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Knobs that don't break my pots

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Schonbrun, Feb 27, 2021.


  1. Schonbrun

    Schonbrun

    Mar 8, 2020
    The last time I worked on my bass, I ruined a pot just by taking the knob off it. The shaft pulled out of the body a little bit, but enough so that it now turns forever and won't push back in. This has happened to me twice now.

    How can I avoid this mistake in the future? Are there knobs that don't grip so hard that I risk this every time? Can I lubricate the inside of the knob? Was I too brutish getting the knob off?

    I've included pictures of the knobs that have caused me this heartache as well as the broken pot next to a functional one.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka I "heart" pointy headstocks Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    How are you pulling the knobs?
     
  3. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
  4. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I've switched to mostly solid shaft pots, and knobs with set screws because it can be a pain to pull of split shaft knobs if they are too tight, and if they are too loose the knob falls off lol.
     
    Jeff Scott, fdeck and nbsipics like this.
  5. Schonbrun

    Schonbrun

    Mar 8, 2020
    One with pliers because I couldn't get under it, the other one I was able to to pry off with just my fingers.
     
  6. Schonbrun

    Schonbrun

    Mar 8, 2020
    J_Bass likes this.
  7. Schonbrun

    Schonbrun

    Mar 8, 2020
    Just yesterday I bought solid shaft pots as replacements. Hopefully with the screw on knobs, this'll be a problem of the past.
     
    Jeff Scott, fdeck and J_Bass like this.
  8. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Pliers? Bad idea there. You need a knob puller that doesn't put pressure on the shaft of the pot like pliers do.
     
    fhm555 and Schonbrun like this.
  9. Schonbrun

    Schonbrun

    Mar 8, 2020
    I didn't know there was such a thing as knob pullers. That'll be the next tool on my list.
     
    Lownote38 likes this.
  10. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Unfortunately, unless the puller can grip the shaft of the pot independently of the knob, pulling a splined knob off a splined pot shaft will put pressure on that pot shaft even using a puller. If the knob is glued on by sweat grime and time, there’s a good chance your knob and pot will become a single use item if removal is attempted. My basses all have solid shaft pots, even the one that came to me with splined shafts, but after breaking 2 out of the 3 witch hat knobs trying to get them off, it was easier to just replace the pots with solid shaft versions and set screw knobs.
    The big problem for me with splined shaft pots and knobs lies in the fact that there are 2 diameters and spline counts used in basses. I can’t recall off the top of my head which is which but it pretty much comes down to country of manufacture on the pot as to which spline count you’ll wind up with. The other PITA associated with splined knobs is most are made offshore which means they are made to metric dimensions which is usually OK for most stuff but since splined knobs are an interference fit in the shaft, the slightest variation results in a wobbly knob or one you have to force on it’s shaft. Not to mention most retailers don’t publish spline counts or even shaft diameters for which their knob offerings are made.
    With solid shaft pots and knobs it’s all the same, with the exception of offshore knockoffs made to a metric standard to fit a standard shaft. You will find most of these are 6mm which converts to .24”, which is an RCH small for your typical .25” solid pot shaft. Sometimes they fit, sometimes not so no matter how you slice it. Pots and knobs can be a major PITA to get both the pot and knob you want rather than having to settle for whatever works together.
     
    Schonbrun likes this.
  11. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    dwizum and Schonbrun like this.
  12. Warpeg

    Warpeg

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    Schonbrun likes this.
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    The answer to 6mm shafts and 1/4" knobs is an adapter sleeve. Also works on 6mm splined shafts where you want to put a set-screw knob.

    EP-0220 Brass Pot Sleeves
     
    fhm555 likes this.
  14. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I’ve used them and they fit the pot shaft just fine but were too big for the knobs I had. I also tried the little brass plates used to fill the slot in a split shaft pot so you can use solid shaft knobs on splined pots. They worked as far as the knob not just falling off, but the knobs sat crooked and my OCD lit up like a Christmas tree any time i looked at or used my wobbly knobs.
     
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Well it turns out that not all sleeves are equal. I make knobs and they are all drilled out for 1/4" shafts. With each set I include sleeves that allow them to be used on 6mm posts and splined shafts. All have fit both the knobs and the shafts perfectly. Now I have to try to remember where I bought these sleeves so many years ago.
     
    Lownote38 likes this.
  16. oddeotek

    oddeotek

    Mar 28, 2010
    Sammamish, WA
    You might want to check out knobeez.com for their rubber knobs. I’ve got them on almost all of my basses and they look good and feel great. They fit both smooth and knurled shafts and can be installed and removed easily, plus, they come in many different colors and are very light.
    DB3386AD-1A11-47FC-8D8E-9934AE1D01DC.jpeg
     
    wraub and Schonbrun like this.
  17. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    ...interesting.

     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 14, 2021

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