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Stringing steering wheels...
Thick cotton string and varnished after. Ruby special with no coating left on he grip section.

OOps photos missed

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I prefer leather, myself.
I like the idea of string but don't like the gaps. I would be inclined to glue several lengths of string side by side lengthways on a strip of fabric, put that over the rim and put a few turns around the end of the wheel spoke to secure it in place then trim it flush...
Having done several steering wheels, it is the finger nobbles on the rim that cause the most problems.  If a loop of cord is on the 'lobe' of the nobble, when you tension the cord it will try to slip to one side or the other, leaving a gap.  If you get the nobbles covered nicely, it pays to apply plenty of varnish to hold the cord in place.  I think the thicker cord is more forgiving and covers the nobbles better.
Well R brought this subject at the right time for my boulogne build.

As I wanted to string the wheel, for that race look. 

But I've never done it before.

So I've had a test run and practice, on a ruby wheel.

Results below, not perfect. But I'm not looking for that as an independent racer in the 20s and 30s.


The finger grips on the ruby wheel are not easy to work around.

Beleive it or not, this 1/3 of a wheel took 3 1/2 hours.

So if you value your time, and I think it was martin prior who suggested his son is doing this work. If his prices are right, it could be a good idea to farm the work out to him.


The wheel I started with had been stripped and powder coated by the previous owner. But they didn't fill in the ridge.

So it would look better covered.

Very nice.

Thanks mate.

This is 1.5mm bought on ebay. You get 80 metres.

And I must admit you will probably do one wheel.

But the cord had been joined. So I don't know if I'll get a complete wheel from it.

I also bought 76 metres of 1.2 in a burgundy red. It isn't here yet. But I'll probably give that a test when it does. To see which I prefer.

As I like the idea of the different coloured ulster wheels.

I think if you want to wind the zigzag pattern on the wheel 1.5 is a good size.

Well here is 11 hours and two split fingers I wont get back.

I'm happy with it though.

Happy it's not perfect. If you see what I mean. As I want an independent build.


The 1.2 burgundy came in the post yesterday.

So I need to have a practice to see what it looks like on a wheel.

This is the colour I'd like to use on the boulogne.


Sorry chaps, I tried a string covered steering wheel on my special but didn’t get on with it. Must have sensitive hands or something!
Dad wrapped the steering wheel on the blue single seater to match the one he did on the green single seater, he said the finger bumps were a bit problematic, but once varnished it looks the part of a vintage race car steering wheel & nice & grippy under the race gloves

Considering what we started off with anything is an improvement, I filled the rusty bits with epoxy and sanded it smooth. You can also see the side shaft we cut to make the longer one on the offset diff. Various brake pedals lying around as well, also the close ratio gearset .


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