Veneering MK V interior wood

I purchased new Russian Walnut Burl that matches my interior. I’m getting ready to start that project and was wondering if anyone here has tackled this job. If so, what glue did you use? I have had a lot of experience on veneering panels, drawer fronts and entertainment consoles on yachts but I don’t know if doing this in a car is different. Boats have moisture and salt issues but cars have more heat problems then boats. I’ve used wood glue on large curved panels where you need to be able to move the veneer to get it to fit correctly. I let the glue dry on both surfaces and the used an iron to heat & liquify the glue enough to maneuver the veneer into place. I’ve used epoxy on smaller areas where some sun and a lot of moist air could effect the wood.
Reading and studying the procedure on automobiles, I see that a different type glue is suggested. I did purchase it but I’m still wondering about the other methods and glues that I’m more familiar with. The dash panel is fine but most of the flat pieces have curled and splintered veneer.
Any and all previous experience will be greatly appreciated.

Hello Wayne, when the veneer work was done in my 1950 Mark V saloon ten years ago, I wanted to learn how to do the veneer. Without much prior woodwork experience other than school woodshop, I looked up methods and figured out how to do a vacuum bag. This work was fun and resulted in a small understanding on my part along with an appreciation of how a mistake can take the project back to the first step. After building this amateur skill level on spare car wood bits, I took the main car wood to Madera Concepts. Madera had a large supply of veneer from which I could select the desired pieces. Madera then used a vacuum process and did the rest of the work to a high standard. I was sure I would make a mistake somewhere on the main dash panel at my amateur level. I live close enough to have visited Madera Concepts directly but they appear to do work for clients worldwide. I went with them simply because I did not think I could arrive at a final work on all the pieces which would please me even though I liked the initial work I did on simple pieces.

Roger, thank you for the reply and recommendation of Madeira Concepts. I’ve actually done a bit of restoration and woodwork over the years. Six antique speedboats from the 1930’s, the interior of my 1956 Feadship 65’ motor yacht and replaced the interior woodwork on my 56’ Fountain Pajot catamaran. I feel pretty confident on taking on this project but was looking for recommendations on the glue type to use. Do you know what glue they used on your interior wood?

Hi Wayne,
I’m doing the same job right now. I use bone glue, which you can make liquid again at any time by heating it with an iron. This means that you can remove any bubbles or other inconsistencies at any time without much effort. Since my first job turned out to be unsatisfactory, I removed all the veneer and replaced you with another one. But I am not entirely satisfied with the structure of this veneer, I will also remove this again, and so I finally hope that I will get a result that is acceptable to me.

Thanks for getting back to me. I hope that “third time is a charm” for my you!
I purchased the bone glue but have been wondering about others. I once did a 6’ x 4’ curved entertainment facing on a motor yacht which was very hard to get in place properly and being vertical made clamping or vacuuming almost impossible. I used a wood glue and after both surfaces dried, I was able to liquify it with an iron and maneuver it into position properly before it cooled and solidified. That veneer lasted 15 years with no problems in the main saloon with open windows close by.
I purchased some beautiful veneer that matches my gauge panel and hope to blend the varnish on both old and new to match. I’m only doing the flat pieces, so gluing and weighting should be enough. I’ve just never used the bone glue before. I guess some experimentation is called for!

Hello Wayne
You have to be careful that the glue is not too thick and too cold, otherwise there will be problems with the smooth (without bubbles and unevenness) which you will then find it difficult to get smooth again. Also, when reheating the already glued veneer and cold glue, you have to make sure that the iron is not too hot, otherwise the glue can crystallize. In this case there is a bubble that you can no longer smooth out by heating, unfortunately happened to me. I wish you much success.

Hi Wayne, I do not know the adhesive material, or materials, used by Madera Concepts. Your question of which glue to use is good, that was one of the issues which caused me (at lower skill and experience than you) to punt to having Madera Concepts do the entire interior for my Mark V saloon. It was confusing to me to learn there were multiple glues, along with other layers for the glue in some cases, depending on the method (e.g. vacuum or not), the skill of the worker, and the outcome desired. You might try calling Madera Concepts and asking them.

Thanks for that tip. I’ll watch out to make sure it’s all evenly coated.

I’ve never heard of bone glue, but I have used Titebond Hide Glue and Titebond Original Wood Glue on guitar bridge repairs. The hide glue was strongly recommended by guitar people because it takes a long time to dry and cure and you can move the parts around a bit before it sets up, and it can be loosened by a heat gun or steam iron. But it failed on me with a 12 string bridge which has very high tension, so I went with the wood glue to fix the failed hide glue fix.
Hide glue dates back to Roman times and could be what Jaguar used in the early days.
For veneering I learned that you can soak ripply veneer in water so it will lay flat on the base piece and the wood glue will adhere to the veneer just as well and soaks in as the water dries out.

I found a site on the web that was detailing the repairing and re-veneering of walnut burl. It recommended a special hide glue in powder that is mixed with water. I figured that the bone glue that Gerhard wrote about was another such glue. Either way, I had decided to use Titebond as I am familiar with doing it that way.
The site also recommended spraying the veneer with a mixture of alcohol, lanolin and water to soften the veneer so it’s wrinkles aren’t so brittle. The process was to spray both side of the veneer and lay it between two clean (no print) sheets of paper to allow the alcohol and water to evaporate out leaving the lanolin behind to soften the veneer. I’ve done that on a couple test pieces and after about 6 hours, it was dry and supple.
I hope to start this process next week, right after I finish spray painting the car.