RansomEli

1929 Franklin sedan woodgraining

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I'm going to woodgrain my '29 Franklin 135 sedan: dashboard, instrument panel and window frames. I will use the Grain-It Technologies system.

 

I researched this forum and the HHFC archives (thanks to Tom Rasmussen and Paul Fitz for their comments and pics). However, I can't reach a firm  conclusion. I need help.

 

I'm attaching photos of several Franklin dashboards. I'm also including the Grain-It base color chart.

 

Based on my research:

  1. The three instrument panels are a walnut burl pattern. The base color is dark brown walnut (Grain-It base color GBC-DB4)
  2. The dashboard is a straight grain pattern. I'm confused as to color. One HHFC archive (I believe it's Tom R.) states "the base color is butterscotch or reddish-brown that is much lighter than the grain color." From this, I believe the base color should be Carpathian Elm GBC-CE3 or GBC-CE4.  

    Paul Fitz took a photo of a 1930 dashboard. Would that be the color Tom Rasmussen was talking about?

    However, I see a lot of dashboards that are darker. Would a Light Brown Walnut be proper - GBC-LB1?  I'm including dashboard photos for reference. One is an earlier year with a very dark dash. The other is a 1930 dash showing a light butterscotch color.
     
    My current dashboard is a dark, almost two-grained pattern.  It's the dashboard photo with the missing clock (looking for one - if so, contact me).  
     
  3. Window surrounds match the dashboard.  From what I can tell, the bottom & top surrounds have a horizontal grain pattern. On my '29, the two side surrounds have a vertical grain pattern. Is this correct?
     

Does anyone have a definitive answer? Or does it really matter? 

 

Thanks in advance for your replies/advice.

 

Grain-It colors.jpg

152-dash.jpg

152-drivers-side-dash.jpg

IMG_2575.jpg

29 Franklin woodgrain looks to be non-original.jpg

1929franklindash.jpg

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This is a picture of the dash in a 32. this picture was taken behind the dash panel and I believe that it is the original paint.IMG_2171.JPG.6aff89ecb9285b2514dab9d211cdb603.JPG

IMG_2171.JPG

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I am leaning toward you making a mistake in taking pictures of restored cars - the insets in the nickle dash panels on most of your photos are original-unrestored - notice how "rich" the color is on the panels under the glass - that is what the rest of the dash looked like too) all be it I believed a more straight grain verses what is under dash glass is more burled). 

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Tom's right. Butter scotch is a generic color name, but very close to what was used by Franklin most often as the back ground graining color for the walnut or mahogany Franklin used. And yes, it may seem too light but when the dark graining is put on over it, the overall effect is that it darkens it more than you would expect. If there wasn't so much contrast between the base and grain colors it would just look muddy. 

 

The biggest problem you'll run into is already stated - don't trust photos of restored cars. The reason being is that Franklins had rather plain looking fine  grain patterns  and it's very rare that car owners choose to restore it just like original.  They usually go with grain colors and patterns much more dramatic than any Franklin ever had from the factory. I even saw one at the Trek that the owner had done the dash with kitchen shelf contact paper. It was cut and fitted so well I had to lean in the car to see that it wasn't hand grained. But, once again, the pattern was much more bold than franklin ever used. 

 

The other problem with restoring the wood graining to look like it was originally is that all the modern "roller graining" patterns I've seen do not have matches for the simple, fine, straight grain patterns that Franklin used. To match original graining it would have to done by hand using the original graining combs or feathers.  The roller and film applique  methods of graining were much later development and too precise looking to match the hand grained look of Franklin originals.  

 

So,.... you have the choice of going with hand graining to copy the somewhat bland original graining, or pick whatever of the roller grain patterns makes you happy. 

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Paul & John, 

 

Thanks for the advice. You're points are well taken. There is no simple solution.

 

j

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here's my 2 cents

 

Here are 3 photos of a 1930 dash that has not been altered for 88 years (kind of obvious) . I wiped off the dash in photos (10) & (11) with cleaner to take the pictures. It looks like the grain was very straight and ordinary, similar to your first two photos and similar to Dicks photo's of the back side of the 32. The center panels were also like the panels in your first two photos with the burl grain going horizontal-vertical-horizontal.

 

Bill

(10).JPG

(11).JPG

(12).JPG

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Sorry about the number system of (10)(11)(12) in the previous reply. It actually means (10) & (11) are the top two Photos.

 

Bill

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Picture what you just showed in your original dash with the the "richness" of the colors under the glass dash panels.   The materials just did not hold up well - look how decent your car is.  

 

Just a thought, but the decal for the dash has been reproduced and I thought it to be Shipshape and Bristol Fashion - the one in your photos does not show it with graining, but I thought the 30 decal had graining on it. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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6 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Picture what you just showed in your original dash with the the "richness" of the colors under the glass dash panels.   The materials just did not hold up well - look how decent your car is.  

 

Just a thought, but the decal for the dash has been reproduced and I thought it to be Shipshape and Bristol Fashion - the one in your photos does not show it with graining, but I thought the 30 decal had graining on it. 

As many may know, Franklin did not burl the entire dash boards - just the three gauge cluster panels up to series 151, so, that last picture of the 29 dash has obviously been regrained and a repro diamond decal added. But it might have been redone quite a long time ago, or more recently but used an older decal. 

 

The early repro decals (30+ years ago) did not have much contrast of the grain with the back ground color, like the original decals had. So they look like the one in the picture unless you get up close.  Since then someone has been reproducing the decals with better grain contrast.

 

Paul 

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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