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An online forum community for the owners, admirers and fans of Sportsmobile vans and Sprinters, new and old. Share photos, advice, discuss modifications, camping or buy & sell. Anyone who owns, has a passion for, or just curiosity about SMBs, come in!
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:51 pm
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Location: Oregon
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:15 pm   Post subject: Interior Materials

I found an image on the web of a Sportsmobile that had an oak/tan leather interior combination that looked really nice. I've also seen some pretty cheezy looking woodgrain stuff too. Does anybody know what location(s) offers this, or if it's even possible to get a nice wood look on cabinetry, etc.? I don't find it on SMB's website. I'd like to make my vehicle as nice as possible on the inside.

Thanks for any ideas,
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:47 am   Post subject:

It's hard to say without seeing the photo- you're fancy wood grain might be my tacky interior. However keep in mind that some people finish themselves and only go to SMB for the PH, and it is usually the ones who want real wood or something (although there was one built out with tool chests).
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:52 am   Post subject:

Your post is vague. What is 'nice as possible'? I think mine is, but it may be ugly to others. Just explore all the choices your builder has and pick one that you like.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:54 pm   Post subject:

Ok...sorry guys. I guess what I'm looking for is real wood. Oak or maple. Does SMB do that? I'm not sure what I'm seeing in the picture, but it is a darker photo so it could be anything.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:15 pm   Post subject:

I looked at a different style/color wood grain on a sprinter but it wasn't real wood. My opinion was it looked better than the typical wood pattern they normally use. I plan to add the picture to my album. SMB said it looks better if it's combined with other color patterns and I thought so too.
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Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 7:06 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:12 pm   Post subject:

Hi Trekk777,

So if you want real wood, SMB doesn't do it.
They recently tried using cherry plywood panels in a Dodge Sprinter.
I saw it at SMB in Fresno, and it looked o.k.
If you want real wood, do it yourself, or hire a carpenter to do it.

Posting a photo of what you saw may help with future replies from forum members.

Good luck with your build!

Zugg

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:26 pm   Post subject:

Ok, I hope no one is offended at me posting this image. I can't remember where I found it - may have been a vehicle for sale on SMB's site. I know it's dark, but this is about the best interior wood/leather combo I've seen on a Sportsmobile. If anybody knows what this is, please comment.

If you're the owner of this image and prefer it not to be displayed here, please let me know and we will remove it.

Thanks.

Image[/img]
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:12 pm   Post subject:

My 2 cents


[quote:0bfafacba5="Trek777"] I guess what I'm looking for is real wood. [/quote:0bfafacba5]

Here is a question.

What does “real wood” mean to you?

Unless you are making cabinets out of solid stock material (real heavy), you are probably getting some type of veneer composite. In today’s box frame cabinetry, premium grade solid stock is used for face frame members, but rarely anything else. The sides of the case and solid (flush) door panels are typically made from composite board with a VERY thin piece of wood veneer. The veneer ranges in thickness from manufacturer and can be anywhere from 1/50", to 1/36". The core of the board is typically MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). There are plywood core veneers as well, but MDO is typically used even in premium grade cases. Everything has its ups and downs. Plywood core has voids that can shadow through the veneer, and is less stable than MDO for warp. MDO is heavier than plywood core, has less screw holding power than plywood, but “can” be a greener material. Both are susceptible to moisture if the raw edges are not properly sealed.

The material in my SMB is a solid color paper faced MDF. It’s a low pressure laminate (LPL) made from resin impregnated paper (Melamine) that is fused to the MDO core. The wood grain product SMB West offered is a also a LPL wood grain paper that is fused to the MDF core. There is not much performance difference between the two except when it comes to a wear test. Woodwork Institute (an Industry Standard Organization) states than solid color must withstand 400 cycles of some wear test, while the wood grain only needs to withstand 125 cycles. This means to me that the wood grain will wear through a lot quicker than the solid.

I’m just kind of rambling here, but if I was to build another vehicle on my own, I might look in a completely different direction. I would consider aluminum core composite veneer products like what is used in custom aircraft interiors. It’s REALLY expensive, but we are only talking a couple of sheets. The upside is that it is really lightweight. I think I would have a thin high pressure laminate (HPL) bonded to the core. I prefer solid color myself, but there is some really nice HPL (Formica) material out there. We are using #5904-5B Wild Cherry matte finish (visit their website) on a project and I will bet 95% of the visitors won’t know its not “real wood”.

So when you say you want real wood, are you sure?
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Last edited by jage on Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:40 pm   Post subject:

Wow, I had no idea this was such a touchy/technical issue. I'm no expert on wood, so please forgive my ignorance. I guess I don't really care if it's pure wood all the way through or not, I just wanted a real oak or maple look that has reasonably good wear characteristics. Don't flame me for this, but as an example, I'd like something similar in appearance to what you would see in a Pleasure-Way rig.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:39 pm   Post subject:

no flame intended
sorry if it read that way

Just wanted to point out what people think is "real wood" really isn't.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:08 am   Post subject:

Charlie56,
That is the direction I am planning to go for the inside and I am searching contacts to inquire about it.
Do you know companies working with composit materials?
You mentionned a website could you give the link?

Thank you
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:41 pm   Post subject:

We have the "oak" & tan interior and absolutely love it. We would have prefered a real wood veneer on the MDF as opposed to the paper and I pesume that if you were willing to pay extra for the materials SMB West would be willing to use it. If I were going to order again I would probably go this way. We ordered the "oak" because we wanted the interior to have a warmer feel than they gray solid color on the MDF.

Charlie is right, you want to be sure you don't have anything rubbing against the material when you drive. Our table under the seat was rubbing on the edge of an upholstery clip and it ate a pretty good hole into the finish very quickly. Luckily this was on the bottom of the table.

I think our gallery has one picture of the interior durring the build and if you are intersted I can snap a few more and post them.

John
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:05 pm   Post subject:

Trek777 wrote:
Ok, I hope no one is offended at me posting this image. I can't remember where I found it - may have been a vehicle for sale on SMB's site. I know it's dark, but this is about the best interior wood/leather combo I've seen on a Sportsmobile. If anybody knows what this is, please comment.

If you're the owner of this image and prefer it not to be displayed here, please let me know and we will remove it.

Thanks.

Image[/img]


No problem. That's a picture I took some time back and it's posted in my album. Here is a different look that I posted about earlier. There are several other shots in my album of this Sprinter.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:19 pm   Post subject:

just a real quick reply here. I ended up getting a dark "Dolphin" grey after seeing a van on the line with it. It was a custom order for a high-er profile client, and when I asked, I was told it wasn't a standard color. We weren't super impressed with the then-standard colors, especially for the 'vision' we had for the van, but this charcoal was the right direction. I was told if I wanted it that much, I could pay for the custom material from their provider, but I would have to pay for much more than they would need because "they can go through a lot of material to get a cabinet right'.

I did have to pay a little more extra ($1200 I think) but it definitely was worth it for my van plan. Now I think that color is standard. :b7:

Also, look at my layout and the layout with the "ash" above! very similar.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:57 pm   Post subject:

Buji, if your color was available on my purchase I also would have gone that way. I plan to ask for darker cabinet doors as the light gray get marked up easily; what ever the cost. The picture I took of the sprinter could be mixed up with others colors. An all wood look is up to the buyer and a personal choice. The gentleman in the picture did say that mixing the wood color with colors like your van could be a nice choice and I can see why…then again it’s only my (and his) opinion.
Dave.
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