1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

wooden knob inserts

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rodsnhawgs, Dec 30, 2016.


Tags:
  1. rodsnhawgs

    rodsnhawgs Custom builder. G-ratio basses Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    U.S., WV
    Gonna try my hand at turning some wooden knobs. The turning, sanding, drilling, finishing isn't the issue...the insert parts are what is the problem.

    I don't want to make them "push on", but rather something that is held with a set screw (like a real factory knob). So...do any of you know where to purchase the metal inserts with set screw capability (included hopefully)?
    thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Look for a 1/4" Shaft Collar, in aluminum or brass. They are used for retaining parts like bearings onto shafts, and usually have one or two setscrews. There are also Shaft Couplers, which are longer and are used to join shafts together. I think they are available in hobby shops, with the model airplane hardware.
     
  3. rudy4444

    rudy4444

    Mar 13, 2012
    Central Illinois
    It's easy and cheap enough to purchase plastic knobs with brass set screw inserts and simply cut the plastic portion off. You end up with the insert that can then be epoxied into a turned wood knob. I've mounted the completed knob on a piece of drill rod and stuck it in my drill press for final sanding and polishing.
     
  4. Inserts are good. I've also just cut threads directly into the wood. Just use caution when tightening the set screw. Also, I've used helicoils (or something similar) in the wood itself. You can get helicoil inserts in .207" and .18something inch lengths so they should work. Also used the hardware store brass threaded inserts but they are usually a little long and a pain to screw in.
     
  5. rwkeating

    rwkeating

    Oct 1, 2014
    Chicago
    none
    For my first (and only attempt) at knobs I used maple and just threaded into that. Feels solid so I'll just have to wait and see how it holds up. The volume pot is push/pull so that should be an extra good test of that knob.
     
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    In really hard, close-grained wood, I tap the holes for the setscrew, then coat the threads with water-thin CA. After the CA is fully cured, I run the tap through again.

    On softer or less close grained woods, I use some thick-walled brass tubing. I deeply v-score the outside of the tubing to add some gripping surface and epoxy the tubing in place. After it's fully cured I tap the brass.

    I've had good results with both methods. But on the insert-less ones you have to be careful not to over tighten.
     
    rodsnhawgs likes this.
  7. rwkeating

    rwkeating

    Oct 1, 2014
    Chicago
    none
    Unless I missed it (sorry if I did) we haven't talked about the size of the tap/screw to use. Very small/fine screw threads will not be as durable in wood. I used 6-32 just because that was the smallest tap I had. I don't know if that is considered big or not for a knob setscrew.
     
  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Further to my earlier post ...

    I would only consider tapping into the wood if I were going across the grain. You can turn the knobs so that the end grain will be on the top of the knob, in which case the setscrew will be going across the grain. But figured woods won't show any figure on the end grain, so it is customary to turn those knobs with side grain at the top of the knob. That means you must be careful to place the setscrew where it will be crossing the grain and not following it. Otherwise the setscrew will be threading into end grain and that will strip out easily.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
    rwkeating likes this.

  9. Tubing! Great! Never would have thought of it. What size setscrews do you use and what tubing? Is it a hardware store item or do you have to special order it somewhere? Thanks.
     
  10. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Decide what size set screw you are going to use, then go to your friendly neighborhood arts and crafts store and buy some brass eyelets that will allow you to thread them to the correct size. They are thicker than tubing and have a small flair on one end so you can drill and counterbore your knobs, set the eyelets with some good epoxy, then thread those puppies.
     
    rodsnhawgs likes this.
  11. rodsnhawgs

    rodsnhawgs Custom builder. G-ratio basses Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    U.S., WV
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Certainly looks easy enough. Would you cross drill before or after installing them? I would think before install and oversized just enough you don't have to cut threads in the wood with your setscrew.
     

Share This Page