The 1962 Thompson Dash Renew

The new boat is a continuing theme, but some interruptions are necessary in a 2-3 year project. The !962 Thompson being restored by Lake Effect Marina in Union, Michigan is nearing completion, but it needed a little help finishing up the dash board. Over the years it had been painted a couple of times over a plywood panel that wasn’t so special to begin with.

Scott is quite an artist with the Hydro dip technique, but getting a good looking Mahogany grain over paint never quite materialized. So he called and I went over to check out the problem. The last time I discussed how he wanted me to fix something, he said, “I have seen your boat. Just do this job like it was your own.”

That simplified the discussion, and the idea carried over to this project as well. So, the first thing I thought was that the dashboard should have the same beautiful solid thick Mahogany veneer as the transom that I rebuilt last December. (see Posts Thompson Transom 1 and 2)

I bought a nice piece of 4/4 Mahogany from Nisley’s Sons, and used my table saw and bandsaw to slice it in two book-matched pieces. Then I jointed the middle edges straight so they would lay together well, and taped them with wide masking tape.

On the back side of the dash, I cleaned and smoothed the holes for gauges and controls. Then, I taped them with green tape so there would not be much epoxy to clean up. The Mahogany veneer was left wider and thicker than the needed final dimensions to make clamping easier and to have less epoxy drip.

Many clamps were used, with wood blocks on the back side to spread the pressure more evenly over the whole surface. After epoxy bonding, I removed the green tape, cleaned up the excess, and routed the holes out to the original sizes.

Next, the veneer edge was trimmed to the original shape, final sanding was done. The dash was delivered to the marina for them to varnish, mount gauges, and install in the old Thompson speed boat..

If you having a problem with too much work to do or too many customers, you could probably fix it with a few sloppy jobs!

Otherwise, giving a “baker’s dozen” or “doing unto others how you would like it yourself,” will earn a stellar reputation.


One thought on “The 1962 Thompson Dash Renew

  1. It’s true Dad. Just heard a story like this from Luke Hall, 12 years old and doing car detailing, and he did thank you notes upon recommendation from a wise mentor (his Dad Travis!). The lady appreciated that gesture so much that she posted it on Zionsville Moms, and it went a little viral! Luke has done 10-12 car details!

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