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Iwanna330Cic
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And if so - what do they do to get it so glossy and smooth? Several polyurethane coats? A friend of mine said it was cheap metal made to look like wood. I didn't think it was :dunno:

Doug
 

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resU deretsigeR
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On my e34, it absolutely was real wood. Some of the Individual trims are veneers of exotic wood. -- but not too many people get Individual BMWs.

On current low end models (1, 3...) it is probably a thin veneer of real wood sandwiched in some sort of plastic.

Yesterday I saw a new F30 335i, with a very odd looking trim. Name was something like Fineline Pure - Textured. Kinda looked like wrinkled vinyl fake wood. Not sure if it is sold in the US. Overall the interior looked nice, but the trim was odd.

Edit: Yes, you can get it in the US with the Modern Line trim pack.
 

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I think all the BMW wood trim is clear-coated with something or other. I'm pretty sure that the matte finish eucalyptus wood trim in my E46 M3 is coated, but isn't glossy. I agree that the matte look is nicer than the glossy look.

I notice some newer model cars (I believe Audi) are now coming with the non-laminated wood trim, which I find absolutely gorgeous. It gives the real wood look much better than the glossy laminated trim does.
 

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It is real wood, a thin veneer over a plastic base. You would not want solid wood because it would be weak along the grain and it would move with moisture changes. By using a very thin veneer it does not move. The finish is plastic like many of the finishes I use on furniture. Due to the thickness of the finish and the thin wood, the pores are completely filled so it is smooth. Achieving this sort of finish on wood is high end and expensive. I can do it but generally do not. Most of us expect to see the pores and that is easier to achieve. The thick finish is also more durable.

I do not know much about infinitis but the one I remember riding in had fake wood trim. I HATE that. It is easy to spot if you know wood and looks really bad IMHO. I would much rather have the black plastic trim that was offered in my 2009 128i than fake wood. But walnut is much nicer.

BMW seems to use the more figured wood in the higher end cars. I have not seen burl, crotch or butt grain in a 128i. I've seen it in some 135s and in 3s and up. But even my plain walnut is nice. My other wood alternative was a birds eye poplar stained grey. It was nice looking and I think I would have gotten the same figure in my 128 as was in more expensive bimmers but poplar is a secondary wood in woodworking and I couldn't get over that. Walnut is one of our finest furniture woods. Figured walnut is too unstable for many applications when solid but it is great in a veneer.

Jim
 

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It is real wood, a thin veneer over a plastic base. You would not want solid wood because it would be weak along the grain and it would move with moisture changes. By using a very thin veneer it does not move. The finish is plastic like many of the finishes I use on furniture. Due to the thickness of the finish and the thin wood, the pores are completely filled so it is smooth. Achieving this sort of finish on wood is high end and expensive. I can do it but generally do not. Most of us expect to see the pores and that is easier to achieve. The thick finish is also more durable.

I do not know much about infinitis but the one I remember riding in had fake wood trim. I HATE that. It is easy to spot if you know wood and looks really bad IMHO. I would much rather have the black plastic trim that was offered in my 2009 128i than fake wood. But walnut is much nicer.

BMW seems to use the more figured wood in the higher end cars. I have not seen burl, crotch or butt grain in a 128i. I've seen it in some 135s and in 3s and up. But even my plain walnut is nice. My other wood alternative was a birds eye poplar stained grey. It was nice looking and I think I would have gotten the same figure in my 128 as was in more expensive bimmers but poplar is a secondary wood in woodworking and I couldn't get over that. Walnut is one of our finest furniture woods. Figured walnut is too unstable for many applications when solid but it is great in a veneer.

Jim
Agree, 100%. Burl walnut in my 335d is definitely real and nicely book-matched. As stated above, this type of wood is best used as veneer. In fact, the vast majority of high-quality lumber is destined to become veneer. There is nothing wrong with this. Livng in PA, we have several excellent lumber suppliers of domestic and exotic woods, who supply companies like MB, Gulfstream, Steinway, etc. Here's a cool story about a one-off wood interior for Cadillac: http://www.coolhunting.com/design/cadillac-ciel-o.php Not practical for production, because I would estimate the rough lumber cost $5-10K.
 

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Freedom isn't free!!
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It is real wood, a thin veneer over a plastic base. You would not want solid wood because it would be weak along the grain and it would move with moisture changes. By using a very thin veneer it does not move. The finish is plastic like many of the finishes I use on furniture. Due to the thickness of the finish and the thin wood, the pores are completely filled so it is smooth. Achieving this sort of finish on wood is high end and expensive. I can do it but generally do not. Most of us expect to see the pores and that is easier to achieve. The thick finish is also more durable.

I do not know much about infinitis but the one I remember riding in had fake wood trim. I HATE that. It is easy to spot if you know wood and looks really bad IMHO. I would much rather have the black plastic trim that was offered in my 2009 128i than fake wood. But walnut is much nicer.

BMW seems to use the more figured wood in the higher end cars. I have not seen burl, crotch or butt grain in a 128i. I've seen it in some 135s and in 3s and up. But even my plain walnut is nice. My other wood alternative was a birds eye poplar stained grey. It was nice looking and I think I would have gotten the same figure in my 128 as was in more expensive bimmers but poplar is a secondary wood in woodworking and I couldn't get over that. Walnut is one of our finest furniture woods. Figured walnut is too unstable for many applications when solid but it is great in a veneer.

Jim
Interesting stuff. Thanks for posting.
 

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If you want to see some really nice figured wood, and understand better what a burl figure is as opposed to birds eye versus crotch figure, this is a decent website:

http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/hardwoods/exotic_domestic_wood.html

If the link works as intended, you should see pictures of hardwood blanks that have the type of wood and figure identified. If you click back to the homepage and scroll down, there is a good description of what causes the various types of figure in wood. There are types of figure, like fiddleback, that are pretty stable and usable in solid form. A burl is structurally weak, however, so it would not be used for a structural part. Crotch is in-between, at least in my book, and could be used structurally but is unstable (i.e. it wants to move a lot with humidity change and is prone to cracking).

I did not see examples of butt figure but it comes from stumps. A butt could exhibit figure similar to a burl or any of the other types of figure.

I liked the link for the fancy cadillac show car. I've never worked with olive wood but I like the look of it. Sometimes it is greenish. My earlier comment that you can't use solid wood isn't really 100% true but a car maker is unlikely to because no two pieces of wood are ever exactly alike and that makes holding tolerances very challenging. But the fact that no two pieces of wood are exactly alike is also what makes it interesting and attractive, at least to me. Seems quite appropriate for a one of a kind show car.

Jim
 

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