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I have been asked to restore the timber dash and other timber trim on a 1936 Rolls.
Some of the timber veneer on the dash is badly damaged and needs replacing. Previous work has been carried out on the dash and I will have to restore that as it has not been done correctly.
I need to know the timber used for the veneer is and if any one can tell me where to buy it. Any other information that you feel would be helpful would be appreciated.










 

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Hello

There is no straight answer to your question for a pre-war Royce. Rolls Royce only manufactured the running chassis. Each car had a bespoke body constructed by a carriage maker, of the owners choice and to his specification. Some move towards standardisation was that some carriage makers had standard designs that were modified (to some degree) to each owners choice.

My observation is that burr walnut was very popular, but there were many other woods.

I suggest you take a sample to a quality supplier of veneers. They should be able to advise. Also you may find some of the trim is solid hardwood not veneer. Cost was rarely a consideration with these cars.

Phil
 

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The veneer shown in those pictures is a straight grain (ie: not burl) mahogany or walnut. (Is the veneer original?)

There's not much cross-grain shimmering going on that I normally associate with mahogany, and the black pores are fairly large-scale, so my money would be on walnut.

The veneer doesn't look that bad to me, aside from a couple of chips on the left side of the window ledge. I'd either just darken those or fill them and then refinish. But I'm one that prefers originality and patina over full-restoration; your client might or might not agree.

Jeff.
 

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I hadn't had time to take a close look at the photos, but Jeff is correct that this wood is straight grain, not burl. It could possibly be solid, I can't tell from the chips whether it is or not. Given the age I'd be far more inclined to believe it's veneer.

I don't know how comfortable you are with doing this repair (and if you are, please don't take this as an insult). There are several top notch wood restorers in the U.S. that you can ship the pieces to and they'll send them back in concours restored condition.

If the present owner is really interested in taking the car back to its "from the factory" condition, you can get the build sheet for the car via the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club in the UK. The sheets typically include information on what the coachbuilder for a specific chassis number was going to install, but not always. You can ask if this information is in the records before making a purchasing decision.

Good luck.
 
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