Lotus Elan

Stripping the Veneer from the Dash.

PostPost by: c42 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:04 pm

I mounted the glovebox lid in position from behind, not using the hinges. I cut the lid when the veneer/adhesive was dry. Interestingly (or not) your veneer leaves must be very close to mine, they look almost identical; I did not use any stain as the veneer tones down when varnished, try a test sample first.

Good Luck
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PostPost by: Chancer » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:45 pm

c42 wrote: Interestingly (or not) your veneer leaves must be very close to mine, they look almost identical;


Sounds like my laminate flooring, all the others have the same veneer :?

perhaps they used the same photograph :lol:
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PostPost by: TeeJay » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:16 pm

John thanks for your comments.

Yes it is very likely that the veneer is the same. At the time of purchase there were 5 selections large enough to fit the dash. The other 4 were all larger in size which narrowed the choice down to 1 and being smaller it also cost less. 8)

So oo as it is the same, my challenge is to achieve a result as good as yours, Jon?s and Mikes.
Mine should, present less work, as it has a lot less cut-outs for the Instruments and Switches.

Your suggestion to do a test sample is obvious and correct; don?t know why I did not consider it. :oops:

Jon, used a mix of walnut and mahogany dye mixed together to achieve the correct colouration and I was not sure if this was only necessary because he made good the original veneer which possibly had some fading.

Currently acclimatising and flattening the veneer in made up plywood ?press? with G clamps.
I will post photos when complete.

PS. Lamiinate flooring used for a dash? Just thought about it and rejected it. :lol:
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:52 am

Hi Trevor,
I didn't use any dyes. My dash did look 'faded' and the varnish had peeled like yours. However when I removed the varnish and lightly sanded the veneer, all was well underneath.

Mike
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PostPost by: TeeJay » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:23 pm

Thanks Mike.

That's both you John who did not use dyes.

I will use some of the spare veneer and apply some coats of Rustins clear coat and see the result.
Its most important to get it right, although I am keen to get the car on the road, it takes whatever time it takes.

If then it needs dyes, so be it.
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PostPost by: TeeJay » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:49 pm

I have now completed the Re Veneering of the Dash and I am very pleased with the result. :D

As others have done I used Rustins products, i.e. grain filler, wood dye, plastic coating and burnishing cream.

The Photos don?t do justice, tried with flash on then flash off which were better, but still reflections and uneven lighting. Hopefully they do give an indication of the finishing.

Must improve my Photo skills. :(

Next job/s is to fit the new dash wiring loom, then the rear and front looms, then the new head lining.
After these jobs I will be in a position to fit the body to the completed rolling chassis. :mrgreen:

Thanks again to all those that have contributed to this topic.

Trevor
Attachments
Dash prior to rework.jpg and
Dash Rustins Burnished.jpg and
Dash Completed.jpg and
Dash Complete LH.jpg and
Dash Complete Middle.jpg and
Dash Complete RH.jpg and
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:33 pm

Look fantastic, well done.

Mike
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PostPost by: TeeJay » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:16 am

Thanks Mike.
Strange how time flys by, this mini project took nearly 3 months.
Wish Rustins did a clear grain filler, I used their natural, which I had to use a dye to correct for colour and then carefully flatten with 1000 wet & dry. Followed by 8 coats of Rustins clear plastic. After each 3 coats, left for several days re flatten etc.
Well worth it and a very interesting project.

Now into the dash loom fitting, it's a good job I took loads of photos. :shock:

All the best
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:40 am

I must have been lucky because I didn't need to stain the wood, maybe the stain remained from the original Lotus finish.

Like you, I put on lots of coats and I actually flattened/de-nibbed between each coat. A filler would have helped.

I'm very pleased with the end result although I did sand through the veneer on one small point.

Mike
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:02 pm

I realize I'm late to this party, but I noted the reference to iron-on application and I'm not so sure. The glues in question tend to attach and detach with heat (old-fashioned hide-based glues were particularly susceptible, and this makes for easy fixes on furniture). But,

Perhaps not on your side of the pond, but definitely in the U.S., we regularly see temperatures above 90 degrees F, less regularly above 100. This is in Massachusetts, those who live in Las Vegas or West Texas will chuckle. In a closed car, this will easily translate to 130+. In my experience, that's sufficient to de-activate most wood glues in not a lot of time.

Glue problems are the reason the original author started this thread, and are quite common to the Lotus dashes. Perhaps because they were sublet to a furniture maker who did not consider that a closed car is a lot warmer than a Londoner's living-room?

Contact cement is the most permanent bond for veneer I've found, and it flexes with change in temperature. Getting the right pressure for a good bond isn't difficult. A J-roller appropriate to the job is available cheaply at most crafts stores. Contact cement smells and is carcinogenic until dry, but it's so much work to replace a dash that you don't want your new veneer cooking off. I did a couple a few years back and the time put into multiple layers of finish was huge. So make sure that your materials are up to the environment they'll need to survive in.

Doug Nicholls, 54/1822 Ma~
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PostPost by: TeeJay » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:47 pm

Doug, these are interesting comments, and they did initially cause me some concern.

I had followed advice on using waterproof PVA and ironed on as suggested by forum members and by Oakwood Veneer Co. Michigan. USA. http://oakwoodveneer.com/tips/ironon.html

I had to find out what the ironing temperature was, as it would be terrible to have the veneer lift in very hot weather in the UK. i.e. 30 degrees C. (possibly 47 in a closed car).

So I set up a demo using a thermocouple with the iron set the same as I used to attach the veneer.
I placed the thermocouple under an offcut of veneer, then the linen sheet I used on top on the veneer and ironed at the same movement rate.
The temperature increased from roomtemp of 23 up to 103 degrees C (217 degrees F). This is more than double the temp in a closed car on a very hot day in the UK.

Hopefully this is more than high enough to prevent any lifting of the veneer. Time will tell, but after my test I am not too concerned.

I do agree that a good quality contact adhesive is preferable, but I felt more confident positioning the veneer with the PVA adhesive.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:51 am

I used waterproof PVA too to repair a few loose bits of veneer. I gives plenty of time to move things around and is water based so it's easy to remove excess before it dries. I then clamped the veneer in place until it dried. I had tried it many years ago when a vandal damaged the veneer but the varnish was still on and the repair was poor. Now the dash has been re-varnished it looks great.
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PostPost by: Donels » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:02 pm

I know this is an old posting but I found it very useful when just doing my own dashboard so thought I would update with my experience.

Remove old veneer with a putty knife then lightly sand the dashboard, I used a DA sander with 250 grit. Cut veneers to size and join with masking tape. To fix the veneer spread glue on the dashboard then place on the veneer, I used 'Gorilla glue' PVA and it was perfect, easy to use and clean off. Then place veneer and dashboard on a suitable piece of board and place the whole thing in a large vacuum bag. A vacuum cleaner will pull 2 - 3 psi and gives a uniform load of 500 - 600 lbs, much better than weights.

Leave overnight then cut veneer to dashboard shape with sharp scissors and sand to finish. Cut the instrument holes only large enough to enable access with a flap wheel then sand the veneer to size. It’s surprising how accurate you can get them. Switch holes are more difficult and need paring away with a sharp model knife and light sanding in the corners.

Lightly sand veneer, again I used a DA with 250 grit, then clean with cellulose thinners. I found white spirit caused the grain to swell so avoid using, similar with water.

Leave over night to dry.

Now the really difficult bit. I used Rustins grain filler but found it caused me lots of problems and I sanded it all off. Don’t bother with it is my advice. I used Rustins 2 pack plasticoat lacquer and it gives a tough coating with an excellent finish, but is tricky to apply. Every coat I applied I was left with lots of deep dimples. I thought it was grease on the surface but no amount of cleaner made a difference. Eventually I twigged it was air bubbles from mixing the two pack rising through the lacquer. I did try flatting back after every coat but not really successful. Eventually I left the lacquer to de-airate then apply a really thick coating and keep brushing out any dimples. Lightly sand flat when dry then apply a final thick coating. When dry polish with Rustins polishing cream. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough.

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PostPost by: TeeJay » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:30 pm

Donels wrote:I know this is an old posting but I found it very useful when just doing my own dashboard so thought I would update with my experience.


Hi Donels, nice job.

Wow this takes me back, May 2012, pleased that you found the thread useful.

Very interesting comments re the "Vacuum" bag :)


Currently I have removed my dash to fix on labels, what a mistake that I did not put them on during my first application of Rustins 2 pack clear. :evil:

Had to remove, rear seats, tunnel cover, all dash connections and gauges / switches, drop steering wheel, etc etc.
The reason I did not put on the labels, was because I was unable to get the correct Size and Font labels back in 2012.
Could have used other labels, but they were not correct.

The correct labels became available via a forum member, based in Surrey Canada, back in 2018. :)

Other than that, I can say that the dash is still as good as when I first re_veneered it. :D

So hopefully the labels and further coats of Rustins 2 pack, will be as successful, as I also purchased the special Rustins brushes.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:56 am

looks great Donels, where did you get the veneer? I have another dash to do and I'm looking for veneer with such lovely figure. My original (Lotus) dash was made from four pieces not two.

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