The restoration of the 1964 Saab Sport has to wait for a while but I couldn’t help fixing the wood steering wheel. I really wanted to hang it on my living room wall but it had to be restored and polished before that.
Here’s some photos of what I did:
30 years of exposure to moisture. The gluing was coming apart and the wood had cracked and separated from the aluminium support.
I used a lot of wood glue to try and get it all back together again. I diluted some of the glue with water to get it to run deeper into the cracks.
After the glue had dried the eccess was relatively easy to scrape off with a somewhat dull knife without damaging the wood or aluminium.
Sanding the wood took several evenings. I also used the wood dust mixed with glue to fill some of the smaller cracks still left.
More sanding. Starting to look better.
50 years worth of dirt and oil had worked itself quite deep into the wood. Whenever I felt I was sanding off too much wood I stopped. Even though it meant that the colour of the wood would not be totally uniform.
I don’t know if the grooves are supposed to be black but I painted them anyway. Partially to conceal some of the bigger cracks that were at the bottom of the grooves. Despite filling them they were still somewhat visible.
When I was done with sanding the wood I took the hub of the wheel to be better able to sand the aluminium.
The wheel had some surface damage. I decided to sand it with 1000 grit paper to remove at least some of them.
After sanding the aluminium starts to look better.
Ready for clearcoating the wood. Aluminium parts masked.
Clearcoat sprayed on.
While the clearcoat dried I started to polish the hub parts. Bottom piece has been sanded with 1000 grit. Upper piece has already been treated with rubbing compound.
More rubbing compond and elbow grease. After the clearcoat had thoroughly dried and hardened I polished rest of the wheel.
Final polishing was done with a cleaning wax.
Saab Sport wood steering wheel restoration finished! Now I can hang it on my living room wall to wait for restoration of rest of the car.