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“Fold-Down” Steering Wheel
A few years ago Glenn Buxengard reversed his Allis Chalmers loader tractor and mounted a cab on it so he could use it with a snowblower. The only problem was that he could hardly get in to sit down.
  “I had to back my body into the cab and straddle my legs over the steering wheel before I could sit down. It was like getting into a skid loader,” says Buxengard. “I thought that if I could fold the steering wheel down to only a couple of inches wide, it would be a lot easier to sit down.”
  So he cut the tractor’s steering wheel in half and built a folding wheel. He welded a square block and drilled 1/2-in. bolts to it, and cut 2 notches into the steering wheel hub. He also welded a pair of 1/4-in. square pulley keys to a pair of 1/2-in. dia. metal rods, which form the inside edge of both halves of the steering wheel. The keys fit inside the notches and are held in place by a spring-loaded latch, which uses a pair of 1/2-in. collars with set screws.
  “Once I sit down, I flip the wheel’s 2 halves up, shove the keys into the notches, and use the latch to lock them into place,” says Buxengard. “To fold the wheel down I lift up on the latch so the keys slide down out of the slots, which allows me to raise the 2 halves into a full wheel that I can then lock into place. It works quick and is foolproof.”
  After he cut the wheel apart he had to smash some hard rubber away from a metal rod that ran inside the wheel, allowing him to weld both rods to the wheel halves. After he welded the rods in place he used automobile body putty, mixed with a small amount of hardener, to fill in the exposed area. Once the putty hardened, he filed it down smooth to make it look like the rest of the steering wheel. Then he painted the entire wheel black. “Over the years I’ve found a lot of uses for body putty, and have used it to repair steering wheels and even to make shifting lever knobs,” says Buxengard.
  “All the work in the middle of the wheel has to be done before the 1/2-in. rods were welded to the wheel halves,” notes Buxengard.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Glenn Buxengard, 129 3rd Ave. S.W., Spring Grove, Minn. 55974 (ph 507 498-3263).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #4