Lotus Elan

Attaching new Veneer to the Dash

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What's the best way to attach a new veneer to my dash?

There are four major options.

  • Marine grade epoxies
  • Fibreglass resin
  • hot metal sheet glue
  • Wood glue products.

Marine Grad Epoxies by Briggs Pletcher

To do the job right I would suggest a two part epoxy. I used marine grade stuff. It was a two part with one part being a powder. When mixed it turned into a paste and was very easy to work with. Just make sure that you have more clamps than you need and press it against another flat board to spread the pressure and get a smooth finish. Mine turned out great. Will absolutely last a life time.

Mike Carrick writes:

Marine grade glue (resorcinol) such as Cascophen is excellent stuff; the major repair work I did on my boat over 20 yrs ago is still OK. However, it's expensive; for other than the most extreme marine use, it's overkill and fibreglass resin is quite adequate. Also, it's brown in color and will spoil a decorative finish. Potentially it could soak far enough into a thin veneer to be noticed. If fitting a dash panel (eg veneered plywood) I'd suggest fibreglass resin; but whatever you use, ensure the wood is finished first ie varnished or polished or whatever. Any glue getting onto raw wood is going to ruin the appearance. If putting on a veneer, I'd suggest hot melt sheet glue. I've used it with great success on loudspeakers; I bought it from the veneer supplier, it just irons on. The point is, as mentioned above, you don't want a liquid glue getting on the face of the veneer or soaking through any porous bits, as it'll ruin the raw wood.

Mike latest suggestion is to use PVA. Well, PVA adhesive can be used as holt melt glue. In fact I think that's all the glue sheets are. Follow the following instructions:

  • Paint an even coat onto the back of the veneer.
  • Paint 2 even coats onto the base wood.
  • Let it all set.
  • Put the veneer in place, cover with a cloth and iron it with a hot iron.

That's it. I have not tried it myself so it's *essential* you test it with an offcut first. E.g. if the glue soaks through the veneer and spoils the finish you might try putting several coats on the base wood and none on the veneer.

Vedran Coklica comments on this approach:

Your suggestion did work, I checked it on scratch peace of chipboard by applying three layers of PVAc glue, when it turned from white color to transparent, I simply put on a peace of veneer and pressed it with hot iron (must be hot, switch it on "cotton") and that was it. It is obvious that hot melt glue sheets are nothing but PVAc glue.

Everett Stephens suggests:

FOR WOOD-WOOD JOINTS, I tend toward Titebond II, a big competitor to Elmer's. Elmer's has recently introduced a glue called ProBond, which I have not used but have hard good things about.

Eric Dehlinger suggests:

I've used Titebond 2 for some furniture products and it is somewhat waterproof. The industry determines a glue to be waterproof only if it maintains its bond under water. Titebond failed this test but I don't believe your use of the waterproof term is synonymous with the industry's. If however you do need an underwater glue (like if you're trying to turn your Europa into a submarine like Q did for James Bond's Esprit) you might look for Gorilla Glue.

Try Tool Crib of the North for woodworking supplies. I think they carry both brands.