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What is your (most) valuable "made it myself" PART! and most valuable lesson learned about Z-cars!


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21 hours ago, Jeff Berk said:

Any chance that you have pictures of the work in progress?

In 2007 i did'nt have a smartphone so.. no, sadly not.. i do remember to show it halfway to a friend it was in clamps while the glue dried, and i told him: here i show you my wheel.. just that when you see it when it's ready you believe me when i say i made it myself..

If you want a wheel like that.. about 600 euro , i make you a new one from an old wheel.. (if i can stil buy that mahogany wood in a super dry state.)

It's made of 12 parts 6 being on front are hollow.. about 6.3mm you need a mill for that..  At the time i asked myself.. buy a wheel or a mill.. the mill was chosen.. i can use it more often and.. make my own wheel!

I could make you a write up how to make a wheel? ... it's a lot of work, took me about a week*.  And a bit more because of the 7-8 layers of lacquer! (I seriously/.. lost count.)

* As i'm a bit disabled due to accidents at work and privatly i can work/hobby a few hours a day at max...

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I'd (and others I would think) love to see a writeup on how you made it. I can access a fairly complete woodshop with a CNC. 

A fairly detailed step by step done a few installments at a time would be great. I'd have to find a donner wheel first since I don't want to sacrifice my current wheel in case something goes wrong.

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20 hours ago, Jeff Berk said:

I'd have to find a donner wheel first

Yeah.. at the time i had and stil have 2 spare ones..

A write up?  Yes can be aranged  her it go's  ( if something is not clear due to the language diffs you tell me..

Pff.. hope to remember it all hahaha..

(not gonna use any translator aid..)

First you buy some nice wood very dry.. not dry.. leave it in the neagbourhood of the heating in your home but not to close for a year at least (resanable dry wood to start..)  i used mahogany..

You take a board and put 6 pieces of wood very nice cut in 60 degree angles (2 x 30 degree is that) in a cirkel, wood has to be at least 6cm in diam. and 2 cm high (inches.. you figgur it out haha) yea figure or so (i say boejuuuhh 😉 )  In the middle a piece of same hight of wood on ther you put the woodmill centering on..  you need a few different wood cutting tools for your mill, one is a round head of 6,5mm. and one with a round curve of about.. 2,2-2,5cm?  Last one first you mill the 6 pieces into a round part ones inside once outside. This you do twice (as you need a front and back part.. )  One you have to do the inner 6,5mm milling first, then turn it around and do the outside part.  ow yeah... you do NOT mil right through the whole dept from the wood, leave a mm or so otherwise you'll see some flying parts.. not good..  After milling the 2 ..iside,outside you take of the round parts (mark the parts that you know where what part came from and go's back..) Now you need some glues and clamps..  you glue the wood with woodglue (duuhh 😉 ) to the next part of wood and the whole top cirkel with 2 component glue to the top of the wheel steel ring (of about 6,3mm thick) (the wheel is cleared from the fake wood and sprayed black Satin.) You do the glueing all at ones so wood to wood and wood to steel ring all at ones. (so be sure that every part fits PERFECT before starting the glue work.) After it dryed well u can sand it.. Now you have to make the fingers in the wheel at the back.. use some old wheel as a example and draw lines on your wheel where the finger-deep spots go.. then you take a powerfile (i got the simple black&decker) and you make the deep part in the middle and finally the 2 sides of each low part..  then you need a LOT ot sanding to make it all smoooooóóóótthh.. 😉  )

then.. paint..paint..paint..paint..paint..paint..paint.. it with laquer and don't forget to sand inbetween..

Use some fine grain wood and it MUST BE VERY DRY !!!   I used as i sayd some mahogany amd it was dry but i dried it for half a year in my livingroom near the heating.

And to end this..

tell me ... honestly Jeff, you couldn't believe i made that wheel myself huh?  Hihihi.. I have met more people that can't believe it.. or question it..  I can't help it... i got two right hands (as they say overhere.)  (Meaning a handy guy..)

The bad thing is i don't have much energy, I aways say, i can do it (almost)  all, but i can't do it (at) all.. meaning i know how to... but don't have the energy to do it all.. At times it makes me very sad.. today for example i saw a nice 260z for sale.. (complete but in parts)  I would love to buy and make it a nice car.. but i have lots of other jobs that need to be done first.

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Thanks for the pointers. I found several sets of instructions on the internet, each with their own variation on the techniques. I ordered a donner steering wheel off of e-bay and will try and source some wood for it from Woodcraft, a chain on this side of the Atlantic that specializes in wood crafting tools and has a great selection of interesting hardwoods. I'll likely create a steering wheel out of some scrap wood first so I don't make as many errors on the expensive wood. 

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1 hour ago, Jeff Berk said:

I'll likely create a steering wheel out of some scrap wood first so I don't make as many errors on the expensive wood. 

Jeff, have a look at Baltic Birch Plywood, very interesting effects can be made with it. Unlike other plywoods it's a densely packed with no voids, high quality material.



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10 hours ago, Jeff Berk said:

I'll likely create a steering wheel out of some scrap wood first so I don't make as many errors

Maybe you have or know someone with fire wood..  they sometimes have wood of fruit trees.. thats also a fine wood to work with, and most times it's already dry.

BTW... do i need to change the (name of the) topic to: how do we make a steeringwheel yourselfs?  😉 

(Also i thought about it to make a bent in some of my walnuttree branches so i can later on use the round parts for a new wheel in my almost restored 280zx!..:omg:  )

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/20/2021 at 3:28 AM, grannyknot said:

Jeff, have a look at Baltic Birch Plywood,

To test it can be used.. but for real use is birch much to soft.. use some oak from a old bookcase or so. (and if the test comes out great you can use the wheel!)

I used mahogany.  also for a gearlever knob.  I made it on a wood lathe of a friend.

Halfway.. lots of coats 

foto's2007 061.jpg


foto's2007 092.jpg

The 10 stood for 10 years of restoring haha.. btw.. till this day i don't know where that coin comes from, have a good look and tell me .. is it a American Dime?? uh?? 

foto's2007 096.jpgfoto's2007 093.jpg

It's in my 240z from 2007 till today and functioning OK! Used a coin on top, and the lower part (with the threads) of a old knob.. (It's inside you can't see it.)

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I'm looking into stabilized wood (see https://blog.woodturnerscatalog.com/2014/02/wood-stabilizing-v-2/ )

I found a piece of 20 year or so old black walnut that I might cut up and stabilize with clear epoxy. I'm taking photographs and will post the procedures in the future unless it is a complete fail.

I plan on generally following the instructions posted on an MG forum.


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