Steering Wheel….Sanding!

The filler has now cured rock hard, so it is time to start sanding.  I used a cork sanding block with some 120 grit to get started on the outer surfaces, and a piece of round dowel with 120 grit to work on the finger grooves.

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The inner (concave) surface was not so easy.  If I use my hands, the paper will tend to follow the undulations, so I needed a block which would sand the surface smooth.  I made one up using multiple pieces of balsa wood and some super glue.  I held the balsa against the surface and then trickled in a little bit of glue.  After 4 layers I had something which was stiff and held its shape.

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It was now time to start sanding.  I started with 120 grit all over, and used a knife to trim the filler around the chrome rings.  Sanding around the chrome rings was really difficult – I now understand why Pearlcraft remove them.

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After 120 grit, I moved to 240, 320.  I could see a couple of low spots on the wheel, so I stopped sanding and filled the low spots.

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After curing time, I started sanding again, this time following on from 120 to 240, 320; and then switched to wet sanding using 600 & then finally 800.  There was a lot of sanding, especially around the back of the wheel where the finger grips are.  I would estimate that I spent a total of 6-7 hours sanding the wheel!  Not sure how well it shows up in the pictures, but the surface looks pretty darn good.

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Next step is to have the wheel painted with Epoxy Primer followed by a primer surfacer.  After this I will get the opportunity to do some more sanding.

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