View Full Version : TR4/4A TR4A wood dash

06-19-2003, 06:00 PM
I am putting a TR4A back into shape, with a limited budget, and would like to find out if there is a template of the dash to make new one. Save some $$ for other parts. The original has water damage on the left end and is unuseable for this purpose.

Gary Pope
06-20-2003, 09:23 AM
You could use your old dash as the template, but I would recommend that you buy a good quality dash. The home made ones are rarely as nice as a factory made one.
If you shop around you should find one at a reasonable price.

06-22-2003, 11:43 PM
If you're really all expenses spaired, try to epoxy the damaged section, you have little to lose, and you will know quickly if its really toast. Then search out a sorce of nice veneer woods, the process is like wall papering so give it a try.
Good luck!!
MD(mad dog)

07-22-2003, 06:22 PM
Hi, I'm a newbie on the BCF and would like to say hello. "Hello" Also I am a little short on cash and I'm making a wooden dash for my TR4A. I was able to use the old one for a template and got a 2'x 4' sheet of oak plywood at Lowe's. If you need a template I could trace one out on some heavy paper for you. I know the guys might not approve of the home made ones, but the cash I saved can go towards other parts. If you take your time, enjoy workng with wood and want the pride of saying I did it myself, it's well worth the effort. By the way I can make three dashes out of the 2'x 4' ply and it only cost about ten dollars. If interested, I'll let you know the tools I used.

07-22-2003, 07:51 PM
Welcome to the forum Tim! I am sure that we would all be interested in learing how the dash came out for you, and certainly which tools were used. Also, it would be nice to learn what you would do differently the next time that you make one images/icons/grin.gif

07-23-2003, 10:17 AM
Welcome to this fine forum Tim!
I too appreciate your wanting to "do it yourself" It's the best way to fully appreciate these cars and to help preserve them. The more people who maintain the requisite skills the better to avoid any of them becoming a "lost art". And working with wood is an art. Shoot, working with these cars is an art. Albeit a black art. graemlins/devilgrin.gif

07-23-2003, 01:52 PM
Welcome to the forum graemlins/savewave.gif
I have been thinking about making a new wood dash for my spitfire so any tips you have would be much appreciated. Like you said, it is nice to able to say I made that fine looking wood dash and saving money is always nice.

07-23-2003, 01:58 PM
I have the luxury of a very good carpenter to do the real work on the dash. I just need to get a template for the complete dash. I have received way more responses than I ever would have guessed.

07-24-2003, 10:27 PM
I'd be more than happy to make a template for you. Just a thought, have you tried to transfer the dash to paper, as much as you can, then cut the right side out, lay it over to the left side and trace in what you are missing? Kind of a mirror image thing.
The way I've done mine dash so far is to take the old dash, lay it on the new piece of wood, then drill through the old dash screw mounting holes, then use wood screws to hold it steady while I trace around it. I then left the two together while I cut the rough outside shape on a 8" band saw, this takes some creative movements since I'm using such a small band saw. Once the outside was cut, I removed the old dash and used a small bench top drill press with an adjustable hole saw to cut out all the round holes, the tach, speedo and small gauges. To cut out the ash tray, vent openings and glove box, I used a held held jig saw with a fine tooth blade and one that will cut a small radius. Be careful around the glove box opening so you can use that piece for the door. Then to the router table to cut the counter bores for the small gauges and bevel the outside edges of the dash. With the counter bores done, I changed router bits to bevel the outside edges, this being the final process to having a completely cut out dash, I picked it up about half way around to admire my handy work and creative genius, then when I put it back down to finish the outside routing, I didn't notice that some of the bevelled angles are the opposite way. CRAP!!!! Well I did say I could get three dashes out of that one pice of wood. So now I'm on TR4A dash take two. Sorry to get so long winded or is it long fingered???

Thanks for welcoming me to the group, hope I can be helpful, if not, maybe entertaining. images/icons/grin.gif

01-16-2004, 01:11 PM
I'm resurrecting this old thread to see if anyone has any updates or other ideas to refinishing a wood dash. I pulled mine out of my '71 TR6 last night and the old veneer is trashed and must be replaced. However, I'm not against making an entirely new hardwood plywood dash myself using the old as a pattern. Or I may just replace the veneer on the existing dash.

I guess I'm requesting any thoughts, ideas, or advice from those who have replaced/refinished their wood dash in the past.


01-16-2004, 03:14 PM
I re-veneered the dash on my GT6. The right hand end had been wet sometime in the past, and was stained and delaminated. I sanded it down to bare wood, got as much wood glue as possible into the delaminated bits, then clamped it to restore the structural integrity of the piece (plywood BTW, I think some earlier ones may have been solid. Don't know for sure)

Once that was done, I bought some veneer and glued it over the dash parts. (Used contact cement IIRC) I then brushed on thinned polyurethane (to penetrate the veneer) followed by a spray coat of urethane. Then I carefully cut the veneer out of the holes using a razor knife. Several repetitions of fine sanding and spray urethane and voila!

The only hard part was cutting the holes. I'm not convinced that the razor knife (Xacto type knife) was the best way to do it. After the rough cut, I sanded the edges smooth, but the result wasn't perfect. (I'm probably the only one who notices) You have to be careful not to splinter the veneer as you cut it. There may be some Dremel attachment to do this better.

BTW, I'm no furniture maker. My carpentry is limited to framing - finishing work drives me nuts. This was pretty straightforward to do - not hard at all.

01-16-2004, 03:49 PM
Years ago I made a rosewood dash for my Europa using the regular dash as a template. Just do some studying as to what finish you want and how to do a super job. I had mine planed by someone with a power planer after I spliced a piece on for the console using a biscuit joiner. I then cut all the holes with hole saws on my drill press.

01-16-2004, 11:13 PM
WOW - dash time!
I did the veneer thing. As a woodworker I could go about the full project or do the re-veneering. Re-veneering was going to be my first choice. I am very satisfied with the results. Once all the veneer is in place I found a dremel tool with the small sanding drum attachment worked great. Easily "sand" away all the excess. No chipping, splitting, or ragged edges. I used a combination of walnut and rosewood across the surface. I think one could get really fancy with veneering. In that, certainly don't underestimate that work involved or the admiration of a good job.
The look of a thick gloss coating also enhances the look. The local woodworkers shop wanted too much for the walnut burl or full rosewood veneer to suit my taste(of being thrify). Maybe next time. 24x96 inches would be more than I need.
That could do several dashes.
Good luck on the project and keep in mind being methodical is a good thing.

Geo Hahn
01-17-2004, 02:23 PM
I've got the greatest respect for those with the skill & wherewithal to refinish or even scratch build a wood dash. For the rest of us, I'm thankful for sources such as TRF.

When I renewed the TR4 interior I planned to try to save the old wood but after pairing a 10% deal and the Winter Sale price the TRF dash was only $125.

Okay, not exactly lunch money but what a beautiful piece of work this is. Few things that just bolt on can make such a big difference in appearance.

Pic at: https://www.geocities.com/tucson_british_car_register/5dash.JPG

01-17-2004, 03:24 PM
Just a quick response to Dale's post, I'd only add,if your not under your own bonnet you're not havin as much fun as you could be havin!
Welcome to the new guy's, hope you're havin fun with you're LBC.

Winston 67TR4A IR$

01-19-2004, 02:05 PM
After reading all the responce's and talking to my carpenter, I am inclined to just buy a new dash.

01-21-2004, 10:28 PM
FYI - There is someone selling solid dash panels on Ebay right now. Search for Triumph Tr6 and you should find it.

In regards to my veneering I found a local hardwood supplier that had some smaller pieces that were available. I bought a packet of walnut veneer for a couple bucks and added leftover rosewood as I wanted it. Found them in the local business phone directory. Woodworkers Supply sells the larger sheets. If I was to spend more than $60, I'd probably make the solid wood version.
Good discussions!

01-22-2004, 10:53 AM
One possible source is at this link: https://www.speed6.biz/

It's the only one I've seen with a 3-gauge setup for the center, GT6 dash panel. Nice configuration. The walnut he uses is a bit darker than the original, French walnut on my '70 GT6, but it looks nice in the photo.

An friend of mine who is a very good cabinet maker says that the $220 price isn't bad for such a product.

I know nothing about this supplier, BTW.

Hope it's helpful.

01-22-2004, 02:14 PM
How thick was the veneer you used? I'd like to get something I can sand on. The only stuff I've seen in the big box stores is paper thin. (I even asked one guy in the cabinet department and he was like "What's veneer?")

01-22-2004, 02:16 PM
If you're going for veneer, Tiger Maple
makes for a fantastic dash!
Made one for my Mini, veneer on plywood.
For an idea of what it might look like,
just check out your nearest violin.
My two yen worth.

01-22-2004, 03:08 PM
The veneer I used (cherry) was less than 1 mm thick, but that was lots for sanding. Its very smooth and level - you mostly sand the grain raised by the finish, then the finish itself. Most of the later cars had plywood dashes, so the top layer was veneer to start with.

01-23-2004, 01:45 PM
Bite the bullet and call Randy at Prestige autowood in Calif. and have him make you one out of Koa wood just got mine back for GT6 and it is Awsome glad I had it done well worth the money

01-23-2004, 06:42 PM
Benny, can you PM me Randy Keller's phone number? I don't think the one I have is current, since he had to move.