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My dead-end search for thumb wheels

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madsamurai

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Location: Germantown, Ohio

Post Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:38 pm

My dead-end search for thumb wheels

So I've been looking around for near 6 months off and on looking for knurled metal thumb wheels for my home-brews, like the ones we see on all of the commercial 2-in-1 tools and such... I don't have access to a lathe to make my own so I need a source to buy from, but apparently they're just not available anywhere that I've come across yet. The closest I've found are here, but they're threaded and I'd rather have a smooth hole with tapped holes for set screws from the sides. I've been using plastic 3D printed ones a friend made for me, but they aren't quite strong enough in some situations and either can't tighten enough to not spin or they crack if over-tightened. I think the same place I linked there can make them custom for me, but I expect that's more expensive than I'd like, and I really feel like they've GOT to be out there somewhere and I'm just not searching for the right words...

Any of you home-brewing fellas know of a good source for those?
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Squelchtone

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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:16 pm

Location: Springfield MA USA

Post Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

Would this work for you?

https://www.amazon.com/Morton-Brass-Knu ... B00GKZETTM

Could you drill out the inner threads, or insert a threaded rod into the threaded piece, and then drill a 1/8 or whatever sized hole you need for the shaft of your tool?

this site has a bunch of stuff: https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn/Fas ... d=12108738

or perhaps this type if the tool shaft doesnt need to go through it: https://www.bobdrake.com/FordItem.aspx?Item=B-9270-SR (out of stock)

and there's this: https://www.amazon.com/JW-Winco-Stainle ... 00A9N0Z58/

and here's some xyz axis control knobs you could repurpose https://littlemachineshop.com/products/ ... urled+knob

here's 10 for $5 bucks on ebay from guy in Indiana, stainless steel too: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-Stee ... 2211436298

hope this helps,

Squelchtone
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insatiableOne

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Location: Arizona

Post Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:58 am

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

I have ??? eight without threads, similar to those in stainless. not knurled and slight of a larger hole. they are sliding washer/spacer , but shaped nearly identical minus a slight taper in the middle.

let me take a picture and size one up when get the chance. do my best for tomorrow. mever know might be able to tap one out and file some knurled teeth on it? lets see the ID measures

not certain but here there are large specialty fastener supply stores here that carry nearly everything.
not illiterate, just tough to overcome auto-correct & type on mobile device
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madsamurai

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Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:46 am

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

Thanks for all the links, Squelchtone. I've found quite a few similar compromises, and I suppose I'll probably have to ultimately settle for something I have to modify... just seems strange that I can find plenty of tools with unthreaded thumb wheels but nobody selling them separately. I guess they're just simple enough that everyone makes their own, I dunno.
I found some aluminum spacers I think will do for now... the hole is too big, but I can build up to fit I suppose, and file some grooves or wrap them in rubber or something for grip. Just seems like a lot of wasted time for something simple.
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madsamurai

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Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:10 am

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

I've also thought about using aluminum R/C car wheels & tires... anyone else tried that with any success?
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Squelchtone

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Posts: 282

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:16 pm

Location: Springfield MA USA

Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

I saw a 2-in-1 tool that had a metal shaft and wooden wheels. easier to work with for making notches to grip with and you can drill any size hole you need and epoxy it in place, or file a flat on the shaft and then drill a hole and tap it for a set screw.

here's the wooden wheels post, hope its ok I post the "other" forum, we're by the way ok if people post links to here or /r/lockpickinh etc. http://www.lockpicking101.com/viewtopic.php?t=15319
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Jaakko Fagerlund

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Location: Finland

Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:32 pm

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

McMasterCarr could be one source, haven't checked, but they do sell that sort of stuff also.

Guaranteed sure supply is Halder (I think it is German company), they have thousands of jig and machine parts and I remember seeing those in their catalog under "thumb screws". Search their website and order from there?
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insatiableOne

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Location: Arizona

Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:26 pm

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

Not as close as thought but, 1/4ish hole.
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not illiterate, just tough to overcome auto-correct & type on mobile device
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madsamurai

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Location: Germantown, Ohio

Post Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:55 pm

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

Ah, finally! McMaster-Carr, for the win. Smaller thru hole would be ideal, but this is what I have been searching for.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be super-picky, just kinda surprised these have been so hard to find... seemed like such a simple thing.

Lots of good alternative ideas here, thanks for all the tips, guys.
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OldBat

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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:00 pm

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:48 am

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

Do you need the hub? I see you do want the side set screw... If a hub less knurled disk in aluminum would work there is a mounting 'doo hickey' for cameras that has two on each assembly for about the same price. Threaded 1/4-20 so the inside diameter would be around 13/64" or .201 thousandths. Sadly no side set screw. Forget where I bought them but can search if needed.
Last edited by OldBat on Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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madsamurai

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Location: Germantown, Ohio

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:35 am

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

Funny, I was just thinking along the same lines... I just paid a couple bucks for one of those chinese disc-detainer picks and it has a few variations of usable wheels on it. Would actually be cheaper to buy a bunch of them and part them out, tho again the hole is pretty big for most of my projects but can be worked around. Aluminum is fine, and easier to work with with the currently limited tools I have available... would be curious to see your mounting doohickey if it's no trouble. The hub isn't necessary at all (but not a problem either), and set screws aren't critical... I can drill & tap my own in aluminum, or solder them on.
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OldBat

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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:00 pm

Post Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:23 am

Re: My dead-end search for thumb wheels

Do a search for "Pro 1/4"-20 Tripod Mount Screw to Flash Camera Hot Cold Shoe Adapter". See some aluminum ones for $1.19 each very similar to what I bought four years ago. Watch out, the .99 cent ones with a straight knurl appear to be plastic.

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