I'm trying to get some info for a friend.
He has made a wood dash board for an old spitfire (car). Look like
he used 1/2" veneer ply. He has stained it, then top coat with
I don't know anything about lacquer. It looks like a decent job
although it more than likely came out of a spray can. Looks thin
Is this sufficient as a top coat. Are there any environmental
factors to be concerned with since this is more or less an exterior
type of application. Should he lacquer both sides of the ply to seal
it. What else should he do.?
Any suggestions would be appreciated. He's put a lot of effort into
this project, and would like to catch any mistakes now, rather than
That won't matter - spray can or spray gun - they both shoot lacquer.
Very sufficient top coat. No environmental concerns as long as you don't
eat the dashboard. If you do, slivers become a topmost concern. Lacquer is
both an interior and an exterior finish. Look inside an older car
sometime - at the amount of painted surface in there. As far as lacquering
both sides, it's always adviseable to finish all sides of a piece of wood
that is going to be subjected to weather and the effects of weather. It
helps to keep the wood more consistent (stable) in its reaction to that
I think I would have gone with a solid wood piece and an oil finish, but to
each his own. Ply will be as stable as it gets, and as long as it isn't
exposed to lots of moisture - rain - then it will probably hold up fine.
Neither do I - it's too broad a term "Lacquer" could be absolutely
Also you didn't say where he lives. Spitfires are convertibles - now I
use french polish on dashboards for the Vitesse or Herald convertible,
but then I live in the UK where there's no sun. If he's in California
though, you need good UV resistance.
"Weather" resistance isn't needed for car dashboards, because you keep
it off with garages, tonneau covers or tarpaulins. UV resistance is
useful though. In general, I'd expect to refinish every few years,
which is why I prefer shellac - I can repolish the dash and door
cappings on the Herald in an afternoon.
Last dashboard I did was for a boat and this was going to be stored
uncovered. I used an acid-cure formaldehyde floor finish for this - so
far it's holding up well (two winters).
For a Spitfire you should also keep the ignition key on its own, maybe
with a soft keyfob. Don't keep it on a large heavy ring with other
keys. The ignition switch is in the dashboard, and heavy keys will
scratch the finish. His may be a late US model, where they had a
column mounted switch - ours had them moved to the gearbox anyway.
Gee, I spent an entire summer in Glasgow and there was plenty of sun.
Long time ago. Keep wanting to go back for a visit.
We generally have the same climate in Canada. Summers too short and
winters too long, rain and freezing rain in between.
I guess I'll have to do some searches and learn a bit about lacquer
and pass it along. From what I have read, he's basically going to
have to stick with it, and recoat as necesary. That seems to be the
easiest and safest route to take.
There is compatibility issues between lacquer and some other top
coats, they won't bond to one another.
He's not a wood worker. But he did a darn good job with making the
dash. Nice holes with crisp rebates for the instruments to sit into.
He did a good job with the stain and lacquer finish, it looks good.
I passed along the ignition info as well. I'm sure it's a US
On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 14:06:29 +0000, Andy Dingley
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