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My lab:
- Gauge Cluster Modifications
Adding a wood-grain touch to the gauge cluster
on Wednesday 13 April 2011
by bjoern author list
in car articles > Mazda Miata M-Edition (2002-present)

For me, the roadster-look is all about wood and chrome in a car. So I found a cheap way of adding some wood to the dash by applying thin burlwood veneer to the gauge cluster. Gauge rings complemented the wood.

This is how it all looked before I started:

I took the cluster out and disassembled it:

This, by the way, is the German cluster I used to get the speedo from and the 'real' oil pressure gauge.
I took the gauge faces off to see how new faces would be installed:

I took this opportunity to install a speedo that reads in km, not in miles. A local speedometer shop set the kilometers to the same value as the mileage of the car (only in km) A 'real' oil pressure gauge from a pre-94 Miata was also installed.
For the burlwood overlay I started with a cheap metal overlay I got off Ebay:

I pre-coated the veneer with varnish so it would be easier to work with:

Then I glued the metal onto the wood:

I taped over the wood before I started cutting it out, just to make sure it wouldn't break or crack:

Then I started cutting...

... until it looked like this:

I took the clear plastic piece off by heating it in almost boiling water and then popping it off:

... and then mounted the rings and the overlay onto the black base.

This is what the cluster looks like now, with the custom white gauge faces installed as well:

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