There’s got to be a better term for those little knobs that you tighten (or loosen) to adjust mic stands. And this is actually about making new ones for replacements. Anyway. A couple of these knobs stripped or went missing and here’s how I put wooden knobs on standard (cheap) hardware store bolts to replace them.
The original bolt is brass, and you can see in the photo where the threads are stripped. It screws into a captive steel nut in the plastic housing, so it’s no wonder the brass stripped when it got cranked down one too many times. And now you too can make a fancy replacement!
Get Your Bolts
Obviously, find a bolt the same size and thread pitch. Beg, borrow, buy…
Make Your Knob Shape
I chose a diamond because it’s easy to put torque on, and it’s also pretty easy to lay out symmetrically and to cut out on a table saw. I don’t know what kind of wood it is, I grabbed a random chunk of hardwood from my scrap bin. Maybe Red Oak?
In order to fit the knob onto the bolt I drilled all the way through with a bit just larger than the bolt thread. The hole works best as a loose fit because the bolt has to be pressed straight in, not threaded.
You can’t see it in the picture, but this clamp is also clamped to the workbench. Remember kids, always secure your workpiece!
After I drilled the bolt hole, I drilled a counterbore with drill a little smaller than the bolt head. If you get it right you could probably skip the next step, but there’s more of a risk of stripping out the wood if you crank too hard on it.
Shape Counterbore to fit Bolt Head
I don’t have a picture of this step, I forgot. Basically, cut the counterbore into a hexagonal shape so the bolt head fits tightly. I used a utility knife because I didn’t have any chisels small enough, and it’s a bit tricky. Take it slowly and don’t chop fingers off. A small milling bit on a dremel might work well here, too.
Stick it all together
Put a bit of wood glue around the bolt head and threads closest to it, and squish it together. I think put the knob across the vise and used a hammer to pound the bolt in tightly. (You’ve been dry fitting it all along so you’re sure it works like you want, right?) Once it’s together and the glue has set up it won’t be easy to take apart; capturing the bolt head tightly with the wood keeps it from spinning, and glue in the threads keeps it from pressing out over time.
And that’s it, aside from cleaning off excess wood glue and finishing the knob if you like. So far they’re holding up quite nicely after a couple months of use.