Whittling Gear Shift Knobs

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I like stick shifts. My 2003 F-150 had a long throw stick but came with a terrible aftermarket knob, some sort of black billiard ball with set screws and never quite stayed on. Some research showed me that I could either spend a ton of money on a quality knob or I could make my own, so naturally I opted for the latter. Here are two comfortable designs that turned out reasonably well - they are very different designs, each with pros and cons.

Example one is a traditional mushroom style knob, with a short stem. It has a short stem because I whittled it from a small block of leftover basswood. Example two has a longer stem and is contoured to provide fingertip grip and a thumb slot, allowing a claw-like grip. Please forgive the quality of that photo - I attempted a left-hand SLR photo while grasping the knob in my right.

I did not use them, as I sold the truck before attempting to use either one.

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Jonathan Perry-Houts wrote 02/12/2015 at 19:26 point

A while back a friend of mine decided she wanted to learn to whittle, so I asked her to make me a shift knob for my 1970's BMW. She whittled me a skull out of some random stick she found on the ground and it's been my shift knob ever since. Works great, and looks super cool.

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Reagen Ward wrote 02/18/2015 at 01:52 point

That is awesome!  So now I need to know about your console - what's the story?  I've been tempted to do that myself.

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Jonathan Perry-Houts wrote 02/18/2015 at 20:24 point

Unfortunately that project never really amounted to anything. I made the console that's in the picture with a spare chunk of particle board, a jig saw and a file (for the rounded edges, I don't have a router). The plan was to cover it with headliner material, or vinyl, or something, but I eventually decided I liked the open space without it. I ended up mounting all of the components in the dash and removing it. I'm still on the fence about whether or not to go back. I'd like to have more gauges (for oil pressure, vacuum, etc) so I probably will eventually. I have a few ideas for faceplates that I think would be pretty neat.

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