January 6th, 2007: Moose Leather Steering Wheel | Part One
Rather than buy a new steering wheel that looks like so many others, I decided to revamp my 1975 Cadillac steering wheel and turn it into something totally unique and original by upholstering it with a moose hide.
Step One: The Center Piece
After cutting a piece of leather to shape, I needed to employ the Skiver I purchased ... the idea here is to make the leather as thin as possible in a V-shape, to allow the leather to be sandwiched into a groove around a silver piece of metal (see bottom picture; this day's entry).
The skiver worked better than I imagined! I was afraid that the razor blade in this tool would cut more aggressively and I'd screw up a number of very expensive pieces of leather! But I'm happy to report that it literally shaves the suede side very gradually and I was able to take it down nicely. If you look close at the picture below, you can see some shiny spots where I was past the suede and hitting leather -- that's when I knew I had better stop while I was ahead. The four holes you see are to accommodate four pins that are on the bottom of the V-shaped piece of metal:
The skiver did what I had hoped it would do. The silver metal piece fit in the groove nicely -- it never would have if I hadn't shaved the leather thin ... and the front glued in place effortlessly. This glue has to be sprayed on both parts ... you wait two to three minutes (no more than six minutes, max) and then the parts have to be attached ... so you work in sections. Once the front was all secured, I turned it over and worked the back side. The masking tape is covering screw mounts and electrical contacts for the horn:
And here's the final product. I wound up going with the Ivy Cross Silver Concho ... and after looking at the quality of this moose skin, I'm convinced -- there's no way I would ever use the vinyl materials you see all pro's use on interiors! No way! Look at the quality of this moose hide ... look at the variations in the texture and the grain ... I sure am glad I decided to buy this hide!
Note: This is a 31-year-old steering wheel ... you can see how this moose skin made a difference and how much better it looks when compared to vinyl -- Click Here.
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This Project Continues ... Click Here for Part Two