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Dashboard Rebuild (Purists beware!)

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spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
In reply to # 1504347 by James F
In reply to # 1504338 by dke49 Congrats. Looks fantastic. I re purposed my ashtray and put two power outlets in. Can now run the GPS and charge the phone. When not using, just flip the lid down and no one knows any better.

That's a great idea - I wish I thought of that one! I wonder who thought it was a convenient place for an ashtray in the first place - so strange.
James,
Having once been a smoker I didn't find the ashtray location that bad. But then I always drive top down and only used it for the butts. Ashes just went into the slipstream.The ashtray had the advantage of fitting the TR series cars (TR4 and up) along with the Spitfire and GT6. Finding another spot that works in them all might be a bit challenging.
All the best,
Paul

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TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
I had forgotten that they used to put ash trays in cars until I picked up my daughter's new spit last week...... (in fact, she asked what that thing on the dash was for?)

TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
Last question on the topic (until another one pops up in my mind)...

I notice everyone seems to go to plywood with hardwood veneer.... Any reason other than $$ (minimal difference considering work involved) for not using solid hardwood (walnut)??

I would worry about splitting and cracking of a solid piece - except that the 3 part dash doesn't seem to lend itself to enough longitudinal stress to make it an issue....

If I'm going to router openings (Heater) - and have butt joints (the three pieces).... I would think I would prefer not to have to worry about edges of veneer making an appearance....

Thoughts?

Z

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Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
In reply to # 1504930 by TheZster Last question on the topic (until another one pops up in my mind)...

I notice everyone seems to go to plywood with hardwood veneer.... Any reason other than $$ (minimal difference considering work involved) for not using solid hardwood (walnut)??

I would worry about splitting and cracking of a solid piece - except that the 3 part dash doesn't seem to lend itself to enough longitudinal stress to make it an issue....

If I'm going to router openings (Heater) - and have butt joints (the three pieces).... I would think I would prefer not to have to worry about edges of veneer making an appearance....

Thoughts?

Z

Warping is the main reason to use plywood instead of a solid piece of wood. Don't feel limited though. People have used all kinds of finishes. I saw a gold Spit with the classic Trans Am fish lure finish.

TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
I didn't like it in the trans am - and certainly wouldn't like it in my spit..... but that's why God invented chocolate and vanilla.... people have choices.... God bless us all......

I believe the small lengths involved negate the warping/cracking issue (I'm a general contractor and wood is my favorite medium).... and I like the idea of true wood for the finished edges/routed areas....

Any idea (I haven't removed my dash yet to see) what thickness I'm looking at? 1/2 inch... 3/4 inch? I have access to solid walnut in either thickness.... and my usual hardwood supplier might have scraps that would work - as the dash is in three small parts....


Thx for the response...

Z

trrdster Avatar
trrdster Wayne Tate
Spencer, NC, USA   USA
I have always used 7/16 inch, which is the original thickness and fits with the shin guards. I start with 7 layer plywood and plan it down Even then if you look at the back of yours, the heater control surround and the left side have to be routed out. The switches and lights need to be routed to a very thin exterior.
I understand your thoughts on real wood, but think of all the holes in this wood and the moisture that can seep in. It has been done and a search will show some beautiful ones, so have a go.



Wayne
1970 TR6
2000 Jaguar XK8
1949 Triumph Roadster 2000
1978 Spitfire (rust victim)
1971 GT6 (tarp covered for 12 years, rusted inside out)
1980 Spitfire (getting all the good GT6 parts, all poly suspension and Spax shocks)

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
There should not be much of an edge grain visible. I have found 12mm Baltic ply easiest to work with, plus using ply allows you a wide choice of verneers including Burl.

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Twin Lakes, WI, USA   USA
In reply to # 1504930 by TheZster Last question on the topic (until another one pops up in my mind)...

I notice everyone seems to go to plywood with hardwood veneer.... Any reason other than $$ (minimal difference considering work involved) for not using solid hardwood (walnut)??

I would worry about splitting and cracking of a solid piece - except that the 3 part dash doesn't seem to lend itself to enough longitudinal stress to make it an issue....

If I'm going to router openings (Heater) - and have butt joints (the three pieces).... I would think I would prefer not to have to worry about edges of veneer making an appearance....

Thoughts?

Z


The only reason why I went with a plywood with veneer was it really widened my selection of grain patterns and wood species for a lot less money. I wanted English walnut and I got the highly figured grain that flows well with the shape (look at the grain pattern between the lower center dash and the passenger dash). The whole dash cost me less than $100 to make (including the finish), which would have been impossible with solid hardwood.

If you want to spend the money, I think it would be very possible to make a dash in solid walnut. Because it's in three shorter lengths, I don't think there would be a big problem with cracking along the grain. And, properly treated, it shouldn't warp too much.

I would not add butt joints. Keep the dash in three pieces. Take one apart to do the wiring and you'll know what I mean. It's nice to be able to access behind sections of the dash without having to take the whole thing out. I built my own wiring harness, but with the stock Lucas equipment, it's guaranteed to need servicing from time to time! A bit of paint on the edges of the ply to match the stain you choose will make any gaps almost invisible.

You'll definitely need a trim router and a rotary cutter. make the pattern and fit it before veneering.

Born Loser Avatar
Born Loser Silver Member Matthew Taylor
Land O Lake, FL, USA   USA
I went with solid hardwood. In fact, I used the same pieces to make the dash, the steering wheel, the shifter knob, and the window winder/door handle escutcheons. I spent $14, and planned down 1" boards to 7/16 for the dash. As others have said, leave it 3 parts, it is far more serviceable that way. To prevent warping, be sure to use the same number of coats of sealant on ALL sides - don't forget to cut all the holes a tad over, and seal them the same as the edges.



Matthew
1960 Triumph TR3a
1970 Triumph Spitfire MK 3
2012 Mini Cooper SS Convertible
2018 Jaguar F-Pace

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TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
Thanks to all for the feedback....

Mathew: Your dash came out very nice and l'm going to steal your idea for adding a third gauge by reorienting the light switch.....

Z

Born Loser Avatar
Born Loser Silver Member Matthew Taylor
Land O Lake, FL, USA   USA
Have at it! If I had it to do again, I would do it exactly the same what! Love it. If you like the color - its a 50/50 blend of Walnut and Gunstock stain, over Walnut dash.



Matthew
1960 Triumph TR3a
1970 Triumph Spitfire MK 3
2012 Mini Cooper SS Convertible
2018 Jaguar F-Pace

Cecil Cecil Clark
MN, USA   USA
Has anyone run across a 1977 red Spitfire that has 2 turn signals in the teak wood dash?

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
In reply to # 1505855 by Cecil Has anyone run across a 1977 red Spitfire that has 2 turn signals in the teak wood dash?

I have. It had a plastic two arrow turn indicator between the tach and speedo.

I can hear the dealer now, "The turn indicator is right behind the wheel. Oh, you want to SEE it? That's extra. You want TWO lights? That's even more."

In reality it's one of the easiest things in the world to wire. take the two existing wires. One is left and the other is right. Use one existing wire for one bulb and one for the other and run each of the other bulb's leads to ground.

TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
I'm getting ready to replace my dashboard... and would love to do this.... currently the turn flasher works for a right turn - but not for a left turn.... If I can set them up separately - and get the wiring right.... it would be a great thing.... Now I've got plan on drilling yet another hole - find a light fixture (or 2) to make it work right - and be pretty....

Z

Hot Spit Mike Stefanakis
Wethersfield, USA   USA
My Spit is totally modified. Here some shots of the dash
Sliver carbon fiber
Autometer gages
Patchwork leather dash pad.


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