steering wheel spinner - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-25-2008, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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steering wheel spinner

Hi. I am new to turning wood, and would like to start with a steering wheel spinner. I am handicapped, so it is necessary to have one of these. Since it's a relatively small piece of wood (probably no bigger than a 6" cube to start with), and won't be very intricate (basically a somewhat flattened sphere), I would like it to be the most gorgeous piece of wood available for purchase. Also something not inclined to break too easy. I plan to spend entirely too much time on this, and will give it a flawless finish. Any suggestions on what wood to use?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-25-2008, 09:04 AM
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I made a gearshift knob for my jeep out of a piece of canary wood. Very nice looking wood, dense, machines well and polishes up real well. Cocobolo is one of the prettiest woods in my opinion. It would make a suitable knob. Good luck,
Mike Hawkins
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-25-2008, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by life-long novice View Post
...I would like it to be the most gorgeous piece of wood available... I plan to spend entirely too much time on this, and will give it a flawless finish...

I LOVE YOUR ATTITUDE!!!!


What about a laminated piece of several different woods put together in such a way as to make a nice rainbow effect? Sort of like those knife handles you see and some of the bowls made by some of the turners here.

But, if you're not into that effect, then I would look at something in a burl. There are lots of choices, but my personal choice would be some sort of burl or splatted stock...

I cut that board three times and it's STILL too short!!!...
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-25-2008, 09:45 PM
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Now that you ask, here's another shift knob that was a cutoff from a lenghth of wood I laminated for some peppermills. I think it was canary wood, purple heart, brazilian cherry, and maple in the middle.
Mike Hawkins
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-25-2008, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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spinner

Nice work!!! Sorry to be such a newbie, but what method/technique would you suggest for laminating the different colored pieces of wood; i.e., what kind of glue, clamping, etc.? Also, I would imagine the layers could be in any variety of orientation to the knob's axis? Then there's always inlayed patterns. Man, this could get complicated!! But no doubt the end product will be well worth it. Nothing like an absolutely stunning piece of woodwork! OK, an inlayed design may be a little overboard (this time) for a steering wheel spinner, so I'll stick with solid or laminated (I do like the laminated look).

Anybody know of any examples or patterns, or have any suggestions?

I sure appreciate any help/advise; you guys/girls are absolutely wonderful!!!!!

Thanks,
Mark
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-26-2008, 02:01 PM
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Forgive me for asking a dumb question but is a steering wheel spinner a knob on the steering wheel to assist in turning? In the old days my Dad had one on his truck and called it a suicide knob. I was just wondering if I am imagining the correct thing or if it is something else.

Mike, great work as always!

John
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-26-2008, 02:18 PM
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John,

I have heard them called both. I haven't had one since I had an old V.W. microbus so many years ago, and I hated it... I found it easier to palm the thing around. I would imagine on a heavier vehicle lacking power steering, or a driver lacking upper body strength could find them useful.

My late uncle had one on an old pickup if I remember right. Made it easier for him to spin the wheel into and out of turns...

I have an older model Ibanez Soundgear SR480 electric Bass with a 5 piece lamination neck, that is made up of Maple, Mahogany, Bubinga, and Rosewood. This thing has been rock steady for years. The older SR-500 I have is a standard Maple / Rosewood fretboard model and it too is pretty tough but not as stable as the 480's neck. Not sure why...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-26-2008, 02:22 PM
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I've got a late model F-150 4x4 with floor shift transfer case. I would LOVE to figure out how to turn something like this for the T-case, column shift auto lever, and multi function stalk. (Turn signal / wiper controls). One of my long term goals is to skin the black pastics on the interior in black walnut veneer, and do the black walnut knobs...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-26-2008, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
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I have an older model Ibanez Soundgear SR480 electric Bass with a 5 piece lamination neck, that is made up of Maple, Mahogany, Bubinga, and Rosewood.
Whoa... far out, Dude!!! Pictures?

"Suicide knobs" were pretty much standard on semi-trucks and bob trucks before they had power steering. They were developed for use when the truck was not in motion, making it easier to turn the wheel while backing into tight spots. If you've ever backed a trailer of any length, you'll know what I mean.

I still see them on some vehicles where steering is difficult for the driver even with power steering.

A friend of mine use to have a Ford 4X4 with a four speed tranny. Our mutual friend's dad was the owner of the local Bud distributorship. When I got into my friend's truck one day, I noticed he had been doing some "trading" with the other friend. His new shift knob was a Bud tap handle...

I cut that board three times and it's STILL too short!!!...
http://www.geocities.com/capt9992002
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-26-2008, 05:23 PM
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Hurricane cleanup is my priority at home right now, as soon as that is done I will snap some.

The SR500 is retrofitted with EMG's and Bass Boomers. It gives a really aggressive in your face kind of tone out of my cheapo Crate amp... I wish I could afford an Ampeg tube pre-amp, piped to a decent solid state power amp and a stack... But too many hobbies, not enough money...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-26-2008, 06:28 PM
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Mark,
As far as laminations go, I use titebond 3 glue. I resaw wood on the bandsaw to get thinner pieces. I usually run them through the planer. If you don't have a planer, you could either buy the pieces already cut thin, or if you are resawing, just sand lightly before glueing. You don't have get rid of the bandsaw marks completely. I clamp them up with either the smaller rubber squeeze grip clamps, or some small bar clamps I have. Let it sit overnight and you are ready to turn. There are a couple of naturally oily woods, one being cocobola that are better off not glueing.
Db,
I have made gearshift knobs for my jeep wrangler (10 mm x 1.50 threads), new four door wrangler (9/16" no threads, use epoxy), beer taps, etc. You just have to pull off the factory knobs and see what is underneath. The wooden shift knobs definitely feel much nicer when shifting and look a ton better.
Mike Hawkins
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-26-2008, 08:08 PM
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Hmmm...

I have access to a pulloff gearshift lever for my year truck, and no cost. I might just see how it goes together, and look into doing this...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-26-2008, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, all for the replies!! You've given me lots of ideas, and great advice. I am very grateful for the help!!

God bless,
Mark
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