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What was the wood veneer used for 1979 spitfires ?


Chris Bracey
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The general opinion seems to be that the vaneer is American Black Walnut, but 'straight' rather than burr vaneer.

I've just re-done the vaneer in my 2000 and it's not too hard - and will be a lot easier on a Spitfire as everything's flat, rather than curved one way or another (AKA a pain to sand).  If you're looking to do it yourself the main personal advice I'd give would be to find someone who can cover all your vaneer needs with multiple slices of the same piece as I have ended up with quite a colour difference on my vaneers (though thankfully that's dash vs. door cappings, not across the dash).

I used a mix of https://www.frost.co.uk/how-do-i-re-veneer-my-cars-wood-trim/ for applying the vaneer/applying Rustin's Plastic Coating/sanding Rustin's, and https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/rubbing-great-finish-satin-gloss/ for getting the satin finish.

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My Nearest & Dearest restored the dash from my old blue X-reg Spit. A BMIHT trace showed it had been made in '79. She said the veneer was definitely Walnut, with a very straight, plain grain. Walnut can be very showy, but from the original dashes I've seen, Triumph didn't use these burr or fancy grain veneers. It might well be American Black Walnut, which starts off quite stripy, but should fade quite quickly giving the more restrained finishes we know today of our 40-plus year old cars.

Cheers, Richard

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A lot of the stripyness is lost when you rub the satin finish, though is also down to the specific bit of tree your vaneer comes from - my dash vaneer's much more stripy than my doors for example.  With hindsight I'd have tried to use the same cut for all, but I had a choice of cuts that were long-enough for the doors but too narrow for the dash, or wide-enough for the dash but not long-enough for the doors - and the whole putting a join and mirroring was a load of extra work I couldn't be bothered with (and I'm sure Triumph weren't that picky back in the day either).

I'll try and get some pictures of my dash/door cappings up but I'm not expecting them to go quite as yellow as the old ones, mainly because a lot of that was fading/yellowing of the varnish coating and modern ones have better UV protection to stop that happening!

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