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What's with all of these panel nuts?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Hambone, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. OK, I'm just about out of my friggin' mind here with these damned panel nuts used on pots. Nothing is standard, nothing fits anything else, and there must be about a dozen different sizes between the SAE and metric versions, each with only a nanometer's difference between them. I've got a box full of these and NOTHING FITS!!!

    I'm fed up... :mad:

    Can you guys help me with the different sizes that are used, especially the small ones that are popular on mini pots? I'm going to buy a bucket of every size out there - metric and SAE - so I don't have to go through this crap every time I finish a build.

    please? :(
  2. oh i know what you're saying...

    on one of my basses, the pot nuts look just like the jack nut...but are they the same?....NOOOOOOO

    Hambone, I'm surprised that you haven't invented a solution for this yet...

    here's a suggestion...if you have a nut that is just slightly too large, coat the threads with a soft solder, and then carefully feed it onto the pot stem...machining the threads as you go...

    hey, it might just work...
  3. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I know what you mean. I've been through those headaches. I was pretty sure I was going to have to buy a new mini-switch at one point just because i couldn't find a nut to fit the one I had. Luckily I knew a guy that had a access to a large electronics lab, he was able to get me the nut and washers I needed. When he gave them to me they sere sealed up in a little baggy with some company's name printed on it. Unfortunately I can't remember the name.
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    LOL and join the crowd. I think it's a trade secret. Like in tooling the things it's computerized to change the thread a micron every 1000 nuts or something. Stem lengths, diameters, splines. Same thing happens with jack nuts. And pickup screws. Unbelieveable.

    There's no standard to my knowledge and it changes constantly - like window screens for houses - don't even bother trying to find one, have it made. I threaded the ones that fit onto the pot and jacks and chucked the rest in a drawer altogether. Stold one when I had to when the drawer didn't cut it. What makes it bad is I never needed a bucket of 'em, just one.

    No telling how many hours I've spent trying to find nuts. But I've run into the same thing with regular nuts and bolts jeri-rigging music gear. Seems the smaller you go, the harder the find.

    I did look in the Stewmac catalogue out of curiosity to see if the had a little kit assembled. For pups screws yes, didn't see one for nuts. I would guess that some supplier puts out some such assortment. Wouldn't be cheap probably and probably not fit all but it may be worth the expense in the time it saves nevertheless. But I've never tried tracking one down myself.
  5. my dad and I have a little workshop in our garage.. he's a learned mechanic (spelling) so I always have something that fits :D
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    been messing with pots again for some reason. Subconscious atonement for sins past perhaps. But its' nearing Christmas and it would be nice to get my stuff for a change.

    Latest epic brought this thread to mind immediately. Got some used Alembic PJs/pre today. Giving they're Alembics, the only thing I really figured would work is the pups with their harness. Actually, even that had a glitch. The volume pots are different and I'm not sure which pup goes to which pot given the clips are identical. One pot has a pretty minimal PCB and is next to the jack so I'm guessing that's for the J pup. The other has a larger PCB and is noticebly more elaborate. Usually I can put the hairy eyeball to the harness and figure out how they had been installed previously but I got nothing this time. Anybody have a clue by chance? Another thing that occurred to me after the fact is that the pre has a trim pot which I assume is a gain control?

    First off, pot threads are too big for the holes. No surprise there. Miraculously, looks like there'd have been enough thread to get a nut on if they would have fit the holes. Next no splines on the stems and, as usual with such pots, they're too stiff to turn by hand. I've got about 20 knobs, none fit. I even tried to use the bottom off a couple EMG stacked knobs cause they would fit over the stems but the allen screws have a stop so they wouldn't thread in enough to contact the stem (too big in other words). I was going to try and steal some knobs off the THD amp but those screws are really cranked on there and they're standards not allen so decided to pass and make do with a pair of Clines for the time being.

    The good news is they came with the nuts - although one of the washers is different and had to be threaded on so I swapped it out.

    I've jeri-rigged some stuff before but this is beyond Dr. Who and perhaps an alltime low for me. I took one of the 1/8" wooden lids I used on the outboard preamps and mounted the Alembic pre to it. Then I took a 3" bolt and ran it up through a pothole in the bass and up through a hole in the lid so the preamp is mounted on a platform above where the bass controls usually are. Then I took a a velcro strip and strapped the battery between the pots on top of the platform. Combining that with my existing 1 3/4" x 4" x 8" pup routing and it's a bit much on the eyes - even for me.

    I was going to post a pic but I've picked up a new laptop that doesn't have the pic software to shrink it down for TB format. The other laptop that does, fritz'd.

    But I'll email you one tomorrow if I can remember to take it. The Fuji only takes decent pics in daylight. It's always something.

    Oh yeh, the Alembics are pretty decent. Haven't played them to music yet but just in dinking around they have ample bass, which I've heard to the contrary. They also have tons of treble if you want, it's not piercing unsuable treble through. Quite a decent range of tones that is not really quite like any other pups I've had across the entire range. I've had pups that would do parts but not all of it. Really just wanted to check them out with no plans to keep them but will see. And it just so happens I've got a vacant PJ bass that's been hanging on the wall doing nothing for a year.
  7. I think I've come up with a plausible solution to the panel nut thing. I'm investigating using "speed nuts" for this. There are several types but the one I'm leaning towards is the round black oxide steel version with about 8 tabbed teeth used to grip the threads. These are also called "push-nuts" and the idea is that you would push them onto the threads but they could be threaded off if needed. I've found plenty of sources and I'll get some samples to try.