Weathered bakelite steering wheel solution

Farmall H, HV & Super H, 300 & 350, 1939-1958

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Jim in SC
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:16 am
Zip Code: 29527
Tractors Owned: 1951 Farmall H - "Ray R." (SN FBH 366519)
1959 Farmall Cub - "Pea" (SN 211538 J)
1971 IH Cub Cadet 106 - "Barn Queen" (SN 380760)
1999 John Deere LT155 - "Oliver"
2018 Husqvarna YTH18542

Tractor previously owned:
1951 Farmall Cub - "Johnny R."
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Conway, South Carolina

Weathered bakelite steering wheel solution

Postby Jim in SC » Thu Mar 11, 2021 5:36 pm

I got tired of my hands turning black from my weathered bakelite steering wheel on my '51 H. I saw a few recommendations on other threads where people had painted, clearcoated, taped, or replaced their steering wheels because of this problem. My steering wheel is in good shape, but the bakelite was coming off (not cracked). I figured that bakelite is basically plastic, so I sanded it down using medium grit paper, followed by fine wet sandpaper. Once it was dry I cleaned it with denatured alcohol and finished up with leather conditioner - yeah, leather conditioner - it WORKED! Dang thing looks and feels like new. Give it a try!
Circle of Safety
"That's the great thing about a tractor. You can't really hear the phone ring."
Jeff Foxworthy

1951 Farmall H
1959 Farmall Cub
1971 IH Cub Cadet 106
1998 John Deere LT 155
2018 Husqvarna YTH18542

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Stanton
Team Cub
Team Cub
Posts: 7115
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:56 am
Zip Code: 64070
Tractors Owned: 1942 Farmall AV, serial #87025
1947 Farmall Circle Cub, serial #2116
1948 Farmall Cub, serial #46066
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Lone Jack, MO

Re: Weathered bakelite steering wheel solution

Postby Stanton » Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:20 am

Jim in SC wrote:I got tired of my hands turning black from my weathered bakelite steering wheel on my '51 H. I saw a few recommendations on other threads where people had painted, clearcoated, taped, or replaced their steering wheels because of this problem. My steering wheel is in good shape, but the bakelite was coming off (not cracked). I figured that bakelite is basically plastic, so I sanded it down using medium grit paper, followed by fine wet sandpaper. Once it was dry I cleaned it with denatured alcohol and finished up with leather conditioner - yeah, leather conditioner - it WORKED! Dang thing looks and feels like new. Give it a try!



Nice tip, Jim. Does the leather conditioner dry completely? Can you post a pic of the finished wheel?
Stanton
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User avatar
Jim in SC
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:16 am
Zip Code: 29527
Tractors Owned: 1951 Farmall H - "Ray R." (SN FBH 366519)
1959 Farmall Cub - "Pea" (SN 211538 J)
1971 IH Cub Cadet 106 - "Barn Queen" (SN 380760)
1999 John Deere LT155 - "Oliver"
2018 Husqvarna YTH18542

Tractor previously owned:
1951 Farmall Cub - "Johnny R."
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Conway, South Carolina

Re: Weathered bakelite steering wheel solution

Postby Jim in SC » Fri Mar 12, 2021 9:29 am

Stanton, thanks for the reply. It seems the leather conditioner soaks in, if that makes sense. Yes, I'll take a picture and post it - just the after, I don't have a before.
Circle of Safety
"That's the great thing about a tractor. You can't really hear the phone ring."
Jeff Foxworthy

1951 Farmall H
1959 Farmall Cub
1971 IH Cub Cadet 106
1998 John Deere LT 155
2018 Husqvarna YTH18542

User avatar
Stanton
Team Cub
Team Cub
Posts: 7115
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:56 am
Zip Code: 64070
Tractors Owned: 1942 Farmall AV, serial #87025
1947 Farmall Circle Cub, serial #2116
1948 Farmall Cub, serial #46066
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Lone Jack, MO

Re: Weathered bakelite steering wheel solution

Postby Stanton » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:04 am

Jim in SC wrote:Stanton, thanks for the reply. It seems the leather conditioner soaks in, if that makes sense. Yes, I'll take a picture and post it - just the after, I don't have a before.


That's fine. It would be good to have a reliable solution to those who have Baklite steering wheel that don't need a complete overhaul, like the ones I've done (http://farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=143&t=37140).
Stanton
Image Circle of Safety

User avatar
Jim in SC
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:16 am
Zip Code: 29527
Tractors Owned: 1951 Farmall H - "Ray R." (SN FBH 366519)
1959 Farmall Cub - "Pea" (SN 211538 J)
1971 IH Cub Cadet 106 - "Barn Queen" (SN 380760)
1999 John Deere LT155 - "Oliver"
2018 Husqvarna YTH18542

Tractor previously owned:
1951 Farmall Cub - "Johnny R."
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Conway, South Carolina

Re: Weathered bakelite steering wheel solution

Postby Jim in SC » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:28 am

Here are a couple of pictures. The wheel rim was rough and weathered - now it's hard and shiny. There is no residue, so all is good.
IMG_20210312_100053086.jpg
Attachments
IMG_20210312_100115663.jpg
Circle of Safety
"That's the great thing about a tractor. You can't really hear the phone ring."
Jeff Foxworthy

1951 Farmall H
1959 Farmall Cub
1971 IH Cub Cadet 106
1998 John Deere LT 155
2018 Husqvarna YTH18542


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