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Old 03-11-2006, 10:02 AM
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Making a wood dash-how thick?

Hey,guys. Been a while since I've posted. Anyway, I've picked up a really nice piece of wavy maple to make a wooden dash for my A coupe. I've got a pattern adapted from a '32 dash and the proper size hole saws for my Faria instruments.

Just wondering,for those of you who have or made dashes from wood, how thick did you make the wood? What I've got is 4/4, about one inch,but not surfaced. (I also took the opportunity to buy a thickness planer for the wood shop.) Guess I need it thick enough to be stable,but thin enough to mount everything coming through-gauges,switches,etc. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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Old 03-11-2006, 10:32 AM
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From the woodworking point of view you are going to find that maple a ***** to plain without tearout or just blowing up once you get it thin. Since you are starting with 4/4 stock I would find someone that could resaw it for you in half then take it to a local cabinet shop and have it sanded to 1/4" useing a wide belt sander, no tear out that way and it will be ready to finish, that will give you two pieces, one for a backup. 1/4" is about the thinest you will be able to sand or plain down too and should be a good stable piece if properly finished. For the switches or gauges that might not quite mount through 1/4" you can recess the back side down about 1/8" in those areas (use a Forsner bit) and everything should be good. Do any recess drilling in the back before drilling through from the front so that the recesses are centered around the hole. Also when using the hole saws go about half way from one side then finish from the other side, this will prevent tear out as the saw breaks through.

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Old 03-11-2006, 12:16 PM
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Thanks for the prompt reply. Resawing is an interesting thought. There are lots of Amish cabinet shops around here-it would be interesting to have them work on an automobile dash(my rear bumper was fabricated in an Amish welding shop). I guess one concern I have is mounting a thinner piece of lumber in a stable position to the upper dash rail. My original thought was about 5/8" thick with recessed hubs for the gauges. This is a beautiful piece of lumber (as it ought to be for $12.00/board foot) so I'm going to do a full scale mock-up of pine first. Thanks again.
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