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More wooden knobs

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jisch, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. I have access to a lathe and I keep telling myself I'm going to use it turn knobs. Today is super hot and my basement is oh so cool, so I decided I'd try again making knobs without a lathe.

    I started by cutting out four cubes from a piece of figured maple, then I drilled a 1/4" hole in the bottom (same as the posts on the pots), then drilled and tapped using the set screws out of the knobs that came with the preamp.

    I made a jig with a 1/4" hole in it and clamped it to the oscillating spindle. I slowly rotated the knob to remove the corners.

    This wasn't super easy, once you get the corners off the knob it's hard to hold it still, but in the end I got four knobs that are more or less the same size. They are not completely concentric, so this was less than perfect for sure.

    They were pretty rough and the thought of trying to hand sand these tiny things made my hands hurt. I attached the knob to the end of the remaining piece of dowel, put the dowel in a drill and held a piece of sandpaper, wow that worked great. And yeah I should have cut the dowel down, but I hate wasting stuff.

    I went from 120 to 220 to 400, at the end they were sanded perfectly. I think I can work on that jig a bit and make these a bit more concentric and consistent.
  2. I do it this way - just for info, mind you.

    I use a hole saw and just punch a few out in the wood I want.

    Then I chuck them up in a 1/4"x20 bolt and nut -with a washer on each end. That way I can chuck them up in either my drill press or a hand-power drill.

    Spin them up with some 80#, 120# and then some 240# dry paper.

    I make a cap of the same or contrasting wood and glue it on, then trim it down until I get it to the shape I want.

    I like to crush a few old plastic knobs to get the Allen setscrew and it's bushing out of the knob I don't currently want, and either epoxy them into the hole in the knob, or use some baking soda and some Cyanoacrylate glue. Don't breathe the fumes!
    franksidebottom likes this.
  3. That's a good way to do it, I was just thinking that a through hole with a cap would make sense, but I didn't think of putting a bolt through it. I'm going to try that. I haven't had any problems with the set screws stripping out of the wood, but I'm careful about how much I tighten them - a knob shouldn't get any force on it.
  4. I countersunk the bottom so they would fit over the nuts on the pots, I think they look pretty good!

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