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Sep 29 2011

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Making Wooden T-Knobs

Click picture to see slideshow

Sometimes you start a project because you wonder, can I make that? I made these wooden T-knobs because I was frustrated that one day when I needed some knobs, I couldn’t buy any locally. My goal was to make them as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Plus I wanted to make a ton, so I’d have them on hand when I needed them.

I tried to be as descriptive of the steps I took to make these knobs in the slide show, but let me elaborate on a few points of their construction. Since I wanted these to be cheap, I used 5/16″ nuts instead of threaded inserts or T-nuts. At first I tried simply drilling a 1/2″ hole in the bottom of the knob and filing the hole until the nut fit into it. This turned out to be much more time consuming than it was worth.

The unfinished T-knobs sat until one day I discovered Woodpeckers Multi-Knobs. Their knobs also use simple nuts, but they are press fit from the top side. I thought this was a much simpler and more elegant solution. It also allows you to use either a nut or a bolt to make a through-knob or stud knob with the same base knob. So rather than drilling a hole in the bottom and epoxying the nut, I drilled a 9/16″ hole through the center, stopping about a 1/4″ before it came through the bottom. Then I finished the through-hole with a 3/8″ bit.

Now that I know what I’m doing I estimate that I could make about 20 of these T-knobs in about 2 hours with $1 worth of materials. Given that a purchased T-knob runs about $2 — that makes my shop time worth $20. Not the best return on time, but sometimes making something yourself is worth a bit more. 

Time and money aside, I think the homemade knobs look better than the store bought knobs and they perform about the same. I suppose if you really had to crank them down they might split, but then you’re probably doing something wrong in the first place.

Permanent link to this article: http://workshop.electronsmith.com/content/making-wooden-t-knobs/

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