knob stuff

Phil Rose pjrose at
Tue May 28 00:31:11 EDT 2002

Some time ago I mentioned my intention to make a zebrano gearshift
knob (I've made a couple of knobs from other tropical woods). Well, I
finally got around to Zebrano a few weeks ago. As I expected, the
hardest part of the project is not the wood-turning, but rather the
finishing to a good color, i.e., a color that will match the rest of
the car's trim. The "raw" Zebrano wood has a dramatic, dark-striped
grain, but is otherwise a rather bland, pale beige color. The rich
reddish-brown trim in our Audis was obtained either by dyeing the
zebrano or by applying a dyed finish. It's not likely that a
conventional pigmented stain was used, since that would not be able
to give such a uniform look to a wood that is so "open-grained" as

I had hoped I might get close to the Audi color by using orange
shellac, so I applied countless thin coats. Though this caused the
knob developed a nice warm, light honey/amber color, it got nowhere
close to the hue that I wanted. So there's still work to be done
before I'm satisfied--probably will need to apply a dye (or two). The
photograph in the link below shows my zebrano knob after the shellac
finish, and the inset at the lower right is a Photoshop rendition of
the color I would like to get.


Phil Rose				Rochester, NY USA
'91 200q	(130 Kmiles, Lago blue)
'91 200q   (57 Kmiles, Tornado red)
	mailto:pjrose at

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