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Thread: Taylorcraft instrument panel finish question

  1. #1

    Taylorcraft instrument panel finish question

    How did they do this?

    It is NOT engine turned or burnished, the swirls are all different sizes and different overlaps. Maybe some kind of leaf applique? This was probably a show plane, so extra fancy, maybe something that was done on period (1938) automobiles?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I'm not sure of the exact name, but one option is called hydro dipped printing. They can print just about any pattern you like from wood grain to camo.

    Here is an example. This is Phil Perry's RV-10 panel. The panel is actually an Aerosport Products carbon fiber panel that has had the finish hydro printed.

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    Bob Leffler
    RV-10 Flying

  3. #3
    Hank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Huntington, WV
    You can do the same to aluminum pretty easily with a grinder. Just chuck a piece of rubber and touch it around. For multiple sizes, get several pieces of rubber. Just have the aluminum nicely polished first.
    1970 M20-C

  4. #4
    It isn't bare aluminum, it's a colored process of some kind, and not burnished like that. Will have to try the antique car guys and see if they know.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Indian Land, SC
    In the 1930's the aircraft and car manufacturers used wood graining applications for metal surfaces. Could it be that Taylorcraft used a non-wood grain template to do that panel? For those who don't know, wood graining is the process of using water based ink on a grained metal template, transferring the grain from the template to the metal surface with a rubber roller. After the ink dries, the panel gets clear-coated. Aeronca Chief panels where done this way, as well as most high end airplanes of the day, i.e., Stinson, Waco, etc. I bought a kit from Grain-it-technology and did the instrument panel and window reveals on my Waco.

  6. #6
    Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I don't know about this one, but I had a 1941 T-Craft. My panel was painted when I bought it, but while researching for restoration (which I never did, I sold the plane) but according to an old brochure I found the original panel (my plane was the "deluxe" version) was finished in "prima vera wood grain", which was some sort of painted or enameled finish. Presumably this one is the same, but in a burl pattern?

    It was common on cars of that era, and even furniture (I have a woodgrained metal kitchen table). Back when I had the plane, a friend who was into restoring Model T's was going to get me information on how the car guys restore or redo this type of finish.

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