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Faux Wood Burl Walnut


TomP
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Have spent time lately trying to find a way of recreating the finish on the Dashboard and window Garnishes for my 33 PD. Not being an artist I looked to find what was available on the market but all I found was expensive systems and services which didn't sit well with my budget. I found some plastic material under flexible foil and phoned the company to check it out, it's got an adhesive backing which I thought would save time, it's applied with a heatgun so stretching and shrinkage is taken care of so that would look after the contours of the panels, and when finished it can be lacquered to keep it safe. Sounded to good to be true and it was, so I have in stock 2 x A3 sheets which I can't use or return, forgot to say the instructions were in Italian.

This is what I finished with.

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Basically I found a print on the net while surfing for burr walnut images, I flipped it to get the other hand, printed it in best quality, glued it to the metalwork, gave it 10 coats of clear varnish, rubbed it down with 1000 wet and dry and followed up with 2 good coats of quality clear lacquer. Its not perfect, needs cutting back with cutting compound and a polish, hopefully then will be good top go.

Cost probably less that £20 and about 50 hrs, but times cheap these days being retired.

Hope you like.

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Edited by TomP (see edit history)
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Very interesting

So did you buy the sheets with the woodgrain pattern or did you print a pattern on adhesive paper ? "I flipped it to get the other hand, printed it in best quality" has me a little confused.

A friend in NZ printed an image (from me) onto adhesive paper for 1939 Buick door. Its only a small section. Not the full garnish moulding. Came out good

Edited by 1939_buick (see edit history)
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Very nice!

I used printer's ink daubed around with a cheesecloth pad to do mine. Came out okay but not as good as factory. Your method looks better.

I share some of 1939_buick's questions. From your post I think:

1. You got some material from Italy that can be applied with a heat gun stretching over curves and edges.

2. You printed the pattern on that material using images of burled walnut found on the web.

3. After applying the material that you printed you covered with clear to seal.

Is that basically correct or am I totally confused (a standard condition with me)?

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Very interesting

So did you buy the sheets with the woodgrain pattern or did you print a pattern on adhesive paper ? "I flipped it to get the other hand, printed it in best quality" has me a little confused.

A friend in NZ printed an image (from me) onto adhesive paper for 1939 Buick door. Its only a small section. Not the full garnish moulding. Came out good

Hi Allan. Thanks for your interest, I went back to basics, after reading ply33's experiments and experiences while tackling his rebuild I decided it wasn't a way that I could make it look right (nothing wrong at all with Mr T's instructions just unknown territory for me). I found this image in A4

post-72422-143142288606_thumb.jpg I then printed it onto plain copy paper, full size print with no border, I didn't use adhesive backed paper because I needed the movement and flexibility between the paper and the metal surfaces. (by flipping the image perfect joints can be made when joining pieces) Some might liken it to wallpapering, so I'll say it for them. Note of warning !! I found that if I didn't spray the back of the paper with clear lacquer after printing the red ink would bleed through to the glued side causing the print to turn green. I used PAV paper adhesive brushed out evenly then straight to the part, NO soak time. Beware of air bubbles. You can also get away slight overlap which is disguised by the 10 layers of varnish.

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Edited by TomP (see edit history)
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Very nice!

I used printer's ink daubed around with a cheesecloth pad to do mine. Came out okay but not as good as factory. Your method looks better.

I share some of 1939_buick's questions. From your post I think:

1. You got some material from Italy that can be applied with a heat gun stretching over curves and edges.

2. You printed the pattern on that material using images of burled walnut found on the web.

3. After applying the material that you printed you covered with clear to seal.

Is that basically correct or am I totally confused (a standard condition with me)?

Basically the first part of the thread before the images is a rant about a product that the supplier advice me would do the job IMO it was most unsuitable, cost me far more than what I finished up doing, Sorry for airing my thoughts.

1. The Italian product did not stretch or shrink while using the heat gun, there was also a loss in adhesion.

2. The pattern was only printed on plain copy paper.

3. After the printed paper had dried on the panel I first sprayed it with 1 coat of clear lacquer before applying 10 coats of clear varnish.

My reason for multiple coats of varnish was to create a deep moisture barrier to protect the paper.

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Have just finished the Top Dashboard insert, thought I would post up the end results being that this part shows before and after.post-72422-143142291136_thumb.jpg the light plays tricks but I think you will get the idea. Mr T am I right in thinking that the panel that these parts fix to is part of the body shell??

Thanks for looking

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Edited by TomP (see edit history)
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. . . Mr T am I right in thinking that the panel that these parts fix to is part of the body shell??

Thanks for looking

There are some rubber bushings with threaded inserts. The bushings go into the large holes in the car body above the dash, below the windshield. The trim piece you have there is screwed into the threaded inserts which deform the rubber holding the whole thing in place.

I haven't the foggiest idea why they did it that way. Seems like it would have been easier to just have some screw size holes and/or threaded inserts directly installed in the car body.

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Looks great Tom.

Creative, low cost way to produce an expensive finish.

Hi Dwight glad you like it, there was no way I wanted to spend £400 + shipping for a kit I would only use once and if I'd wanted to save more I could have taken the files on a memory stick to the print shop and saved the ink on my printer. It may be a fix for someone that's got a repair because you can change the final colour by the tint in the varnish, I finished with 7 coats of clear and 3 of light oak, the more light oak used the greener it looked but it also makes it darker, if that makes sense.

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There are some rubber bushings with threaded inserts. The bushings go into the large holes in the car body above the dash, below the windshield. The trim piece you have there is screwed into the threaded inserts which deform the rubber holding the whole thing in place.

I haven't the foggiest idea why they did it that way. Seems like it would have been easier to just have some screw size holes and/or threaded inserts directly installed in the car body.

​Perhaps I didn't make myself clear, it was the dash panel itself that I was questioning as to whether that is removable or not. If it has to be done in situe it will have to wait for the better weather, chilly and damp here now.

​Thanks again for the excellent work you do on the PD's and others.

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That really does look fantastic! Great job!

Hi Billy, thanks for your kind words, I'm chuffed with the results, just the big piece to do but it is all made up of mainly three oval holes for the instrument cluster, glove box and dummy glove box lid.

​The art of decoupage, modern colour printers and time.

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​Perhaps I didn't make myself clear, it was the dash panel itself that I was questioning as to whether that is removable or not. If it has to be done in situe it will have to wait for the better weather, chilly and damp here now.

​Thanks again for the excellent work you do on the PD's and others.

I never did figure out how to remove the dash so I did mine in situ. It would have been a lot easier out of the car.

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I never did figure out how to remove the dash so I did mine in situ. It would have been a lot easier out of the car.

I checked today and pretty sure it's spot welded down the front side of the 'A' pillar also there is a weld at the top corner close to the screen opening, this weld gets covered by the top dash insert. On that subject mine has threaded hank bushes in the 4 fixings so I don't have those rubber expanding bushes. The dash does have 4 3/4" dia depressions where the earlier dashes were pierced thru. I'll take my camera with me tomorrow.

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post-72422-143142299934_thumb.jpg It looks like the main dash panel is welded in place, somebody who stripes these for a living may come by and say different but as I see it, it can't be removed without some force being applied. would seam that the design of fitting the top insert was changed between your build and mine Mr T., mine is a Detroit September build or perhaps where the body styles came from??

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It looks like the main dash panel is welded in place, somebody who stripes these for a living may come by and say different but as I see it, it can't be removed without some force being applied. would seam that the design of fitting the top insert was changed between your build and mine Mr T., mine is a Detroit September build or perhaps where the body styles came from??

As I said, I didn't figure out how to remove my dash. It has been a while and my interior trim pieces cover some of the areas of interest but I suspect it is welded in place like yours.

Looking at your photos I had the nagging feeling that something was out of place. Then I noticed that yours is punched out for right hand drive with the glove box on the left. So it is a totally different part than mine but basically just mirror imaged.

For what it is worth, my car was built in June of 1933 with the body coming from the Kercheval plant despite a number of items (inside door panel, firewall stamping) indicating they were "Budd All Steel Body". From what I understand this was a body plant owned by Chrysler. They seemed to use several body suppliers depending on the body style of the car. So there could be some variation on how the dash was designed based on body style and also based on yours being built for export.

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​Just had a break in the weather and thought I would get the main dash under-way, my only concern is does it look too uniform? I knew at the start it would not look authentic but because I have veneered it is it to pretty. The colour will darken with layers of varnish, this photo is print only and it will match the top section.

post-72422-14314230334_thumb.jpg Right Hand Drive

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​Just had a break in the weather and thought I would get the main dash under-way, my only concern is does it look too uniform? I knew at the start it would not look authentic but because I have veneered it is it to pretty. The colour will darken with layers of varnish, this photo is print only and it will match the top section.

Looks very, very good!

I think your pattern is closer to what I remember from the original faded one on my dash before I refinished than what I have now.

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Looks very, very good!

I think your pattern is closer to what I remember from the original faded one on my dash before I refinished than what I have now.

Crazy nice. I like it very much. Good job.

You could make some good money if you did that as a side job.

Bill H

Thanks so much for your good comments, problem over here in the UK there is nothing to compare it with other than photos left on the net, I think I'm right in saying that POC only has 4/5 members currently registered from UK. You have given me the confidence to go forward and today I will mock-up the add-on parts to get an idea of the finished panel. Mr T. your opinion is held in high regard. Bill my intention is to add finish photos to a web page I am in the process of collating.

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Tom, your results look great! I do have a couple questions/concerns with your process. What kind of paper did you use? Did you use acid-free paper? I would be concerned that the heat and the ultraviolet rays from the sun might cause some problems down the road. I must admit though, your results are quite impressive.

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. . . Bill my intention is to add finish photos to a web page I am in the process of collating.

I would be interested in having those photos and a write up on your method and a link to your page on my web site. If you'd rather not have that then at the least I'll link to your web page once you have it up.

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I was wondering about that but suspect that the clear coating will provide a UV block. Still need to worry about internal chemical reactions between the acid in the paper and the ink. But they are making what they claim as archival prints using inkjet printers, so that might be sufficient. The original woodgraining in my car was pretty much shot when I got the car when it was 40 years old. Archival prints are supposed to last at least that long.

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When I was painting my house, I removed about 8 layers of old paint, and when I got to the bare wood, I could still see a ghost image of the address numbers on my house. If the coating had a UV block, then so much better. As long as the paper wasn't "acid" paper, then it might be allright. However, the heat factor is still there.

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Tom, your results look great! I do have a couple questions/concerns with your process. What kind of paper did you use? Did you use acid-free paper? I would be concerned that the heat and the ultraviolet rays from the sun might cause some problems down the road. I must admit though, your results are quite impressive.
I was wondering about that but suspect that the clear coating will provide a UV block. Still need to worry about internal chemical reactions between the acid in the paper and the ink. But they are making what they claim as archival prints using inkjet printers, so that might be sufficient. The original woodgraining in my car was pretty much shot when I got the car when it was 40 years old. Archival prints are supposed to last at least that long.

Interesting comments , first the good news, both the varnish and lacquer have UV filters, the varnish states "UV filters protect against yellowing and colour fade " and the lacquer " All our clear lacquers contain UV inhibitors / filters as they significantly extend the life of the coating ". Now as far as the paper goes I can't say but will check early next wk. At the outset I had no idea if it would even give a presentable result, so the experiment has been worth while, whether it will have longevity time will tell on this car. My main concern was to keep the ingress of moisture out, heat from the sun is not a problem in the UK so I didn't take that into account, all I can suggest on that is to do a trial on a glove box lid and dummy lid if some one could come up with the parts and I'll send them back to be put out in the sun under glass.

I do have a question on the assembled dash I have a large hole in the middle of the dummy lid, I would say it's about 1" dia and also goes through the main dashpanel. I would add there is still more coats to bring the colour down.

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I hate to say it at this point of your finishing, but I don't believe that 1" hole is supposed to be there. Looks like someone added a gauge or clock. All of the dashboards I see have a knob near the top just as the glovebox door has.

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I hate to say it at this point of your finishing, but I don't believe that 1" hole is supposed to be there. Looks like someone added a gauge or clock. All of the dashboards I see have a knob near the top just as the glovebox door has.

I had wondered that after I had cut through the paper thinking the ignition switch went there but the hole wasn't big enough, I should have had my owners handbook with me. No great job to redo dummy lid but where you say the knob should go the hole is 3/8" dia instead of 3/16".

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I had wondered that after I had cut through the paper thinking the ignition switch went there but the hole wasn't big enough, I should have had my owners handbook with me. No great job to redo dummy lid but where you say the knob should go the hole is 3/8" dia instead of 3/16".

In addition to the headlight switch which is located on the dummy in the same spot as the knob on the glove box, I don't see the holes for the ignition switch nor the freewheeling/automatic clutch controls. These are also symmetrical, located low on the dash on either side of the instrument cluster. At least that is where they are on domestic PD models. Not sure about export.

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In addition to the headlight switch which is located on the dummy in the same spot as the knob on the glove box, I don't see the holes for the ignition switch nor the freewheeling/automatic clutch controls. These are also symmetrical, located low on the dash on either side of the instrument cluster. At least that is where they are on domestic PD models. Not sure about export.

If you go back to post #15 pic 3 all the holes are there on the painted dash, I was thrown by the 2 small holes either side of the large hole on the dummy which lined up with an oval plate that was with the ignition switch but that was wrong and I'm thinking that the ignition switch goes in the bottom right of the instrument cluster. On the left side there are 2 holes at the bottom close together, am I right in thinking that the freewheeling cable is about the size of the speedo cable and is the second hole an extra?

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If you go back to post #15 pic 3 all the holes are there on the painted dash, I was thrown by the 2 small holes either side of the large hole on the dummy which lined up with an oval plate that was with the ignition switch but that was wrong and I'm thinking that the ignition switch goes in the bottom right of the instrument cluster. On the left side there are 2 holes at the bottom close together, am I right in thinking that the freewheeling cable is about the size of the speedo cable and is the second hole an extra?

Seems like posting a picture will be the easiest way to answer. Here is a page from the US version's owners manual showing all the controls and where they are located. It is possible that they did not bother to swap the location of the freewheeling control and the ignition switch from the US version. Or maybe they did. I have no information on that. But the mounting on the back side of the dash is different so it should be possible to figure it out based on what can physically hook up where.

Tod

p.s. It looks like they actually have a mistake on that page: I think they've got the window crank and the door handle labeled backwards.

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Edited by ply33 (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

​OK regarding the paper and ink used, have been to our local library today and found out that they only use achieve paper in the photocopiers, their prints were used on the main dashboard which was much more cost effective than home printing. The smaller pieces were printed at home using HP Everyday paper and HP ink jet cartridges and according to HP this is a good combination for lasting prints, which leaves the question of the effect of heat that I can't answer.

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