thanks Linda


the bows are for the pop-top assembly and have nothing to do with the wooden headliner. westy headliners are only fastened in at the metal bows of the roof where it butts up with another headliner. you can see the trim in one of my pictures that covers where the two headliners meet. other wise, the headliner is kept in place by the pressure of the bent wood and the channels in the roof.


Thanks truckersmike,
I better cut that wood right for it to work.
Lin
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Lind wrote:
Have you considered simply starting with a nicer bus? I don't know what your skills are, but the race is easier if you can see the finish line. If you are not a runner, don't start off doing a marathon.
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Wolffeather
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the 2 panels in the cab are just a very, very tight fit. How do you get them in? Do you slid them in from the back? Do they just slide down those channels? Where can I find a pattern for these?
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LAGrunthaner
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolffeather wrote:
I know the 2 panels in the cab are just a very, very tight fit. How do you get them in? Do you slid them in from the back? Do they just slide down those channels? Where can I find a pattern for these?


I don't have that one but isn't this nice. I forgot who sent it to me, sorry.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Linda
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Lind wrote:
Have you considered simply starting with a nicer bus? I don't know what your skills are, but the race is easier if you can see the finish line. If you are not a runner, don't start off doing a marathon.
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Major Woody
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 67 had two or three small oval head screws right through the center of the back piece and into the rearmost bow, where it would be covered by the headbanger cabinet. I am 100% sure they were original. I put them back.

Edit: there is also one very small oval head screw right behind the exit of the fresh air vent. There is a bracket there to receive the screw.


Last edited by Major Woody on Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Clara Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolffeather wrote:
I know the 2 panels in the cab are just a very, very tight fit. How do you get them in? Do you slid them in from the back? Do they just slide down those channels? Where can I find a pattern for these?


I am making these again.
I installed some the other day, and took some pictures.

Install these before the middle roof panel.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_search.php?search_author=clara
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


To get the panel seated right, look for the channel at the outside of the bus, the panels should go between that and the lip towards the inside of the bus.
You can slide it forward, while pushing up in the middle to make the bend. Make sure it stays in the channel at the outside and in the one on the fresh air vent.
Helps to send it in at a slight angle, with the pointy end maybe an inch away from the fresh air vent.
When you can't slide it forwards anymore, use a ~ foot long piece of 2"x4" to spead the impact, and a rubber mallet. One person is behind the bulkhead and taps it forwards while the other person sits in the front seat pushing up. When it is near the very front, tap the outside part of the back, to straighten it out. and keep an eye on the front edge of the panel. It needs to go into the front channel, and may need a little guidance.
Don't smack it too hard, or it'll get a dent.
Pushing up in the middle to help the bend is crucial.
The screws at the back edge have not yet been installed in these pics.
It took maybe ten minutes to install each of these, but I've had practice.
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LAGrunthaner
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clara wrote:
Wolffeather wrote:
I know the 2 panels in the cab are just a very, very tight fit. How do you get them in? Do you slid them in from the back? Do they just slide down those channels? Where can I find a pattern for these?


I am making these again.
I installed some the other day, and took some pictures.

Install these before the middle roof panel.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_search.php?search_author=clara
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


To get the panel seated right, look for the channel at the outside of the bus, the panels should go between that and the lip towards the inside of the bus.
You can slide it forward, while pushing up in the middle to make the bend. Make sure it stays in the channel at the outside and in the one on the fresh air vent.
Helps to send it in at a slight angle, with the pointy end maybe an inch away from the fresh air vent.
When you can't slide it forwards anymore, use a ~ foot long piece of 2"x4" to spead the impact, and a rubber mallet. One person is behind the bulkhead and taps it forwards while the other person sits in the front seat pushing up. When it is near the very front, tap the outside part of the back, to straighten it out. and keep an eye on the front edge of the panel. It needs to go into the front channel, and may need a little guidance.
Don't smack it too hard, or it'll get a dent.
Pushing up in the middle to help the bend is crucial.
The screws at the back edge have not yet been installed in these pics.
It took maybe ten minutes to install each of these, but I've had practice.



Nice work Clara,
Thanks for the tips too Very Happy
Linda
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Lind wrote:
Have you considered simply starting with a nicer bus? I don't know what your skills are, but the race is easier if you can see the finish line. If you are not a runner, don't start off doing a marathon.
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Major Woody
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one more tip to add. (If you're not real picky, stop reading)

On poptop westies, the headliner panel will not follow the curvature of the roof on either side of the large hole for the poptop. It flattens out and looks bad (to me).

Using a paperboard template to match the curvature of the existing ones, I made two additional bow pieces out of oak, and installed them, one centered on either side of the poptop hole, adhering them to the roof skin with polyurethane construction adhesive.

After the adhesive dried, I then put the headliner piece into place, pried it down in the area where the new bows are, and squirted in a big blob of adhesive to bond the headliner to the bow. I made a padded brace to press upward on the ceiling in that spot, forcing the headliner board to curve against the new bow, and left it that way for two days to cure. Then I did the other side the same way. Now the headliner follows the curve of the roof consistently from front to back, and looks much better. Do not adhere the headliner to the framework that goes around the roof opening. That will be pulled tight by the screws that hold the poptop lift assembly in place.
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