Do you supply replacement dashboards?
No. I offer a restoration service. You supply me with the dashboard that you have, whether it is wood or metal and I will restore it and return it to you for you to remount in your classic car. I can on occasion, whilst carrying out restoration of the interiour woodwork for a car, either remake or supply an element that may be missing.
Are the dashboards restored in the car?
No, all the pieces that need restoration are to be taken out of your car and supplied to me at my workshop in Normandy, France, ensuring that all dials, instruments and other items are stripped off. Please ensure that only the woodwork is supplied to me. If items arrive with pieces left on that I would need to remove, then this may well incur a further charge.
Do you work on modern car Dashboards?
I only work on Classic Car dashboards and interior trim.
What types of dashboard do you restore?
I only restore wooden dashboards and interior trim or metal dashboards and trim on which I paint by hand a burr walnut effect (or Facel Vega Effect). I do not work on any other type such as leather, vinyl, plastic or glass.
Do you use the modern PU lacquer that is used in modern cars.
No, It is not my style to produce the thick and glassy finish that appears in new cars. My style is to restore the beauty in the car's interior woodwork and I either French polish or use a water-based lacquer in fine coats so show off the beauty of the woodwork.
Can you guarantee to match colours if I only ask you to restore some of the items of woodwork?
No. The only way to ensure that all your items match is to have them all restored at the same time. All colours are mixed by hand depending on the veneers and the solid wood at the time of restoration. In addition the finish (how thick or how shiny) would not be the same.
Does Classic Dashboards hand finish the woodwork?
Yes. The colouring (staining) of the veneer and woodwork, the French Polishing and the waxing is all carried out by hand, if that is the finish that you choose.
The other woodwork items seem OK. Can I just restore the dashboard?
Yes, of course this is possible, however I wouldn't recommend it if you hoping for a unified look to your woodwork.
In the past I have clients ask me to do this and the they have come back to me afterwards for me restore the other items as they then don't look as good. This then causes problems as I am trying to match colours and as those are all mixed by hand it takes more time, creates more work and therefore more cost to the client.
Please let me ensure you that I am not saying this to create more work for myself, I am trying to provide the best restoration work for my clients as possible.
My dashboard has been badly restored previously elsewhere. Can you help me?
Absolutely. Whether your woodwork needs restoration due to the ravages of time or simply a bad restoration job I can achieve your requirements. I have been restoring classic car dashboards and antique furniture for 25 years and have been running my own business since 1991. Items come to me in all kinds of states. Some just need refinishing or some have broken pieces, missing elements or little veneer left. None of these situations is a problem, that's what I'm here for.
Should I have a go at sanding off the finish before sending it to you?
Please don't try. I have much experience of previous clients trying to start the project themselves but in sanding the finish the veneer is often damaged and the project has ended up more costly due to the extra work involved of reveneering. When I remove the finish I don't sand it off, I use chemicals to eat through the old finish without harmoing the delicate veneer.
I would prefer to have my dashboard lacquered, do you do this?
Yes, I can also carry out lacquering of dashboards and wood trim. I only use a water-based lacquer as it looks more natural and less 'plasticky'. It is also more ecological. I apply thin coats so that it is well protected but not thick and plastic looking. I then finish it the items by hand ensuring a smooth finish.
I like the veneer but there is a piece missing, can it be repaired?
Yes. I can often replace areas that are missing or damaged without having to replace the whole veneer.
Is it possible for my restored dashboard to look old as I don't like the new look 'plastic' dashboards?
Yes. You can choose to have an antiqued or aged finish. MY reputation is built around providing my clients with wookwork that has been professionally restored but at the same time has kept the character of the wood and that is in-keeping with the age of the vehicle. Please contact me to discuss your requirements and I will achieve exactly the finish you are looking for.
How much will it cost?
The price depends on many factors, such as; How many items there are and how big are they? What finish is there already? Does the veneer need replacing? Is the actual wood damaged? Is the groundwork de-laminating?
I ask my clients to email (or post) me detailed photos of all the items to be restored. If this can be done then I am able to give a ballpark figure. It is impossible to correctly quote for restoration work without seeing it in person. There are so many elements to pricing, that it would be irresponsible of me not to inspect your wooden trim before giving a precise quote.
If you would like me to provide you with a detailed quote please send all items to me. Providing the quotation is free of charge. I only charge for the return of the items should you decide not to proceed.
As with the pricing for the Antiques that I restore you may find someone who is willing to do it cheaper for you, but as with many things in life 'you get what you pay for'. The service that I am offering is one of craftsmanship, using traditional restoration methods to breath life into the interior woodwork of you classic car. Clients come to me because of my skill, experience and personal service. No items leave the workshop until I am 100% satisfied with them and no items have ever been returned.
How long will it take?
This depends on many things; how many items there are, how much work is to be carried out on them and how much work is already in the workshop at the time.
There are many stages in a full restoration and many of these need drying times; for glueing veneers, colouring and polishing for example. Please contact me direclty to discuss you turnaround requirements. I appreciate that you are keen to get your classic car on the road again and will do everything in my power to help that happen. I am a craftsman and the service I offer is one of expertise and precision therefore this takes time.
If after being French polished the woodwork becomes damaged can it be repaired?
Yes, if you have chosen a French polish finish (as opposed to a lacquer finish) this can be achieved. We can just wash back the wax and then repair the damage. Once that has been carried out we then redo the French polish and then wax.