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Jeff R

1/8" shaft pot knob source?

Question

I have a client's old Harmony electric I'm trying to get functional again. 60s and early 70s Harmony guitars used tiny pots with tiny shafts - 1/8". So tiny it's very hard to turn the shaft without "a" pot on it. Normal knobs, even with tensioning screws, won't work - shaft too tiny. I haven't attempted to improvise the existing pots to take standard knobs yet - they are still functional and quiet so I don't want to damage or disrupt them via improv if at all possible.

I can't find a source for ANY knobs for those tiny shafts but I'm looking at guitar parts suppliers, effects pedal knob suppliers, etc. Any of you guys who have other electronic hobbies/interests have items with these tiny pots and know of a source for knobs?

In the case of my client's old Harmony, we really don't care if the knobs look vintage or period correct, if they are plastic or metal, etc., at this point. We just want to be able to turn the damn pots for now.

Thanks in advance for any tips/leads!

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Anything that starts with "1/8" shaft and knob is surely worthy of SOMEKIND of come back, perlease...anyone....

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Those pages above, when you try to search by the 1/8" shaft size, very, very little if anything comes up and what they're showing I'm not confident to order blind.

I think I'm going to try to convert some small modern knobs to smaller shafts via doweling, cork material or whatever else might work. Compounding the small diameter shafts are VERY short shaft heights - there's very little material for any knob to grab onto.

There's also the option of pulling the entire old harness, opening the body's control holes and re-harnessing it with modern components. I'm reluctant to do that because a.) the old stuff works shockingly well and noise free, and b.) it's a semi-hollow electric and re-harnessing any guitar through the F-holes and pickup cavities is a pain in the ass.

Here's an informational pic on what I'm talking about. From left: Mounted 1/8" diameter shaft pot, standard 250K pot; mounted 1/8" diameter shaft pot, standard strat knob. The gold knob in the back is the lone original knob I have. It's about the size of the cap on a travel tube of toothpaste.

IMG_0473.jpg

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DigiKey has quite a few for 1/8" shafts. Mostly black plastic or aluminum but they'll work and they're in stock.

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Posted (edited)

@Jeff R Why not just grab these six off Reverb?  $15 a pop, but they're correct and available.

eta:  Is that an H7x series?  Coolest f-holes ever!

peuugsplruj2w2bsver4.jpg

Edited by cynic

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I don't think the owner wants to spend an arm and a leg to keep it original, plus I don't necessarily trust 50-year old knobs for things like dry rot, eroded knurls in the shaft holes, etc. Keep in mind the original knobs are missing off my client's guitar for exactly those kinds of reasons haha.

My hunch is that his love for normal sized amber top hats will ultimately lead to me reaming and re-harnessing the guitar with modern pots and components. But I've sent him the Digikey link and a couple other options I've identified, so it's in his court now.

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