I've been polishing my knob...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Hambone, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. ...making skills :D and here are some of the results of the experiments. I use my router mounted horizontally to my drill press with a spiral bit. Turn both of them on and just spin away! It's as addicting as a lathe. I've got dozens more not to mention the ones I'm actually using. Wait till you see what I'm doing for the walnut Fairlane!

    To help ID what's there, I've keyed the photo to the list.

    1. Cocobolo with ebony top – experiment with white epoxy dots
    2. Amboyna burl with an ivory Corian ring under CA coating
    3. Simple walnut with flame maple wedge pointer
    4. White peroba topped with burl maple
    5. Laminate with amboyna burl top, maple veneer, spanish cedar, and finally maple veneer with a CA clear coat. From a Roscoe body blank!
    6. Aluminum topped with wenge and a brass pointer dot
    7. Aluminum with thin burl walnut cap and white epoxy dot – experimental
    8. Aluminum with laminate top from throat section of an old tennis racket
    9. Aluminum with a thick cap and polished brass pointer
    10. Aluminum with a Corian top – Blue Isle or some stupid name like that.
    11. All aluminum designed to have a solid brass shaft fill the center hole to complete the look
    12. A trio of laminated and polished black phenolic and ivory corian with purple heart caps.
    13. Black phenolic with spalted black locust and polished CA coating
    14. Black phenolic with a laminate of B/W/B pickguard material and topped with polished aluminum
    15. Ivory Corian with a wenge cap
    16. Black phenolic with a polished aluminum cap and raised clear epoxy star
    17. Corian and clear acrylic with an embedded foil graphic experiment
    18. Laminate of stained burl maple, hard maple and phenolic – all cutoff scraps from other knobs
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Nice work Hambone! I like 13.
  3. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    They look great but i've got a hard time visualizing the setup. You wouldn't have a pic by any chance?
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Nice! :cool:
    I especially like 1 and 5. Not to keen on wood-topped aluminium or phenolic knobs, I prefer all-wood myself, but as I've seen earlier, you seem to like them just fine.

    I'll be using leftover bubinga from the body - luckily there's a lathe at home :D hopefully they will turn out nice, too - the figuring is killer on the body with just a few coats of TO :hyper:
  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden

    I think I can visualize it, but a pic would be nice:)

  6. The only thing is Frank that there isn't any black material to do what's needed here. Ebony is problematic. the color isn't consistent and you never know what's inside the blank before cutting and the grain will collect polishing compound. The phenolic avoids all of this. and it's more durable than say, black acrylic.

    I didn't have enough time to get a pic so here's a quick illustration of the pieces and how they work together...

  7. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    That was almost as good as my "I've got wood...to burn" thread in the off topic area :p

    Nice Knobs!
  8. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    "I've been polishing my knob..."

    Are you blind yet? My mom always told me that you would go blind.......

    if you weren't careful using power tools. :D
  9. Wow. I really dig 14 & 6. really nice work man. quite cool.

  10. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I'll take 3 of number 3 for my new project!
  11. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    Hey Allan,

    I never cease to be amazed at your creativity! Do you have a source for the brass inserts internal to these knobs, or do you make those yourself as well?

    All the best,

  12. Thanx folks,
    I use a variety of mounting methods with my knobs, it depends on the material. The aluminum ones are simple, just tap the a side hole and your done. Ebony, Cocobolo, the same way and even some Maples but I reinforce the threads with CA. You can put them on and take them off a dozen times before they lose grip and that's fine for good instruments that get builder attention. I also use inserts of steel, brass and aluminum from the hobby store, rubber and vinyl tubing and side tapped tubing in experiments. I'm trying to invent a magnetic attachment but I haven't gotten a handle on it yet :meh:

    These are just experiments and warm-ups when I first get out into the shop. I slap them together and whip them out. If I'm stressing or just thinking about something, I'll idly turn out a knob while I'm cogitatin' :D It's like a cigarette or a really complex desk toy. I'm just about to conquer images under the magnifying acrylic domes. Getting a secure, optically clear, glue joint is sort of tough but not impossible. Experiments have been shown promise. That's going to make my instruments a little more special.

    Next is figuring out how to get a goldfish in one. :eek:
  13. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Wow... next thing you know you'll be making pickups! :D
  14. it is a scientifically proven fact that excessive polishing of your knob will make you go blind, so be careful.

    seriously, though, great results with such an ingenious jig. I'm gonna have to try that sometime soon.
  15. M.D.S.


    Nov 8, 2004
    Number 12... Those are stunning! :)

  16. I agree, the contrasting colours on #12 look great
  17. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Only in the luthier's section can a thread with the title "polishing my knob" can be actually interesting...

    By the way Hambone, would you make aluminum anodized knobs in the #14 shape you have there? (that's the high and skinny one, right?) I'd be interested in that... PM with a quote if you're willing.

  18. Thanks for posting that Hambone, you just saved me the cost of a mini-lathe!

    (I had actually pictured it the other way 'round, with the knob mounted to the router... :eyebrow: )
  19. well maybe not goldfish, but you could try imbedding something (like a coin or something in acrylic or epoxy and then turning that out...finish it off with some micromesh...it would be cool...

    how about a solid black core...phenolic maybe...and then an epoxy knob with floating gold flakes in it?

    there's no end to the creative possibilities, is there?
  20. I've got to thank the folks that have contacted me about making sets of knobs for them - the comparisons to the big boys in the market is flattering but way over the top. ;) I slipped up by not making it clear that I'm not selling these knobs individually or in sets. I only make them for the basses I build and customize. It's tempting to get into making these on order but it really doesn't pay. I guess I could be persuaded to give away a bass with a set for the right price though. ;)