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A niche driver.

Sleek and sophisticated. These are words that easily describe Bentley Motors' luxury cars--and the woodwork inside them.

Bentley's woodshop produces all the wood trim interiors for the cars. Located at the 140-acre Bentley Crewe, England facility, the woodshop sources only sustainable woods for use in the vehicles.

Renown for its highly figured components, Bentley hand-selects veneer derived from the root burl, which produces the greater patterns. Walnut burl sourced from the United States is used on a majority of the cars, with maple, chestnut, oak and sapele pommele among the other species used.

Cut-to-size, the veneers are kept in a humidity-controlled room until ready for use. In an exacting fashion, the veneer is bookmatched, stitched and pressed on site. It is then matched with a template and laser cut to exact dimensions.

It takes approximately 24 leaves to produce panels for the car; the Mulsanne interior, for example has 33 panels. Each panel takes approximately seven hours to complete.

Each wood trim set stays together throughout the entire process. The structural wood frames for the veneered components are CNC machined then matched with the veneer and bonded together in a giant press. After the veneer has been glued and aligned to the panels, the varnish and polishing takes place. Quality control is in place at each step of the process.

Adding art to the auto are the Bentley craftsmen who perform the delicate inlay work that characterizes the Bentley interiors. The results of all their labor speak for themselves.

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Title Annotation:EDITOR'S SHOT
Author:Koenig, Karen M.
Publication:Wood Products
Date:Aug 1, 2014
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