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 Post subject: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Jan Fri 13, 2017 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 11, 2014 2:54 am
Posts: 51
Earlier in my building career, my parents did not spend much money on my hobby. Where I lived, there weren't many lawns to mow or other ways to bring in spare change. Occasionally I could get some leverage with mom and she would buy cheap parts, books, and yard sale radios.

Proper knobs were always hard to come by, so I had to improvise. I found that using old plastic solder or wire spools would work quite well by getting a wooden dowel to fit in the middle. Then drill a hole in the center of the dowel to accommodate a "press fit" of whatever I was trying to control. This worked especially well with the knurled shaft type of pots. Mom always had plenty of large rubber bands she would save from the broccoli she bought. A few of these wrapped around the spool till they built up to just a little larger diameter made a nice large grippy knob.


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2017 1:13 am 
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Joined: Jun Thu 18, 2015 12:28 am
Posts: 50
hot sauce bottle caps:

Image

Most are ribbed for good finger grip and different brands have various colors. I have painted them also. Epoxy a piece of tubing or the stem from an orphan knob into the cup end.


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2017 2:51 am 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 9107
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
I have made some on my lathe (metal) out of walnut with aluminum inserts and set screws.

Attachment:
Knobs.JPG
Knobs.JPG [ 99.33 KiB | Viewed 2878 times ]


They are easy to make and work well. Nice thing is that I can make any shaft diameter that I need.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Jan Thu 19, 2017 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 28, 2009 8:27 pm
Posts: 691
Location: Georgia
Rich: glad to see someone else makes knobs. I too make knobs on my lathe and mill, usually from walnut. I use brass inserts and 6/32 allen set screws and finish with hot lacquer. I made some of the old "Z" zenith knobs last year but could not figure out a good method for relieving the lightning Z in the knob front. It was a "relief" rather than an inscription which makes it difficult. I think they originally had a die that pressed the knob front to form the "Z". A milling machine cutter will not turn corners sharp enough for that duty and they did not have lasers then. ?????


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Jan Thu 19, 2017 6:48 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 9107
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Yes, I think the old knobs were pressed and trying to do that by milling would be major issue.

I use knurled aluminum inserts and 6-32 setscrews (usually two for maximum hold). The inserts are retained with 2-part epoxy.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Jan Thu 19, 2017 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 30, 2014 6:08 am
Posts: 2123
Location: The Old Dominion VA 23518
Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
Nice thing is that I can make any shaft diameter that I need.

Rich

Our Home Depot has one knob blank/dowel that's 36" in diameter - only an inch long.... :mrgreen:


Table Top...

I make them with Sugru, and a homemade mold...
https://sugru.com/tech-gadget

_________________
Brian
"Capacitor Cosmetologist since 1979"
USN Retired 1984-2006 (Avionics/Cal)


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Jan Tue 24, 2017 1:34 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 24, 2011 7:21 am
Posts: 466
Location: saint clair shores, michigan
I have copied and cast knobs a few times. When I do this I end up with only the front part of the knob. I sand the bottom flat, and drill a hole for the shaft. My tip is that in cases of a D shaft, I have taken a small round wooden dowel, cut a piece in the shape of a D, glued it into the knob hole, and thus created a D shaped hole in the knob. The dowel should be about the same diameter as the knob hole. I start on the large size and whittle it down until it fits snugly on the shaft before glueing.

_________________
Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antennae bristle with the energy - The Spirit of Radio


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Feb Mon 06, 2017 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 02, 2017 3:13 pm
Posts: 49
I use the bigger wooden knobs from Lowes cabinet selection but do the D shaft and exactly as 1968 does. Sound advice. I also use a toothpick for a tuning pointer. Looks vintage.
donVe3LYX


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrew Knobs
PostPosted: Apr Sun 02, 2017 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3392
Location: Olympia WA USA
An artist friend of mine cast some knobs for me. He even got the complete slot perfect for a flat knob spring.
He said exact color matching with the 2 part plastic mix was the hard part. IIRC, he likely got his at Michaels Craft.
He made his mold out of 2 part silicone, like the dentists use for casting crowns.

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WB7ELC
Member: TCA & Steel Soldiers.
" Break down the wall"


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