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Steering Wheel - how was it made?

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IanH16/08/2018 14:12:23
63 forum posts
44 photos

Looking for a steering wheel for my 1929 Morgan I was gifted the mortal remains of an original steering wheel rim that looked like it had been in a car that had rolled at some point!

The celluloid covered rim is made from thin steel tube with a seam around the inside that has been left open - i.e. it has not been welded closed for example. The finger grips are small steel pressings that have been pinned on just to one side of the open seam.

Where the spokes of the steering wheel centre attach to the rim, there are slugs of wood inside and there is a pin either side which I assume is to locate the wood. The tube either side of the hole for the wood screw has clearly been hot - presumably part of the manufacturing process.

On the outside of the rim there is a neat line which looks like a seam maybe... but could just be a tooling mark?

How did they make that originally I wonder?



Tooling mark? just visible on the outside of the rim.img_20180815_164910.jpg

One of the holes for the wood screws that attach the rim to the spokes - there is the remains of a wooden slug in here, and you can see evidence of heating either side


The inside showing the open seam and finger grips pinned on to one side of the seam.

larry phelan 116/08/2018 14:17:01
574 forum posts
11 photos

Like they used to ask years ago "How do they get the figs into the fig rolls"?

V8Eng16/08/2018 14:21:07
1335 forum posts
28 photos

Have you contacted Morgan to see if they have any historic records of the process?

Edited By V8Eng on 16/08/2018 14:21:59

Mick B116/08/2018 16:16:42
1350 forum posts
75 photos

Projection welding?

Hopper17/08/2018 00:53:49
3946 forum posts
83 photos

I wonder if the heat marks either side of the wooden "slug" were there from heating the wooden slug after installation to make it swell up and grip tight inside the wheel? Bit like we used to do with old Norton clutch plates where you soaked the cork inserts to push them into the holes in the clutch plates, then baked them in the oven to make them swell up and stay in place. Standard practice on British bikes up until about the 1960s.

Or was the seam welded at those points on your wheel? Can't tell with the grinder marks on the join.

vintagengineer17/08/2018 09:57:02
468 forum posts
6 photos

It looks very similar to an Austin 7 rim. The reason the tube is split is it was cheaper then welded tube. It would have been rolled into a circle and the welded.

IanH17/08/2018 10:24:54
63 forum posts
44 photos

I think these were sourced from Bluemels and not the factory...

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