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DIY steering wheels


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Kinda fell into this lately and was curious if anyone else out there has attempted it? Here's how my first go at it went...

 

I had a wooden Nardi that was a little busted up...

wheel1.jpg.caf93e0dc67629534dcb3d6d3c831cfa.jpg

 

 

So I started removing the wood from it...

wheel2.jpg.43469764a607dae7b1eba9ec4405ac9c.jpg

 

 

And that got me to here...

wheel3.jpg.70a0b8d6c3d5d6c12bc00128ff513923.jpg

 

 

I wanted it to be walnut, but with some color. So first sizing up some 1/4" thick walnut...

wheel5.jpg.13cbb019fa91c231b2cf6242ce1a6805.jpg

 

 

So then I made a circle cutting jig from scrap wood and a palm router...

wheel7.jpg.7a1ea10df2299961f1ed66e280fcbdce.jpg

 

 

Which netted me two nice pieces of walnut, one with a groove for the wheel rim to fit into...

wheel8.jpg.1997a0b3e5cab7413258d25d37f8051f.jpg

 

 

I had some thin pieces of dyed maple (as well as more walnut), so I made some layers to add a splash of color...

wheel6.jpg.285e08d567b9d09a7b36ea4a16ec847d.jpg

 

 

Started gluing those to the walnut halves I made earlier...

wheel9.jpg.035d86004a3a6ed6cbc332dad7fa58d8.jpg

 

 

Then I used the circle cutting jig to make a router template from MDF...

wheel10.jpg.4075523cca57b8a3a9cb31a9078bd9ea.jpg

 

 

I clamped the wheel halves to it to flush trim them and hit them with a 1/2" roundover bit...

wheel11.jpg.cebd33e43713f84907378b659dd566fd.jpg

 

 

Then glued those together with the wheel rim in between...

wheel13.jpg.3981ea70c0ee722da55b6b80d467f913.jpg

 

 

Got it sanded down and made a small piece of MDF to attach it to a cup spinner...

wheel14.jpg.e35b0396f7cd4a01306f7e12d02103a0.jpg

 

 

Before glue-up, I added a thin piece of plain maple between the two halves. then coated the rim in epoxy resin...

wheel15.jpg.db705acdfe0078bf444d34632188201a.jpg

 

 

After another sanding to smooth it out more, and an additional coat of epoxy resin, it came out pretty decent...

wheel16.jpg.860a5bf1ad22e872c543b4c5848fed47.jpg

 

 

On the back side, I made some finger groove notches...

wheel17.jpg.3540247be56c4ac80dedb6293fd81689.jpg

 

 

A close up of the layers...

wheel18.jpg.e44bac61b9c4382ceeb0ba64cdf6da55.jpg

Edited by datsunfreak
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I am starting attempt #2 now, a fake Nardi a friend got off ebay and decided not to use...

wheel19.jpg.55f1c276dd4bbad77e531684b9353501.jpg

 

 

Got it to here, and I'm deciding on woods now...

wheel20.jpg.ed116c704a86f8bb48c761f29f6c56b7.jpg

 

 

 

I have some 1/2" thick bamboo I am tempted to use...  😁

 

 

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On 3/19/2021 at 10:34 AM, datsunfreak said:

I have some 1/2" thick bamboo I am tempted to use...  😁

 

Bamboo is inherently slippery due to native oils.  That's why the best slide rules were made of bamboo.  Use an agressive degreaser before gluing and you will likely suceed.

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22 hours ago, MikeRL411 said:

Bamboo is inherently slippery due to native oils.  That's why the best slide rules were made of bamboo.  Use an aggressive degreaser before gluing and you will likely succeed.

 

This stuff I have is reclaimed shelving from a Pier 1 Imports that closed locally. I did not know about the oil thing, but it seems to glue up fairly easy. 👍

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35 minutes ago, datsunfreak said:

 

This stuff I have is reclaimed shelving from a Pier 1 Imports that closed locally. I did not know about the oil thing, but it seems to glue up fairly easy. 👍

 

Then I would guess it had been treated with acetone.

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2 hours ago, MikeRL411 said:

 

Then I would guess it had been treated with acetone.

 

Makes sense, as it's quite dry to the touch, and doesn't seem to clog sandpaper like an oily wood would. 

 

When you buy it in "sheets", I think it's quite heavily processed by the time you get it. 👍

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7 hours ago, datsunfreak said:

 

Makes sense, as it's quite dry to the touch, and doesn't seem to clog sandpaper like an oily wood would. 

 

When you buy it in "sheets", I think it's quite heavily processed by the time you get it. 👍

 

Also would have to be "processed" to be glued up for flooring.

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Did a piss poor job of taking in-progress photos for this one, but here it is anyway...

 

In the parts stash, I had one of these old Grant 3 spoke, foam-rimmed wheels like this...

 

 

732090754_41nqigFR6L._AC_.jpg.0fcd134b9adbf3f1e7164e53cca1f182.jpg,

 

 

So I stripped the tired foam off and got to work. Didn't like the holes so on the back side I covered them with some card stock, and then a thin coat of resin...

 

20210319_173602.jpg.ed3e9a3ad429c51c0eed792e5883e9d4.jpg

 

 

I then painted the whole thing navy blue, and covered the holes on the front with some stickers, then a thin coat of resin...

 

787698661_20210328_093011(1).jpg.bf5cb019c3f5b19361071eabeefa3e6b.jpg

 

 

Then put a coat of resin on the rim and put some blue glitter in a pepper shaker, and...

 

20210326_164034.jpg.c849b13e02de30d0e14a3f84b41cb8ea.jpg

 

Then two more coats of resin on the rim, and one coat on the whole thing to finish it off...

 

20210329_174455.jpg.6707c25849c8e6d4d6bda116a4b829bd.jpg

 

 

Close up of the rim...

 

20210329_174506.jpg.e6ddd4fe4f79aeafd74a97bfc78e4dea.jpg

 

 

 

What do you think?

 

I realize it's not everyone's cup of tea, but for less than $10 invested in it, I am happy with it... 👍

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/19/2021 at 12:34 PM, datsunfreak said:

I am starting attempt #2 now, a fake Nardi a friend got off ebay and decided not to use...

wheel19.jpg.55f1c276dd4bbad77e531684b9353501.jpg

 

 

Got it to here, and I'm deciding on woods now...

wheel20.jpg.ed116c704a86f8bb48c761f29f6c56b7.jpg

 

 

 

I have some 1/2" thick bamboo I am tempted to use...  😁

 

 

 

 

Finally got going on this one. First a router template...

 

303406585_20210402_173137(1).jpg.ac177952223a0a25838f41ad69f9b8de.jpg

 

 

Then some 1/2" thick walnut...

 

20210403_075752.jpg.db274551a776beb6b7c096adc7699acc.jpg

 

 

Got those two piece cut out and routed, then started on attaching them to the wheel. On the last wood wheel, there were some glue "stains" visible through the resin that I was pissed about. So this time I "glued" the two halves together with resin instead of wood glue...  😄

 

20210404_170444.jpg.b52d63502e6d2cc9d2061c79d7e3e2cb.jpg

 

 

After it cured...

 

20210406_053956.jpg.92b9ba7122951c804e50cbab59a2f53d.jpg

 

 

Then some routing...

 

20210408_210719.jpg.468b76072fe812b3df24d3ea29e5cafb.jpg

 

 

Could not route where the spokes are so ended up filing/sanding that by hand. Here is where we are now. Not 100% done, but thought I'd share anyway...

 

20210414_210417.jpg.add541a814e417719e61deb6c157627d.jpg

 

 

I like the two sap wood stripes it ended up with...

 

20210414_210430.jpg.4533e7103d1df85bbd16f747d2bfd7c7.jpg

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Sorry I'm late to this party... looking good sir!  I like how my old faux-wood one is turning out.  Good thing I don't still have the van for which it was purchased!  I'd be super jelly of it!

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24 minutes ago, dimlight65 said:

I like how my old faux-wood one is turning out. 

 

I have decided it is done. I am not truly sure it is, but we are stopping here. 😄

 

20210417_150247.jpg.c3273b4e3b812ad77f2f5ba615d7449c.jpg

 

I used some 0000 steel wool to knock down the shine on the aluminum and give it a more matte finish...

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  • 2 weeks later...

It occurs to me that I have never thrown away a steering wheel, regardless of how ugly it is...

 

And this is one of those...   😄

 

20210428_210828.jpg.6304fb0b5e88307dbb9629e4fd59e646.jpg

 

 

And I like that it has a very thin rim, so it'll be easier to make the wood rings for it...

 

20210428_212111.jpg.7f0310af7719a731a0dd758042cd364f.jpg

 

 

Oddly, even though it is fairly lightweight, it is obviously made of steel, not aluminum. So I will have to paint the spokes on this one...

 

 

 

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On 3/29/2021 at 5:09 PM, datsunfreak said:

 

What do you think?

 

 

I think you are creative and resourceful. And you make some cool stuff, unique, one of a kind stuff.

 

What is the image from on the spokes? It reminds me of the finish on some freestyle snow skis and snowboards.

Edited by Racer X 69
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