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now I understand the "real wood" dash

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Old 06-19-17, 07:49 AM   #1
Johnhav430
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Default now I understand the "real wood" dash

My uncle told me yes cars have real wood dashes, but they're not what you think, they're veneers. Think of balsa wood when you were a kid.

I watched a show where Rolls Royce was making the Dawn, and I watched the part where they were making the wood dash. Even on a car that starts at $340k, it's a paper veneer, not solid wood. I guess I was thinking of a 1940 Chris Craft boat where likely holes are cut for the instruments, and the dash is solid wood. Interesting on the Rolls is that where the dash curved, the veneer broke off in many places. The technician would then compile broken pieces, and cut them with an exacto blade and then press them back in. It was mentioned that each car uses the same tree so the grain is consistent.

So this means that that's the best one can do, after all, it's a Rolls Royce. There is no such thing as solid wood in this day and age. In a way, it's a shame to think something like the New York Public Library simply cannot be done today. Not only do the artisans not really exist anymore, but it cannot be achieved financially....when I was a kid there was this guy whose trade was restoring cornices. I remember thinking what a funny word, and what a funny profession....

I think I can then envision Lexus. It's probably similar to Rolls Royce only done by machine, and more mass produced if you will....
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Old 06-19-17, 09:02 AM   #2
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Solid wood is not necessarily the best wood. Solid wood will eventually age and develop cracks. Veneers is real wood. When you slice wood into increasingly thin pieces, at what thickness does it become not wood?
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Old 06-19-17, 09:15 AM   #3
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It's all perception........obviously, if we buy a solid top, back, and sides, guitar, the mfg. cannot simply make it out of plastic, and glue a paper thin veneer to it.

No question, if Rolls Royce does it with a paper thin veneer, nobody is going to get any better than that, period. It's a $340k+ car. But if that's the case, why not go carbon fiber.

Now, when my 1998 Maxima's wood (it was a $429 option back then) all delaminated, it was a veneer glued to cardboard, and then encased in some poly material. The poly really couldn't be curved the way it did without eventually coming undone. It was all replaced under warranty, and then the same thing happened 2 yrs. later out of warranty. This is clearly not how Lexus does it, and yes I wish I hadn't gotten it. But it was 1998....
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Old 06-19-17, 09:55 AM   #4
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I never really understood why car makers even fooled with fake wood. Touches of real wood veneers are just not that expensive. Either put in the real thing or just go with something else. The Big 3 would use that "cartoon" looking wood for decades, how could anyone have thought that looked good?

The LS 430 uses a lot of high quality wood, probably the best I've seen (but I've never ridden in a Rolls Royce)
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Old 06-19-17, 10:56 AM   #5
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The wood in my car is so perfect that sometimes someone will think it's plastic! Perception is not always reality.
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Old 06-19-17, 11:15 AM   #6
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Again, now that I see how Rolls Royce does it, I understand that Lexus does it pretty well--it won't be coming undone anytime soon (my car is coming up on 12). It's not like my Nissan where after 2 yrs. or so, the dash completely delaminates. There are literally very square/rectangular pieces glued under the vents, that want to straighten out over time--they not only lift off, but delaminate. And as mentioned, the veneer is glued to cardboard. I guess since it's not regulated, Nissan in 1998 called this real wood
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