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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 30th May 2015, 8:16 pm   #1
stevehertz
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Default Knob puller for stubborn knobs

Bought for use with my guitar repairs I have a Stewmac knob puller that I use to lift and remove any push on knobs that are stubborn. I realised that it could also be used on vintage wireless sets to pull knobs. And so long as the grub screw is loosened, it can also be used on screw on types too. Anyway, take a look at the photo and you can see the configuration of the unit. It won't be deployable in every situation due to accessibility and that sort of thing, but in use it does pull nice and straight and even, so breakage of the knob is minimised. In the photo, the lower part of the metal plate that 'pulls' the knob has a pot shaft width slot in it, so you just slide it under the knob then tighten the wing nut to bring the clear plastic outer body down on to the surface of the set/guitar. If you were handy and had the time, you could make one yourself I guess.

I was going to use it on a newly acquired Pye Fenman 2, but the darned knobs were right down on the surface of the set, so I couldn't position the 'lifter' under the knob! Anyway, I pulled them off straight with my hand and all was ok apart from the the innards of one that I can repair with superglue - I doubt that would have happened with the puller that pulls gradually and perfectly straight.

Stewmac is an American supplier of luthiers tools, you'll find them on the internet, but of course it's not cheap importing stuff from the US. If you do a search for 'knob puller' on auction sites, you can get a much cruder knob puller for as little as 9, but it relies on you pulling straight. Also, with all of these units, being primarily designed for use with electric guitars, the width of knobs that they will accept is limited. Anyway, there you go, you pay your money and you make your choice - or you design and build one to suit your needs!
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Old 31st May 2015, 2:30 am   #2
FrankB
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Default Re: Knob puller for stubborn knobs

I think one could fairly easily make one of those out of a battery terminal puller and some bits of metal bar. Thanks for posting the info..
Another project for the new workshop when I finally get it done.
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Old 31st May 2015, 8:43 am   #3
vidjoman
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Default Re: Knob puller for stubborn knobs

Good idea - I like it. However don't think it'll work with a glass scale behind the knob but should be fine with most wooden cabinets. Might crack a plastic cabinet.
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Old 31st May 2015, 8:49 am   #4
stevehertz
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Default Re: Knob puller for stubborn knobs

Good points - user beware. The main body is actually plexiglass and it has a protection strip along the bottom edge to help spread pressure out on uneven surfaces - it's a cork ring on mine.
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Old 31st May 2015, 1:59 pm   #5
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Default Re: Knob puller for stubborn knobs

That is a fantastic idea steve , you`ve got me thinking about making one.

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Old 31st May 2015, 9:22 pm   #6
SurreyNick
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Default Re: Knob puller for stubborn knobs

A very simple DIY knob puller I came across on the internet. I needed one last year to get really stubborn knobs off an old Etronic radio. It was dead easy to make with just a hacksaw and worked like a charm. It's currently buried somewhere in the garage but I think this picture, which I worked off to make mine, explains all. BTW I used plumbing pipe.
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Old 31st May 2015, 9:57 pm   #7
stevehertz
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Default Re: Knob puller for stubborn knobs

Great job Nick, it looks very close to the Stewmac one in many ways. You don't actually need the main body to be see through once the lifter is located under the knob.
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Old 7th Jun 2015, 8:34 pm   #8
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Default Re: Knob puller for stubborn knobs

Draper make a car trim removal tool http://www.tooled-up.com/product/dra...FcXLtAodNmsATg, which needs a little bit of filing on its leading edge, but then works wonderfully. Used it today to remove the knobs on the hob in the kitchen...and they are not willing subjects!

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Old 8th Jun 2015, 8:28 am   #9
stevehertz
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Default Re: Knob puller for stubborn knobs

Good call and will work in most situations, but as mentioned some knobs will break if not pulled up 100% perpendicular without any rocking movement. An example being the Pye Fenman knobs. I may get one of those Draper tools to add to my arsenal though.
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