Well, being out of a job for a few months I needed something to waste my time on. I decided to make a replica of the late war type Horsa glider instrument panel and steering wheel.
These are based on copies of the original drawings, original pieces from private collections and lots of help from friends in Holland and the UK but some details simply had to be guessed from often poor period pictures.
The steering wheel is made of 3 layers of spruce; each layer consists of 6 straight pieces of wood. Each layer is rotated 20 degrees and each spoke is made out of 2 pieces of spruce.
The frame that holds the instrument panel is also made out of 3 layers; each layer is made out of 12 straight pieces of spruce. All instruments are original and wartime; the anti-vibration mounts that connect the instrument panel to the frame are probably post-war made but suitable. The nuts and bolts are also modern and these have British thread, not metric! I gave these an aged look with liquid gun blue.
I still need to order the engraved (speed warning) plates for the instrument panel and top panel, I'm looking into suitable supplyers for this now.
These are the most difficult pieces I have ever made (note I only have hand tools available and no wood working machines apart from an electric jig saw); I must say that I am quite pleased with the results.