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Rocan

FEELER: Custom Wood Shift Knobs...

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This was talked about a little while back in a few threads. Heres the deal:

I have a large, high quality lathe and duplicator, and a father who has a lifetime of carpentry experience. His attention to detail is mind blowing; in short, making a shift knob is a piece of cake for him. I'm not bad myself, but this would be a joint project as I would want the pieces to be perfect and for all of you to get more than your moneys worth.

We can make knobs out of most any wood (so long as the price is right) and with any finish, including natural wood polished and waxed to a beautiful natural finish. Knobs would have a metal threaded insert epoxied in place.

Doing individual knobs made to order is absolutely a possibility so long as you have a good drawing for us to reference.

What would you be willing to pay for such an item? If 4 of you want the same knob, it is very easy to make a plug and copy them, making the price cheaper than one off knobs.

If you have something in mind, post a drawing with the type of wood and finish you want and I can make some prototypes.

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I think its a great idea although my question is what about the shift knob roundel, the badge that goes on the knob, have found it very difficult/next to impossible to find an actual hard plastic roundel and not just some sticker, any insight let me know.

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I think its a great idea although my question is what about the shift knob roundel, the badge that goes on the knob, have found it very difficult/next to impossible to find an actual hard plastic roundel and not just some sticker, any insight let me know.

If you can get a high def decal and place it slightly inside the knob and cover everything in clear epoxy, maybe? not sure if it may look tacky.

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porsche knob is possible, but time consuming since the wood will need to be layered and pressed together.

Inlay work is also doable (I've toyed with the idea of inlaying some ivory numbers into my ebony shift knob) but will drive the price up immensely. One option is carving out what you want inlayed, dying some epoxy the color you like, and letting it cure within the space. As far as roundel in the knob, if I have one the correct size I can make a space in the top to fit the badge and epoxy it in place, but this would be time consuming and an additional cost as well. In short, epoxy in place and then cover in clear lacquer to keep it from wearing. This requires a lot of hand buffing to get it to look correct.

As far as the thread goes, finding an insert shouldn't be too much difficulty. If I need to custom order them, I will need a preorder. If I had a metal lathe laying around I could produce them, but that will be time prohibitive. Fairly sure mcmaster stocks inserts in that size.

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I could totally go for something like this, depending on price. Any pictures of your ebony shift knob?

I only have unfinished pictures and the knob is overseas so no new pics for a while. I'll post them when I get home tonight.

What would you guys be willing to pay for something like the Porsche knob, or a solid piece cut to your specs?

Improve every shift, and further make your car the ultimate driving experience, for YOU.

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Cool. I don`t know what I would pay, I would have to look around and see what they are going for, and see examples of how well they are made.

Here are the two pictures I have. This is unfinished, and although the surface looks scored and rough in the pictures, I guarantee you it is silky smooth to the touch. I left the finish raw since I prefer the feel and because ebony has such a dense grain I am not too worried about it absorbing moisture (it's also in a strictly hot climate year round).

I feel sort of wrong posting these pictures as this is not representative of the type of work I will ultimately be selling; I turned this piece in under an hour and is purely a functional item. I was speaking to my father and asked him just what he was capable of... one of the things he drew up was using 2 colors of wood binded together to create a roundel out of the whole knob. He then mentioned that given time he could inlay names, lettering, whatever. I showed him pictures of the porsche knob and he said he could do even better then that; multi colored not only horizontally but vertically as well. Of course, those super custom knobs take hours to craft and the price would reflect that. But, if someone wants it, it can be done.

As far as pricing, we think that if at least 5 people want the same knob, we can justify selling them at $40 each, plus shipping. That number may change depending on material availability and if you guys decide on something a little more complex than the average knob. We are happy to make prototypes if there is sufficient interest, but we need a place to start. Anybody can go out and turn a ball on a lathe, so what we need from you guys is a design you want to see made into a reality. If I have buyers, I am willing to do 5 of the same knob for a greatly discounted price that you all can test. All I would ask in return is you come back with some feedback. If it cracks, we will want to know and we will find out why and do our best to fix it. My father is a perfectionist down to the last detail, and he enjoys nothing more than turning up something beautiful on his lathe.

So someone draw something and well take a vote on it... if 5 of you agree on a design, then I will make them.

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A knob with the four speed shift pattern embossed/engraved on the top would be great - then I wouldn't need to apply one of the memory-jogger decals to my newly recovered dash :-) Is that also a possibility?

Yes, but it is time consuming. It really depends on what you want done. If you want each number by itself (wood filling all gaps) then it is a good amount of hand work that has to be done slowly. Cutting a bit too much essentially ruins the piece, so it is very time consuming. if you want just a plain '-H (you get the idea) engraved, its easier. If you want the engraving filled with epoxy, inlay, or metal, it can also be done. At this point we are talking about a 100 dollar knob, so you may as well just get one made to your own personal specification. We can do most anything so long as the material allows it to be done. There is a right price for most everything. Now, if you simply want a circular badge on top, such as a bmw roundel, shift pattern or another thin metal badge that will be placed under the finish, this is not much more work.

I can't help but wonder though, do you really need the pattern? I could understand on a dog leg transmission in case anyone else drives it, but as far as personal use goes it's pretty standard. If your going to spend the money on nice engraving/inlay, I'd do something way cooler like your name or initials.

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Here are the two pictures I have. This is unfinished, and although the surface looks scored and rough in the pictures, I guarantee you it is silky smooth to the touch. I left the finish raw since I prefer the feel and because ebony has such a dense grain I am not too worried about it absorbing moisture (it's also in a strictly hot climate year round).

I understand about leaving it raw. One of my basses has an ebony fretboard, and I love the feel of it.

I feel sort of wrong posting these pictures as this is not representative of the type of work I will ultimately be selling; I turned this piece in under an hour and is purely a functional item.

I asked, just out of curiosity. I figured you would be selling the finished knobs.

As far as pricing, we think that if at least 5 people want the same knob, we can justify selling them at $40 each, plus shipping. That number may change depending on material availability and if you guys decide on something a little more complex than the average knob. We are happy to make prototypes if there is sufficient interest, but we need a place to start. Anybody can go out and turn a ball on a lathe, so what we need from you guys is a design you want to see made into a reality. If I have buyers, I am willing to do 5 of the same knob for a greatly discounted price that you all can test. All I would ask in return is you come back with some feedback. If it cracks, we will want to know and we will find out why and do our best to fix it. My father is a perfectionist down to the last detail, and he enjoys nothing more than turning up something beautiful on his lathe.

So someone draw something and well take a vote on it... if 5 of you agree on a design, then I will make them.

I`m totally in for that! Mine would get plenty of testing, since my car will be a DD as soon as I fix the heat. I`ll see what I can find for designs and report back.

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