Billy J

Wood Grain Finish

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How was the wood grain finish applied in the old days ? I know there are techniques today but during production during the '30's the process must have been fairly fast because cars were built on assembly lines. I cannot believe they were hand painted because that would require very, very good artists !

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Road and Track had a great article on wood graining a few years ago. I have some of the tools for reproducing wood grain for furniture and would like to try my hand at automobile wood graining some time. I'll need different tools for sure.

 

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/classic-cars/a19506337/discovering-the-nearly-lost-art-of-hand-painted-faux-woodgrain/

 

Bill

 

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If you want your woodgrain redone, it'll be done much as described in the R&T article.

At least some cars came from the factory with woodgraining courtesy of sheet transfers(basically a decal).

 

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There are several companies that demo woodgraining at Hershey every year.  they sell  the kits and paints to do the process.

 

I also know a restorer that does his own by prepping the metal parts, base coat painting and then coating the surface with oil base paint used for artist oil painting.  After coating the parts, he uses various material to remove the oil base paint.  Tooth picks, crumpled newspaper, and  matches are some of his tools.  after he is satisfied with the appearance he lets the parts sit until the paint has hardened and then he clear coats them.  His results are outstanding!!  several of his cars have won their class at AACA grand national events.

 

Bob Engle

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22 hours ago, suchan said:

sheet transfers(basically a decal).

My original 38 Buick Special has the original wood grain transfer on the dash, door and windshield moldings.  It is faded, but it is clearly a transfer.  The glove box door was evidently replaced or left open and out of the sun because it retains the original color in the transfer.

 

'38 Buick Dash.jpg

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)

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You could either try wood graining yourself, that’s my plan, have someone else do it, or even look into hydro-dipping if you remove and strip the parts your want wood grained?

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Mark Shaw. The decal transfer makes sense for the wood grain dashes decades ago. I know the modern processes involves dipping , ink transfer using silicone roller, etc But the process used years ago had to be fairly fast to keep up with the production line.  Also, it does not make sense to me to paint and wood grain a dash and then weld it to the body.

Thanks -- Hope some knows an old timer who actually performed the process years ago.  I would really like to know the detailed process.

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2 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

My original 38 Buick Special has the original wood grain transfer on the dash, door and windshield moldings.  It is faded, but it is clearly a transfer.  The glove box door was evidently replaced or left open and out of the sun because it retains the original color in the transfer.

 

'38 Buick Dash.jpg


 

Seems fitting, not a 100% quality job but you get the point and on a 38 Buick!!

 

 

 

Edited by Crazyfamily (see edit history)

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From what I have read, there were several different methods used over the years. To better understand the manufacturing process, when it was done via a "Dy-noc" transfer, the transfer was applied to the flat steel sheet before it was formed into the dash panel. After it was applied to the steel, the steel was then pressed to make the dash panel. The process used was fast for production purposes.  

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