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Need help on 49 Buick Woodie wood info.


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I have run into a question about the 49 Buick Woodie.

The wood is white ash, with mahogany inserts.

My question is, how did they add the mahogany along each side?

My old wood was badly weathered, but usable for patterns.

My door pieces look like there are remnants of a paint process, not unlike the way dashes in the 30's & 40's were painted to look like wood, but are definately ash wood.

It was not a veneer, as this would be obvious with aged wood, it would splinter, etc.

I have been studying any pictures of restored wagons, and found a closeup of a door handle, with the mahogany showing. On that wagon, it looks like ash grain with a mahogany color, as if it was just stained.

But ash grain and mahogany grain are very different.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks, Mike

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I have two 1949 Super wagons in my garage. One is mine, the other belongs to someone else. Mine has 95% of its original wood. On the doors, the horizontal piece below the windows is all one piece (open the doors and look at the cross-section), and I simply used mahogany stain to darken the center portion. On the rear quarters, the horizontal wood is definitely three separate pieces, with seams or small gaps between each. Again, I used the mahogany stain on the center piece, even though it may be a different type of wood than ash--I am no lumber i.d. expert--so the middle portion of the wood has the same color & stain from front to back. As you can see in the photo, my mahogany stain is a lot darker than the real mahogany inserts in the tail gate. Someday, I'll find the time to do it all over. Hope that helps some.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Leonard, Texas


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Thanks, Pete, it did help a lot.

My old and new wood is one piece on the doors, and 3 pieces on the rear quarter section, also.

On the old quarter wood all three are ash, the middle one with the painting I described.

The wagon I am working on had new rear quarter wood when it came here, done by the previous owner who is deceased now. He made the middle one using mahogany.

I think I will have to remake it, though, since it doesn't fit worth a darn, and I will use ash. At least it will be consistent then.

Thanks for the picture, it blows up really well, for details. Mike

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I retain facts pretty good and I was surprised to see mahogany in your first message. I remember when I was learning about my '50 wagon around 1980. We were reading books back then. The terms I remember were northern white ash for the structure. Birch and poplar were the interior woods as I remember.

It's a Buick they don't use foreign wood. ;)


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Back in the late 1940's and early 1950's, one of my uncles worked for what used to be called MINNESOTA MINING AND MANUFACTURING, now called "3M".

They were known to make the DYNOC panels that simulated a wood grain panel like those found on some woodie station wagons, simulated engine turnings like those found on 1953 Buick Skylark dashboards, etc. They were like the old pressure sensitive decals that you warmed up under water and slid off the backing sheet from what I remember back then. Are you old enough to remember building the wooden airplane models with those decals? The 1953 Buick Skylark DYNOC repro's today are similar to that install, not adhesive-backed pieces of paper. You then would finish up the decal install with a thin coat of clear satin lacquer.

I think early 1950's Ford and Merc woodie station wagons used the mahogany DYNOC decals in lieu of the genuine Phillippine Mahogany wood panels. Maybe other auto manufacturers like Packard, Chevy, and Buick did likewise? I don't know for sure.

Al Mack

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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OK, Bernie, you win on that one!!

However, most woodies were using mahogany during the early 40's and beyond. Some 30's used the (blah) woods you mentioned, but mahogany comes to life when the sun hits it, no contest!!

Even if it is "foreign".

Remember, "foreign", back then, was not like it is today.

As an aside, I am "foreign", being born in England. But we arrived here in 1960, and I was taken in by local kids since I spoke funny!!

I taught baseball fans how to play cricket, and they loved it, although it was quite Americanized!! LOL

Good memories, foreign was not back then as it is today, and I am grateful for that.

I am an American citizen now, and feel American.

(And an usually assumed to be one, since all accent is totally gone, and I look American!! LOL)

Enough of this, back to business:

By the early to mid 40's all had gone to mahogany.

But, Al Mack's comment about Di-Noc may have been a way around "foreign" wood!!

However, it was not used on Buicks, at least to my knowledge.

And my experience shows me that it was not used on the 49 Buick woodie.

It does not deteriorate the same as wood, even painted wood.

And I have a major collection of deteriorated wood, believe me!!

But, thanks for your input Al, and yes, I do remember, er, I am old enough "to remember building the wooden airplane models with those decals?"

But, frankly, I built way more car & wagon models than ??airplanes?? LOL

Thanks for reminding me of my age!! LOL Also the experiences that comes with age!!

The 50-53 Buicks had "mahogany" painted on the steel door-skins, surrounded with real American white ash, as the old dashes that were wood-grained, some of them more beautiful than actual wood, and consistently so!!

With wood, you never know just how the wood grain will come out until you are finished!!

Wood will throw you a curve ball, almost every time!!

It is not easy to select the wood to give you optimum results, but when fake wood-grain is painted it can be awesome every time, assuming you are a true artist.

And even if you are not, in this computerized age, just make a few changes and run it again until it is right!!

Thanks for all input, I am not sure if my problem is fully solved, but it was fun.

By the way, Pete, you mentioned you have (2) 49 Woodies in your garage (you lucky dog!!), but you note was only about one...how is the other one??


On another note, I am totally exhausted, I left here at 5AM with my trusty Dodge diesel and trailer to pick up another Buick Woodie, a 53. I drove all day, around LA (never through it unless have to, it is known here as hel-L A!!), left at 5AM, got back at 5PM, only was an hour or so to load and secure, all the rest was driving.

Hey, it is a Buick, it was well worth it!!

(OK, tomorrow, I may not agree when I awake, but tonight, all is good!!)

Cheers to all, and thanks for any & all replies, Mike ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

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