the elm burr veneer on an RV8 glovebox lid
Peter Garton posted a message on the V8BB concerning the refurbishment
of his glove box lid on the dashboard of his RV8. (Nov
The lacquer protecting the elm burr dash board and door cappings
has a tendency to chip and crack as a result of climate, sun and
weathering in general. The net result is a general slow fading of
the lacquer and visible hairline cracks. In fact the wood itself
is joined via virtually invisible seams to ensure a perfectly proportional
and symetrical presentation of the beautiful graining in the elm
during manufacture. This seam finds itself mostly on the dashboard
fascia and also on the door cappings, but in this particular case
it was in the glove locker lid running vertically downwards through
the lock. The seam itself had become optically jagged because the
lacquer had widened and begun to crack.
A company called Chapman and Cliff
set up in business in 1994 and have specialised in woodtrim restoration.
In fact Rob Chapman and Phil Cliff worked for Rolls Royce Motor
Cars in Crewe and became skilled at innovative interiors alongside
Mulliner Park Ward during the 80s and 90s. Chapman & Cliff was
established in 1994 and they have been located at Wybunbury since
1997. Thus they are very experienced in dealing with all sorts of
woodtrim, veneer, lacquer and remanufacture from renowned makes
such as Bentley, Rolls, Triumph, Jaguar, MG and Alvis - and of course
RV8 glove locker lid can be removed quite easily but it is only
necessary to undo the 4 Philips screws on the righthand hinge (driver's
side). The lid can then be carefully tilted downwards to the right
and the lid plus retainer bracket and left hand hinge extracted.
The reason for this is because the left hand screws are difficult
to access and the heads can easily be burred over!
Rob Collier responded "Chapman & Cliff recently
relaquered my door cappings. The dashboard veneer is likely to have
faded from the original colour of the inside of the glovebox lid
but it is also likely that the lacquer on the outside has turned
Stripping off and relaquering my door cappings did not affect the
colour greatly but there was a marked difference in definition of
the wood grain. I am very pleased with the result".
A posting from Ray Ellis was brief and to the point "You
will never get the best match unless you do the dash and door cappings
as well. You pay the price and take the chance . . . best of luck".
Peter Garton replied "Many thanks for your comments.
I'm aware that possibly the match could be a potential problem but
am going ahead anyway. My dash is in excellent shape actually with
no fading or dulling of the lacquer since the car is hardly exposed
to the sun having imported it from Tokyo with only 2,000 km on the
clock. We only use the RV8 in the summer months storing it away
during the winter. Since Chapman & Cliff are the real experts,
I am optimistic that they will provide me with a first class result.
I will report back when the job has been completed".
Rob Collier added "It sounds like your car has been
stored in a closed garage. My car had only done 6,000 km when I
got it but the glovebox and passenger side door capping lacquer
were cloudy as if the sun had been shining more on that side of
the car. The extent of the cloudy eefect was not apparent until
the door capping were relacquered. This really made the beauty of
the burr stand out. I would not worry about the colour of the wood
of your glovebox as it should not be affected, although the overall
effect of the burrs and grain being more apparent may be a slight
Graham commented that "If you are worried about the
final result, why not take a close up digital photograph of the
dashboard and if it is a good colour match to
in the veneer. More
detail (Photo: Peter Garton)
the original send it with the glovebox lid for the company to get
the best match".
Rob Collier responded "The wood is not being stained,
only lightly sanded and relacquered with clear lacquer. My wood did
not change colour therefore . . . but the cloudy lacquer did!"
Peter Garton added "Thank you Rob. Your comments match
up with my thoughts on this one since my car has never been really
exposed to the elements. The lacquer has certainly not been affected
at all and is really in prime condition except for the hairline crack.
I have made a series of photos for my own records and refrained from
submitting them, since the wood itself has not deteriorated in any
way and in any case only the lacquer will be renewed as already mentioned".
Rob Collier provided some useful feedback on his experience with
the refurbisher "Please let us know when you get your glovebox
back and what you feel about the the result. I would highly recommend
Chapman & Cliff as they did a superb job for which they did not
overcharge and they were quick too, I had my door cappings back in
Garton reported "The glovebox lid duly arrived back to Germany
within 14-16 days or so and the jagged crack in the veneer had completely
disappeared. One can see the seam, which is a faint vertical line
where the elm burr is butted edge to edge, making an optical "mirror
finish". The refurbished lid matches the rest of my woodwork
perfectly as does the lacquer so one cannot see any difference to
the rest of the dashboard at all. The cost was € 70 all in and
including postage and packing which is about £ 42-44. Rob Chapman
was most helpful on the telephone and has enormous experience in this
field, so I felt I was in expert and competent hands".
reserved by the
V8 Register, PO Box 888, London SW14 7YT