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6 cyl Bristol cars Type 400 to 406 - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

400 Dash Timber

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Old 11-03-14, 11:01 PM
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Default 400 Dash Timber

After owning a 400 for nearly 40 years I've been unable to find out what timber is used in a 400 dash & window trims .
Even furniture timber wholesalers here in Sydney are unable to identify it.
It looks to be a fine grained dense timber that when oiled is a dark brown to red brown colour .
Has anyone out there been able to identify the specie of timber used.

I need to remake all the wood in my second 400 chassis 650 as it is badly cracked and damaged.
Any help will be appreciated & no I don't want veneered plywood like most of the later Bristols !!!!

Tks
Geoff
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Old 12-03-14, 12:09 AM
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Default 400 Dash Timber

Hi Geoff:
Perhaps they used the same wood as used in the Morgan cars: ash.
Bill Watkins
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Old 14-03-14, 04:22 AM
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Andrew Blow has suggested mahogany
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Old 14-03-14, 09:22 PM
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Default 400 Dash Timber

Yes I think Andrew is correct that the timber is Honduran Mahogany .
This has been confirmed by a Restoration expert and a timber wholesaler /specialist.
This Mahogany varies in colour quite a bit but grain/texture is even and fine .
I'm convinced that BAC would have stained the lighter pieces to match the darker pieces .
The Mahogany that is currently available is South American Mahogany and is farmed in a number of tropical locations . It tends to be softer than the older natural forest grown timber.
Thanks for the input
Geoff
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Old 15-03-14, 09:40 AM
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In the UK sale rooms sell "brown" furniture very cheap at auctions - especially wardrobes and dressing tables etc. There just isn't much of a demand for it in modern homes and it could be a good source for your mahogany ?

I actually had a friend that made a living buying loads of superb old walnut wardrobes etc and converting them into TV cabinets
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Old 18-03-14, 03:51 PM
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Or local Maple may be a good alternative

Guitar Parts - Australian Luthiers Supplies - Parts & materials for guitars, basses, mandolins and violins, replacement hardware including bridges and machine heads, wood for tops, backs & sides, necks and fingerboards, tuners, bridges and other part

A lot of guitar manufacturers use Honduran mahogany or similar !
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Old 26-04-14, 04:18 PM
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Hi Geoff,
I have been looking for timber to turn my 400's LHD dash into a RHD one and was advised by an old carpenter that the wood I was looking for was English walnut. I found an old piece that matches the original dash: it has the same patterns and the blackish grain on a dark ochre brown background. So thats another confusing suggestion for you!
Best wishes
Daniel
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Old 27-04-14, 02:27 AM
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Daniel ,
I recently found a piece of Mahogany , probably 40 years old .
With a clear varnish it is a matching colour and similar grain to the old wooden dash panels I have .
BAC would have just stained the various pieces to match a colour for each individual car .
I'm certainly not a timber expert but if the English Walnut matches the grain & colour I would use it .

Do you have a RHD steel dash frame to convert the car as I have a spare , it would be a real project to modify you frame from LHD to RHD .
I'm located in Australia but could have a way of getting it to England at the end of this year .

Your 400/127 certainly looks nice in its new Green livery

Regards
Geoff
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Old 30-04-14, 07:03 AM
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Default 400 Dash Frame

Geoff,
I was hesitating about that very thing and would much rather not butcher the old frame so your suggestion is incredibly helpful, and it will be reassuring to have the temperatures and oil pressure gauge within view at last!
Thanks for your appreciation of the 400 it was that colour originally under about 6 others... can we say 'green' about a Bristol? thought we had to call it cambridge grey.
Best wishes,
Daniel
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Old 30-04-14, 11:31 AM
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Daniel ,
Please remember I have only seen photos of your car , is it a Metallic Green /Grey which is what BAC called Cambridge Grey .
Could you please post a few good photos on the Forum for all of us to see .

Geoff
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Old 30-04-14, 03:58 PM
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Default Grey/Green

Geoff
I swear i wasnt being pompous , just joking about Bristol calling their very green paint "Cambridge grey". and it was great that you knew which 400 was mine (I havent taken good photos yet.) Please keep me in mind for the RHD dash frame.
Best wishes
Daniel
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