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Old 05-26-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
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How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

How to Mold An Antique Car Steering Wheel

Ran across this while researching resin casting. Our original steering wheel on the bus has lots of fine cracks on it but still in one piece. At some point it will need to be replaced. I would like to replace it with something... different. More suited to the decor. This tells how to make a two part mold to cast a steering wheel. All you need is a steering wheel to make the mold with in the first place.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:30 AM   #2
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Re: How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

you probably also will need a metal core to put in the center of the mold.
steering wheels with cracks can be easily fixed with epoxy. i have done that on several cars, and then painted them with several coats of epoxy paint. if they are bad, then use the mold proces above, and remove the rest of the plastic so you can reuse the core. Its far cheaper than paying $250. or so to have someone else do it.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:05 AM   #3
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Re: How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

Our BB steering wheel is ugly. It has black stuff embedded in all the minute cracks so it looks white and black wood grain. It does not come completely clean. I would rather have a metallic colour embedded into the steering wheel than to paint over it and hope it sticks.

I put this out there for two reasons:
A: In case someone has a damaged steering wheel on a bus that is old enough that replacement parts are either hard to find or priced way too high.

#2: For odd people like me who want something different that most likely can't be bought or if found couldn't afford it therefore necessitating the resources to DIY.

C: to show that it is possible to do it.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:51 AM   #4
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Re: How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

if the cracks in your wheel are only on the surface, you can sand it down and repaint it. cracks that go to the metal ring in the center if it has one, need "v" cuts to epoxy. so my guess is that you could sand all the exterior finish off, and spray it with either the normal automotive paint store metallic or if you want to get large metalflake, get something like a candy paint and a container of large metalflake from house of kolor, and refinish and clear coat it. come to think of it, one could also buy naugahyde metalflake and sew up a cover..
there is also now more than one business that will take anything from car fenders to footballs and cover them in woodgrain or bright gold, camafloge -sp , many different patterns and colors for i think something like 3 cents a sq in. high quality street rods in shows are now using this product, and there is one guy here i think in newberg ore, who does that.. its around 300 for a car dash, and the woodgrain looks real. it is a transfer process, not the roll on wood grain stuff in the restoration books. its far nicer. i want to do that on my dash, and garnish moldings on my main car, but could have steering wheel done also., not to mention knobs, etc. this process could make a skoolie dash look very nice, and could also be used on other metal or plastic, or even vinyl throughout the bus.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:28 PM   #5
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Re: How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

Sounds like it would be easier to make a whole new steering wheel than to paint it.

This is ugly. I've cleaned it, degreased it and it's still yukky. Right now it is dusty but degreased and the black stuff is still there (makes your hands smell weird too). I will recast it. It would take me far longer to sand and patch the thing. (note: no two pics are of the same area... the whole wheel is damaged like this... deep crack around center yoke go thru to the other side. The metal interior frame holds it together)





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Old 05-27-2012, 07:21 PM   #6
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Re: How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

Lorna,, it looks like your bird's been out in the sun. That wheel is baked. Though, my northwest rain bird's wheel has those big cracks just where yours does.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

That is all the normal places that the wheels crack. those large cracks have to be ground down with a v before they could be repaired. using small air grinder..
Since you have numerous small cracks, it might be easier to do the whole thing.i dont know what size and spline you steering shaft has, but it would be easier to get another steering wheel off of the same kind of chassis that you have, esp from a cool climate.
of course the real easy way is to get some naugahyde and the small size hole punch and sew a steering wheel cover on it...
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:04 AM   #8
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Re: How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

...or you could get some leather and sew a cover up.....
Find the circumference. Measure with a tape, or fabric flexible measure. Use this to cut the LENGTH of the rim strip, plus allow for a seam. Make it a LITTLE small, to allow stretching around the rim.
Measure the diameter (thickness) of the wheel's rim..this is the thickness/measurement around the section of the rim.
Cut the piece of leather (like a belt, but thinner), stitch the ends (seam) together to form a loop. Pierce the edges with a hole punch, and then stretch the belt/loop around the rim.
Starting at the bottom where you have put the sewn joint (right?), stitch the edges together,drawing the leather taught.
Continue until finished.
I recommend a dark color, dirt won't show up as readily.

You can get cheap steering wheel cover kits at car places to see how it's done, then use that example to make your own.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:43 PM   #9
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Re: How To Mold Antique Car Steering Wheel

And if you want it to be green.... take it to the Nantahala Mountains (Southern Appalachians)! It will grow some lovely moss... just like the bus did!
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:50 PM   #10
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You can use about any steering wheel u want mone is from a 1960 impala
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