When it comes to classic car restoration, the central aim of any project should be to retain as many of the original timber elements and trim details as possible. However, in certain instances, where the deterioration is too severe or rot has set in, this simply isn't possible, and entire sections of timber will need to be replaced to bring your vintage vehicle back to life.
Finding the correct wood materials to restore your classic car can also be difficult, particularly when you need precise dimensions of the exact wood species to match the surrounding timber trim. At Woodshop Direct, our easy-to-navigate site aims to make things more straightforward - so allow us to guide you through all the ways we can help you with your next classic car restoration project...
What Timber Do I Need?
When choosing your timber, you need to go for premium quality materials, offering you the highest amount of practical benefit and visual appeal. There could be as many as three different timber species on your car but your best bet for car restoration, particularly if you have something like a '62 Morris Minor, is likely to be hardwood such as American Ash. Favoured among car restoration circles, Ash offers great strength, rot resistance and stability, while gluing, staining and finishing effectively.
European Oak and Beech are also popular and highly suitable timber species for restoration projects. Oak finishes beautifully and takes screws and nails well while Beech timber has great strength and stiffness, responding well to glues, stains and dyes.
It's also important to note that timber replacement requires a lot of hard labour, therefore, if you're working on a wood panelling job, you should probably consider replacing entire sides instead of small sections for economic purposes. Woodshop Direct will cut your American Ash, Oak or Beech according to the exact lengths, widths and thicknesses required, giving you a completely bespoke material for your next project.
What Varnish Should I Use?
You may have a preferred finish of choice to hand, but Woodshop recommends an easy-to-apply clear polyurethane varnish, that will add strength, deterioration resistance and stunning clarity to the finished wood. Often, these finishes also provide great ultraviolet light protection and an attractive yet durable lustre to the end result. Make sure you assess the suitability of your chosen varnish on your restoration materials beforehand and always read the relevant product information for coating and finishing instructions.
What Adhesives Are Suitable For Car Restoration?
There's a school of thought among the restoration community that timber on vintage cars up to the '50s should only be repaired using animal glues to remain faithful to the traditional manufacturing methods - however, this level of specificity simply isn't necessary. We would recommend that you keep your wood adhesives firmly in the 21st century, using a good quality resin-based adhesive, and preferably one that's waterproof if you own an open car. As a rule of thumb, you should also only glue elements in your restoration project that were glued originally or meant to be glued in the first place.