Stupid side project number, well, I think we lost count...

We are sure many will notice that the steering wheel may not be period correct. It is a bit oversized but we are considering this to be "power steering". As such the horn button really does not fit well. The previous owner used a combination of rubber bands (damn we wish we were kidding here) and a type of rubber gel - filler from a tube? - to hold the original button in place. (here's wishing I had a photo) He also painted the inside of the button with primer???

 

Well now we have a choice. Buy a replacement button ($100) or make due, we choose to make due as we can always buy the replacement if we made a mess of it. First thing was to see how closely we could "restore" the original to well, "original". Taking off the primer with steel wool was easy and with a bit of rattle can paint we had on the shelf we get the following:

This photo doesn't really show the darker edge effect but this does appear once it is in the horn ring.

Button

We then worked out how to attach the button to the steering wheel. We didn't want to do the very thing we mocked prior and could have simple glued the button in place. This option however has many draw backs and if we did really mess up we wanted an easier way to "undo" or work. (work = mistake) We cast about in the garage we noticed the magnets on a cabinet and did a little test.

Wheel

and YES, it will stick. Now we have the problem of a plastic button and a magnet. Again, standing there looking around (looking dumb) we thought, "can we use a bolt with the magnet?" How can we "dial in" the length of the bolt and how can we fix the bolt to the plastic button? Solution = bolt + tee nut + resin:

ButtonBack

The tee nut allowed us to vary the length of the setup and once determined we simply glued the steel together and mixed up some casting resin. Once cured it was a moment of truth. The button now snaps into place.

ya ya ya, the steering wheel is not centered. Its a work in progress.  It should als be noted that this is not actually hooked up to the horn.  The actual (functional) button is mounted on the column and can be seen below.

WheelHorn