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TR6 Veneer sanding, TR6 dash


Darth Vader
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Hello Everyone,
I know woodworking is not a common subject on the forum, but I need some woodworking help with my dash. I have some rosewood veneer from the top of an old piano that was broken apart years ago. I sawed it in half and was able to plane it down to about 1/16th of an inch. The core it was attached to was oak. The dash I used to reface was badly damaged and slightly warped to begin with; I should have just started with a different dash. After a few months of installing my beautiful rosewood dash, it started to crack as the dash started to warp again. I am going to start this process again with a dash I got cheap off Ebay that is in fairly good shape. On my last attempt the rosewood veneer still had oak behind it because I could not plane it any thinner, and it was difficult to cut out the glove box and other areas. I figure if I can get it sanded down to 1/32 (so that there is only rosewood veneer) it will be easier to cut and be less likely to crack if there is any movement. Does anyone know if this can be done, who does it, and the cost?



Senior Member

This is from a cabinetmaker and french polisher so it may not be directly applicable to what you are doing but my thoughts are:

A car dashboard is probably the hardest environment for veneers to survive in and most fail because they are rigidly adhered to the substrate material which expands and contracts at a different rate.

Using some sort of adhesive allowing a degree of movement is probably the best way to go but even then be aware cracks may still happen.

Cutting 1/32 veneer is probably best done by a laser cutter since it is non contact cutting and has minimal heat input into the material.

You can use a fret saw by hand but this takes practice to avoid cracking.

Many car makers using veneers adhere the material to a layer of mylar or similar material for stability then have the material cut and then fix it in place. In some models the material is allowed to "float" by adhering only one end and hiding the other under the cover piece.

Sanding to 1/32 inch thick is no problem but go slowly and check frequently to make sure the result is as even as you can make it.

Marine "Spar Varnish" available from ships suppliers is a good choice for a long term finish.

Sorry but I am unable to help with costs and references for the work being on the other side of the world !

Good luck and I hope this is of some help.

Cheers , Pete.


Jedi Warrior
just a comment on finishing. I used marine varnish on my dash and I'm not very happy with the level of finish the varnish offers.
I made some solid timber door top rails last year and finished them in clear automotive topcoat acrylic (20 or so light coats) and I was able to achieve a glass finish. It has withstood a winter and summer and we are just into winter again and no signs of cracking, lifting etc.
A few gents in my local Triumph car club have also used clear topcoat on their dash with good results. After all if it can withstand the elements on the car body panels, it should also work well on the inside.


Darth Vader
Wow that was a lot of work, I have a lot of wood working tools but would never try to plane down a piece of wood for veneering, I just refinished my dash, purchased a sheet of quilted walnut, 40.00, veneer glue, but you will need a veneer press, or should I say a vacuum food saver by tillia( youve see the infomertial), not only does is freeze, steaks, fish, practically anything and when you thaw it out, I sware its like you just purchased it, the food, and it also works as a vacuum press for reveneering your dash.mix the glue roll on the prepaired dash, lay on the veneer, slide it in the vacuum bag, also use a flat board a little wider than the dash, a piece of parchment paper in between the board and veneer top and vacuum seal, 24 hours you are glued tight, next I sprayed a 2 part clear, let dry, sand, repeat until you get the look you want, the difficult part was cutting out all the gauge holes and cutting the glove box to separate it from the dash, a dremel works wonders for sanding all the gauge openings so you dont chip the veneer, now if you dont have all those things, buy a new dash already finished its cheaper. food for thought.
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