This is proof that the math you learned in school will come in handy later on down the road.

It’s a cliche to say “I will never use this stuff in real life” when learning anything math-related but, machinist Luis Maya put that oft stated phrase to rest. Luis ordered the wrong steering wheel hub for his favorite Nardi steering wheel on accident but, instead of crying over spilled milk and shelling more money on another one, he whipped out his trusty calculator, figured the maths out, drilled new holes, and made that hub adaptor work anyway.

Luis’s caption reads

“I wanted to fit a steering wheel that I had for 16 years (daaamn) onto my 1972 Datsun 510. I ordered a hub (adapter) that fits my car and adapts a 6 bolt steering wheel to it. 

Holes do NOT line up ?. 
Did I cry?
NO (yes, a little)

Here’s a little video on how I got it to fit with Math and Machining.

First, Luis takes out an old school vernier caliper and figures out the diameter of his steering wheel hub by measuring the distance between two holes and the diameter of the holes themselves.

It’s noteworthy that reading a vernier caliper is a skill all its own.

Dividing by two, you get the length from the center of the steering wheel to one of the holes A.K.A. the radius.

If you remember anything about High School math, if you have a right-angle triangle, one angle, and the lengths of two of the sides, you can figure out the exact length of the missing side.

If SOHCAHTOA rings a bell, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

The video goes through Luis finding the x and y coordinates of the exact locations of the holes on his steering wheel.

Armed with those coordinates and the size of the drill bit he needs to use, Luis figures out how to dial in the milling machine and drills new holes onto his steering wheel hub adapter, making his Nardi steering wheel fit on.

This machinist used a bit of math to make his steering wheel hub adapter fit onto his favorite Nardi

Although Luis uses a machine worth several thousand dollars, I reckon the DIY mechanic at home can come up with similar results with less expensive tools and a bit of eyeballing.

Sure, Luis could’ve returned the steering wheel hub adapter and ordered the correct one, assuming there is one that fits, but where’s the fun in that?

Luis made it work and proved that sometimes that math you learned comes in handy.

Have you used a bit of math to make your projects work? Let me know in the comments below.


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