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1978 Westfalia Cabinet Refacing FAQ
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:14 am    Post subject: 1978 Westfalia Cabinet Refacing FAQ Reply with quote

I've spent the last 45 minutes searching through Thesamba old threads on this subject but have yet to find the correct solution for me.

I need to reface some cabinets in a 1978 camper and am looking for the best matching laminate to use. Early posts suggest using Formica #117 Colonia Cherry but after searching Formica's web site and then finding references in more current threads I have learned that this Formica product has been discontinued. Threads asking for substitutes have had replies to take some samples to a laminate supplier and look for something close.

I'm asking, has anyone come up with the right substitute for the #117? I don't have time to drive all over the county trying to get lucky. If you've found the right product that's available today (March 2009) then please pass it on to me. Thanks
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dcketh
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to the following websites and order samples, they are free and will come in the mail.

Formica Woodgrains
Wisonart Woodgrains
Nevamar Woodgrains

Get a bunch of samples and see which one matches the best, then find a distributor in your area. I don't know what your '78 cabinets look like because I have a '71, and I don't necessarily want to try to match my originals exactly. Hope this helps.
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panicalum
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The closest match is Wilsonart's Colonial Walnut. It is slightly different from the Cherry, but hard to tell apart. Also, Home Depot was able to order a couple of sheets of the Colonial Cherry for me about a year ago even though it was discontinued. Wilsonart still had some of it left at that point.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done this search as well, and came up completely empty-handed on the Colonial Cherry. The big lamitate supplier in Albuquerque say that if a color gets discontinued, they send the remaining stock back. If anyone finds some of that, it is like gold to us late bay Westy owners...

I ordered several (free!) samples from Wilsonart, and although many are nice enough, none is a really good match. One option, though it is a lot more work of course, is to just relaminate everything in something that you like, or strip off the laminate and refinish the original plywood, like EZGruv did. Tough call.
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germansupplyscott
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was trying to find a perfect match and came up empty also. nothing is what i would call even a "very close" match. laminate is very much a current style sort of product and styles have changed since the bus was built.
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your responses have been a great help. I don't want to waste a bunch of time doing something that will not give good results like ordering samples that aren't even a close match. I guess the best I can hope for is to find some colonial cherry on someones back shelf somewhere.
Thanks guys.........
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71_georgia_beetle
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other options.
http://www.rockler.com/CategoryView.cfm?Cat_ID=1459
I used the Jatoba Veneer on the camping box of my 74 and it was spot on.
http://www.woodcraft.com/depts.aspx?DeptID=5150
http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=631
http://www.veneersupplies.com/
http://www.morganwood.com/catalog/
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westfaliaway
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: new formica Reply with quote

Well, Formica came out with a new grain, and from the pic, it looks to be a very close match, glamour cherry 6208, and this is as of 3/30/09. hope this helps.

open up this little sample box and compare it with the picture at the top of the post:

http://www.formica.co.th/publish/site/na/us/en/ind...Image.html
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vw76westy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the grain on the original lam is darker than the overall color
the grain on the 6208 looks lighter than the overall color
the overall piece looks like a close match but one piece next
to the other in real life

i think not
but i could be wrong
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vwbusbusvw
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I have done is find donor cabinets, doors, and change them out. For larger areas that have damage, a donor piece of Westy interior that has the laminate (the stove top cover has a lot of laminate) is the way to go. I have several drawers, and large pieces of Westy laminate available if you need some.
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Atlantis
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does a hot iron work good to take off the laminate?
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181freak
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes it works.. but take your time... and it works teh best with the cabinents out so im told.. lol


i left them in and did the best I could.. it was a pain.. and mine doesnt look as good as others, but I did it and thats good enough for me!
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

181freak wrote:
yes it works.. but take your time... and it works teh best with the cabinents out so im told.. lol


i left them in and did the best I could.. it was a pain.. and mine doesnt look as good as others, but I did it and thats good enough for me!


So you used an iron. Yeah my bus is gutted. So how did it not work so great? You got it off did you not?
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got the last piece ironed off of my cabinets this morning. You have to take your time with it, if you don't let the iron sit on there long enough the laminate will take some of the wood up with it when you try to lift it. I have a few missing chunks of plywood on my cabinets from trying to rush it. Embarassed
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doug68205
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i found a pretty good match, I think it was a wilsonart product. Next time I'm in the bus I'll see if i can find the sample. Cabinets and table turned out pretty well, will post some pictures when I get a chance.
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the laminate color/grain the same in the 75 Westfalia as the later bays? I need to recover a couple pieces and make a new rear hatch panel. Looking to keep it as stock looking as possible.

Thanks
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atlantis wrote:
181freak wrote:
yes it works.. but take your time... and it works teh best with the cabinents out so im told.. lol


i left them in and did the best I could.. it was a pain.. and mine doesnt look as good as others, but I did it and thats good enough for me!


So you used an iron. Yeah my bus is gutted. So how did it not work so great? You got it off did you not?


I did it, it works. Careful the laminate is sharp as hell where it breaks. Put the iron on it for a minute and I used a wooden ruler to go between the laminate and the wood. If it cools it re-sticks
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some nice new Formica woodgrain colors (link above). I would suggest ordering some from them and checking them our yourself. I think the one I liked the best (just slightly too red) was Glamour Cherry (6208) but YMMV.
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181freak
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atlantis wrote:
181freak wrote:
yes it works.. but take your time... and it works teh best with the cabinents out so im told.. lol


i left them in and did the best I could.. it was a pain.. and mine doesnt look as good as others, but I did it and thats good enough for me!


So you used an iron. Yeah my bus is gutted. So how did it not work so great? You got it off did you not?



yes I got it off, but it is very hard with the cabinets etc still attached and in the bus.. (awkward angles for the iron like the headbanger...) take your time.. I will probably gut the bus next year and fix up the places I fudged up.... but i think its a 100 times better than before..
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Atlantis
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got it all off and it was a pain in the ass. That shit gets hot and is sharp, like you said.

Crappy! I used an iron and just followed it slowly underneath with a drywall knife. worked great.

I was never ran into the issues of burning the wood at all. But the plastic trims if not removed will get melted real fast.

I sanded it all down. I then used plastic wood to fill in spots where the glue pulled up some of the wood. It looks good now.


I just can not decide what color to stain it now. I have the panels stained red chestnut by minwax, and I think the headliner will be the same if I decide to go with a wood headliner. If not the headliner will be black diamond tuck.

I fear if I stain the camp interior the same color as the panels thats going to be too much red chestnut. I also have no idea what the color of the laminate floor is going to be either. Def not a light wood color but more a medium or darker as well.

This is a big decision cause once you stain it, you aint goin back.
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