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Making my own wood panels


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After price checking everywhere for the 'correct' wood grain for the doors/dash and realizing I could do it myself for cheaper.  I hit up a local lumber supplier today who had a wall full of various veneers.  I passed the Mahogany and Walnut and looked a a red oak, a maple, and a zebra wood.  We decided to go with this stuff, its call Sapele.  Its only grown in Africa and a limited resource, they only harvest so much a year.  So its a unique wood and no one else will have it.  I got a full 4x8 sheet of the stuff for 1/4 of what the online kits cost.  All goes well I can make mine and a few others so I can get my money back ;)

 

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 So its a unique wood and no one else will have it.  

It will also be unique that you have wood panels on a standard interior car.  I like the contrast of the grain.  

 

I found strips of walnut from which I'm going to make the panels for my '63.  Each strip is about 6 inches wide by 48inches long.  There are six strips in each bag and they're sequence matched.  The bag was less than $20.  Now to figure out how I want to finish them.

 

Ed

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              Alini, you could have saved even more money if you had grown your own

African tree in your backyard! Sounds like you're getting lazy,LOL!  Are you going to put

the 65 black stripe around the border as well?

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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Due to the darkness of the grain I dont know that it will add anything.  Im not against it but right now I dont think it will work.  I might try a silver stripe in the same location, think the contrast my be better.

 

And I live in Vegas, Im lucky I have weeds growing the back yard ;)

Edited by alini (see edit history)
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The wood is veneer. It's about the same thickness as thick cardboard. You can cut it with scissors or a razor blade. I plan on making templates out of regular cardboard and then transferring to the veneer.

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Chris, I really like the grain pattern of the wood you chose. When it comes to cutting the console pieces. I had a hard time cutting the circles for the screw holes by the shifter. I thought I would drill them out. Well I ruined the piece I spent time cutting out. I had to use a hole punch that I hit with a hammer. As if I were making a bolt hole in gasket material. The veneer I used was paper thin. And I used a thin cardboard slipsheet for a backing material. Good luck. I'm sure it will look great. Bill 

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The stuff I have is only about a 1/16th of an inch thick but its paper backed for stiffness.  I have a 4x8 foot sheet that I can chop up how ever I need.  That was the only way the lumber yard sold it.

 

I estimate I can get two complete kits out of it and have plenty of material left if I screw up along the way

Edited by alini (see edit history)
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OK Riviera people: I went to MacBeath Hardwoods in Berkeley, CA.  http://www.macbeath.com/       They have an extensive veneer catalog. I brought over a complete kit i had and showed the clerk. he marched me up to the veneer section pointed to Walnut and sold me a 84 X 24" piece. This walnut had the grain i liked and......had the adhesive on the back.

 

I got some templates from the Angry Pilgrim (a member of this forum) and I will continue to produce some panels, hopefully, the more I get into it the better my skill level. It's not rocket science but without a teacher I am stumbling across all the details that come up. It is going smoother though.

 

Remember there are the boarder trim pieces that need to be r & r'ed, the galvanized plate needs to be smooth and clean, the pins on the plate can easily break, and so forth.   Mitch

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OK Chris: I used 3-M's #90 spray adhesive. It's really sticky, and is $14 a can (high). Follow directions carefully. DON'T FORGET...................this stuff is really sticky so make sure the veneer panels are really lined up before they touch the metal because this stuff is somewhat UN forgiving.  Mitch

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OK Chris: I used 3-M's #90 spray adhesive. It's really sticky, and is $14 a can (high). Follow directions carefully. DON'T FORGET...................this stuff is really sticky so make sure the veneer panels are really lined up before they touch the metal because this stuff is somewhat UN forgiving.  Mitch

How well does the 3-M #90 hold up in high humidity and temperatures?

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OK Gerard: I can't answer you question for several reasons. The car I did is undercover, our area is somewhat dry compared to the Eastern part of the country, I haven't really gotten the car wet to the degree of how it would be had it been parked outside in heavy precipitation.

 

I didn't use clear. I used some lemon oil and that seemed to darken the veneer up a wee bit after the stain settled. I hope this lasts because I would have to take the door panel off and repeat the process if it fails.

 

One last item of note. Clarks offers pins that fasten the door panel to the door shell. The upholstery shop I used used grasshopper clips. The advantage is that they are forgiving and the door panel can be removed many times with out the fasteners falling apart.  Now......the pins that hold the metal backing plate in place may not be as forgiving!

 

Your wood is looking good Chris.

 

Mitch

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That looks awesome. The depth of the wood really pops. I would Assume you are using the Poly in the background. Is it high gloss?

   Oh, and please quit goofing around and do the Shifter console...... :D 

 

Only because you asked so nicely....and because its 90* in my garage and I just finished installing the door switches I got back from Gord.  All my interior lights work like they are supposed to, just dont know for how long.  I hate electrical and I hate it even more because its 50 year old wiring that hasnt has power going through it for 13 years.

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Still need to wire some of the radio and start working the AC plan.  But considering what I started with and just being a guy in a garage, I'll take it.

 

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Hi Chris,

Funny that you included the third picture - in other parts of the collectible car world, including Jaguar E-types and Aston Martins, those fossilized, "original" cars with "authentic dirt and dust" often fetch an outrageous premium. Seriously, I really like what you're doing with those veneers, and it only reminds me that the first-gen Riviera instrument panel, or should I say 'dashboard', was truly an elegant and timeless design. As an owner of a '63 Riv, I agree that the wood veneer trim was a step up from the black vinyl, but at least I have my teak door panel trim to admire in my 'custom' or uplevel interior. Good job, and a great inspiration for us all!

"Measure twice and cut once," as experienced carpenters say!      

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If you look closely the wheel is actually cracked in a few spots and the desert heat has dried the wood so much it has shrunk. So the metal frame actually sticks out and it doesn't feel good in your hands so at this point I don't think this wheel will work. But yet i will be doing my best to make it match

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