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Theo Whitmont
Experienced User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 63
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Friday, 15 October, 2021 - 16:26:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello Brains-trust!

I'm warming up to replacing the dash on my 20/25 and am keen to use the correct veneer.

From my understanding the English built coaches made use of one type of burl or another, yet Australian built coachwork did not seem to.

Any commentary on this subject would be most welcome. I want to ensure a period correct finish. Any thoughts on the correct veneer to use?

My old girl was manufactured in 1934 and the coachwork is Martin & King.

Many thanks - hope you are all enjoying some greater freedoms!

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Jeff Martin
Frequent User
Username: jeff_r_1

Post Number: 304
Registered: 07-2018
Posted on Friday, 15 October, 2021 - 16:41:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

That photo does not show the veneer well enough at all, if that was your intension.
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Theo Whitmont
Experienced User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 64
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Monday, 18 October, 2021 - 15:58:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP



Hopefully this is a better view. I will try to post some of the other wood work.

Apologies for the delay in updating this thread.
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Jeff Martin
Frequent User
Username: jeff_r_1

Post Number: 305
Registered: 07-2018
Posted on Monday, 18 October, 2021 - 16:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

It's a little better, but one still can't see the grain much, just an over-all brown colour.

I don't know what you're shooting with, but use the "macro" mode and take a number of close ups where the grain has the best pattern.
Point the camera straight on, not so far away and not at angle.

From what I can see, it looks like some sort of Walnut, but who knows given the variety of trees there are in Australia.
Walnut fades to a brown like that, and even more so on the upper dash from decades of sun damage.
I had did a car that was done all in solid English Walnut, it was so severely faded, it was white to yellow, very ugly.
The upper dash in your car is heading in that direction from what I can see.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 4026
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Monday, 18 October, 2021 - 20:39:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Theo,

If you forward the original photos to me by email, I can try enhancing them with Photoshop.

Please send them to me in the largest image size and highest resolution available with your camera.

Thanks David
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Theo Whitmont
Experienced User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 65
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Tuesday, 19 October, 2021 - 09:28:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP



David - thanks kindly for your offer to assist with the photos.

I'm having a devil of a time on two fronts:

1. Software Gremlins (no surprises here) &
2. Finding photos. The car is currently dissembled in Campbelltown (see first photo) so I'm faced with trawling through endless uncatalogued photos. I suspect there is a lesson here too.

I will try again and if I have success I wont need to impose. The above photo gives a good hint. Hopefully enough to move forward.

Cheers and thanks
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 4028
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 19 October, 2021 - 18:44:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks Theo,

I have been able to enlarge and enhance an indicative section of your vehicle's timber dashboard as below.

Hopefully one of our experienced contributors can identify the timber veneer type.

enhanced

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DB
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 142.51.250.188
Posted on Tuesday, 19 October, 2021 - 23:25:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I am a little surprised as any of my cars had/have solid wood and no veneer.
You might take the pieces to a wooden boat restorer or cabinet maker for an opinion/help.

Dorien

(Message approved by david_gore)
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 4029
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 20 October, 2021 - 05:45:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christopher Carnley has also commented as below:

"The veneer on Theo's dashboard is almost certainly coachwood, that is if it is not solid coachwood. This timber comes in a variety of shades from quite pale into dark.

He will need a mould to have it done properly.

I had hoped that it may have been Queensland walnut, but no !!!.

Kind regards,
Chris."

Chris

.
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Jeff Martin
Frequent User
Username: jeff_r_1

Post Number: 307
Registered: 07-2018
Posted on Wednesday, 20 October, 2021 - 07:07:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David, what do you mean by "mold", a modern vacuum press is needed, the correct glue and some veneer softener at the very least.

Given that it's coach built why does it have to be an exact match, "cherry" would look similar as well and look very smart.
Wouldn't there be records somewhere of what was used.
In all honest it looks quite bland and uninteresting the way it sits now.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 4030
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 20 October, 2021 - 18:31:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Jeff,

I posted the message verbatim as sent to me by Christopher to post on his behalf.

I presume the use of the term "mould" would relate to the old technique of using steam to soften the timber so it can be shaped on a forming "die/pattern" to make the dashboard shape as the coachbuilder wished.
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Dorien1
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 142.51.250.188
Posted on Wednesday, 20 October, 2021 - 22:53:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Just one way....you can also start with a piece of solid wood and sand and shape to suit without using a steam box.

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Theo Whitmont
Experienced User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 66
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Thursday, 21 October, 2021 - 10:22:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks for the input gents. Much appreciated as always.
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Theo Whitmont
Experienced User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 67
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Wednesday, 27 October, 2021 - 15:06:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Me again,

My travels thus far have revealed:

The Dash looks like Australian coachwood veneer.
The door timbers had a burl veneer inlay.
The dash timber has no identifier numbers
The Door timbers have the number 465 stamped on the back.

Can I contact the RREC for information on the timber numbering? or some other source?

Would it be normal for an Australian built (1934 Martin and King) car to have a dash made of 'plain' wood coupled with fancy door trims... or does this indicate that the dash is 'new'?

If I opted to redo the dash with a burl veneer, would this be period correct or a rookie error?


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Jeff Martin
Frequent User
Username: jeff_r_1

Post Number: 308
Registered: 07-2018
Posted on Wednesday, 27 October, 2021 - 15:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

One can see some natural colour of the removed bezel down in the right lower corner of your photo, looks like some sort of walnut.
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Mark Herbstreit
Frequent User
Username: mark_herbstreit

Post Number: 230
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, 28 October, 2021 - 21:46:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Theo,
I don't think the factory would have records of Martin and King Coachbuilders. My understanding is there are some surviving records locally. Maybe the Sir Henry Royce Foundation in Melbourne could point you in the right direction? While Martin and King could sometimes produce less than attractive coachwork, they did seem to do some fancy woodwork. The following is a 20/25 that went through Shannons.

martin and king

I think your doors and dash would have matched but never say never never say always.

As a complete novice I re-veneered the Cooper S dash in bookmatched walnut (note The left mirrors the right and the grain goes through the cubby doors) over 15 years ago and it is still holding up. I made a plaster mould for the curved sections. Nothing more than a sandbag to press and some water and metho for softening and cutting. I think I used some automotive clear instead of polyurothane only because it was to hand in the shed.

cooper
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Theo Whitmont
Experienced User
Username: old_mate

Post Number: 73
Registered: 04-2020
Posted on Tuesday, 30 November, 2021 - 19:12:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi All,

Thanks so much for the ongoing support. A quick update to let you know that following months of sleuthing, I have reached a firm position on the originality (of otherwise) of the dashboard on GYD15.

I am now confident beyond any doubt that the dash is NOT original.

Below I list the significant clues that have led me to this conclusion.

1. All internal door timbers are stamped with the number 465. The dash has no such identifier.

2. All the door timbers and the Dash header piece have burl inserts. The dash does not. It is plain and whilst it was not uncommon to have a plain dash in the some cars of this vintage, it seems unlikely that the dash (a very visible and prominent piece) would be denied this treatment.

3. The car was originally supplied with a cobra horn (as per the sales cards issued by RR) and sports the mounting holes in the fire wall where it was once mounted. The original horn has long since vanished but I was fortunate to come across an identical one from a 1932 20/25 which was being parted in the USA. Needless to say it is now happily ensconced in the engine bay of GYD15. Additionally the now vacated 'run' for the tail of the original cobra is clear to see on the firewall. An original dash would have the corresponding mounting hole for the rod and bulb showing. The dash does not have any such hole to support a claim of originality.

So in summary - No stamped numbers, no burl inserts and no hole for the horn all add up to an imposter.

That being said, the dash has served us well for the 50 years that we have had GYD15 in the family. So for all its faults, I cant be too damning of it. Even so, its time has come and a new dash faithfully prepared complete with proper burl insert and accommodation for the cobra horn will soon take its place and with luck will give good service for the next 50 years.

Before and after photos will eventually appear in this post.

Thanks again for the support, advice and guidance.
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Patrick Ryan
Grand Master
Username: patrick_r

Post Number: 2338
Registered: 04-2016
Posted on Thursday, 02 December, 2021 - 05:46:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Iím very much looking forward to the before and after images Theo.
Hope everything goes well.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 4043
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Thursday, 16 December, 2021 - 20:20:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christopher Carnley has asked me to post the following on his behalf:

"I intended replying to Theo but I had little to offer.

Attached are two M&K interiors, and so far all the dash boards of their R-R bodies have been solid coachwood.

The first one is on offer in Australia, and the other one has two flamed pieces of coachwood but jointed, to make it look like veneer.

Their Bentley facias are polished and lacquered aluminium, or stainless steel sheet.

I pointed out originally, that with the cracking and aging of the dashboard on Theos car, that the wood was original to the vehicle."

2012

M&K6

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