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Author Topic: Dashboard restoration  (Read 7572 times)
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nthomas1
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« Reply #15 on: 17 December, 2016, 11:56:35 AM »

I've now finished the repairs to the dashboard in readiness for applying the veneer.  I found Evostik interior wood adhesive to be effective for gluing small pieces of wood in place, and for re-attaching the front and rear laminate layers where they had come away in places. Any surplus was easily sanded off after it had dried. I found toothpicks and short lengths of thin card useful for getting the glue into gaps.  I used Ronseal wood filler in a light shade to fill the holes and chips in the dashboard and it has worked quite well.  I built it up in a few layers and let each layer dry thoroughly before applying the next.  Where the filled holes will show in the final dashboard the sanded colour is not that far off the colour of the original plywood base.


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
nthomas1
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« Reply #16 on: 17 December, 2016, 12:37:41 PM »

The two parts of this project that have been worrying me most have been (1) getting good adhesion with the adhesive that's on the iron-on veneer, and (2) getting a good edge to the cut-outs.  With that in mind I thought I'd practice first. I bought an off-cut of plywood for fifty pence and cut five holes in it with a hole-saw, then smoothed off the edges with sandpaper.  I attached an off-cut of the veneer using a sheet of tracing paper between the iron and the veneer.  With the iron set at "cotton" I moved it slowly over the paper a number of times, applying pressure, and gently lifting the edge to see if it seemed like it had stuck ok.  I then placed the board veneer-side down on a flat surface and weighed it down over night with some heavy books. In my next post Ill report on my first attempts at cutting out apertures.


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
nthomas1
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« Reply #17 on: 17 December, 2016, 02:16:10 PM »

Here are my first attempts at cutting apertures.  I learned quite a lot!  Based on forum advice, and with the board on a flat surface, I cut the openings from the back, about 3 to 4mm smaller than the final apertures.  I then very carefully shaved away the remaining overlap using the technique described above by Stephen (D5177_55A). I also found, as Stephen suggested, that holding the board vertically and resting it on my knee allowed me to cut better, and I found that cutting towards me worked better than cutting away from me. Cutting the overlap away in two or three thin slivers worked better than trying to take all of it off in one cut. I then used fine 400 grit sandpaper to sand away any ridges or very small overlaps, and to get the right curve.  I found that wrapping the sandpaper around a dessert spoon gave a good curved shape that could be used to get a regular arc when sanding. So far so good. 


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
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« Reply #18 on: 17 December, 2016, 03:59:43 PM »

Brilliant and such great care in determining the best way to carry out the work. And lovely to see the best silver coming out for a truly useful purpose!!!!

                                  Andy
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nthomas1
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« Reply #19 on: 17 December, 2016, 04:50:42 PM »

...... best stainless steel more like it!
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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
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« Reply #20 on: 17 December, 2016, 06:03:14 PM »

Looking good. Never thought to use a spoon just my finger probably why its bent!
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nthomas1
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« Reply #21 on: 18 December, 2016, 12:45:05 PM »

Yesterday afternoon I ironed the veneer onto the dashboard and left it overnight face-down under four piles of heavy books.  This morning, with the dashboard face down,  I trimmed around the edge using the plywood as a guide for the knife to follow, then lightly sanded it.  This outer edge is, of course, hidden by the top and bottom dash pieces when installed in the car.   I then cut out the rough apertures so that I have just a few millimetres to shave off.  That's my next job. Fingers crossed.


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
Jaydub
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« Reply #22 on: 18 December, 2016, 02:11:59 PM »

Looking good Norm. All those useful tips going in the memory bank for future recall. Well done.
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nthomas1
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« Reply #23 on: 14 January, 2017, 04:43:16 PM »

I've made some progress on the dashboard restoration over the last couple of weeks.   I have cut out all of the apertures and sanded down the edges.  This was the job I feared most and I have to say I had my heart in my mouth most of the time waiting to make some error that could not be recovered.  The most important contributors to success proved to be: (1) the practice that I had undertaken with a plywood off-cut and some leftover pieces of veneer, (2) changing the scalpel blade frequently, (3) removing small slivers of veneer at a time rather than trying to cut away large pieces, and (4) cutting on the downstroke with the blade and not on the upstroke.

The first picture below, from my practice sessions, shows the splintering that can happen by trying to cut on the upstroke.  One thing to note is that the apertures do not have to be cut out precisely, as small overlaps and irregularities can be eliminated during the sanding stage.  I found the smaller openings to be much more difficult than the larger ones, so I started with the large openings first.  I found that the best approach was to cut to within 2 or 3mm of the edges from below with the dashboard veneer-side down on a firm surface.  Then I cut the surplus overlap away in small slivers at a time, with the final cuts holding the scalpel parallel to the bevelled edge of the plywood, being careful that the blade slid along the laminated edge of the plywood and not digging into it.  I used a couple of blades on each cutout.

Thankfully I found that the cut outs did not have to be completely regular, as the sanding stage removed irregularities and allowed smooth edges to be achieved.  I gently used 150 grit sandpaper wrapped around objects that closely matched the radius of the aperture in question, ranging from a pen for the narrow openings, through a couple of sizes of tablespoons, to a tin of baked-beans for the speedometer and rev counter openings. I then used 400 grit and 1500 grit for final smoothing.
 
One tricky area was glue from the veneer backing being exposed by the cutting and sanding.  The second picture below shows the back of the iron-on veneer.  You van see that the adhesive was rubber-like in texture.  I think If I ever undertook another project like this I might look for veneer with a different type of glue.  The third picture, from my practice sessions, shows what the glue looked like in places.  It would not always sand away readily so I sometimes had to resort to carefully scraping it away with a finger nail.

One other problem encountered during the cutting stage was that the veneer surface lifted slightly in three places - see the fourth picture.  When the cutting and sanding was all finished I reapplied the hot iron just to these three areas (protecting the surface of the veneer with a sheet of paper) and then left the dashboard under heavy books again for 48 hours.  That seemed to do the trick and allowed final varnishing to start.


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
nthomas1
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« Reply #24 on: 14 January, 2017, 04:54:04 PM »

I lightly sanded the surface and cut-outs with 1500 grit sandpaper, then wiped with a tack rag.  I applied the first coat of varnish very, very thinly, to avoid it wetting the veneer too much and causing buckling.  I adjusted my angle of view to see the light reflected on the varnish in order to see any areas of puddling, and brushed these out with a dryish brush, wiping the surplus off the brush each time. I left the first coat for 24 hours then lightly sanded with the 1500 paper and applied a second coat, then repeated this process 24 hours later.  The picture below shows the dashboard after these 3 coats.  I will probably apply a further 2.  The varnish is outdoor varnish which is spirit-based.  I had been advised not to use water-based.  So far so good.



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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
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« Reply #25 on: 14 January, 2017, 05:52:25 PM »

Norman,
It's looking excellent, and your patience is an admirable example to all of us!
Splintering on the up cut, did you try taping the top side surface with masking tape? then cutting through this on the up cut, as that should have eliminated, or at least reduced the splintering.


Brian
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« Reply #26 on: 14 January, 2017, 05:56:20 PM »

Hi Norm

Second that, looks great and testament to your patience and practice.

On the number of layers of varnish, I seem to remember one of the wheeler dealer episodes where they sent a veneer off to a specialist and I think they mentioned up to 10 coats, may be wrong on this, but thought I would mention it. Think it was for a centre console on a Jag.

Peter
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nthomas1
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« Reply #27 on: 14 January, 2017, 06:43:01 PM »

Brian - I thought of doing that but I decided to just cut on the down stroke, which turned out to be quite an effective approach.
Peter - I'm happy to carry on beyond 5 coats if necessary! My daily routine is now: shower, breakfast, sand dashboard, varnish it!!
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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
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« Reply #28 on: 14 January, 2017, 07:39:13 PM »

If you hadn't already chosen iron on veneer I would have recommended cascamite which is like araldite but comes in powder form which you mix with water. It is used in boat building. I have used it for veneering a dashboard in the past and was very happy with the results.
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nthomas1
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« Reply #29 on: 14 January, 2017, 08:07:03 PM »

Thanks Frank.  If (heaven forbid) I ever restore another dashboard I might try that approach.  My wife says I've been too fussy worrying about the glue as she doesn't think it's very noticeable, especially after the varnish has been applied.  She's probably right!
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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
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