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65 cherry wood panels


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Hey Guys,

I am currently putting together my interior and I am installing a custom DVD/NAV system where the old heater/AC controls were. Now I have purchased a nice cherry wood kit from Randy Rymal, but the piece already has the cutout for the controls and wont work with my ALpine system. I have been trying to get a hold of Randy to see if he can cut me a custom piece but he hastnt got back to me as of yet. Does anybody know where I might be able to come across a place that can make a piece like this for me out of cherry wood?

John Meyers-Sawa

65 Riv Custom

R.O.A. #11352

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If you think you can make it yourself, try these guys for some veneer; especially if you have something you could send to them for matching.

Hardwood trim, woodworking hand tools, and more - Constantines.com

I purchased some walnut from them a number of years ago when I restored my '63. I was very pleased with everything.

Ed

PS - not surprised to hear what you say about Randy.

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Thanks guys for the quick responses. I think I will try that place you recommended Ed and will let you know how everything goes. It wouldnt be a bad idea to get a few pieces incase a mistake happens.

John Meyers-Sawa

65 Custom Riviera

R.O.A. #11352

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Going back to ahhh65riv's* question about what's best to use on the wood brought something to mind that I'd forgotten about. I'm not condoning it or condeming it; just bringing it to light.

A fellow ROA member told me that he needed to put new wood in his '64 and he had used wood grained Formica. He found a really good match and said that at BCA and ROA events, no one had ever noticed that his panels weren't real wood. This would also take care of the question as to how to finish them as well.

To go back to the original question, I think that I'd use a modern type polyurethane that had a good UV protector in it.

Ed

*Could everyone please use their name, it's so much more friendly.:D

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Madera Concepts in Goleta CA. They are authorized to do warranty repairs for Jaguar, Mercedes, Rolls-Royce and Bentley. I toured their facility last year with the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Club and they have been doing great work for almost 3o years. They will make or match anything. Not the cheapest, but the best. True craftsman.

Paul K.

'64 Riviera

'78 Bentley T2

'63 Studebaker Avanti

'41 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet

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I bought raw Black Walnut veneer from my local veneer company, glued 3 layers together alternating the grain at each layer, this makes it strong like a sheet of plywood.

It is now easy to work and will not crack along grain after it has been applied, I then finished it with a satin lacquer and applied it with contact cement to the console parts.

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I bought my veneer on E-bay. (as stated above for $35) It is walnut 1/42" thick. I glued foil on the back to make it less brittle. (The factory wood was backed with a foil.) I took care when removing the old stuff. Used it as a template. Cut the new veneer with a razor. Intalled it with 3M spray adhiesive. And finished it with satin urethane. No stain. I am really proud of how it turned out.

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I bought a 2'x8' sheet of quarter sawn walnut veneer with the 3M sticky back from Ovis for $50. I found them on Amazon. Two coats of oil, two coats of polyurethane. I masked with tape and spray painted the black pinstripe. One more coat of polyurethane and I am very please with the results. Before and after photo's below.

post-55565-14313817877_thumb.jpg

post-55565-143138178774_thumb.jpg

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Further to RivNut's comment, using Formica isn't such a bad idea.

Back in 1984 I replaced all the original wood veneer on my '65 with custom interior (long wood panels on the doors), including the console, with a dark teakwood grained Formica. Back then there weren't any veneer kits available for the Rivs. I started by using real walnut veneer, but I could not get the console pieces cut properly, the wood would split on me around the cutouts, etc. Also, I wanted the grain to match all the way down the console.

After ruining a fair bit of veneer (ok, so I was learning...) I tried Formica and wow did it ever turn out nice, with the 'grain' matching all down the console! I used modelling pinstriping for the black lines on the door panels, to match the stock width.

Today, 26 years later the Formica looks as good as new, never checks, warps, bubbles or curls up. If I spill anything on it it just mops up fine like on your kitchen countertop. Nobody has noticed that it isn't real wood. Oh, if you look real carefully you'd know it wasn't real wood. My car got 2nd place in my class at the 2002 Klamath Falls ROA meet if that means anything...

Of course, if wood veneer kits were available in '86 I certainly would have bought one, to keep my car stock. Plus it would have been less work, probably. But that wasn't an option back then. 'll bet the whole job cost me twenty bucks using plastic laminate, plus my time - a very satisfying restoration task that anyone with a modicum of skill could do.

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I bought a 2'x8' sheet of quarter sawn walnut veneer with the 3M sticky back from Ovis for $50. I found them on Amazon. Two coats of oil, two coats of polyurethane. I masked with tape and spray painted the black pinstripe. One more coat of polyurethane and I am very please with the results. Before and after photo's below.

Ron, looking at the 'before' and 'after' photos, I must say that you've done a superb job there man! :)

But how did you find the veneer when it came to cutting out the shapes you wanted? Did you have any splitting problems like Alex did above? And maybe, Formica would be the way to go, if you had some awkward shapes to cut??

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The only really difficult piece to cut is the piece that surround the shifter lever. From my experience with cutting pieces of black vinyl for all 63's and the 64's with standard interior, your best bet is to cut a large piece that covers the entire piece all the way to the outside. Glue it in place, and give it time to dry. THEN go back with your exacto knife (or easier a wall pape knife where you snap off the old blade for a new one) and cut out the center section from the bottom using the frame as a guide. Use the correct size leather punch for the screw holes on the '65's shifter piece. Calvin at Clark's Corvair sells new die cut pieces for all these models as well.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Another thing you need to consider when using real wood veneer is a vapour barrier.

I believe the factory veneer came backed with an aluminum foil. This prevents condensation from moving through the wood and causing it to curl and separate from the surface. I don't know if the available veneer kits being offered these days have this vapour barrier.

I'll tell you that I would make sure they do, or if you are cutting your own veneer that you apply some kind of foil barrier. I think someone posted info on how to apply your own foil backing on this list... (use the search function?). I replaced the wood veneer applique on my '68 Eldorado dash. This was die cut from Rosewood veneer, but did NOT have any foil backing. Sure enough, after a couple of years it started to curl and peel back from the metal dash... I'm going to have to do the job again!

Here's where the Formica has an edge - its plastic, so no vapour barrier is needed!

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Ned,

Thanks for the positive comment! As Ed pointed out, the piece around the shifter is the only difficult one to cut. I made templates using poster board and then cut the veneer with an exacto knife. The veneer I purchased with the 3M sticky back is pretty thick. Not sure what to expect for long term wear but I don't think the veneers that Clarks and others are selling today have any kind of foil backing. I'm a wood working guy so I like the real stuff over Formica! Here's a pic of the console.

Ron

post-55565-143138180041_thumb.jpg

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Yes Ron,

I see what you're saying... I suppose it really depends on what you want the most. If you want the wood appearance, but with flexibility, durability and longevity... then I guess you'd choose Formica. But, if you can accept the possibility of having to re-panel those areas after some time and, prefer originality and authenticity... then yes, there's no substitute for the real thing! Especially with the smell of it too, when wood has been freshly installed and has been stained/laquered!

And by the way, what guage/dial is that sitting in the lower consol??

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If you use contact cement or any other spray contact adhesive the veneer must be backed with foil or an oposing layer of veneer since the adhesive is rubber based and the wood wants to expapnd and contract, the veneer will definitely show signs of cracking or buckleling if it is not backed.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I installed an early 60's Buick tach in the ashtray door. I got the idea from Dick Sweeney. Since I don't have a need for an ashtray it seemed like good use of the space.

Well if you want a Tach installed, then I also think it's a good idea... in place of a redundant ashtray. And you haven't spoilt the interior's original look either. But because the Tach is positioned well below driver's eyeline, can you see what it's reading easy enough?

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I bought mine on ebay and spent way to much for it. To add insult to injury I then sent it off to have it modified for electronic ignition. Had about $500 in it at that point. The only good news is that the tach came with a cup with nearly perfect chrome. Sold it on ebay for $100. While it doesn't sit in my field of view it is more for show than go and I was willing to pay for the look. Not everyone would agree but I am building the car for me. Not sure which Buick's had these tachs in the 60's but mine came out of a Wildcat. I have seen a couple different versions but this one is correct for 65'.

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It's very true what you say Ron... not everyone would agree with your idea of modification. But I must add, in all fairness, that it is quite a MINOR modification. However, the likes of your Riviera purists probably wouldn't like it! But isn't that the whole concept of 'custom'? Which is to design and build something to your own taste?? Something that's different from the mainstream. Like you said, you do these things for your own satisfaction... not anyone else's.

Edited by Lowrider70 (see edit history)
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Agreed! The majority of what I have added or will add were factory options i.e. power windows, trunk release vinyl top etc. It is not a numbers matching car so I don't mind taking liberties with it. I try to be tasteful when adding items like the tach. Folks not familiar with first Gen Riv's think the tach is original. I get some satisfaction from that and it encourages me to take my time and do things right.

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Yes, added factory options are fine... as are minor modifications or mild custom. Im all for an individual personalising their Riv, but not to completely lose the original appearance of the car... like I've seen on a couple of 1st Gen Rivieras, which is a shame really.

When customising a car like ours, being subtle but tasteful is the key! Yes, it feels real nice when you receive positive feedback on the work you've carried out and always, always...

...spend more time and a few more bucks to get the job done correctly the 1st time around! :-)

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