Redoing the wood on my car's interior - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-21-2009, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Redoing the wood on my car's interior

I bought a 1989 Jaguar xj6 nor buy under a year ago, and the wood is all over and beautiful on the inside, the only problem is that it's a bit faded, and the wood around the gearshift is a bit more faded, and a little chipped. I've been googling new veneers to replace the old, and I've spoken to my grandfather about undergoing such a venture. I recently came up with the idea of getting the new veneers, applying them over the old wood (only after it has been removed from the car, and sanded down to make room), then staining the new wood, and applying an oil coat over that to seal it like the teak wood on a boat. Sounds fairly simple, but...
  • Where should I buy the veneer from (I defiantly want burl, and probably walnut)?
  • What supplies would I need?
  • My current wood has some banding around the edges, not but a quarter of an inch wide, can I buy that anywhere?
  • Is their anything I'm forgetting?
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-21-2009, 07:25 PM
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why not check some of the car restoration related forums, chances are there is one dedicated to your jag. Probably someone is making the pieces you need

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post #3 of 7 Old 06-21-2009, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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I've been a member on several of those forums, and the only information that I've received is where to buy new wood at costs upwards of $500. I was given the advice to check out a wood working forum to get a more professional opinion on the subject.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-21-2009, 09:13 PM
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How about a kit like this? If you haven't done one, it can be a PITA. Might be worthwhile to go with a kit. If you want to buy the veneer, try here .

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-22-2009, 06:54 AM
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The trouble ( if you want to call it that) with Jaguar's of that vintage is that they were truly handmade in almost all respects. Pieces and parts for trim and bodywork are not uniform and required quite a bit of handwork to fit. It's not unusual to have the right and left side of the vehicle different lengths. The body panels were hand made and hung by hand, a side at a time. Until Ford purchased Jaguar in 1992 average time to build the body alone was between 250 and 300 manhours. Jaguar was truly a cottage industry until Ford brought them into the 20th century in the late 1990's.

Your best bet is to try and refinish what you have, it will fit much better than anything you can purchase. The difficult part is removing it, there is a variety of fasteners holding it on, nuts and bolts, screws, clips, you never know what you will run across in an old Jag. Once you have removed it, refinish with the finish of your choice. Usually the veneer is quite thick, and sometimes you even have solid wood. The backing is where you have to be careful, sometimes intricate pieces are laid up on a cloth backing and quite flimsy. Having done it a couple of times, it's well worth the trouble when you get finished, but until you get to that point, you'll be scratching your head thinking what have I gotten myself into. It's not something that you can do in a weekend, last one I did was a 62 Mercedes and it took every bit of a year.

I don't think that your idea of an oil seal will work on the interior of an automobile. Usually the original finish is varnish, and you'll want to go back with that or a hard polyurethane. Once you have removed the old finish, you should not have problems matching the veneers to the original. It's unusual to find wood damage usually it just the finish that you have to rework. Depending upon which model you have will dictate the amount of wood that the car has. Vandon Plas was the top model for an XJ that year and would have the most wood trim. Usually the veneers were cut from the same sheet, especially the higher up the food chain you went. Does yours have the seat back tray tables ? That's a pretty sure sign for a Vandon Plas. Trim wise, anything is possible with a Jag, with badges, without badges, you never know, it depends on how the guys in the factory felt that day.

Last edited by Cookn; 06-22-2009 at 07:14 AM. Reason: more information
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-22-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Cabinetman: Have you, or do you know anyone who can vouch for the quality of the kit veneers? I ask because I have heard some risky things about them not properly sticking.

Cookn: I don not have a Vanden Plas model, if only... The wood is simple as anything to remove when comparing that to a 1962 Mercedes (nice car). No, my wood is simply a thin veneer over some lesser quality wood. The wood in all of the xj40's (sedan models from 1988 thru 1994) are standardized, except in later models equipted with a "sport mode." Now, I would refinish the wood I have, however I really don't want to drive my car for such a prolonged period without the wood in place (it just wouldn't be as luxurious). Now, with regards to the finish (not oil then), which is easier, the varnish, or a hard polyurethane? I've only got until the end of summer, so I don't want to drag out the process.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-23-2009, 05:27 AM
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I like the hard poly. Two part pourable epoxy is my favorite, but most folks don't want to mess with it. Hard as a rock and takes a long time to start to yellow.
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