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OAK CONSOLE - RESTORATION

March 2015. After 25 years, one would expect oak to dry out and the finish to crack. Suprising the white oak is in relatively good condition. Being that this truck had spent it's life in the North West USA, stored indoors, it didn't get beat up by the sun and the elements. Setting out to restore all of the oak in the truck, I started with the center console as it is the center piece, literally. You can click on any photo to enlarge.

Removing the console was super easy once I found the two long screws underneat the vent that is mounted at the rear.

 

Removing it required putting the truck in 4L so the gear shift would clear the opening. A few wired to tape off and label to reconnect the strip light at the back. 25 years of spills and stuff falling in the cracks, not too bad actually. It's a good time to vacuum and steam clean the area. Noticed a coiled up coax cable, must have been for an optional tv. Notice the original carpet protective film around the gear shift.

 

Took some before photos, mostly to see how the new finish compares to the original. The console weighs about 20lbs.

 

Better take some interior shots of how this thing was constructed in case it gets complicated.

 

Luckily there was mostly screws holding everything together, only a few brad nails to content with otherwise very easy to dissasemble. Labeled the wires, ready to take it all apart.

 

Had to make some repairs to a few cracked pieces. Nothing some yellow wood glue and clamps can't handle. Let it set up and dry overnight.

 

Time to start sanding! The white oak is beautiful in it's natural state. I didn't care to get the cup holder circles smooth as new cork will cover these up.

 

I decided to use a Minwax natural oil based stain (2 coats) and a oil based polyurethane (3 coats) with a light sand in between coats. Tbe original oak had likely darkened over the 25 years and with an oil based product I knew the oak would amber a little bit so I figured a natural stain would come closest to matching the existing woodwork.

 

Staining process... the photos were taken after only one coat of stain.

 

The completed console. All that's left is some felt pads to install for the flip up door and new cork for the bottoms of the cup holders.

 

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