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dash veneer restoration

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AlanWiedie Gold Member Alan Wiedie
Bolton, CT, USA   USA
Thinking about re-veneering my wood dash pieces. I believe they are burl walnut, book matched from the left side to the right side. Anything anyone can tell me about where to source the correct veneers, bare wood or paper backed, type of glue, type of finish, etc would be most appreciated. Also installation tips.


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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA

Madera Concepts is the way to go. They will restore your original wood pieces or provide brand new pieces if you prefer. If you go with new pieces they have a variety of exotic woods to choose from, including your original burl walnut.

gramos Avatar
gramos Graham Foster
Kefalonia, Greece   GRC
I made a few sets of the veneered dashboards when I had a wood working business .
I selected a good grade of burr Walnut veneered board and made templates to reproduce from the original dash set on my Mk 111 .
then we lacquered them in semi -gloss 2 pack , they were very attractive .
So you could make a set or find a local wood shop to make a new set for you ,
or even do as I did make 20 sets from 1 x sheet sell the remainder and get yours free ?

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brims49 Andrew Brims
Peachland, BC, Canada   CAN
I tried to refinish my BJ8 dashboard , meticulously removed the existing badly cracked finish a piece at a time without damaging the veneer below . I spent weeks of evenings putting on a coat of water based varnish, only to find a complete mess 24 hours later . I finally turned to a furniture restorer in our area. He had much the same problem initially. It appears that PO have used cleaners with silicone in them which becomes absorbed into the veneer through those surface cracks and is very difficult to remove to allow for a sparkling finish. Prep is everything in this operation, and the results are more than worth the trouble. Good luck which ever route you choose.

AlanWiedie Gold Member Alan Wiedie
Bolton, CT, USA   USA
Thanks, Andrew

The glovebox side of my dash was the worst so I started with the door, carefully scraping, chipping off the original finish as paint remover would not touch it. The veneer was in pretty good shape except for a chipout near the bottom where it looked like someone had tried to pry the door open at one time. The most discouraging part, though, is where ever there had been a crack in the finish, and there were many, there was a light line on the veneer that would not come out, even with aggressive sanding. Even if the veneer was perfect in all other ways, I would hate to go through all the trouble of refinishing and have those lines show up. So, I'm going to re-veneer everything and am looking into getting my hands of some nice book-matched pieces of burl Walnut. I'm waiting for callbacks from Bob Morgan and a place in CA called Madera Concepts and to talk with a woodworking shop in my area. The original veneers were raw wood with no backing but I may go with the paper backed veneer and veneer glue. Given your experience with the possible silicone residue, I think I'll completely sand down the original veneer to the plywood base just to be on the safe side.

RAC68 Avatar
RAC68 Raymond Carbone
NJ, Jersey Shore, USA   USA
Hi Alan,

After parking my Healey in my in-laws unheated garage for 10 years, I noticed that the dash finish had developed multiple cracks and caused the veneer to crack and discolor. Not being knowledgeable on wood refinishing, I asked a friend that was and he recommended I use a solvent to remove the old finish, However, as others have mentioned, solvents did not do a good job and I resorted to chipping, sanding and the carefully use a wood glue to reset any loose veneer.

Following this slow and tedious removal and regluing, an initial fine sanding cleanup was done to prepare for finishing, I used a walnut stain to bring back a vibrant light and dark coloring of the bur. l followed this process with a number of light coats of varnish, allowing thorough drying before a light fine sanding between coats. Varnish coats were added until the build grew deep but still allowed the outline of the burl to be presented through the finish. A final fine pumas rubout of the varnish brought the shine.

I chose this process as I felt using heavy coats of Urethane or other clear coatings made the wood appear too plastic for my taste and wanted a more fine furniture look to my dash. Although the process seems extensive and time consuming, it provided the elegant look in color and finish I was after and has lasted, without any problems, since the mid 1980s.

Enjoy the New Year,

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 2019-01-04 06:17 AM by RAC68.

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Andy3000BJ8 Andrew Lelliott
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS

I'm doing a RHD conversion on my BJ8 and will have the old LHD dash left over if you want it?

They're in very good condition and I can give them a re-coat of varnish for $150US + Shipping from Australia. (Which I guess would be ~ $50 maybe less)

PM me if your interested. Will be starting the conversion next month.

AlanWiedie Gold Member Alan Wiedie
Bolton, CT, USA   USA
I'm making some progress on my re-veneering project. I heard back from Bob Morgan about veneers but he did not have any that suited my purpose. I also heard back from Madera Concepts in CA and they do not supply veneer only. They will refinish your dash for $440, re-veneer it for $660 or supply a completely new set for $870. After a lot of searching on the internet, I found this place and eventually purchased some beautiful burl Walnut veneers at a very reasonable price. It arrived very quickly and was extremely well packed. It is a nice site with veneers very well presented. They also sell other veneering products like glues, softeners (needed for most bare wood veneers) and the owner was quick to respond to my inquiries. The site is full of information.

Now, I just have to get to it.

Andy3000BJ8 Andrew Lelliott
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Thanks for the info.

I was also planning on making one myself.



do8erman chris g
ware, hertfordshire, UK   GBR
mentioned on here before but check out envirotex lite . I have used this on my tr4a and bj8

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