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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys

So im new to routing but it seemed very easy but im struggling a bit. So it took me 3 weeks to just start cause life is busy and bieng married doesnt help me complete my steering wheel.
So here we go i have a 1981 MK2 Jetta that im busy restoring and i wanted something different and the wooden steering wheel was the answer.

I did alot of research on the subject and we had a old router lying around so i thought hell lemme try.
So I have someone who sells logs so very big stumps i bought 2 pieces of oak 600x600x60 so me head start running how im gonna cut it and that weekend i went cutting with the tablesaw and i messed up the first piece. 2nd piece i started with today after getting a 32mm straight cut bit i came half way and looked like i burned the bit.

So heres my questions.
Do I need a special bit for hardwood?
I cut very slow today mm by mm so i didnt rush into the cutting cause i was scared the bits gonna break and it did. The woods very hard could it be the bit wasnt up to the task.
I still have to cut the inner most of the videos i saw guys just jump in and cut it with the router. But from what i have seen today it doesnt look possible.
When i finished making the circle i have to cut the 60mm piece into 2 pieces. I need to cut a 30mm solt around but i dont have a clue how im gonna do it.
1 option: Make a horizontal router jig

Anyone have other ideas?

Any help will be appreciated thx
 

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Cutting too slow can produce more heat. If you broke the shaft of the router bit and you were burning it then I suspect that you were trying to cut too deep per pass.That job goes much easier if you do the rough cut out with a jig saw, band saw, or coping saw.

You have another problem still and that is grain direction. If you look at the factory made steering wheel you will notice that there is no end grain showing. Using a solid board like that you will be crossing end grain on 2 sides and the end grain sections will be very prone to break. The most reliable way to make that would be to take straight grain and overlap pieces to make a loop, kind of like the sections of a wooden barrel but overlapping sections so that all the joints are reinforced.
 

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Welcome to the forum,Mince,
Are you using a center point to guide on?
Are you cutting full depth with one cut?
Cuttin full depth will cause the bit to heat and break, and put too much load on the router motor slowing down the rpms if you are not using a center point to hold the radius.
If you are using the center point, should be able to lay the face down like it is in the picture and cut the perimeter. It is best to take only 1/8" max depth on each cut, you will have to make 4-5 cuts to cut the whole thing.
What I would if I were doing it would be with a center point would be to cut one side, turn over cut other side 1/8" deep.
Turn over cut the other side 1/8" deep raise the bit to 1/4" do both sides again and so on. Then set a new center point for the inside and do the same. Then get a Ball bearing rabet bit and run the groove inside.

https://www.toolbarn.com/freud-32-504.html/

Then you need a 1/4 round bit with a BB pilot to go around the outside to radius the inside and outside to make it round.

Similar to this in th radius that is 1/2 the thickness of the board to give you a full radius.
https://www.toolbarn.com/freud-34-126.html/
I hope ths helps.
Herb
 

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Holy Hanna, M.P; talk about diving into the deep end! That's a challenging project for even experienced woodworkers.
In this case YouTube may not be your friend...too many questionable uploads.
'Stick' will be along shortly to point you at a lot of resource material, well worth taking the time to read.
In the meantime, what Charles said.
Good luck!
 

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Hello and welcome to the forums N/A...
We're happy you found us...

About that inquisitiveness of yours... We are all over that, we can help, we really can, w/ have some ''light reading'' for you...
We've gathered together is a bunch of pertinent/relative information on routering in this here link ... You should find everything (at least most) quite useful, a lot of help and get you off to a running start in the world of routers... Enjoy...

Do take some time and read the safety PDF's... PLEASE!!!
Blood and trips to the ER, we find, are very annoying... Not to mention – expensive...

We do welcome all questions on about any subject you can come up w/ too....
Not only that, we excel at spending your money...
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thx for all the replies

@ Chuck
I actually broke the cutting edge by the tip. The woods very hard so i didnt start deep i actually went shallow.
Would it be advisable to rather start over and not use the same piece of wood? and do it like attached picture?
@herb
The table i made i placed a center point thought it would work better. Thing i thought of does it matter in which direction you cut clockwise or anti clockwise?
I didnt cut full depth i actually went very very shallow cause i didnt now what to expect.
Thing i did find when i did a deep cut it felt as if the bit wanted to spin the whole piece of wood if that makes sense almost like a rev up and then a grab sounded scary so i went more shallow.
My idea was going 1/2 then turning around like your suggestion.

@ Semipro
That the precise video on youtube that i looked at just thought it would be better with one chunk of wood.
But these dam youtube videos i broke my one rule of youtube.
If it looks easy it never is.
Practical and theory is never the same
 

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Anton, I see you have a table saw. You can make a perfectly round template (6mm mdf) of any reasonable diameter, with a very simple table saw jig. Using this with a flush bearing bit you will be able to get perfect results on the outside diameter, having cut roughly to size with a jigsaw. Not as easy to make a template for the inside diameter, but can be done in 6mm mdf with a homemade circle cutting jig with your router.
 

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one more thing...
watch for tearour..

.
 

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That set up would solve the end grain problem. The splined joints make it much stronger but the grain in the splines need to be 90 degrees to the joint and not parallel with it. I can't tell from the photo if that's how they've been run.

Another issue is the different expansion rates between the metal ring and the wooden one. The metal will expand more and faster than the wood and I don't know how the OEM steering wheel accounts for that.
 
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Hey Anton, welcome.
I used to have a Lancia with a three-spoke wood-rimmed steering wheel, could never figure out how they made it - it did not look as if made up out of segments, but also did not look like cut from one solid piece - the grain seemed to follow the curvature. I wonder whether it was steam-bent?
I guess you would need to make two half-rims, with a routed groove in each half for the steel, then glue them together encasing the steel?
If so, it might be easier to rout the groove before cutting the inside diameter of each half-rim.
Chuck raised an interesting point about differential expansion of the wood rim and the steel core. What I remember of mine, is that it was completely solid - no expansion space noted.

As Dan says, nothing like a double somersault off the high board in order to get your toe wet.
 
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