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Discussion Starter #1
It seems one of the many debates of the Alfa world has to do with the correct color of the veneer. Well I am joining in full force! My veneer has succumbed to 30+ years of fading into the all too familiar light blonde. I had an extra sheet of flatcut mahoggany veneer that looked like a great match. I wanted to reach a happy medium between red and brown and I think I got it. I cut new console pieces using the old pieces as templates. I glued two pieces of veneer together to match the thickness of the originals.

I used a dye called TransTint that I got from my neighborhood Rockler Woodworking store. The color is #6003 Reddish Brown. I added only ten or so drops of the dye into about a jigger and a half of denatured alcohol. Two coats of the dye is all it took. Then I topcoated it with four coats of satin McCloskey's Man O' War Marine spar varnish. The finish is a bit shinier that I expected, I may cut it with some 0000 steel wool once all the veneer is done.

The thing is I bought a 2 oz. bottle of the dye(all it comes in) and once I am done with all the veneer, I'll have enough dye left over to re-finish every dash in the world! If you are close to me(Beverly Hills, MI) I'll be glad to share. If you can think of a way to send 10 drops of dye through the mail, I'm all ears. Just PM me if you're interested.

P.S. I know I don't have the trim edges on, I was just seeing how it would look...see my next post!
 

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That looks sensational mate, have you also done the upper dash pieces?

I am about to embark on this job too, although I am not looking forward to it at all.
 

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that's how i want to tackle this too....Great results mate, I am encouraged, thanks!!!
 

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I think the first mental hurdle is getting the dash out, once that's happening I think i'll get it done!

It seems as though getting the join between the console top and the bottom of the dash is quite difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Actually, removing the consoles was quite easy. A post from papajam explains how to do it(sorry, can't seem to find it now). I struggled a bit getting it out until I removed the parking brake console. Then it came out without a hitch. The console was joined to the dash with four small nuts and bolts. They didn't look stock but they did come out easily. Since I don't have radio or speakers installed, I was able to reach through their openings to get to the nuts.
Removing the dash is my next project. But if the instructions I have from papajam are anything close to the console instructions, this should be a piece of cake.
 

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The new veneer looks great, but I agree that the overall finish needs a little more work. The spar varnish, at least in the photos, looks like it made for a pretty thick finish. The original finish was quite a bit thinner. After you've flattened it some with steel wool, you might try sanding with 1000-2000 grit sandpaper and then rubbing the finish out; first with compound, then moving up to one of the finishing glazes on the merket. As you keep working the finish it will become progressively smoother and you'll finally end up with console veneer that is very close if not exactly like OEM.
 

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I took the slacker's approach, and have given the veneer from my Berlina to my brother, who's a carpenter and pretty skilled woodworker. I told him the veneer was mahogany, to which he replied..."what sort of mahogany, there's dozens of different types?" So he's going to find the best match he can.

I don't suppose anyone has ever discovered what type of mahogany veneer was used by Alfa?

Luckily the old veneer is complete so will make a perfect template. And the original colour was exposed when the badges etc were removed, so we have a good colour sample.

So now I just have to sit back and wait, and in theory my big bro will come through with the goods!!

Now if only I had a brother who's a skilled panel beater!
 

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I took the slacker's approach, and have given the veneer from my Berlina to my brother, who's a carpenter and pretty skilled woodworker. I told him the veneer was mahogany, to which he replied..."what sort of mahogany, there's dozens of different types?" So he's going to find the best match he can.
I got my instruction from watching concert guitar makers work. They get incredibly beautiful finishes just from "French polish" (a little e shellac mixed with grain alcohol) which is applied by hand. French polish is too fragile for cars (although you can mix shellac mixing lacquer for a more sturdy finish---something I may try on my car), but the rub out is essentially the same. The thinner the finish and the more careful sanding/flattening and compounding you can do, the better the final result.

I don't suppose anyone has ever discovered what type of mahogany veneer was used by Alfa?
There's another thread from a few months back were we discussed just this topic. Do a search and you'll find it. :)
 
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