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Technical A homage to Tom Hanna: Butterfly wheel the hard way.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by exwestracer, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. I was searching for pictures of FED steering box mounts the other day, and I ran across a picture of the beautiful butterfly steering wheel Tom Hanna made for his "cackle car" a few years back. I was just stunned, and I had to give it a try.

    I initially was going to use the wheel on the Wyo-digger (http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=811466 ) , but I like it so much I think I'm just gonna keep it and hang it on the shop wall.

    I started with a piece of 3" DOM axle tube, and a lot of cutting and drilling later, I had the "crown" roughed out. Next, I made a fixture and hot bent the spokes to get the finish width for the wheel. One of my students cut out the grips and welded them on; I smoothed all the welds and he made a plate to attach the wheel to the shaft.

    It's nowhere near as nice as Hanna's,
    [​IMG]
    in fact I doubt I'm qualified to sniff Hanna's farts when it comes to fabrication; but I'm pretty happy with it. Mostly the fact that I could do it at all.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  2. Buzznut
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,349

    Buzznut
    Member

    Looks sweet, great work!
     
  3. 34 Plymouth Hemi
    Joined: Apr 8, 2008
    Posts: 68

    34 Plymouth Hemi
    Member

    Nice job!!!



    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  4. I think we are going to try a "street freak" round wheel in this same style next. Anyone interested in one of these?
     
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  5. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,589

    117harv
    Member

    Art takes many forms, VERY nice work! This would make a great addition to the (holes) thread.
     
  6. Nice one, thats a work of art.
     
  7. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,084

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Beautiful job on that wheel, are you going to use wood for the grip inserts? As far as Tom Hanna's work, I have seen his car in person and it is, incredible!
     
  8. Yeah Marty, it will have wood grips. I have something really "grainy" in mind.
    Thanks.
     
  9. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,846

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    If you want something grainy and different try this.

    Rough out a set of grips out of a soft wood -pine is good-and burn them with a torch and then with a stiff brush scub all the black away. The more you scrub the lighter the color becomes so do samples first

    It will give you that driftwood appearence and be rough with streaks of dark lines. take the grips to a sander or a peice of sand paper on a flat surface to make the backside flat to fit the wheel surface nice and finnish with a nice clearcoat
     
  10. Awesome fabrication! I now know what to do with those DOM scraps I have!
     
  11. That sounds like a cool idea Bruce! I'm definitely going to try that out.

    BTW, the second wheel is about 1/2 done, and it's going to be a real 60s psychedelic piece... I'm stoked!
     
  12. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,706

    pitman
    Member
    from Hampsha

    Stunning! You can stand in his shadow, fer sure, ExW!
     
  13. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,846

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    [​IMG]

    Bob Knight started it first in the late 60's
     
  14. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,846

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

  15. Wow, the 3 spoke deal is pretty slick! Thanks for the history lesson.
     
  16. Teaser shot for the new round wheel...
     

    Attached Files:

  17. jfrolka
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 897

    jfrolka
    Member

    Thats some thick steel
     
  18. jfrolka
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 897

    jfrolka
    Member

    Think 1 pound
     
  19. gordspeed
    Joined: Jul 9, 2013
    Posts: 212

    gordspeed
    Member
    from Oregon

    Those are really cool, nice work! Can't wait to see the round wheel. :)
     
  20. Believe me I understand. This was more of an art exercise than a full-on race car part.
     
  21. Here's the round one, mostly finished.

    Funny story about this wheel. After I came up with a design, the same student that helped me out with the butterfly wheel built this one pretty much on his own. The kid has a ton of talent, but he is his own worst enemy... He was always getting pissed. thinking his work wasn't good enough or wondering why he couldn't do the same things I was showing him.

    I was so annoyed at one point, I told him if he ever opens a shop, he should call it "Labor Of Hate Hot Rods". You heard it here first. He'll probably be famous...
     

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