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Old 10-17-2004, 09:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Aloha everyone!
I just thought I'd put this out there and see if anyone is interested....I do some woodworking for a hobby and some of the hardwoods we have here in Hawaii are pretty wild(not to mention expensive) but I was wondering if anyone was contemplating on using a "wood veneer" on thier dash? I am attaching some pictures of a few Planks of KOA wood to give you folks an idea of how "drop dead gorgeous" this wood is. I can make veneers as thin as 1/8th of an inch or thicker, might be a bit harder to bend, but more on that later. I figure I can make these long enough and wide enough to do a FFR dash for about $40.00 plus shipping.This would include the packaging to ensure the veneer wouldn't get broken in route to it's final destination (your home or work)so, if anyone is interested, please give me a private message or email me and we'll go from there!

here are a few samples ( the "Ship's Wheel in one of the pictures is one of the things I make, this particular one was made of "Mango" wood,(and yes,it's the same tree the fruit comes from)awesome woods, huh?


















Have a good one!!!!!
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Old 10-17-2004, 10:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Makes me wish I still had my woodworking tools, to build something with that! Very nice.

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Old 10-17-2004, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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KOa's nice to work with, although you have to have a gentle touch with a plane or scraper. And the natural color matches the Moto-Lita steering wheel pretty well. It WILL darken up with age and sun exposure, but you can minimize that by spraying on a couple of coats of Armor-All before you finish (yes, the same stuff you use on your upholstery).

And $40 is CHEAP - Koa is expensive stuff.

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Old 10-17-2004, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ben,
Is that ships wheel a shadow box by chance? awesome idea for a Navy retirement presento if so. I was guessing it was as the triangle space is a the shape of the folded flag.
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello everyone! Yes KOA is very expensive! I have a pretty good source for my wood and she gives me a real good deal on bulk (when I buy it that is) and yes, that is a shadow box and exactly right on the flag triangle! I have been building these for two years now, and can't make em' fast enough! (This is how I am funding most of my Cobra parts) I can do a lot of my work on the Military base and shave off some expenses, but they frown upon people using the facilities for profit, so I do most all my work at home, except where I might need larger equipment.
I built one of these shadow boxes out of KOA for a Master Chief Petty Officer who retired with over 30 years of Navy service, he's a short Phillipino guy, when they handed him the box, thought he was going to fall over! All you could see was his head, arms and legs......LMAO people's jaws hit the ground....... I normally get $400 for a shadow box made of KOA, people say I am way cheap, but the Enlisted man only makes so much, and I enjoy my work and I get satisfaction out of doing the work. Sure, I make a little, and I should charge more, People tell me I should be charging $600 or more for the same wheel!
I think if you were to go with a wood dash, this would be some awesome material to use, guess it depends on whether you want to be distracted by the wood, I can't get enough of this stuff, I bought $300 worth of KOA yesterday, and didn't have much to show for it, but if you veneer it, it goes along way! Glad you guys like it, I make jewelry boxes also, so maybe sometime when you need to persuade the better half to make a decision, what better way than to buy her a KOA jewelry box? I can send you some pics if you guys are interested..... Enjoy!
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Old 10-17-2004, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am a woodworker also. The KOA looks beautiful. I have used mostly domestic hardwoods but do have some (reclaimed) rosewood, teak, and purple heart. I did not use wood on my dash rather plan to come up with accent pieces in different areas. In order to market this to builders that don't feel they have the skills to work with wood you might consider selling a wood dash, prebonded to the aluminum. and precut for a particular setup. It would also ship better like that.

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Old 10-18-2004, 02:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Robert, you might be right with the shipping and all, veneers being thin and all, would be very brittle and sensitive to moisture as well. I'll have to look into that.....make a display model and post it for all to see and then they would have a better idea of the finished product.
Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2004, 05:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hello again everyone! Here are a few more pictures of some of the wood I am using on another project, but give you an idea of the coloring KOA wood has, this batch is particularly dark, and my lighting isn't the best, but if anyone wants some better pictures, I can take some in the daylight tomorrow and email them to you... I'm Sure LuisO is gonna get on me about bandwidth with all the pictures I've posted allready


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Old 10-18-2004, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm going to do a wood dash but rather than use raw veneer I'm going with architectural-grade veneers. Typically they're veneer bonded to backing material to stabalize them. Two I've found are Jacaranda and Flexwood. The Flexwood product is typically used to reface cabinets. Both look very applicable to use for a dash. A good coat of UV-resistant polyurathane is also in order.
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Old 10-18-2004, 03:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's some Koa in a different form
http://maricopaguitarco.com/Weissad.jpg

Another option to look at is Aussie or Tazmanian Blackwood, which is also an Acacia closely related to Koa. It's looks almost identical and is currently somewhat less expensive.

[ October 18, 2004, 11:59 AM: Message edited by: Mike D ]
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Old 10-18-2004, 03:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm thinking burled walnut, myself. I can get sheets here locally and will bond and finish it myself.

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Old 10-18-2004, 03:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Fred,
Good point, I am just offering a substitute dash material, sounds like you found a good source. Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2004, 04:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Fred,

I bought the Andes Rosewood for my dash from them. I have some aircraft Okume plywwod from an airplane I built that I'm going to back it up with. It's real thin. Nice stuff though.
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Old 10-18-2004, 04:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Good topic, Ben.
Here is an idea what good woodworking can do for an FFR roadster:

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Old 10-18-2004, 06:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Man, you guys are killing me! I LOVE the look of a tastefully done wood dash, like the example Larry posted above. The precisely cut glove box opening, with the matching grain undisturbed is fantastic, but beyond my ability to personally replicate.

SO: before my next build (I figure about a year), will you PLEASE come up with a pre-cut kit for such a dash???!!! Veneer or solid wood is OK with me. I'd love to do any finishing and glueing, etc. that might be needed, but the glove box cut-out is the stopper for me. The KOA looks fantastic, but I'm a fan of all woods swirly and non-plastic. Thanks for this thread!
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Old 10-18-2004, 06:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Wood hates me...

It can take God a hundred years to grow a tree and it takes me mere seconds to destroy it..

I guess I better stay with steel. If I screw it up, I just weld it back together and try again!

Beautiful stuff guys!!!
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Old 10-18-2004, 07:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Guys,
I am going to order a blank dash from FFR and make a "Sample" dash with gages If anyone could send me a full size dash layout (I seen somewhere on the forum, a computer file of a full size dash gage layout, I probably have it at home, I will look after work) once I get the blank, I can set about making a template. Have a good one!
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Old 10-19-2004, 01:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hey Guys,
I need a little help here: I found many dash layouts for diffrent gages and they show spacing between the gages and the steering shaft hole, but I can't get the main dimensions, ( Length x width x hieght and the sides where they mount under the dash ) could some one please trace it out on a piece of kraft paper or plain white paper and mail it to me? Send me a PM and I'll give you my address and I'll return the cost of postage for the outline.
Thanks Guys!
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Old 10-19-2004, 01:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Another fantastic looking wood is cocobolo



It is one of the densest and pretties woods I've ever seen. It might be pricey but it would make a beautiful dash.
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Questor,
That is a very colorful wood indeed, made many ink pens and mechanical pencils out of it.
The most expensive wood I have seen to date is a wood called "Ebony" very black wood, why so expensive? Guess it comes from Africa. There is another wood I have been itching to try... Padauk this wood also comes from Africa or somewhere near, anyway, for those of you with Red or color close to red, this wood appears orange when cut, but when it's finished, appears a dark red color, I'll have to make a sample and get some pics on here for you guys......
Enjoy!
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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What about snakewood?
snakewood

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Old 10-19-2004, 12:03 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Ben,

I think 1/8" will be a little thick to make the bends ant the ends of the dash. Probably needs to be a little thinner (possibly a 1/16" would do it). I'd love to get my hands on a piece of that KOA. What would shipping run from the Islands?

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Old 10-19-2004, 03:28 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Ben,
shoot me your zip code and I'll have an idea, I can get my KOA for $ 12.50 a board foot, the extreme curly stuff cam go as high $45.00 a board foot. The Mill I buy mine though allways gives me a great deal, and they almost allways end up giving me some extra after I buy.I usually buy shorts (smaller lengths) and they can get huge slabs if I wanted, but that would require major re-sawing to make usuable! I bought 13 planks, and I got to choose what I wanted and spent $209.00 came out to be $16.00 a board foot, not bad. Let me know if you want some, for the cost of the wood and shipping, I can send you some.
Take in mind, if you want a piece big enough to make a dash overlay, it's gonna be big! By the way, I still need dash dimensions: Hieght x width x length ( a trace of a blank dash on a piece of paper would be even better) well, have to get ready for work, it's 6:00am here in the Aloha State!
Have a great day everyone!
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Old 10-19-2004, 03:36 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Ben, ebony does indeed come from Africa. the blackest ebony is called Gabon (pronounced ga-boon) ebony and it almost looks like hard black plastic. You can pretty much buy it only in pieces about 2" square and 2' long - and one of those lengths costs $30 or so. It is rare as heck, and only found in deep jungle. They cut it with handsaws and pack it out on elephants. No kidding. It's a major trade item for the Congo.

The other type of ebony is called Macassar ebony and it comes from nearer the coast. It is very, very dark brown (much darker than walnut) with lighter brown streaks and is absolutely gorgeous.

I built a bedroom set with wood from five continents once - bauhenia from South America, ebony from Africa, mersawa from Asia and maple from North America. The ebony was for inlay and door/drawer pulls. For about 40 knobs and about 100 feet of 1/8" square inlay, I spent about $500 on the ebony.

Fred, IMHO, you'd be crazy to veneer a dash without using the backed veneer. Differential expansion between the veneer and the aluminum dash would tear it apart if you used unbacked veneer. Also, architectural veneeris pre-joined edge-to-edge - you'll have a tough time finding too many exotic veneers that are wide enough for a dash. A 2'x8' sheet is anywhere from $25 to $500, depending on species. Rockler.com sells a lot of it, but there are many sources.

Ben #2, I would agree that you'd have a hard time making the bends with 1/8" material. I used a router and kerfed the back of the dash (1/8" groove every 1/2") to get it to bend. However, I didn't use the aluminum as the base - I made my own plywood.

My dash and console are African ribbon mahogany with ebony inlays. Almost done.....

All the best,
Tag
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Old 10-19-2004, 03:50 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Tag,
I am new to the whole veneering thing, I was simply offering an alternative to the "Plain Jane" dashes out there. I agree that you would probably have to use a birch plywood material to attach it too, so it would be able to bend, yet strong. well, I'm outta time and have to get to workm have a great one everybody!
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Old 10-20-2004, 04:57 AM   #26 (permalink)
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When I redid my Mercedes 230SL wood I wanted to jazz it up a bit. Went with South American Rosewood veneer (1/16" thick). Mercedes makes the form for their curved pieces from a combination of solid wood and plywood glued together and then shaped to fit. Once this wood base/platform is the way they want it, they sand it smooth. The 1/16" veneer woods can be shaped around the curves fairly well with practice, and you use good quality contact cement to hold the layers together. Light sanding before clear poly paint is the next step. Wet sand this before buffing and you get an almost "bullet proof" finish that is smooth as glass. Expantion/contraction, and therefore de-lamination is not a problem. A good workworking supply house will have more veneer to pick from than you'll want to have to decide on.

I was in Hawaii last winter and some of those woods are very beautiful, but can you get 1/16" thick with a good finish???
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Old 10-20-2004, 05:21 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Roy,
I would probablyre-saw it thicker, and then feed it through a conveyor belt fed sander to bring close to the usable thickness, then go from there.I'm dying to see how the Padauk will look like when it's finished! Talk about a deep red finish!!!!
Take care!
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:11 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Ben, that's the way I'd do it, too. The problem with Padouk is that it turns brown REALLY fast - a nice brown, but still brown. Armor-all helps to keep the wood from turning color a lot, but I've never tried it with something that got any sun - the few times I've worked with padouk have been with lathe turnings like bowls and vases. I'd experiment with a piece before I did something like a dash.

Roy, getting a good finish on ANY wood 1/16" is no problem - it will finish up just like something 3/4" thick. 1/25" (standard veneer) is more of a problem.

All the best,
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:57 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Me.. I did solid mahogany - it matches the moto-lita wheel exactly. No veneer - I was worried about delaminating over time.
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