Author Topic: Making my own custom shift knob ...  (Read 9796 times)

Offline wquiles

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Making my own custom shift knob ...
« on: May 17, 2011, 07:08:56 PM »
My prior posts were about machining flashlights, so today I have something different.  Instead of buying a replacement shift knob for my car, I decided to try make one on my own.

I actually started by creating a way to hold the Aluminum I would use for the shift knob, so I created a short shift rod.  I started by measuring the original one:





Here I am making the copy.  I am using 12L14 "leaded" steel:







Once I got the shape right, I started threading (10-1.5mm):



Checked the pitch against the tap after the first pass just to make sure!:



And after a "few" pases I had a good fit:







This material threads great!.  Close-up:



My threading tools all use sharp carbide inserts.  This one in particular is a Kennametal tool:













OK, enough of the tool porn ...

Once I cut the screw to length, it looks like this:



And after Brownells "blackening" solution:



I then started with a round piece of 6160 Al, about 2" in dia, and about 4" long:



After the piece was faced, I drill and tapped it:





I then started to give it shape (I supported from tailstock end most of the time):





Once the shape was roughed out, I then started to do very light cuts using the compound:





















And then it was done:







Before:



After:







Will
Machining and electronics - www.atdms.com

Offline DaveH

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 07:23:39 PM »
Will,

A very good post, very informative. :clap:

I thought your photography was excellent  :clap: :clap: :clap:

The gear knob was very well made  :thumbup:


DaveH
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 07:37:40 PM »
Very nice journey! Great pictures too... the end result looks very nice. What kind of car?

Eric
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Offline wquiles

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 09:05:36 PM »
Thank you guys.  It is a 2011 Honda Civic Si, 4-door.
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Offline Trion

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 02:45:30 AM »
Nicely shown making of the gearknob. And boy do you have a lot of fancy lathe tooling :drool:

Offline bigmini

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 03:09:55 AM »
Thank you guys.  It is a 2011 Honda Civic Si, 4-door.

I thought that steering wheel looked Honda-ish. (I have a Honda Jazz(Fit) - thinking about adding something like this)

Offline saw

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 05:15:45 AM »
Nice work, thanks for showing  :clap: :clap: :thumbup:
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Offline Jonny

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 05:19:47 AM »
I want that 6 jaw chuck, been after one for 7 months.

Just one small problem, the gear sticks on the wrong side.

Offline Bernd

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 08:46:56 AM »
Nice job Will.  :thumbup:

One question though, how do you now know were the the gears are without it being lettered?  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

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Offline wquiles

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2011, 10:29:45 AM »
I want that 6 jaw chuck, been after one for 7 months.
At least the Bison I have is definitely worth the wait.  I got lucky that I bought it new on special, right before the price went up like 30-40%.

With mine I can mount work, do work, unmount, do something else, remount work and be off less than 0.001", and if I mark the piece before I remove and line up again with the same jaw, I am basically spot-on as before.  At least for the projects that I do, I don't ever worry about the work being centered - the chuck is that good for the work I do (i.e., accurate enough for me).


One question though, how do you now know were the the gears are without it being lettered?  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:
Ahh - that is easy.  I first drove the car for like two months with the factory shift knob, just so that I can memorize the pattern  :)

In fact, I kind it find the whole pattern on top a "nice to have", but who really looks at it while shifting?  :bugeye:

Will
Machining and electronics - www.atdms.com

Offline j45on

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2011, 02:12:34 PM »
Nice job and great pictures  :bow:
Looks more interesting than my ball one I made for my car

Jason

Offline jgroom

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2011, 03:12:17 PM »
Just one small problem, the gear sticks on the wrong side.

How can it be on the wrong side?  It's in the middle.  :lol:

Looks good, I'm planning to make one like J45on's for my MX-5.

Cheers

Jeff

Offline dickda1

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2011, 08:55:56 PM »
Ooh!  this looks so nice.

I have a large Asian lathe with small levers that are probably quite adequate for smaller hands.   You have inspired me to make some larger levers.  Thanks.

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Offline Troutsqueezer

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2011, 12:19:34 AM »
Very nice job. Not long ago I made an aluminum steering wheel knob for my tractor. It works like a champ but the aluminum does coat my hand after a few minutes so I've taken to wearing gloves. Did you put some sort of coating on the knob? May be beneficial if you didn't.
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Offline rleete

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2011, 09:12:35 AM »
Looks nice, but try remaking it out of steel.  You'll be amazed at how it seems to shift more smoothly.  The weight gives it better feel.
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Offline wquiles

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2011, 08:29:49 PM »
Nice job and great pictures  :bow:
Looks more interesting than my ball one I made for my car
VERY nice ;)


Looks nice, but try remaking it out of steel.  You'll be amazed at how it seems to shift more smoothly.  The weight gives it better feel.
I need to try making a few more in Al to practice more, but yet, I "have" to do one in steel - I also read that they added weight is noticeable ;)

Will
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Offline NickG

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2011, 04:31:25 AM »
Very nice, I was trying to work out what car it was. I should have realised, am thinking about a Civic Type S diesel for my next car!
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Offline bry1975

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Re: Making my own custom shift knob ...
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2011, 03:41:38 PM »
Should be very noticeable 2.74 Specific gravity for Ally and Stainless about 7.8 Specific gravity!