Picture of Custom string pulls
Make good use of tiny scraps with this little project. These are an excellent way to add a tiny detailed personalization to your mini-blinds or ceiling fan/lights as well as any pull chain operated switch.
These are very simple to make and require the smallest of scraps.
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Step 1: Gather some scraps

Picture of Gather some scraps
*****Please refer to your lathe manual and follow all safety precautions

You need a mini or midi lathe for this project as well as a chuck or a way to attach small scraps to the face-plate of the lathe.

You also need some string or ball chain.

Step 2: Rough shape the piece

Picture of Rough shape the piece
Once you have the piece mounted to your lathe you can rough round it and clean it up a bit. Since the chuck is holding the work piece we can slide the tail-stock out and square the bottom of the pull.
In the next step we will be drilling the holes for the string to run through the piece.

Step 3: Drill the string/chain hole

Picture of Drill the string/chain hole
Now we need to drill the hole for the string. I installed the Jacobs chuck on the tail-stock and using the smallest bit (the bit that is the same diameter as the string or chain you are using.
The smallest hole goes all the way thru the work piece. The second hole goes in about 1/4" (this is to hide the knot you will tie to prevent the string from pulling completely out).

Step 4: Finish shape the string pull

Picture of Finish shape the string pull
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Now you shape the piece the way you want. I tried to make a small light bulb shape for one of mine. It obviously needs work as it looks like the back side of a boxing glove to me. :) But the tear-drop shape looks quite nice. As well as the bell shapes. If I was a carver I could make these even more detailed.
Once you have the shape you desire, it’s time to sand it to completion.
After sanding. I finished the piece with some friction polish and a wax.
joemannn691 year ago
Dude that's amazing
Dr Qui1 year ago
I made this one from White Thorn, I used a eye screw to attach the chain rather than drill right through as it is quite large . I originally put a brass chain on but had to change it for the light weight flat stuff as the total weight was just on the edge of tripping the pull switch , something to watch out for if you want a larger knob with a metal chain.
SlickSqueegie (author) 1 year ago
yup. nice idea.
craftyv1 year ago
These are very well done and a great Instructable. May I suggest that you either add Light Pull to your title or some other term which covers (ALL) pulls. Ceiling fan pull is a little specific and you may be missing out on people who want a pull but not for a ceiling fan., Everybody has lights but fewer have ceiling fans, I want people to see it. It's great. Regards.
SlickSqueegie (author)  craftyv1 year ago
Good Idea. Fixed
cutshopguy1 year ago
Very nice indeed. If you don't have a lathe, I wonder if you could make these on a Drill press?
SlickSqueegie (author)  cutshopguy1 year ago
Thanks. Yes, you can make something like this on a drill press. I think there are many Instructables on using your drill press as a lathe.
Reesol1 year ago
Great! looks like my weekend just got a little more busy.
SlickSqueegie (author)  Reesol1 year ago
These are very very quick. Have fun!.
poofrabbit1 year ago
These are lovely!
SlickSqueegie (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thanks PoofRabbit.
darman121 year ago
Those are really nice looking. I wish I had those tools, and, well, a ceiling fan :)
SlickSqueegie (author)  darman121 year ago
Thank you. It has taken me many years to gather them tool by tool
Woodharry1 year ago
Fantastic Idea, makes me want to pick up a lathe even more.
SlickSqueegie (author)  Woodharry1 year ago
Thanks. It's a lot of fun.