A Great Way to Make Quick and Easy Knobs

Here’s a great way to quickly and easily make attractive and functional knobs with no tools required. All you need is some casting resin (epoxy would do in a pinch), a silicone mold intended for candy, and some socket head bolts. With the right preparation and a bit of careful placement and attention, smooth and functional knob ends are only minutes away. Embedded below is a short video demonstrating the process.

These may not replace purpose-made knobs for final products, but for prototypes or to use around the shop on jigs, clamps, or furniture they certainly fit the bill. With a layer of adhesive fabric or rubber, they might even make serviceable adjustable feet for low-stress loads.

This technique could be extended to reproducing broken or missing dakaware or bakelite knobs. This, of course, would require an original, unbroken knob and a small silicone mold, but it’s still a project that’s well within the capabilities of the garage-bound hacker.

While we’re on the subject of knobs, don’t forget we’ve seen an excellent method of repairing knobs as well.

34 thoughts on “A Great Way to Make Quick and Easy Knobs

    1. Haha! Cracked up when I read that…

      “With the right preparation and a bit of careful placement and attention, smooth and functional knob ends are only minutes away.”

      Exactly what they were thinking when they made Tinder.

      1. Maybe you can use that filler stuff they use for car body work, that’s sturdy and a putty that is meant to be shaped and molded. Although that stuff would need a coating I guess.
        Anyway I think that might be easy to find in bulk for lower cost, since there are so many cars and repairs being done.

        Just thinking out loud though.

  1. This is good if you’ve never seen it before, but if you do any amount of this the details begin to creep in.

    If you don’t want the hex-key end exposed (or are using a hex-head bolt), you learn to suspend it a bit to let the resin flow in underneath, and if you find that you’re torquing the handles off/spinning them completely you learn to put a drilled-out flat washer in ahead of the bolt head, held tight on by another nut so that the entire casting gets a grip on the bolt shaft, or you can weld some scrap wire to the bolt shaft just above the head.

    If you want to get really out of hand you can use a translucent pigment and put a light source behind the knob, but that gets to be real work after a while.

    1. Instead of welding I would consider it more easy to use a hex head bolt, grind it down on two opposing sides to a rectangle and suspend it before casting. That wy it it shpould be possible to transfer quite some torque.

  2. I can understand this for making replicas of existing knobs, but for quick use, nothing beats a small hold drill (the type which just cuts the pilot hole and outside) and a dowel. These also make great toy wheels.
    For anything that’s supposed to look nice, you can get nice aluminium knobs from AliExpress etc in no time.

  3. I liked it, though last time I needed a bunch of matching knobs I got them from China for under 50 cents a pop and I loved the look. Still if you need a few in a pinch and you have the stuff to make them on hand anyway, it seems like a good trick to ass to your arsenal of tricks.

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