Recovering the Wheel
with new Elkhide


The elkhide cover on the wheel of Early Light appeared to be the original (now 21 years old). The leather was dried up and cracking as well as pretty grungy looking as you can see in the photo below.

Old elkhide cover

I decided that Early Light deserved something better and ordered a new Edson cover kit from Defender Industries. They are available in either tan or dove grey. I opted for the dove grey. The kit comes complete with double faced tape, thread already coated with beeswax and a sailmakers needle. The leather is prepunched so the sewing goes quite easily. I removed the original cover by cutting the stitching with an X-acto knife. When I started to peel off the original cover, it was so dry and brittle that it just broke in pieces. I cleaned up the wheel as can be seen in the photo below.

Wheel after stripping
the old cover off

Material required:

Edson leather wheel kit for 30" wheel ($95.00 from Defender)

Total cost: $95.00

I took the wheel home to the comfort of the air conditioning since the temperature was 99 degrees F and the relative humidity was extremely high. In the comfort of my living room, I spent approximately 3.5 hours sewing the new cover on the wheel using the same stitch (a herringbone stitch) used to sew a baseball cover. The below photograph shows the completed project. I was very pleased with the results.

Wheel with the new cover
reinstalled on pedestal


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