Switchmaster Knobs

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Administrator on Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:44 pm

Slightly off topic I know... but yesterday I wandered into my local guitar shop and asked to rummage through their luthiers old knob box (steady now). Managed to find myself 1 pristine black tapered Westone volume knob!

Perfect for the ThunderJet I'm selling which had one missing.

Jesper - if your offering to make sets of long lost Westone knobs you are going to be a very busy man indeed!

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by corsair on Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:36 pm

Hey, Neil - take some hi-res pix, and some measurements and see if Jesper's up for it!! The OEM knobs are in resin, or plastic, aren't they, so even a steel pattern would be fabulous as we - as a group!! - could see about getting some made?

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Barry on Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:52 pm

corsair wrote:Hey, Neil - take some hi-res pix, and some measurements and see if Jesper's up for it!! The OEM knobs are in resin, or plastic, aren't they, so even a steel pattern would be fabulous as we - as a group!! - could see about getting some made?
The solid brass knobs are scarce too but at least they should be relatively easy to replicate, being basically a cylinder with a set screw and knurling. But it's those tapered switch master knobs which are truly unique and will pose a challenge.
If anyone can do it, it's our man Jesper! No pressure buddy!

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Racing on Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:52 am

I can truly appreciate the enthusiasm,but hereīs the deal.
Time.
The making of one set as one off...no issues for a fellow MMA member.
However,even low series will mean NC and production.
In essence as for instance making 20 sets will take 10-15 times as much time on a digi but manual lathe than on a true CNC.
CNC in turn meaning a CAD file,which certainly isnīt the end of the world as i do that on a routine base and indeed carry Solidworks at the shop and know how to swing it.
Nor is the CNC,but that in turn means that we need to set some sort of group buy up as i have no interest what so ever in stocking stuff like this.
Ie,what i can cater is low series runs of stuff.
No problem within reason.
To the point in essence where there are no limits of capactiy from a production POW as i have numerous close friends that are proprietors of CNC shops.
This includes CNC controlled laser as well as watercutting if need be apart from mills and lathes as well as laser engraving.

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Racing on Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:05 am

FWIW btw.
Any and all surface finishing of metal parts by anodizing is dirt cheap around here.
For instance,when i hardanodize 100pcs of valveretainers for the race engines i pay up approx 100SEK for that.
100SEK =approx 10 euro,and a valveretainer is comparable in size to for instance a tone/volume knob for a guitar.

Any and all laserengraving is done after surface finishing.


An example.



A black anodized fuelrail for a cosworth engine with laser engraving in white.
Anodizing is approx 15my deep and by even that small amount deeply coloured.
Material is what in US nomer is called 6023 i believe.
Bracketry for the injectors that are in the zipbags are out of high grade stainless,and are indeed lasercut.

īnother example of a hedder made out of a very specialized stainless steel known as Inconel.
In this case Inconel 600.Inconel 718 for instance is used as heatshields for the space shuttle.




...and of course we weld alloys.
In this case part of an intake and an injector for a high end turbo 4 banger expected to deliver in the 1000hp range.


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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Administrator on Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:37 am

I like the sound of this a lot...

I'll get some pictures and measurements taken. Although I have no need of any knobs myself at the moment I think I might be willing to front up some cash to help get a small production run going. I guess what I would need to know is how much would a run of say 50 knobs cost? If I get you the pictures and measurements would you be able to give us a rough quote? The westone.info site was able to sell them for Ģ3.25 each ($5.50 or 37.50SEK) so production costs would need to come quite a way under that for anyone to recoup their costs.

On the other hand, I remember how frustrated the admin at westone.info got when everyone was enthusiastic for new parts but then once he had them made nobody bought them!

You've given me a lot to think about...

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Steve777 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:36 am

Hi All,

There are two types switch master knobs and two types of Brass knobs. The differences are simple, The brass knobs either have an internal spline and are push fit, or do not have an internal spline but held are on with a grub screw.

The switch master master knobs I have come in two modes of attachment and material. The plastic ones are a simple push fit with internal splines. However, on my Dimension IV, the seem to be metal and held on with grub screws. I would suppose the grub screw version is used for push pull pots for extra grip.

However, to my knowlwdge, the brass Thunder type knobs were not fitted to guitars with push pull pots, so the purpose of the grub screw maybe one of manufacturing cost verses internal splines. Strangly, I would of thought that once set up, the cost would fall.

All the best,

Steve

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Warrn on Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:39 am

The push/pull switchmasters on my Spectrum and Dimension basses are both the plastic push on variety.

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by silence86 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:36 am

i guess it depends on the model or the month of production:

metal knobs: x390 (s/n: 605xxxx) and x790 (s/n: 606xxxx)
plastic knobs: x775 (s/n: 607xxxx) and x300 (s/n: 611xxxx)

i will have a look at my x750 (s/n:603xxxx) asap...

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by corsair on Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:30 pm

All of my switchmaster tapered knobs - on Spectrums - are push-on splined plastic ones; I'm quite prepared to pony up some dosh as well but knowing how disenchanted David got with outlaying dosh and then having orders barely trickle in gives me pause for thought as well. Let's all think on this for a day or 2 and see what we think about it; would the knobs be available to anyone, or just to those who funded the manufacture; or to forum members only?

I remember how frustrated the admin at westone.info got when everyone
was enthusiastic for new parts but then once he had them made nobody
bought them!

..not this kiwi; I was in like a big hairy dog!! Trem arms, lockwashers, lock bases; you name it; I bought them! In quantity!!!

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by silence86 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:18 pm

All of my switchmaster tapered knobs - on Spectrums - are push-on splined plastic ones;

...as two of your spetrums are manufactured before july of '86 that belies my month-of-production-theory...

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Warrn on Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:46 pm

My basses are '85s, so yeah.

To make this a bit more on topic, I would suggest you make as many as you initially have funding for, and sell them to whoever asks (it will most likely be forum members anyway). I'd chip in, but I'm on a tight budget and I'm not missing any knobs either.

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Racing on Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:05 pm

Hereīs another idea,cause i sure am aware of various forums enthusiasm behind a keyboard ending up in.....

As this is often a matter of a few select items on occasion,why not settle this as originaly offered.

Hereīs the deal with that as far as iīm concerned,and please donīt get me as being cocky cause that is NOT my intention.
Guitars as well as old valveamps in general is MY hobby.Racecars is what i do for a living.(I in other words make a living off of something that is a hobby to most)
I have no need what so ever to even break even on fabbing occasional pts for a guitar-s.
I sometimes smile at musicians walking in the door at the shop,which is getting more and more frequent fwiw,and kind of frown at costs of for instance 20 euros...while meantime i toss a friggin 3 disc raceclutch on the floor thatīs like worth 4000 euros-and couldnīt really give less of a flying F...
My point is...
Now,if we take Matsumoku.org alone that place has served me TONS of valuable info as well as forum friends,and if i can give any of that back by fabbing the occasional part for another forum member itīd be my pleasure.
As long as weīre not talking like a steady stream or what would borderline to downright business-and then ONLY from the perspective of time.
Time is a commodity to me as i am in demand-workwise-as far as the race stuff,and no offense ment anywhere...but business is business and takes a backseat to hobbies.
Ie;the making of the occasional part-as the pipeline for doing so is there as is-really isnīt an issue to me in any way and lead times can within reason be kept to a minimum.Furthermore guitar pts are often small compared to some of the stuff that we manufacture.Ie,costs involved are negligable.
In fact,spending the occasional 15 minutes behind for instance the lathe WITHOUT thinking race car stuff can even be sort of therapy and in a way relaxing as it to ME is doing something different.Donīt get me wrong,i love what i do...but...we all need breaks from time to time and iīve been doing what i do for the better part of 25yrs by now.

For instance.
A while back member Kees of mat.org and i got into a discussion about replacing the knobs on Vantages.
Up here we have one of the worlds largest vendors of guitar parts(called GMF),so of course i sent him a set of knobs that i at least have found to be more or less deadringers.
Money wasnīt involved,and why should it?
To me that is a way of putting back in what mat.org has given.
Old fashioned maybe,but to me easy as pie from an ethics pow.
Itīs simply a matter of pay it forward.

From a practical POW it soon becomes more involved right off the bat when we go CNC.
Yup...results will most often be more "pro",but hey...letīs be honest here.
The whole Uncle Mat thing is a HOBBY to most of us...so...

Iīd be happy to hear your thoughts on the matter,and PLEASE try n understand what i write from a modest pow.
Iīm simply offering to give some back if need be.
Thatīs all,and itīd be my pleasure to make stuff needed by hand as i have an opportunity to do so given by what i do.
No worries on my behalf.

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Administrator on Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:24 pm

Sounds perfect to be honest! What a hero.

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by norfolkngood on Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:16 pm

Hi Racing

Can't pretend to understand some of the car talk, but I reckon you're scratching where a lot of us are itching! Bottom line for me at least is can I get hold of some replacement pot knobs for my Spectrums (Spectra maybe, I dunno!) at a reasonable price?

No-one should work for nothing, I'm cool to chip in a bit on the basis that otherwise we're going to pay silly money for "new" knobs. Last thing I want to see is that Westones become bitsas because they're worth more in parts (bendmaster trems/ original tuners/ hard cases/ knobs) than as guitars.

I'm really unhappy that David is packing in --- Mods--- has anyone asked him what he's got in the shed and what he's going to do with it? As (I guess) his largest customer-group, can we take his stock + customer-list on? What's he planning for his surplus stock, will this finish up on ebay?

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Warrn on Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:50 pm

Racing, I must say, that is a very generous proposal. I'm not in need of your services, but I'm glad there are people like you in the world. I hope you can help everybody here that needs a knob or a locking nut or whatever. Thanks for giving me a little extra hope for humanity.

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by corsair on Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:01 am

Good on ya, mate - as Warren says, there's hope yet for us!! I still think it might be worthwhile working up a steel 'tapered knob' to be used as a positive template to then make a mould to have plastic ones made; whaddya all think? I don't know what the processes involved in moulding these things entails exactly, but I'm sure there would need to be a master somewhere...

Jesper; I'm gobsmacked by your kind offer and don't know what to say.... Yay, you!

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Barry on Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:15 am

Gee, and to think it all started with your a generous offer to make me some new knobs for the red burst GT (sniff). drunken
I hope I haven't put you on the spot Jesper by suggesting you go into the knob business! silent

Corsair wrote:I still think it might be worthwhile working up a steel 'tapered knob' to be used as a positive template to then make a mould to have plastic ones made; whaddya all think?
John, I think when you start talking about a moulding process then we're into some serious production costs. Not only for the mould itself but for the use of moulding facility (you need the press or injector and raw materials too). Unless there's another (cheaper) method that I'm not aware of, you'd be either producing these via compression moulding or injection moulding, Neither one is cheap and neither is suited for the small quantities we're after. They are designed for quantity production. Even then, there would still likely be a certain amount of post production finishing required.

If I understand Jesper correctly, what he is talking about is individually making these, and hand finishing them. CNC ensures consistency but it's still a one-at-a-time effort. "Therapy" maybe, but truly a labour of love nonetheless!

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by corsair on Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:31 pm

Barry wrote: John, I think when you start talking about a moulding process then we're into some serious production costs. Not only for the mould itself but for the use of moulding facility (you need the press or injector and raw materials too). Unless there's another (cheaper) method that I'm not aware of, you'd be either producing these via compression moulding or injection moulding, Neither one is cheap and neither is suited for the small quantities we're after. They are designed for quantity production. Even then, there would still likely be a certain amount of post production finishing required.

Bugger!! Kinda figured it'd be something like that for large runs, eh! However, I do know my modelmaking friend uses silicon rubber, a centrifuge and either resin or white metal to make stuff; that's how he made my personalised fine tuners. Once again, though, there is a bit of post production finishing... Is anyone in here a modeller!?

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Re: Switchmaster Knobs

Post by Racing on Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:16 pm

Correct Barry.

The thing is that any "real" effort of producing these small items brings cost.
Primarily so tool cost.

Now,i could certainly fab the moulds needed,but then weīll be back to input vs output like a bat outta hell.
Itīs simply not worth it for the very,put into perspective,limited quantitys weīre talking.
Ie;itīs most certainly doable but itīll fail on economics/time.

Further,if weīre talking cast plastic thereīs enviromental aspects to be taken into account...yadda yadda yadda...

On the other hand...small scale,putting things back into perspective,replicas of some of the knobs or whatever needed is another matter.
Making stuff free hand for those of us that know how to on a lathe,bridgeport or whatever isnīt the end of the world.
15 minutes here or there wonīt detract from anything-and that is as i see it within the realms of the hobby per se.
One self or others no matter.

Getting involved...yeah well,we just had a guy that finished the CNCing of a true -59 burst replica over here that obviously gets cut in Kanuck land of all places ...so...sure...it CAN be done...but again..please,letīs keep it real.

Btw.Something to be aware of is that there is a rather large difference between CNC cutting woods and metal-fwiw.

In short,iīll be happy to make whatever needed as long as weīre talking hobby basis and for the love of it rather than production.
For instance.
John.
Recall those small clamps/brackets that were missing for the locking nut on my pantera?
We sure made em by hand from 3 and 1mm sheet respectively.
Took all in all about 15-20 minutes.
As far as iīve understood these are obsolete,and small stuff like that can often be misplaced or whatever.
Likewise the M4 windings in the bridge itself was awol.
So..apart from fabbing those washers or whatever you wanna call em(3 ontop of 3mm and 3 underneath of 1mm) we also pulled a repair dirt cheap on the locking nut itself by cutting the head off of an allen M4 bolt and chucking that in the lathe.
Then we locked all in all 5 pcs of M4 nuts to that bolt and cut em completely round at 6.04mm.

Then...the locking piece into the drill press(we got one of them old indestructable swedish industrial ones around the shop) and drilled out the old M4 holes to 6.00 sharp.
Took the three center ones of the nuts cut in the lathe and tossed the outer two(as these seldome get really "sharp") and knocked them into the lock piece with some Loctite and the pressfit from the "malalignment".
Presto.
One 101% fully working lockable nut that looks and works like the stock piece.

To us thatīs like all in all perhaps 30 minutes of labour.
Cost effective?
HELL NO,but the thing is that we still "salvaged" an original piece on a 25yr old guitar.

Get my point?
Cause...iīm absolutely certain that if those pieces were missing/broken on my pantera...the sure as hell can be missing/broken on others too.
..and tbh?
You wouldnīt know they werenīt OEM pieces if your life depended on it.

That reasoning can be stretched.
Like...for OEM knobs that are either plastic or metal and can be CUT.
I think you get the idea.

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