S1 steering wheel refurbishment

I have just finished the refurb of my original 1966 S1 steering wheel.
The original was covered in a leather cover which hid insulation tape and a badly split rim; with chuncks missing.
have rubbed it back to bear wood, I researched the best adhesive to bond the splits in the rim. I came to the conclusion that the Gorilla glue was the best option. I glued and plastic tie wrapped the split areas. Once all slits were dry, I repaired the missing wood areas with plastic wood. I also used this to fill any minor blemishes in the wood surround.
Once all cured and dried, I rubbed back with fine grade paper (1200) before cleaning with white spirit.
I then applied many, many, many light coats of clear gloss polyurethane spray varnish. After 10 (ish) coats, and plenty of time to harden… I rubbed it back again to a smooth matt finish. Cleaned again with white spirit before lots and lots of more coats of the same. I would estmate 20 coats in total but could be more. Light coats is the secret I think. Left to harden again over a few days.
I polished the spokes and hub with 1200, 1800, 2400, 3800, 8000 & 2000 grit paper. I then polished using my polishing wheel.
Now…I know its not perfect, but to say I am delighted with the end result is an understatement!
It looks fantastic in my eyes and its saved an original wheel. I just love the fact that its been used by so many drivers over the years and looks as good as new.
It now takes pride of place in the living room (my wife is indulging me) while I wait for the car to return from the paint shop and I can continue the bare metal restoration.


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The black leather/vinyl wrap over electrical tape must have been a thing back in the day as that is exactly how mine was when I got it (except mine had an additional layer of masking tape at the bottom…)! :laughing: Nicely done restoration on the steering wheel! I had to replace the wood on mine as it was WAYYYY too far gone to resurrect.

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You should be very proud of your work. I think that looks awesome!!

RobY

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Yes, nice job. …

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Beautiful work that no amount of money could replace. You’ll find joy in the result every time you take the wheel.

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That looks fantastic. Great patience on your part. Hope the finished car properly complements the steering wheel.

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Very pretty! Given the attention to detail shown here I can’t wait to see the rest of the car!
Might give me the motivation to put another 10 coats on MIK’s.
Cheers,
LLynn

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Looks wonderful. Similar to mine when I got it. I hit the jackpot since friend of mine who was very good at woodworking did a similar process to bring mine back. Still looks great 20 years later. perhaps I should tell him there might be a small market in this if he is interested in some side work. The thin rim E-type wheel is one of if not the best looking wheel ever.

David
68 E-type FHC

Very nice work. I love these types of projects, where one could never afford to pay someone else to put in all the time and detail, but where you will see your handiwork every single moment you sit in your car. Well done!

It is my favourite part of the restoration so far Jeffrey…so tactile and feels wonderful. I can’t wait to install it…but that’s a while away.

I’m with you on that…I was going to replace the rim, but when you start looking at them, the extra 20% thickness on the replacements changes the authenticity and look quite significantly. I’m so pleased I went this route.

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Beautiful job! And considering a used one in average shape is over $300, your time and effort was well spent!

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I had the same cover on my steering wheel. I didn’t dare to look untill this year, and got lucky. the wood was in good shape, with some finish still left. A quick hit with a green scrubber and four coat of rub-on poly and it looks great. I can add more coats whenever the car will sit for a day.

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