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Is the Black Ash Wood trim real wood?

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Is the Black Ash Wood trim real wood?

 
Old 08-15-2018, 04:39 PM
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Is the Black Ash Wood trim real wood?

Forgive this obvious first-world problem, but during a recent long trip, I was admiring the cabin design on my 2018 E400 Coupe, which has the black ash wood trim for dash and center console (see pictures), and noticed that the door panels were absolutely identical in their wood grain. They are not just similar, but exact mirror images of each other, which would be impossible to do if the wood grain was real, as the panels are not flat and the wood grain is pretty complex.
I've read in several threads that the black ash wood trim uses the same wood grain between dash and console for consistency, and that's definitely true in my car (it's a beautiful touch, really), but the door panels do not really match the rest of the dash's wood grain and again, are exact mirror images of each other. So, are the door panels real wood that was etched to simulate some random wood grain, or are they actually just very well done wood imitations?
This is like a reverse OCD effect, but I was convinced all of the wood in the W213 interior was real wood, albeit a thin layer of it, but now I have some doubts...


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Old 08-15-2018, 04:44 PM
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They are not exact, close but not an identical copy, they are sheets of real wood veneer cut from the same log, two sheets will give an almost identical mirror copy if placed correctly.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:36 PM
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You can put your OCD to rest. The wood is real wood. And as Vic pointed out, they are cut from the same log so they will mirror each other. That's MB attention to detail!
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:37 PM
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I thought the same thing and then compared with photographs, they are indeed different and real wood. My guess is that they are sequential matched cuts. In fact, much fancier than expected.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by c4004matic View Post
I thought the same thing and then compared with photographs, they are indeed different and real wood. My guess is that they are sequential matched cuts. In fact, much fancier than expected.
Exzactly. Look at the center console in my E400 picture below. Note that the grain runs fully through the entire console, including the pop up cover over the cup holders.




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Old 08-16-2018, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by vic viper View Post
They are not exact, close but not an identical copy, they are sheets of real wood veneer cut from the same log, two sheets will give an almost identical mirror copy if placed correctly.
I measured distances between the streaks in the door panels and also between the streaks and the Burmester speaker grilles and they are really identical mirror images. The reason that made me think it would not be real wood is the fact that the wood veneers are curved and have depth to it, and if you were sculpting those curved shapes off a single piece of wood you would never be able to preserve the exact same wood grain features in both veneers.
I think the explanation is that it is indeed real wood, but both panels start as thin perfectly flat veneers that are split in two and then molded into the shapes they have on the doors through some heat+moulding process.
This short YouTube video on how Bentley does interior wood trim mirrored between left and right must be the answer...


Kind of cool that Mercedes is applying the same trim techniques on the E-Class as Bentley does!
I can sleep better now...

Last edited by e400c; 08-16-2018 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:33 PM
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It's called 'book matching'.
When you do this correctly, you can build a box such that the grain flows seamlessly all the way around the box. To my feeble brain this seemed impossible, but when you see how it's done you think "Doh!, that is so simple!" MB does a really nice job with this wood interior.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:52 PM
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Learned something from this thread; I'd never have thought to look. On my interior the door panels are definitely not book matched, not even close, but you can see the relationship between the two panels. I don't mind this at all, and appreciate this as natural variation expected for a genuine wood product, albeit not up to Bentley standards!
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by grossmsj View Post
It's called 'book matching'.
When you do this correctly, you can build a box such that the grain flows seamlessly all the way around the box. To my feeble brain this seemed impossible, but when you see how it's done you think "Doh!, that is so simple!" MB does a really nice job with this wood interior.
Agreed, I am really very impressed with the level of attention and care that went into designing the W213 cabin and the quality of the trim. It's a wonderful place to be in!

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Old 11-11-2018, 12:35 PM
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Are the glossy wood trims like Brown Ashwood and Burl Walnut made real wood too? Pardon me if that's a stupid question.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Courthaven View Post
Are the glossy wood trims like Brown Ashwood and Burl Walnut made real wood too? Pardon me if that's a stupid question.
Yes, they are ALL real wood veneers.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:06 PM
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Thanks my man You are always helpful
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Courthaven View Post
Thanks my man You are always helpful
Glad to help. The reason they are veneers has to do with safety in an accident. Solid wood could splinter. The veneer would crack, but not splinter and is specifically designed for safety. But Mercedes, just like all high end manufacturers use real wood. In the past few years, Mercedes has really amped up how the grains are matched. Look at how the grain on the center console cover pop up hatch, perfectly aligns with the rest of the wood in the console:


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Old 11-11-2018, 03:03 PM
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Yeah, that does look nice. I went with the Brown Ashwood (but not the natural grain one) since I have natural wood in my current Infiniti. I hope it looks good.

I can't wait, I just heard on Thursday that my car was built. Then I saw that after yours was assigned a ship it was about 22 days I think. I may even drive down to the VPC one day to check it out since I am in Bmore.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Courthaven View Post
Yeah, that does look nice. I went with the Brown Ashwood (but not the natural grain one) since I have natural wood in my current Infiniti. I hope it looks good.

I can't wait, I just heard on Thursday that my car was built. Then I saw that after yours was assigned a ship it was about 22 days I think. I may even drive down to the VPC one day to check it out since I am in Bmore.
From the pics I've seen the Brown Ashwood, it's quite beautiful in the lacquer finish! Yep, it was three weeks from assigned a ship to docked at the VPC. The Baltimore VPC is closer than the Brunswick, GA VPC, so maybe it will arrive faster! Once my car was built, it took almost 10 days before it hit the water.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:21 PM
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Iíve got the black ash wood and itís beautiful! I love it!
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:26 AM
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Matching veneers are very common — look at things like fine wood furniture (especially dining and bedroom sets) and even elevators.

Here's some good info on it: https://doogeveneers.com/support/matching

Last edited by The_Judge; 11-12-2018 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Courthaven View Post
Yeah, that does look nice. I went with the Brown Ashwood (but not the natural grain one) since I have natural wood in my current Infiniti. I hope it looks good.

I can't wait, I just heard on Thursday that my car was built. Then I saw that after yours was assigned a ship it was about 22 days I think. I may even drive down to the VPC one day to check it out since I am in Bmore.
Well, I made it down to the VPC but couldn't get past the gate They had that place in lock down like it was the NSA. I did see a flatbed truck coming in, most likely to take some cars to a dealership. At least I know I will meet mine soon

Here are the few pics that I took (I give up trying to attach more pics. Sheesh)

Last edited by Courthaven; 12-03-2018 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wagonsrock View Post
Learned something from this thread; I'd never have thought to look. On my interior the door panels are definitely not book matched, not even close, but you can see the relationship between the two panels. I don't mind this at all, and appreciate this as natural variation expected for a genuine wood product, albeit not up to Bentley standards!
While similar they are not exact, and wouldn't you think that if the panels were artificial they would be the same in all E interiors? Seems unlikely to have many slight variations of grain patterns just to give the impression of being authentic. My grain is more horizontal than the other two pics. Just a thought.



Last edited by Cao Black; 12-04-2018 at 12:30 AM.
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