Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Ambidextrous Bentley Dashboard

 I suppose this dashboard isn't truly ambidextrous.  But it is being switched from a right side drive, to a left side drive, which I think is just as neat of a trick.  When our customer purchased this vehicle, it was being driven in Great Britain, where everyone drives on the wrong side of  the road.   To make life simpler for himself, he decided to have the entire vehicle flip-flopped.  
 Our part in this task was to work on the dashboard.  In the first picture, you can see the dash as we were just starting the job. (I apologize for the dash being upside down!). To do the task,  we flipped the wood over and altered the shape of the glovebox and instrument panel openings so that they worked the other way.
The on the backside of the center opening there was a routed out section which you can see in the top photo.  We filled this with bondo, and routed out a new section on the oposite side.  After staining the newly adjusted dash, we hand painted a black 'pinstripe' around each opening, as you can see in the second photo.  

This project took lots of very careful work but is almost done.  The new finish looks beautiful.  We are going to sand the finish with a very high grit paper to make the wood pores disappear.  Then it will get a topcoat of our water based finish, and this dashboard will be ready to be put in use again.  This time on the right side of the road!

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