[Saloon-lovers] MK2 door wood composition and stain

My son is pickup up the top caps from my doors tomorrow.
Three need refinishing.

He wanted to know what type of wood.
I thought I had read these were Ash, but can’t recall exactly.

Also, what stain do you folks use on these pieces to match the
lighter stuff on a 1964 MK2?

Thanks!–
1964 MKII 2.4L 1950 Ford Tudor, 1950 Ford F-1, 1949 Willys
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In reply to a message from TOC sent Wed 26 Nov 2008:

There was a pretty detailed discussion on this list about
refinishing the wood work within the last week, scroll down to read
through that and the links that are provided.

I think the veneer is walnut.

I think you should refinish all four, not just three, because the
4th one will look different no matter what you do.

There are a wide variety of opinions on refinishing, as you will
see from the previous discussion.

Report back.
P.–
Peter J. Smith, 1966 3.8S MOD
Carson City Nevada, United States
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In reply to a message from carsoncitysmith sent Wed 26 Nov 2008:

Yeah, except the top plates are not veneered.
The only reason 3 need refinishing is that one was.
However, it is also off, if for no other reason that to have a
pattern or ‘‘goal’’ of what it should look like.

He’ll probably do the fourth when he’s sure.–
1964 MKII 2.4L 1950 Ford Tudor, 1950 Ford F-1, 1949 Willys
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In reply to a message from TOC sent Wed 26 Nov 2008:

I went back, thought I’d read all pertinent data, and I had.
I do not know that a 420 and a MKIX have the same wood structure
and composition.

Still not sure what the top plate wood is.
You think it’s walnut?

He just wants to have a starting point for the staining process.–
1964 MKII 2.4L 1950 Ford Tudor, 1950 Ford F-1, 1949 Willys
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In reply to a message from TOC sent Wed 26 Nov 2008:

OK, I see your method. I suggest that when one gets sanded or
stripped or both and ready to varnish, that you brush it with clean
paint thinner. That should give you a pretty good idea of what it
will look like when clear varnish is applied.
P.–
Peter J. Smith, 1966 3.8S MOD
Carson City Nevada, United States
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In reply to a message from TOC sent Wed 26 Nov 2008:

the brochures say ‘‘the finest walnut’’, and I am inclined to believe
it.

Consider 43 years of use, abuse, patina, polishes, water, you name
it, and the wood in my S type is still solid.

I say Walnut. Sure they used Burled walnut veneers in some areas,
but the foundation is still Walnut.

Ash is used for Fender electric guitar bodies, with which I am
familiar since the 1960’s, and the wood in my car is definitely not
Ash. But who knows, maybe someone had pieces reproduced in Ash?

Otherwise I’m stumped.

Zurdo–
The original message included these comments:

Still not sure what the top plate wood is.
You think it’s walnut?


1965 3.8 ‘S’ 1984 XJ-6
Tennessee, United States
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In reply to a message from carsoncitysmith sent Wed 26 Nov 2008:

The top plate wood is straight-grain walnut. Your veneer is of
course, figured burl walnut. Some of the thicker, more complex
chunks of wood, like the ‘‘A’’ pillar covers on the MK IX and X, I
believe are a mahogany substrate with walnut veneer and walnut
cross banding.

The wood in my MK IX was stripped and lacquered by PO; I am
currently refinishing the wood in our MK X and Adenauer Mercedes
(1959 300d). On both of those cars I am stripping (finish was
nearly gone on both), then applying a coat of amber shellac with a
brush, then a few coats of clear shellac with a brush for build. I
am then sanding with 400 grit lubricated with linseed oil and
recoating with clear shellac as necessary. I personally am using
a ‘‘French Polish’’ method on my last few coats of clear shellac,
which you can Google. However, you can also just apply some with a
brush, then sand with 400-600 grit lubricated with linseed oil,
then polish out with rubbing compound. You’ll end up with a
beautiful, traditional finish.

One of my main reasons for using shellac is it dries in minutes,
has a little color (especially the amber base coat) to cover up
minor defects, and is easy to build up and sand smooth. It is true
that shellac isn’t quite as durable as some more modern finishes,
but I don’t expect it to be a problem in my lifetime – especially
since you find it on 200 year old furniture that still looks great.

If shellacing (sp?) isn’t for you, then you could spray on lacquer
(some great products are in aerosol cans), or use a brush-on
varnish such as marine spar varnish – this has UV inhibitors as
well. I don’t like polyurethane as it makes the wood look like
exactly what it is – encased in clear plastic. If you’re going to
use it, use a furniture grade (not Minwax from Home Depot), or a
spray-on. You might also want to try Wipe-on poly – this would be
similar to a French Polishing method.

Did I mention I am also restoring two pianos – an 1892 Jesse
French 5’ mahogany baby grand, and a 1912 Shultz/Bradford cabinet
grand veneered in curly maple. Both were french polished with
shellac originally.

Best Regards,
James Coats–
Coats Classic Cars - 57 Daimler, 59 Mk.IX, 66 Mk.X
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In reply to a message from JamCoats sent Thu 27 Nov 2008:

I too restore antique furniture, although only for myself.

Last project was a mahogany and maple Sheet Music Cabinet that must
go very well with one of those pianos! The cabinet is circa 1915,
with beautiful Maple and mother-of-pearl Marquetry inlays
depicting ‘‘Greek Mythology’’ musical themes, and percussive
instruments such as a Tambourine, all done on the front curved door.

What I did was to save all the original finish that was excelent,
and restored the absolutely bad areas (the sides and back) with
polyurethane.

What is ‘‘French-Polished’’ ?

Zurdo–
The original message included these comments:

The top plate wood is straight-grain walnut. Your veneer is of
course, figured burl walnut. Some of the thicker, more complex
chunks of wood, like the ‘‘A’’ pillar covers on the MK IX and X, I
believe are a mahogany substrate with walnut veneer and walnut
cross banding.
Did I mention I am also restoring two pianos – an 1892 Jesse
French 5’ mahogany baby grand, and a 1912 Shultz/Bradford cabinet
grand veneered in curly maple. Both were french polished with
shellac originally.
James Coats


1965 3.8 ‘S’ 1984 XJ-6
Tennessee, United States
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In reply to a message from zurdo sent Fri 28 Nov 2008:

Zurdo and others,

‘‘French Polishing’’ is a method of finishing with shellac that goes
back centuries. You make up a ‘‘pad’’, which is a small wad of cloth
soaked in shellac (a 1 1/2 - 2 pound cut works best) with a clean
piece of soft cotton t-shirt material wrapped around it and a
rubber band tied round the excess. You end up with a dumpling or
tear-drop shaped cloth, with the inner rag soaked in shellac. You
then lubricate the face of the cloth with a few drops of linseed
oil, and wipe the shellac on the workpiece with medium to firm
pressure. This leaves behind a very thin layer of shellac that
dries almost instantly – you can see the haze behind your rag as
the alcohol evaporates out of it. You make several passes, careful
not to stop the rag in the middle of the workpiece, in a sesson –
then let it cure for an hour or so. Once cured, you wipe the part
with a clean rag with a few drops of denatured alcohol and a few
drops of shellac to even the finish and remove excess oil, then
repeat the process. This is usually done about 10 times, and with
several passes per session, you’re building up about 100 or so
minute layers of shellac. This results in a very smooth, hard,
shiny finish and is exactly what you see on high-end musical
instruments – some guitars have it to this day. I usually cheat
by laying down a few coats of shellac with a brush before beginning
the french polishing; the french polishing will eliminate the brush
strokes and this saves some time. You can Google (no affiliation)
French Polishing and find a wealth of information on the subject.
Best Regards,
James Coats–
Coats Classic Cars - 57 Daimler, 59 Mk.IX, 66 Mk.X
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In reply to a message from zurdo sent Fri 28 Nov 2008:

I meant to mention, as you are polishing, shellac is very sticky
stuff – if the rag starts to stick or drag, add more linseed oil.

Also, I mentioned a 1 1/2 - 2 pound cut of shellac – allow me to
define. A ‘‘2 pound cut’’ is two pounds of shellac flakes dissolved
in 1 gallon of alcohol. A ‘‘1 1/2 pound cut’’ is 1 1/2 pounds of
shellac flakes dissolved in a gallon of alcohol.

You can buy pre-mixed shellac, which is usually a 3 pound cut – I
use the Zinsser brand, clear shellac. This of course must be
diluted 1/3 - 1/2 with denatured alcohol to achieve a 1 1/2- 2
pound cut. Notice the dates on the bottom of the can – pre-mixed
shellac is really only good for several months, and dead after a
year (it doesn’t dry properly). If you want more shelf life, buy
shellac flakes online or at a good paint store, and dissolve them
yourself – then you’ll only use what you need. Shellac flakes
live indefinitely. Alcohol is the solvent, and denatured alcohol
is recommended.

You can also dissolve your shellac flakes in vodka, but it would be
kind of expensive.

Best Regards,
James Coats–
Coats Classic Cars - 57 Daimler, 59 Mk.IX, 66 Mk.X
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In reply to a message from JamCoats sent Sun 30 Nov 2008:

thanks James,

I think Michelangelo used a similar process in the movie about the
Sistine Chapel and the Pope, though it appeared he was ‘‘feathering’’
the colors with it.

‘‘When Will You Finish?’’…asked The Pope a thousand times…

‘‘when I do’’…replied Miguel Angel a thousand times.

Vodka will be more expensive but a lot more fun to work with than
rubbing alcohol, ehhmmm :-))

Zurdo–
The original message included these comments:

You can also dissolve your shellac flakes in vodka, but it would be
kind of expensive.
James Coats


1965 3.8 ‘S’ 1984 XJ-6
Tennessee, United States
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