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I'm considering making a laser-cut wood veneer for Model 3 center console / dash

I'm considering making a laser-cut wood veneer for Model 3 center console / dash

Now that there are a few Model 3's in my area, I have been able to take careful measurements of the center console and am working on a custom wood veneer with 3M adhesive backing to match the wood trim on the console and protect the shiny plastic surface for mine when it comes. I don't like the idea of a shiny, black, fingerprint magnet, center console.

I found that ash wood best matches the trim that's already there, but I also have access to red oak, birch, mahogany, cherry, and even some more rare woods like ebony, snakewood, and purple heartwood.

Right now, I estimate that a center console dash kit would be between $150-200 for an Ash center console and some associated dash components, and it would laser cut and individually hand-finished.

Before I plunge into making them for other people, I'd like to gauge interest.

Do you want a wood-trim kit? What parts of the interior you'd like to get protected/covered with a wood laminate? What kind of wood/color/stain if you can change the wood-line trim to a different one? Would you want a realistic stain color, or something really different like blue/orange/green/red/yellow?

phil | 27 aprile 2018

Would it replace the damn 'open-pore wood decor' with something presentable? If so, count me interested.

fritter63 | 27 aprile 2018

So, need to make sure that 3M adhesive would hold up to the temperatures you can get in a black interior. We can hit 115 in the shade here during the summary. Glues tend to not like that.... ;)

Also, what is your strategy for preventing splitting/splintering of the edges?

I use veneers in some locations on my acoustic guitar builds and the stuff can be pretty sensitive.

martinbogo | 27 aprile 2018

@phil depending on what finish I use? Sure. I would aim for a high quality, low VOC acrylic polycoat if doing a full stain-and-seal.

@fritter63 I make custom 3D printed molds, and steam heat and form the wood before staining and finishing it. This makes for a better fit-and-finish to curved surfaces. The 3M adhesive I will be using is designed for the car market, and should be able to handle heat close to the boiling point of water. In fact, it's -cold- weather performance I'm somewhat worried about.

I think it would be fair if I offered a 1 year limited warranty against problems. Say, if the glue gives, or the wood splinters.

Beagle | 27 aprile 2018

Martin,
Where are you located? I'm very interested in matching the front and center console. The idea of putting carbon fiber or something black is not appealing. Unfortunately, I'm getting a bit tired of dark burls, but still very interested in having them match.

Musavviradam | 27 aprile 2018

I may be possibly interested as well. If you can provide some pictures or example. It would help to illustrate the image the big picture.

bjoern | 27 aprile 2018

sounds great, let's see some prototypes

martinbogo | 27 aprile 2018

@Beagle

I'm in Austin TX, but this kit would be something I would box and mail to you. The 3M adhesive is an easy "peel 'n stick' solution. The only important thing is to pre-clean any surfaces that will get the adhesive with some isopropyl alcohol and for perfect ahesion -- you can use a promoter like 3M's 4298 wipes.

martinbogo | 27 aprile 2018

@bjoern

I'm prototyping now ( just the center console and such ) and using low-tack adhesive to check fit and finish. I'm still not sure if I should keep this a 'one off' or make them commercially yet. ( part of why I'm asking the question here )

renclothes | 27 aprile 2018

I'm in College Station. Could you possibly install as well?

rjadams72 | 27 aprile 2018

?? Youd be adding more wood rather than immediately pulling out the horendous piece on the dash? A wood component to a car is about as ugly as a BMW i3. Good luck to you, could be a money maker

phil | 27 aprile 2018

I agree the dash open pore wood veneer is horrendous, and particularly out of place in the Model 3. What were they thinking?
Also agree non-wood would be better, but a nice wood piece could be a significant improvement.

martinbogo | 27 aprile 2018

@renclothes

Yeep... I don't know if I'd do an install. I have my little house garage, and the garage at the maker space nearby. I think I'd rather hand that off to a pro installer ( like a vinyl installer. )

martinbogo | 27 aprile 2018

@rjadams

The RIGHT kind of wood, sure. It's a matter of personal taste, and there are already companies making vinyl-based wrap/stickers for the model 3 dash that have more experience than I do.

Personally? I like the look of finished wood. Properly stained and sealed, I'd prefer ironwood or ebony over carbon fiber any day.

sbenoit | 27 aprile 2018

I would be very interested.

Cactusone | 27 aprile 2018

Count me in also

Epicurus | 28 aprile 2018

I'd be interested. Personally I happen to really like the open pore wood dash.

Tbonezes | 28 aprile 2018

I'd be very interested. Especially in the custom woods and matching the dash trim to the console. I would want to make sure if the longevity but it sounds like a great idea!

fritter63 | 28 aprile 2018

@Martinbogo

" I make custom 3D printed molds, and steam heat and form the wood before staining and finishing it. This makes for a better fit-and-finish to curved surfaces. The 3M adhesive I will be using is designed for the car market,"

Interesting. I might need to collaborate with you on something similar. Do you have a website?

On my custom guitars I do a "beveled armrest" which currently have a CNC cut blocking that ends up getting veneered using just yellow carpenters glue. But I'm having issues with glue lines. I've been toying with the idea of having that blocking 3D printed in laser sintered nylon (since it has a porosity similar to wood and can also be glued).

I've also done similar with what I call a "scoop cutaway" in the upper bout. Wondering if your 3M adhesive would be better?

I don't see a way to PM on these forums.... danged primitive!

Here is my guitar blog, you can see some pictures of what I"m talking about: http://ahsbandguitar.blogspot.com

kwakagy | 29 aprile 2018

Strongly interested. How do intend to handle the cupholder cutouts?

zollweg | 29 aprile 2018

I may be interested. I’d just like it to match the existing wood

5042 | 29 aprile 2018

I'd be interested in matching dash and console components.. Please post photos of prototypes (preferably in different woods).

5042 | 29 aprile 2018

I'd be interested in matching dash and console components.. Please post photos of prototypes (preferably in different woods).

santadam | 29 aprile 2018

same as @5042 and @zollweg.....would be interested in a matching wood and also prefer wood to the current carbon fiber and other aftermarket kits available.

ehsmadhatter | 7 maggio 2018

Interested.

roger.klurfeld | 7 maggio 2018

I'm interested too. But not a glossy finished wood that looks like plastic. The finish should match the wood there, not necessarily the species.

TexasBob | 7 maggio 2018

Interested, especially in one that matches the dash (which we like).

Also, Fritter63, that is an awesome guitar for the raffle. Very, very cool.

b.tesla | 7 maggio 2018

I would prefer something that is not wood to replace / overlay the main wood piece on the dash. Maybe a piano black, or maybe something I could get painted to match my exterior color. I'm not a fan of carbon fiber.

Different tastes for different people. My opinion of wood on a car goes back to the fake wood panels on station wagons when I was a kid, just like in Vacation.

cascadiadesign | 7 maggio 2018

I'd like to see a built-in solution for keeping the key card in place without it sliding between the seat. Maybe a cnc routed solid piece of wood with a shallow pocket milled out rather than a veneer. I would think the center console wood would not need to be very thick, even with a key card pocket. I'd welcome any wood solution as long at it matches the dash wood, or includes new dash wood in a different flavor.

johnse | 7 maggio 2018

To the makers in the US, there is a wonderful Laser Cutter / engraver called the Glowforge. In the US and parts of Europe, they are past fulfilling pre-orders from their crowdfunding and are now shipping units from inventory. If you want a discount referral code, ask... I am a happy owner, not affiliated with the company.

chadster | 17 maggio 2018

Is this still happening? I’m super interested.

mr.wolf | 17 maggio 2018

I’m interested as well.

scott.bristol | 17 maggio 2018

I would be very interested in a match to the existing open pore dash trim. I really like that. TSsportline has a steering wheel with matching open pore wood as well. This would complete the cycle.

Smhach | 17 maggio 2018

I would be interested. Maybe instead of trying to match the trim you could select a contrasting wood. Just a thought.

dbkerr | 21 maggio 2018

I am strongly interested in a matching veneer for the console.

dbkerr | 21 maggio 2018

Oh, and if you would offer a matching veneer for the window switch area, I'd buy that too.

TexasBob | 23 maggio 2018

so @ martinbogo? How goes the prototyping? Still interested...

android04 | 24 maggio 2018

I would be interested as long as the Ash wood very closely resembles the dashboard strip. I think it would be nice to cover up the glossy center console with the wood. Of course, would have to see pictures and video of it first...

polaris | 24 maggio 2018

Sorry for the duplicate post in another thread but just saw this and it's more apt to get a response. Anyone actually know what material that center console wood decor is made of?

NJturtlePower | 10 luglio 2018

I'm in for a matching wood veneer for the console.

The vinyl wood option offered by RPM catches my eye and really brightens up the interior IMO, but I'm kinda of torn on putting "decals" on a $50k car. A true wood veneer console add-on would be awesome!

My second choice is the Black Brushed Metal, but really think the wood accent pops more with the otherwise industrial/dark interior.

brandonbeechler | 10 luglio 2018

Count me in also! I'll PayPal you a payment asap. Just send me the details.

chuck | 10 luglio 2018

Sign me up! NOW! Whoever thought that that glossy black was a good idea should be checked for sanity.

Please, make a wood that matches the wood on the dash. I would L O V E love that.

bharat | 10 luglio 2018

Interetsed but would like to see some pics.. also how about trim on the front where the air vents are to match?

rhware | 12 agosto 2018

I am interested

roger.klurfeld | 12 agosto 2018

@martinbogo Any progress? I'm still interested.

rick | 12 agosto 2018

I am interested. I am in Canada. Sounds intriguing.

john.biscevic | 1 settembre 2018

Hey Martin, Any update on this? Does anyone else know anyone doing something similar?

I have a 2016 Model S with the matte dark Obeche wood trim and would love something similar for my 3. Thoughts?

ODWms | 2 settembre 2018

I’d be VERY interested in a darker (red wood?) alternative to the existing dash wood, in combination with those of the center components.

Rickford | 1 dicembre 2018

Count me in! But what about the curved edges etc on cup holders and on the console "doors"? Sorry if you answered this, I didn't see it but I didn't read every one.

RedShift | 1 dicembre 2018

I tried this. I got real wood paper (look up those words on google) and tried to see if I could go with a very light color veneer. I spray coated lacquer on top as well. Decided color didn’t match he dash.

Will be interested if veneer matched dash. Or, dash pieces are also available along with console pieces.

tesla | 2 dicembre 2018

I think the open pore wood decor is actually incredibly tasteful - and a nod to danish modernism. Before the days of junky wood veneer, European cars made proper use of beautiful woods, and I think the Model 3 designers respect that. Consider the BMW 3.0cs - a glorious car. Look at its dash: https://www.google.com/search?q=bmw+3.0cs+dashboard&client=safari&rls=en...

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