Brass knob production.

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Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Thu May 07, 2015 1:33 pm

Hi everyone,

Thought I'd pop my head in and say hello. I haven't been on the forum for ages, sorry.

Also, I have been looking at replacement brass knobs for the Thunder 1A and similar models. I now have a small lathe (and milling machine) and I'm working on trying to make replacements as per the original, with serrated spline and markings for the tone pot.

Would there be any interest in these if I can manufacture them?

Kind regards,
Ed.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by punkyjam67 on Thu May 07, 2015 1:54 pm

Hello Ed, in principle I'd say 'yes' to a set (maybe even two) just to keep as spares or for future projects, but it would be dependent on how close they end up being to the originals & obviously the price... Smile

All power to your elbow, though, certainly be interesting to see how you get on with the fine knurling.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Thu May 07, 2015 2:15 pm

Thanks Punkyjam,

I have a question. My volume and tone knobs are polished, I think I did that. AM I right in thinking the originals were just a turned finish i.e. looks like a brushed or linished finish?

Cheers,
Ed.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by punkyjam67 on Thu May 07, 2015 2:19 pm

It's been a while since I've seen a new factory-fresh one, obviously, but I believe they weren't polished as such, just lacquered over the machined brass.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Thu May 07, 2015 2:23 pm

Ok cool , thank you.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by corsair on Thu May 07, 2015 5:16 pm

Nice!! One thing you'd have to be careful of is that the capital spent would probably not be quickly recovered, though I have to say tbe regulars in here that say they'd buy a set, would indeed follow through!!

Price would most likely be the most important factor, though accuracy of reproduction is right up there for cork-sniffers like us!!

Armadillo Guitars made some knobs a while back and they were very expensive, I thought, but they would be trying to maximise profit....

I'll tell you, I'd be interested in seeing the process, eh!!

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Thu May 07, 2015 5:34 pm

Hi Corsair,

Thanks for your thoughts. I've asked for three quotes from companies here in the UK to make a custom stamp/punch to mark the tone control. I expect that to be prohibitively expensive. So today I've been playing around with doing the marking by hand. I'd need to get some 3mm high letter/number stamps which I'm looking for now. I've ground my own arrow head punch and can do the part-circles on the lathe.

I'd probably be looking at a similar price to those made by Armadillo, being that they'll be pretty much as the original and with the extra marking, colour fill and lacquer finish.

I'd also have to design and make a jig just for stamping. Should be achievable I think.

Regards,
Ed.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Sun May 17, 2015 11:06 am

Great idea, but I think lots here would be put off by the cost of such a small run, I'd love to say "yes, I'll have 3 sets"  but I couldn't commit. 
Do keep us updated with many pictures though!

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Mon May 18, 2015 6:06 am

Sgt. Vimes wrote:Great idea, but I think lots here would be put off by the cost of such a small run, I'd love to say "yes, I'll have 3 sets"  but I couldn't commit. 
Do keep us updated with many pictures though!


Hi Sgt,

"...put off by the cost of such a small run."  ?? I would hopefully be able to make these as and when requested with a couple of sets ready to go and no price has been confirmed yet.

I'll share some pictures of the finished items when I'm happy with them. :-)

Edited this a couple of times as I'm not sure how to add pictures like I used to be able to do.


Edit:

I added the pix to your post Ed.
Just use the "Insert An Image" icon in the menu bar. It's the second one to the left of the YouTube icon. --Barry Wink

Here's an example of a spline test. Each one cut individually and indexed to the next position.
http://webed.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/pics/guitar/t1a_tc1.jpg


This one shows the original on the left with another test piece on the right. My knurling tool is slightly finer (43 knurls per circumference) than the original (40 knurls) I've sent away to see if I can get better matching knurls.
http://webed.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/pics/guitar/t1a_tc2.jpg


Update:
- I'm currently making some tooling to add the lettering into the tone control knob.
- The knobs on my T1A are 22.25mm. I believe the originals were actually made to imperial measurements, not metric as you might expect in Japanese production; 7/8" diameter, 5/8" bore to a depth of 1/8". The pot shafts are 6mm.

Kind Regards,
Ed.


Last edited by Barry on Mon May 18, 2015 12:19 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Added link to thread containing pictures.)

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by corsair on Mon May 18, 2015 8:23 am

Love those knobs, man; very very slick!!

Like to see a little of the process....

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Mon May 18, 2015 9:19 am

Excellent so far! 

I was guessing they would be expensive as a few others had had some made at a high cost/small run thing.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Mon May 18, 2015 5:49 pm

Barry, thanks for the help with the photos Smile

Er, I don't see any menus using the quick reply and I only see a Topic Icon menu after I click on the POSTREPLY button. It's probably my age and the old eyesight.


Ah, sorted it now. If I have tracking protection set in IE it makes the menu invisible.

Regards,
Ed.


Last edited by edwardd on Mon May 18, 2015 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : found the issue with the menus.)

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by Barry on Mon May 18, 2015 6:24 pm

edwardd wrote:...Er, I don't see any menus using the quick reply and I only see a Topic Icon menu after I click on the POSTREPLY button...Ah, sorted it now. If I have tracking protection set in IE it makes the menu invisible.
Glad to hear it Ed.
The Quick Reply option only shows a subset of the full menu selection, that's why it's "quick". The Post A Reply button gives ya the full monty!

AND Good 'ole IE, always a pain in the arse. Try Firefox or Chrome.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by mortarman120gang11c on Tue May 19, 2015 10:35 am

Count me in for these as well

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Fri May 29, 2015 10:57 am

Hi guys,

On the knurled section am I right in thinking these were slightly "flatted" and not a full pointed knurl?

I don't remember them being sharp when I bought my T-1A new and the photo above (the knob on the left) looks like the knurling tool has re-engaged on a flat part causing a slight cross knurl. To be honest the quality of knurling isn't that consistent on the originals if I might so bold Smile

Update - I spent some hours designing and making a jig to align letter punches and after a few go's I wasn't happy that I could get a quality finish. So I'm looking at getting the tone controls laser engraved.

Stamp Jig with test piece.




http://webed.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/pics/guitar/tc_jig.jpg



Thanks,
Ed.


Last edited by edwardd on Fri May 29, 2015 1:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Fri May 29, 2015 11:08 am

That looks great as is!  I'm sure most would be more than happy with that stamping.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by Catalyst on Fri May 29, 2015 3:41 pm

That's a very impressive knob you have there Ed.

And I'm with Sarge, it looks great as is and I would certainly prefer that over an old, dirty, lacquer peeling knob any day of the week.

I do admire your drive to get them perfect though Ed so good on ya... Thumb Up

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:27 pm

Update:

Making some progress guys (and ladies?), albeit slow, but getting there.

I ordered up some industry standard knurls and nothing matched the angle or pitch of the original knobs. So I made my own knurls! Hard work but great fun heating metal to glowing orange and plunging it in water. For those interested in the techy stuff about the knurls, they are 1.7mm transverse pitch, so that's the measurement across one diamond around the circumference and this gives a normal pitch of 1.3mm which is the measurement from groove to groove. The angle on the knurl is 40° from the centre axis and nobody makes them as standard items ( I got a quote of $250 from a company in the US to make one pair of knurls)  Shocked


Custom Knurls made from 20mm silver-steel, hardened and tempered. The silvery one has been polished to remove the oxide from the tempering process.





So this afternoon and evening I've been turning some brass bar down and making some knobs. Here's a photo of the knurling tool with a modification I made to the tool so it could knurl over and under. I need to re-think this as there is not enough room for an efficient process.




Here's the knurled bar ready for drilling and counter-boring.




...and here are some parts ready for broaching and marking.



Will hopefully continue tomorrow.

Cheers,
Ed.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:37 pm

Sweet mother of jesus!  They look fantastic! Excellent detail and interesting to see these being made! 

Mark me down for some!

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by mortarman120gang11c on Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:39 pm

Those  are super nice. Count me in as well. Look Great

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by corsair on Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:45 pm

Holy snapping ducks**t... they look superb!! Interested in the process too, though the techy stuff is a little out of my comfort zone! Do not let that stop you describing what you're doing, though - we love this stuff in here!!

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by edwardd on Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:10 am

Hey guys,

I've just been looking through some other threads on the forum. This one LINK Westbone says the knobs are original but they have a set screw in the side, so were those a later design?

My originals have the internal spline and no set screw which is what I'll be making the reproduction ones to.

Regards,
Ed.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by Clive Shakedown on Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:14 am

None of mine have set screws, but probably easier and neater to go your way and leave them out.

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:23 am

Not sure which or if one was a later design, I've had 2 thunders with both set screw and without on the same guitar, I doubt they came from the factory this way, but with Mats you never know!

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by gittarasaurus on Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:15 pm

hmmm, wonder what ever came of these…  scratch

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by eyebulger on Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:47 am

Just completing the stamping and getting them ready to ship (I hope).
They were looking great Smile

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Re: Brass knob production.

Post by The Chad on Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:50 am

Any extras to sell me?  I'd like some!

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Re: Brass knob production.

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