I could afford to be a little blasé with the colouring as I had enough of the veneer left to completely redo the dashboard if disaster struck. I was after a blue/grey tint and armed with some wood dyes, I mixed up what I thought would be in the ballpark.
The trick was not to overdo it as I wasn't sure how this particular adhesive-backed veneer would react to bleaching.
It may not be to everyone's taste - Learned Counsel has some misgivings - but a vision of the interior is fixed firmly in my mind's eye. To seal the finish, I first gave a sample several coats of shellac sanding sealer and then experimented with a polyurethane lacquer. Not good - a yellow haze turned the colour green. I was also nervous of its stability over the shellac, so cast about for a cellulose-based lacquer. Advertised as a finish for instrument makers, several coats would build up to achieve a finish seen especially on guitars. Three coats did the trick for me as I wanted the dash to look slightly used.
With all the instruments and switches positioned, I was pleased with the result. The indicator stalk I'll change for one with a bulb in the end which will save putting extra lights in the panel.
The wiring shouldn't be too difficult, but there are a couple of unknowns. I'm not sure how to hook up the electric rev counter to the Megajolt ignition system though I'm sure I can get a couple of pointers from Awkward and Co - they're well versed in the field.
In other news, Mr Needham sent me a couple of headlamp shells which he thought might be useful. They're a bit too big for my project so I've passed them on to Mr Slightly Strange who builds hotrods based on Ford A's and T's. They'll find a good home, that's for sure, so thank you Mr Needham.
Incidentally, they're made of brass and have this marking on the inside of the shells. My best guess is late 20's - 30's Buick, but if anyone knows better, please let me know.
The Great Collector's Tickford bodied Hillman Minx is now back in service after new kingpins and taking the slop out of the worm and sector steering box by counter-boring and sleeving the inside of the outer casting - hence the addition of a grease nipple. At some point we'll tackle the track rod ends, but for now the car is much improved. It appears to have a post war carb fitted and I'm going to seek out some guidance on how to adjust the mixture as all the signs of it being too weak are present though with nothing obvious to twiddle to get it right.
As always, Anglia Radiators in Cambridge did an excellent job of re-coring the old 6/80 radiator donated by Mr Holmes. The only trouble was that the bolt holes in the front extension bracketry - which I'll admit were never that accurate - had to be filled in and re-positioned.
The same went for the two lower support arms which also had to have their outer ends turned through 90°.
Another satisfactory result which brings me a step closer to first start up....
... and whilst not breaking any speed records, it's another step on from the rusty old chassis I started to play with three years ago.