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Refinishing Wood

Refinishing Wood

One of the parts of my car which most attracts me is the beautiful wood. I am nearing the end of my five and one-half year restoration and am ready to begin on the wood. I am most interested in a obtaining an original as opposed to an over-restored result. Does any one have any experience in this area? I would like to know about specific finishes and wood coloring stains with which members have had experience. It seems that presently the factory is using a polyester finish but I have been unable to find a source of this product or how it differs from a polyurethane. Reading about Zoran's initial drive reminded me very much of mine. I had been looking for a 120 for a number of months when an ad appeared in Hemmings for one located in Salem, Oregon about 600 miles north of my home in California. Being a responsible sort of guy I immediately pulled my kids out of school and drove up for a look. This was as insane as just going to look at a litter of puppies, I had to have it. I came home with "Gwen" a beautiful '54 DHC which needed a complete rebuild. I was originally going to rent a U-haul trailer to get home but was unable to find one. So off we start with my wife and I sharing driving with one of our elementary aged girls riding shotgun. Her brakes were shot, we helped seal the road down with all the dripping oil and I learned why the British always have a lap blanket in the car-to keep the heater from freezing up. I also heard my first Lucas joke. We were in a small Oregon town when this beat up old Chevy pick-up pulled up next to me and the driver yelled out his window, "Why do the British drink warm beer?" I looked over at him like why would I know or even care. He laughed and asked how long I'd had the car, I told him about five hours. I did not fully appreciate the answer alluding to some Prince until about an hour later when my wife turned on the lights and then exited the car like a Le Mans start in reverse with my kid out the other door barely beating the flames erupting from under the dash. Luckily I was right behind in the only item a Jag needs to venture more than 2 blocks from its garage-a fully equipped chase vehicle. I got the fire out, the kid back from the brink of hysteria and my wife back in the comfort of her van. We finally did make it home with no other incidents but with lots of great memories of singing Christmas carols with my children while motoring down the Pacific Ocean coast in my brand new forty year old Jag. - Jeff Kelley-Day

Hi Jeff & all -- re: wood refinishing, go to JagLovers, ""-- you'll find my wood piece, printable -- hope this helps -- Larry Martz **********

Larry, I have not restored the woodwork on an XK but have on a MK2. The process I used was as follows: 1.Remove brackets, window trim and door felt etc 2.Strip old lacquer and sand over lightly 3.Undertake any Minor repairs to veneer 4.Spray with 4 coats of flexible polyester lacquer. 5.Leave for approx 4 days to fully harden 6.Sand by hand and polish on buffing machine with coarse then fine polishing compound 7.Refit A company specialising in the restoration of Jaguar wood trim is Phil Cooper Woodtrimming in the UK. Check out his web site on: I am sure his will give you some advice on the lacquer side. Regards. - Dave Roche

I am about to refinish the wood in my XK-120 FHC and it seems there are several different ways to do it. Some refinishing I've seen leaves a very high gloss, deep finish - looks great. Other people say that the original is closer to just a waxed finish, not highly varnished but just a soft patina. Any opinions or concensus. Thanks. - Scott Selbach, '53 XK-120M FHC, S680701

Hi Scott Selback & all -- For my piece on refinishing wood on earlier Jaguars, go to <> and click into "Refinishing Earlier Jaguar Woodwork" -- it'll help answer your questions. I suggest you print it out as a guide for your own woodwork. Hope this helps - Larry Martz

Hi Larry, thanks for the suggested info on restoring woodwork. The address "saloons&" does not connect! What is the correct address? cheers - Phil Maurice, 120 OTS 673565

Phil, I believe the full address is "". Also try the xk-lovers Library at "". - Dick White

Scott, You want my opinion : never have your veneer finished in " high gloss " I know that lots of customers want it this way, but initially, in the 50's they just gave it a few layers of varnish, done in an ordinary spray booth.(I know this from a club member who actually witnessed this spraying operation in the '55 or '56. "VIART" says on this subject: ... better give it a "satin" finish, which will make it comparable with the original. The finished 120 and 140 dashes which you can order everywhere in Europe all have that artificially plastic look. I ordered to have mine finished this way: the veneer specialist will use 6 or so layers of a special varnish, instead of 10! (It's a technique used furniture restauration!) The result will be a silky, "satin" look. - regards, Johan Van Puyvelde

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