Anyone Wrapped a Sport Wheel?

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by knucklebusted, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    To the bare hand, they feel essentially the same. I'm not a princess-and-the-pea kind of guy. They are about the same thickness and feel nice in the hand. I would run either of them on my car. If I wouldn't, I'd unlace it and do something else. ;)

    If I knew what I was doing, I'd make my own. They are literally a 3.5" wide strip of leather with perforations. If the cheap one had the seam of the WheelSkin, that would be perfect in my book.

    Actually, it is a thicker, heavier leather and rolled over on the edge. The cheap one was thinner, single layer. I think most of the imperfections you see are the rolled over layer not being quite uniform or not laying down properly when pulled tight. It is glued. I unlaced some of it and tried to get it to lay correctly but it did not seem to make a lot of difference.

    Once I put it on the car, I'll probably quit thinking about it.

    Yes, I have a third wheel that I'm going to do. I'm in the process of cleaning it up and getting a lot of the sticky off of it. This is not my wheel so I'm waiting for the owner to decide what they want.

    I was hoping the baseball stitch would look better but with the hole spacing of the WheelSkin, it didn't look correct to me. I think baseball stitch would look better on a tight hole configuration.

    At any rate, I might start taking commissions if anyone is interested. So far, I only want to do 15" wheels, preferably 3-spoke sport wheels until things.

    Parts for the cheap Belinous cover were $15 for the cover and about 20% of the $13 padding. The WheelSkin was about $52 with the same amount of padding. I also had to buy more thread for the WheelSkin to do the cross stitch as they only provide enough for the whip stitch they show in the directions.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
    Utah455 likes this.
  2. mrolds69

    mrolds69 "The Cure"

    Looking great there Greg! The Wheelskins is a tough call. What I really like about that cover is that you can't pull through the holes, because the edge(s) are reinforced. It would suck to get 3/4's of the way around the cheap cover and rip a hole. It's clever the way you laced around the spokes, that always seems to give people trouble.
    knucklebusted likes this.
  3. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Unless you yank like a Buick holeshot, you won't rip the other wheel cover either. I'm starting to wonder what I might do differently about the WheelSkin. I'm tempted to unlace it again and fix the backing OR apply the padding to the inside of the cover before I put it on the wheel. That way I can see where the cover is overlapping poorly.

    I take another needle and use a short piece of thread to make fake stitches. They don't do anything but look good. I lace them under the real stitches to hold them snug and tuck them under the material.

    If I cut the thread (I have plenty more) and test my theory, I can have it rewrapped by the end of the day. I'm tired from working all day yesterday in the sun on my storage shed. But it is done now so no distractions.
  4. mrolds69

    mrolds69 "The Cure"

    I see, Greg. Wow...the shed looks great! Maybe that's your calling, to try a new trade everyday.
    knucklebusted likes this.
  5. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    If I could make money doing it Mike Rowe style, that would be cool.

    I'm wanting to take a welding class. I was hoping for retraining funds since all of IT was outsourced and we achieved federal recognition as a Trade Affected Association. That qualified us for an additional 26 weeks of unemployment beyond the standard 26 weeks KY pays.

    Finding another well-paying IT job in Bowling Green, KY is pretty slim since I was in the last batch of 3 guys that left. The previous 100 that left got the primo jobs.

    So, I was planning on getting retrained as a welder on Uncle Sam's dime. I figure I'm owed a little return after paying into everything for the last 32.67 years of continuous employment.

    Of course, Kung Flu has screwed everything up and in-person classes are a mess. You can't very well learn welding remotely without welding equipment.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  6. mrolds69

    mrolds69 "The Cure"

    I was wondering what kind of work you did, because you hadn't returned yet. That sucks, getting cut from the team like that w/o even a severance. It's hard to change gears at your age, especially when you had a good job. should definitely try to retrain on some kind of plan. They have a lot of really quick programs around here, now. Like 6 months and back to work doing something. Maybe GM will sell so many new 'vettes they will need people in IT.
    knucklebusted likes this.
  7. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Oh, I got a nice severance package and a sweet retention bonus for sticking around until the very end. I've already hit the social security max this year and I'm still getting fully paid until early December. I was going to retire earlier than my normal retirement date anyway. I had a year to prepare for this and I stuffed my 401k with every pre-tax dollar I could. They made my early retirement possible ahead of schedule. My house is paid for and I owe for nothing. I'm good.

    I don't necessarily need to work but I need to be busy. The welding class is something I've always wanted to learn and never had time. Owning an old Buick, welding is something that would come in handy.

    I've applied for jobs at the National Corvette Museum and at Holley Performance Products but they were jobs I was way overqualified for. I'm not looking for just any job, I'm looking for the unicorn job. The one that I want to do because it would be fun and not because I need the money.

    So, that's why I decided to put vinyl siding on my shed and wrap some steering wheels. I may have to buy a truck pretty soon. I find myself without a truck for the last 3 years and I miss it. You can't haul 12'6" vinyl siding in a Honda HR-V. I can't even get an 8' 2x4 in it without it sitting on the dash. Either that or I will have to put a trailer hitch on my GS, the 2013 Lexus GS AWD.
    mrolds69 likes this.
  8. mrolds69

    mrolds69 "The Cure"

    I'm glad you are pretty well set, Greg. The 'vette museum would be a fun place to work. I wasn't even aware Holley had a place down there. We visited there on that rainy day at the Nats last year.
    It sounds like you are overqualified for a lot of jobs. You could probably get a job up here in MA, the pay would be good but everything else is expensive here. I can see your point about welding being useful. It's also something you could do like part time at home, or off your truck (that you don't have yet, lol) Even if you do mig tig or arc, the layout for $ isn't bad. You could do stuff under the table, too. I've mig welded, it's fun! I'm self taught, and hardly good enough to build a roll cage or something like that. I don't know how long it takes to get really good at it, like to do aluminum or whatever. I know you need a lot of old clothes, because the summer I worked on my 442 I burnt almost everything I owned!
    knucklebusted likes this.
  9. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    OK, I put the wheel on my car. It feels good but I'm still not thrilled with the look of it. It may get torn apart and redone.

  10. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    That’s the wheelskin cover? The cheapie looks a lot nicer from the pics.
    knucklebusted likes this.
  11. gokitty

    gokitty Platinum Level Contributor

    I think it looks nice. Not machine made. Hand made one at a time in the USA by a dedicated craftsman.
    mrolds69 and knucklebusted like this.
  12. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    I'm a little disappointed in it, to be honest. I'm going to let it settle a while longer and if I still don't like it tomorrow, I'm going to take it apart and try something else. Maybe punch more holes in it and try the baseball stitch again. It's only time and I'm not going to get rich doing it.

    When all is said and done, I like the cheapy for the way it lays but I would rather have the WheelSkin hidden stitch at the bottom.

    If I strip it off, I'm going to see what I can do to the WheelSkin to make it look less puckered, pulled and to lay flatter. It looks great in some places but it didn't do well in other areas. If I pull it off, I'll examine it closely and see why it didn't lay down well. I don't know if the rolled over layer came unglued or puckered up under it or what. The thread is $2 for enough to do 2 wheels so I'm only out my time and $1.

    I will do a postmortem if I take it back off and post some results. Then, I'll see what I can do to correct it.
    mrolds69 likes this.
  13. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    Appreciate your efforts on this. I would like to do something similar (just like I followed the LED threads lol)

    There is a guy on Facebook that does fantastic work, but I can’t pull the trigger on a $300 wrap. Although it looks worth it.
    knucklebusted likes this.
  14. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    That is a nice wheel but I don't need a $300 wheel either! Hence, my low-buck Buick builds.
  15. Redmanf1

    Redmanf1 Gold Level Contributor

    Maybe just a thicker padding would help. Seems like it needs a little more padding to pull the pucker out???
  16. 73 Stage-1

    73 Stage-1 Dave

    Maybe leave it in the sun for a few hours?
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  17. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    I'm taking it back off my car today and unlacing it to find out where I could have improved it. More padding is also my first thought. When in doubt, stuff it full, right!

    It sat in the midday sun for several hours and it didn't seem to smooth it out much. It looks good in most places but those puckers won't smooth out.

    More pictures as I figure it out. Hopefully, if anyone wants to repeat this process, they will benefit from my trial and error.

    If I can get it figured out, I'll start doing them for folks if there is interest.
  18. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    I have a 16” wheel that needs some love!
    knucklebusted likes this.
  19. Brad Conley

    Brad Conley Super Moderator Staff Member

    On the padding, think much firmer, like almost solid. I mentioned this thread to Duane this morning, he will be along in awhile to throw out some advise.
    knucklebusted likes this.
  20. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    I'll keep that in mind when I get this last one sorted out.

    While I can appreciate that, this thin weatherstripping I'm using feels perfect to me. It isn't very thick and it gives just the right amount of cushioning. I took the first wheel to a cruise-in last week and folks thought it was pretty nice. It is only 1/8" a side so it can't compress much before you hit the wheel. I'm not removing the original rubber at all, which is what I remember seeing Duane do at one of the GS meets when he bought an old scummy wheel off of a buddy.

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