Restoring My Vintage Spartan to Glory

...and crafting a purposeful recovery

Month: November 2019


Before last month’s fire I received a random note in the mailbox of the property where I keep Sparta. Some guy had spotted my trailers from a nearby ridge while hiking and asked if he could come by and photograph them. Apparently, he was involved in a photo-study of vintage trailers and needed more material. My reward for letting him come by and take a few pics would be prints. Sounded good to me, so after the chaos of the fires had passed we arranged a meet and he spent an hour snapping away.

Heavy on special effects but pretty cool nonetheless. And look, no staples.

Trim ad nauseam

To continue my riveting discourse on trim, the bundle of birch cove ceiling trim has arrived and I am pleased to report it will work perfectly. Already I have conditioned, stained and polyed it and the hue is much better than the pine experiment. Sorry pine, you’re just a little too soft and pale for Spartans.

Bundle of joy
Conditioned and stained awaiting poly.
See how much better the birch works (bottom) than the pine?

When the smoke clears

Back to work without the fear and distraction of Sparta going up in flames. I continue to work on trim. With the input of my Spartan-crazed friends on Facebook (yes, there are several groups devoted to the restoration of and affection for Spartan trailer homes), I have determined that I need cove trim for the ceiling perimeter. I could not find 3/4″ cove trim in birch so I tried a piece of pine. As you can see from the picture below, pine ends up too light even after repeated staining.

That horizontal strip up top is just too light

Fortunately, I found a bundle of 17 count, 95″ unfinished birch strips online. They will arrive in a week.

Another small task recently behind me is cutting out slightly larger holes for Sparta’s tail-lights. They were not fitting flush. My little Dremel with a cutting blade worked great!

Note to self – “Stop using duct tape to weatherize”.