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Old 04-01-2007, 09:26 PM
gmpaul gmpaul is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: East Columbia Texas 77486
Posts: 93
Default veneer panel

Yesterday I was in Houston at a wood working show and came across some beautiful veneer and of course the first thing I thought of was my panel. Man that would sure look good: swearling grain, satan finish, very unique, all the time telling myself no you don't need this because.....
Ok now I'm the proud owner of a bundle of some real pretty veneer.
Here's the question: has anyone had any luck in applying wood veneer to an aluminum panel and how did you do it?

Thanks G.P.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:55 AM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,944
Default NO!

Hi G.P.
We have beautiful bird's eye maple veneer on our -6A and it has been on there for a year and a half but is starting to crack in the narrow spaces between the round instruments (airspeed/alt, etc) and the cracks are slowly widening but now seem to have stabilized. I'm not sure that I'd do it again.

I also don't know whether or not to have the aluminum dash warm as in the summer before you apply the veneer. Ours was 3M glue backed and stuck (sticks?) incredibly well. Apparently there's a big difference in the coeficient of expansion/contraction.

Rv10 Sold
46 years ag pilot/CFI
Air Tractor 502/PT-6
Building RV-12, Wings, fuse, emp complete. FWF in progress.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:52 AM
Bob Martin's Avatar
Bob Martin Bob Martin is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Posts: 1,323
Default No also

I agree with Pierre!
I had the same experiance.
There are other ways to get the same effect.
I've seem the rich wood under thick plastic.
Also, and I haven't about this one in the RV group, but my hangar mate and RV-6 guy is in the sign business and the computer graphics run on vinyl sheets are fantastic and can be customized for you. So effectively it would be a vinyl overlay on the metal panel. Just a thought!
Good Luck
Bob Martin
RV-6, 0-360 Hartzell C/S, Tip up, 1200+TT
James extended cowl/plenum, induction, -8VS and Rudder. TSFlightline hoses. Oregon Aero leather seats.
D100-KMD150-660-TT ADI2- AS air/oil seperator. Vetterman exhaust with turndown tips.
Louisa, Virginia KLKU N94TB
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:23 AM
Deems Davis Deems Davis is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Anthem, Az
Posts: 168
Default Water Transfer printing

Here's another way to accomplish the same thing, without the problems. This is what the auto mfgs are doing. There are people who will do this for custom prders.

I plan to use this on my RV-10. There are a WIDE variety of 'skins' you can use
Deems Davis
RV10 N519PJ
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:44 PM
Buckeyewtp Buckeyewtp is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: delaware,ohio
Posts: 1
Default Water transfer printing

Yes the process to use is Water transfer printing
Water transfer printing
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:20 PM
rleffler's Avatar
rleffler rleffler is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Delaware, OH (KDLZ)
Posts: 4,384
Default Kydex

Kydex, which is a plastic like material used in many automotive and aircraft application is available with a wood grain finish.

For those that have seen the Aerosport Products interior panels, they are made out of kydex.

Getting a small enough piece of kydex to do a single instrument panel or a set of inserts will probably be the biggest obstacle. Minimum order quanties are more than what you would want for a single aircraft. The kydex would also have to be backed by alumunium for use in a panel.

Bob Leffler
N410BL - RV10 Flying
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:56 PM
FresnoR's Avatar
FresnoR FresnoR is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 494

The Veneer should not be attached to the aluminum. If you could find a way to sandwich or float it in there but not attach it to anything, you should be okay. The wood will contract and expand with temperature and moisture much more than than anything else in the aircraft, if it is glued, bolted or screwed to the aluminum, it will create enormous pressure as the wood expands, leading to cracking and splitting. Much like how a wooden prop can stretch bolts, except obviously veneer is much thinner.
Rick from Seattle
Wannabe RV-15

The art to flying lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:07 PM
flyboy1963's Avatar
flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,439
Default veneer panel

We did a mahogany veneer overlay in our Jodel. ( wood RV!)
Basically we cut out the exact panel without the screw holes, then attached with velcro tabs so that it stood off (just the height of the screw heads). Thus easy to remove when an instrument needed work, and we had to re-varnish it frequently due to the heat causing it to check.
It was a thing of beauty, but sometimes we wished it wasn't glossy, and the thickness made a couple instruments a bit harder to read from the co-pilot's seat.(my seat!)
I think perhaps the faux finishes may be the way to go now....easier to add to other parts of the cabin as well.
Perry Y.
RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:16 PM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 2,767

I have always veneered my panels. I just like the look of it. I have found that the wide-grained woods, such as maple and Oak will crack and not look as nice as the finer grained woods such as Cherry.

Vic Syracuse

Built RV-4, RV-6, 2-RV-10's, RV-7A, RV-8, Prescott Pusher, Kitfox Model II, Kitfox Speedster, Kitfox 7 Super Sport, Just Superstol, DAR, A&P/IA, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor, CFII-ASMEL/ASES/RW
Kitplanes "Unairworthy" "Diagnostics" monthly feature
EAA Sport Aviation "Checkpoints" monthly column
Author "Pre-Buy Guide for Amateur-Built Aircraft" & "Are your Nuts Tight?"
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:44 PM
TSwezey TSwezey is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,848

Ours has been on for over three years now and we haven't had any problems with it.
RV-10 Vesta V8 LS2/BMA EFIS/One formerly flying at 3J1 Hobbs stopped at 150 hours
Savannah, GA and Ridgeland, SC
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