Back to The Steering Wheel

7/8/00 Back to the Steering Wheel

I didn’t get a day to work on the Ferrari Friday, so to keep your appetite satiated for Ferrari restoration, I’ll tell you what’s going on in my apartment in NYC. I picked up my Nardi steering wheel that I restored in the Fall and discovered a hairline crack developing in the laminated wood underneath the varnish. When I originally stripped the old varnish off the wheel, I had to re-glue several places in the wood lamination. I though I got all of it, but I guess I missed one. My fear was that I would have to start all over again with the steering wheel and strip the varnish to repair the wood underneath, but I soon found another way.

Knowing that I would have to add a few more layers of varnish after this repair, I carefully pried the crack open with some miniature screwdrivers, and fed some diluted wood glue into the crevice. Making sure the glue seeped deep into the crack, I then squeezed out the excess, and clamped the rim of the steering wheel for a couple of days with a spring loaded clamp. After that I sanded the excess glue on the outside of the repair and lightly sanded the rest of the wheel for another coat of varnish. With just one coat of varnish added to the steering wheel, I’ve lost the location of the crack. With a few more layers of varnish, I’ll finally be done.

The one main disadvantage in refinishing my steering wheel in NY is the amount of dust flying around. I always have to remember to close the windows while I’m applying varnish because of the the dirty city air! Last week, I forgot to do this, and now I have to sand that layer off and reapply, but eventually I’ll finish!