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1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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6,810 Posts
Almost impossible to patch but new veneer can be applied with care and patience. You have a good ashtray to match the color to. If you do a search you'll find quite a few posts about this.
A few tips:
Use a 2 part glue as contact can leech into the veneer.
Use a UV protected lacquer.
Buy paper backed veneer- it's easier to work with.
Dampen the wood side of the veneer with water to prevent cracking when bending.
Use a sealer on the raw veneer after glue but before applying lacquer
Expect to apply at least 4 coats of lacquer, sanding after each coat and using up to 500 grit paper . Finer grit can make it too shiny for the lacquer to stick.
Start with little stain and progress darker as needed. Many lacquers accept stain mixed in with them. Do some test pieces to get the color right.
A dremel is useful when trimming.
Good luck
 

· Premium Member
1983 380 SL
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4,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cost vs. time

Alternatively, you can buy a new console piece and save yourself a lot of effort. ($200+)
My hobby is wood working and finishing. I built and finished my own kitchen cabinets (solid cherry), but my sl means more to me than my kitchen does. What to do, what to do?
 

· Registered
1988 560SL 50K
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766 Posts
My hobby is wood working and finishing. I built and finished my own kitchen cabinets (solid cherry), but my sl means more to me than my kitchen does. What to do, what to do?
You'll find quite a few post of other owners that have refinished their SL wood pieces so quick search to find them. Sounds like you have the talent to do so so i'd start there. Here's a few

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/2738554-renewal-wood-veneer.html
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c1...sole-wood.html
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c1...ml#post3999167

You can buy both reproductions and there are talented folks like Madera Concepts that will refinish for a $$ price but do wonderful work. Main problem with any reproductions is you really need to go all or nothing as they will never match and the kits I've seen never seem to get the radius on the strips correct. With a quality service like Madera you'll but looking close to a grand for the set.

Also one thing to consider is you will want to restore or replace all the window switches etc. as they they are no doubt tired as well.

And totally agree with Aussiemerc if you do it yourself to go with a UV protected lacquer to finish it off.

Up to you on wood to use. Looks like yours came with Zebrano but a Burl Walnut would also be correct if you want to retain an OM look.
 

· Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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6,810 Posts
I changed to burl walnut because the fascia piece on mine was no good as well. Usually the other strips are ok and not badly faded. I see your ashtray looks fine . I can assure you that redoing an ashtray is very tricky and just getting it apart and back together is a bummer- (the thin chrome piece at the top has little tabs.) I'd only switch veneers if the other pieces are not good. It's very time consuming but rewarding when completed. I found I could achieve a real mirror finish but without a spray booth it was almost impossible to avoid tiny dust particles in the finish (very hard to see but I wanted OE perfection) so I cheated and had the final coat applied by a pro. They are now perfect.
 

· Premium Member
1987 560SL
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2,422 Posts
Aussiemerc's step by step, post number 3, is spot-on. Follow that procedure especially the use of a sanding sealer and 500 grit paper. I used a sanding block that works great if your surfaces are flat.
Once you remove the chrome trim from the ash tray, the wood is simply glued to the metal frame and is easily re-glued. I used spar exterior polyurethane, Miniwax is shown but all of these have flattening agents that produce a mirror finish with brush application. I think I did five coats but the nice thing about sanding and recoating is you just keep going until you like what you see.

You will also find good advice on this board about removing old stuff with acetone; but as you are gluing fresh veneer this point is moot.
 

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· Registered
1988 560SL 50K
Joined
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766 Posts
Aussiemerc's step by step, post number 3, is spot-on. Follow that procedure especially the use of a sanding sealer and 500 grit paper. I used a sanding block that works great if your surfaces are flat.
Once you remove the chrome trim from the ash tray, the wood is simply glued to the metal frame and is easily re-glued. I used spar exterior polyurethane, Miniwax is shown but all of these have flattening agents that produce a mirror finish with brush application. I think I did five coats but the nice thing about sanding and recoating is you just keep going until you like what you see.

You will also find good advice on this board about removing old stuff with acetone; but as you are gluing fresh veneer this point is moot.
And my bet looks better in person.

So many options. One advantage about owning a higher production collector car is you're really not limited to keep it totally stock. Find a wood you like and go with it.
 

· Registered
1986 560 SL
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8,248 Posts
I have thought about changing from wood to stainless using the film you can buy for dishwasher front panels. I think it would look good and complement the spokes on my Momo wheel but i don't think it would apply neatly to the ashtray contours.
 
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