I made my own steering wheel.

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
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JWCIV
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 10, 2018 3:31 AM
Location: Santa Rosa

I made my own steering wheel.

Post by JWCIV »

I designed and made a steering wheel from scratch for my 5er and filmed it.

Here's the youtube video detailing the whole process. It's about 40 minutes.
https://youtu.be/3HEZS95IaM8

Some images of the process:

CAD modeling on Fusion 360
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I prepared dimensioned some blanks of Claro walnut from which to mill the wood grips
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Cutting the steering wheel on a waterjet
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Milling the walnut grips on a 3-axis router
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Rounding over the hard edges
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I had a metal finishing shop bead-blast and anodize the wheel
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Making a walnut/aluminum/walnut sandwich
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I added an inlay to the wheel as a center indicator. I used some 1/4" aluminum tube and found a wood dowel that matched the interior diameter.
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Steam-bending walnut strips to fill the gap between the two grips
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Applying finish
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Final product
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stuartinmn
Posts: 9023
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Minneapolis

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by stuartinmn »

Nicely done. It's amazing what one can do these days with computer controlled routers, water jets, etc. I think I would have gone with a little thinner rim but that's just personal preference. It would have been easy enough to include finger grips on the back side too, if desired.

Now you need to make a matching shift knob. :)
missmye21
Posts: 340
Joined: Mar 30, 2009 12:21 AM
Location: Beaver Lake Nebraska

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by missmye21 »

WHAT? That's just crazy cool. Kuddos man. And I can't seem to get to any of my deep projects in the pandemic.
David B
Posts: 509
Joined: Mar 09, 2008 5:43 AM
Location: Savannah, Georgia

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by David B »

Geez that’s super dope!!
Mike W.
Posts: 24730
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Covid 19 Life during Wartime

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by Mike W. »

Wow, where's the emoticon for jaw drop? :bow: I guess bow will have to do. Out of a solid walnut slab? Wow, I've never even seen one of them. How many hours did it take? Having the right tools obviously helps, but still, amazing.
davintosh
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Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by davintosh »

Very cool! How's it feel?
Mike W. wrote: Nov 16, 2020 8:51 PM ... Out of a solid walnut slab? ...
Looks like it's some planks that are edge-glued, but yes, amazing is still the word!
Bonsaibacker
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Location: Savannah GA

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by Bonsaibacker »

Exceptional! Congratulations.
cek
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Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by cek »

Very cool!
cbumga11
Posts: 61
Joined: Dec 04, 2016 3:00 PM
Location: St Louis

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by cbumga11 »

That's impressive. Great job.
Mdreamer
Posts: 247
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by Mdreamer »

Very cool.
Mike W.
Posts: 24730
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Covid 19 Life during Wartime

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by Mike W. »

You obviously have considerable knowledge, experience and tools. But just how many hours do you have in it? Not that many or afraid to try to total it?

BTW, I just noticed you're local. :up:
travisj
Posts: 1091
Joined: Nov 05, 2009 11:09 PM
Location: Arvada, CO

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by travisj »

Real Nice!
I have access to a CNC and more at work, and my lazy ass didn't take advantage of any of it during the slow covid time.
Mike W.
Posts: 24730
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Covid 19 Life during Wartime

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by Mike W. »

travisj wrote: Nov 21, 2020 7:52 PM Real Nice!
I have access to a CNC and more at work, and my lazy ass didn't take advantage of any of it during the slow covid time.
Yeah, while it's stunning to look at and even more to see it being made, personally l like the feel of a leather wrapped wheel.
JWCIV
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 10, 2018 3:31 AM
Location: Santa Rosa

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by JWCIV »

Mike W. wrote: Nov 20, 2020 11:12 PM You obviously have considerable knowledge, experience and tools. But just how many hours do you have in it? Not that many or afraid to try to total it?

BTW, I just noticed you're local. :up:
Probably 20 hours not including the 3 hour class I took to learn to use the waterjet but I'm going to use it for a lot of projects in the future. Thanks for the compliments!
JWCIV
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 10, 2018 3:31 AM
Location: Santa Rosa

Re: I made my own steering wheel.

Post by JWCIV »

davintosh wrote: Nov 16, 2020 9:22 PM Very cool! How's it feel?
Mike W. wrote: Nov 16, 2020 8:51 PM ... Out of a solid walnut slab? ...
Looks like it's some planks that are edge-glued, but yes, amazing is still the word!
Yeah the wood grips are three boards glued together, so six pieces of walnut in total for the wheel. Most people would make a hexagon or octagon with a band clamp but that reminds me of prewar cars and boats, I wanted the grain running in the same direction the car is traveling. Thanks for the compliments!
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