You’ll only need two machines to make these Arts & Crafts-style knobs: a bandsaw and a router table. Although the saw cuts can be done on a table saw; the bandsaw keeps the operation saw and simple. The router table work requires two bits: a 5/8 round nose bit and a straight bit.
Shop-made knobs may not save you a lot of money, but they offer a wealth of advantages over the store-bought variety. For starters, the knobs will better match the project, because the wood comes from the project’s scrap and you can customize the knob’s size to fit the scale of the piece. Plus, making your own knobs is a satisfying project by itself.
Start by ripping 11/2 strips of wood from 11/4 thick quartersawn stock. The blanks can be any length, although a minimum length of 8 is best for machining. Cut enough blanks to make a few extra knobs; you’re bound to lose a few to test cuts along the way.
Layout a centerline on the face of the blank. Then head to the bandsaw and tilt the table 15°. Set the fence and cut the bevels in two passes.
Take the beveled blank to the router table. Chuck a 5/8 core box or round nose bit in the router. Set the bit’s height just shy of 3/8 for the first pass. Position the fence to leave a 3/16 edge below the bevel. Rout a groove along each edge. Head back to the bandsaw and crosscut the blank into 11/2 squares.
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