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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Guys,
Help, I've finally got hold of a spider steering wheel which is thicker and slightly smaller than my O.E. Berlina one. Its in a "pre-enjoyed:rolleyes:" kind of state so i thought I'd have a go at restoring it.
Has anyone on here done this before?
If so how is the best way of removing all the old laquer/varnish in order to refinnish it?:confused:
 

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Depending on how worn the finish/wood is, you might also have success taking the wheel to a guitar maker/instrument repairman. They'll probably laugh at the simplicity of a steering wheel, but they will also probably do a good job of repairing and refinishing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Er, OK, Thanks guy's:). I was thinking more towards anyone having any hints/tips/do's/don'ts for me to try it myself. Not from the being a cheepskate point of view, but more of a "I like a bit of a challenge" If you know what I mean:D.
 

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Er, OK, Thanks guy's:). I was thinking more towards anyone having any hints/tips/do's/don'ts for me to try it myself. Not from the being a cheepskate point of view, but more of a "I like a bit of a challenge" If you know what I mean:D.

You can do it yourself, Ian. It helps to have a little woodworking experience
but, if you're a bit handy with tools, it's not really hard. There are a couple of books published on the subject---try motorbooks.com or Amazon.

Hint: Don't sand the finish off because sanding will give you an uneven wood surface. Likewise don't put a chemical stripper on the wood because it will damage the wood. IMHO, the best way to strip the old finish off is to use a single edge razor blade and vice grips.

Make a fixture to hold the wheel in a vice so you've got 360 degree access. Grip the razor blade w/vice grips and then lightly begin to work your way around the wheel, using the razor blade as a scraper. As you remove
the original finish you'll begin to see that you've preserved the contours of the wheel. If you want to know more about this a good place to hang out is a wood products refinishing supply shop.

Good luck!
 

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Hey buddy

that sounds great Ian, and once you have done it, it can be a specialist skill you have aquired. I have been trying all sorts of things to this piece of dashboard trim, mostly experimenting with lacquer and its amazing what finish you can get with building up the sufaces carefully sanding them with abrasive material,of finer grades as you keep building up the surface. once you have sanded down the old film and treated the wood of course, i know thats scetchy,but there are so many kinds of tints and pre lacqure treatment to achieve the right colour for the wood before finishing it off, i did not tint/treat my piece of trim and it turned slightly darker that what it was originally. I'm going from the results i got from my experiment, but allot of patience is required. Also Ian there is a guy in Rugby not far from Peterborough who is a specialist and i handed him some pieces of dash trim, an original wooden steering i bought from him off his 1750 GTV and center consul, he is a coach builder and he does amazing stuff. It would be nice to talk to him and he could give you more accurate infor. Ive not contacted this guy for ages but he still should have my stuff, i gave them to him when my project was at a very early stage.Ill try get his contacts for you buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cheer's Rob, Nice to hear from you. I'm seriously busy at the mo' so don't know when i'm gonna get round to doing this "project" but i'm still open to any other suggestions.;)
I guess your not on the road yet? :confused:
Do you still need those headlights or shall I just stick 'em on ebay?:rolleyes:
 

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Still legless

Yes Ian, its been the same for me, i even missed the NAD, saw Bernie looking her best. Please keep the headlights for me, im legless at the moe, rebuilding the suspension. ive refurbed the rear and now im putting the front left side together,which i had started dismantling, to get the car rolling at least, it is then going to the mechs for recommisioning of the engine and brakes refurb.whist its there i will dismantle the front suspension and have it refurbed also. it is then going for final bodywork tweaking then i can concentrate on lights, it is likely to take another 2-3 weeks before i need the lights.Please guide me as to how much you may want for the lights and the clock. the 1750 GTV has a wooden steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After many hours:eek: of VERY GENTLE sanding with 320 grade paper back down to the bare wood, I took my steering wheel into work and had one of our paintshop guys spray the wood with 2K clear laquer. The first attempt was just 2 light coats, which popped and blistered and sunk like mad:mad:. After re-flatting the surface with 1000 wet&dry, another 2 coats were applied, with the initial coats sealing the wood, the finish was much better this time but still not quite good enough.
The current state is re-flatted again this time with 2000 wet&dry. The plan being to apply a further 2 coats at the end of a day (when we get chance) so it can be left to air-dry overnight so as not to encourage any sinkage by force drying, by being baked in the spray oven.
I'll keep you posted folks, its looking good so far.:D
Here's a pic of the before state, the flakey bits were out of shot around the top of the rim, the tape on the metal spokes is just there to protect it from the sandpaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oop's, forgot about posting an update and an after photo, here ya go....

After several wet n dry sessions and more coats of clear lacquer in between, its lookin' like new, just need some horn push surrounds to finnish it off.
 

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Pretty nice job! Guitar restorers are also very good for this kind of work. Frost Restoration Products in the UK now sell a very comprehensive steering wheel restoration kit from POR-15 that's especially good for earlier styles with the black rim. Not cheap though.

Alex.
 
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