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Spitfire 1500 Dash board


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I think I’ve probably asked this before but anyway. 

I asked my dad today about making me a new wooden dash for my Triumph Spitfire 1500

it currently has what looks like a plywood dash varnished to look like real wood. It doesn’t look bad but isn’t right. 

He used to be a teacher and cabinet maker. He still restores antiques. 

Trouble is he is getting on a bit and his wrists are going due to arthritis and probably abuse over the years hitting things! And he is 82 this year  

So if I’m going to do it I need to get him to do it sooner rather than later. 

He has a massive selection of veneers - everything from burr walnut, burr elm to oak and Australian black bean - and some even he doesn’t know what they are. 

He has enough of the burrs to mirror match them. 

i think they were originally walnut? So should I keep it original or go for something a bit different? - though I’ll not be going mad! 

It’s not a show car - certainly not original and will never be that way. 

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10 minutes ago, poppyman said:

A burr walnut would look great Mark especially like you say with the burrs mirror matched :)  I would love to do that to my 2500s, but the cost put me off.


I have an advantage there - it won’t cost me anything other than perhaps the base - unless the original dash is re-used as the base  


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Angelfire, you should have whatever you like. But for me, burr Walnut is too fussy. Too ... ummm? ... Rolls & Jag! The original was American Walnut and that's what I've stuck with.

Did your Dad do a 7-year apprenticeship in cabinet making?

By the way, a modern finish will stand up to the rigours of convertible motoring much better than a traditional one. Rustin's "Plastic Coating" is what my Nearest & Dearest used on mine.

Cheers, Richard

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22 minutes ago, rlubikey said:

Walnut is too fussy. Too ... ummm? ... Rolls & Jag!

Watch it Richard! I've got a Jag. :angry: 

When I picked up the Jag I said to the man "You sure this is wood? It looks plastic!" He spluttered a bit, well a lot.  The trouble is it's so shiny perfect it looks fake. Which is a problem you can make with dashboards, it should look like wood.


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10 hours ago, rlubikey said:

Did your Dad do a 7-year apprenticeship in cabinet making?

He went to Loughborough university - so was three years I assume. I know he got some pieces he made back home on the bus - but he had to use a van to get the extendable 6 seater table and chairs back - still in use today. He did a teaching degree (or whatever it was called back then!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whilst at my dads tonight, we had a look at the veneer options. 

I think I’ve decided what I’m going to use. 

Austrialian Black bean. 


In the raw  



As a finished coffee table- which I think is 50+ years old  


A piece of the veneer with a couple of varnish options  - the one on the left is my preference  



The burr walnut is lovely. But not for a spitfire. 


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