Instructables

Fancy Wooden Stick Shift Knob

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Picture of Fancy Wooden Stick Shift Knob
Hello everyone,

This Instructable will show you how to make a fancy and great feeling wooden shift knob for your manual transmission vehicle.  Shift knobs are simple and easy to do, and making them out of wood means they will be cool in the summer sun and warm in the winter.

The one I have done is for my Mitsubishi Lancer which is an M10-1.25 thread.  Some other manufacturers use this thread as well but you should ask Google what thread you will need for your make and model.  As far as I'm aware virtually all cars use a threaded mount for the shift knob.

 
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Step 1: Tools and Plans

Picture of Tools and Plans
Knob Dims.png
Parts No Dims.png
Insert Dims.png
The idea is straightforward; make a steel insert for the wooden sphere, allowing the knob to be screwed on and off just like the factory knob.  Wood is a nice material because it looks good and is thermally insulative, so it will be cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  The steel insert gives it more weight to match the feel of the original (in my case, cast white metal wrapped with leather).

Feel free to print the PDF attached to this step for a convenient reference for all dimensions.

Materials:
  • ~2" wood sphere
  • 3" length of 1" diameter mild steel round stock
  • Lacquer/varnish
  • Wood stain
  • Epoxy

Tools:
  • Drill press
  • Metal lathe
  • Belt sander (optional)
  • 3/4" forstner wood bit
  • 11/32" and 1/2" drill bits
  • M10-1.25 tap
  • Tap handle
  • Knurling tool for lathe
Susan11 month ago

This is excellent, Thank you!

JBKSeattle1 month ago

Reminds me of the sphere on my grandma's stair baluster. Never recognized the tepid feel of it though.

Skrew375 months ago

I did the same thing and used the craft store 2" ball. I flipped it so the flat side was up and sanded it down until the flat spot was the diameter of the shift pattern badge which I cannibalized from the old shift knob. I also salvaged the plastic threaded insert after carving away the foam. I drilled a hole, pressed in the insert, sanded it and buffed it super smooth and gave it a coat of wax.

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poozer42zer10 months ago
Looks awesome! What stain and varnish did you use? It matches perfectly with the faux wood grain in my car and I would like to make the same one
mattthegamer463 (author)  poozer42zer10 months ago
I think the wood is maple, and I used Minwax Red Mahogany stain with Tremclad Clear spray. The spray takes half a dozen coats but the result is very even and shiny.
devon230610 months ago
That is one fine looking knob! Great job and thanks for the clear instructions!
M3G10 months ago
VERY nice. I wonder how it would look with the shift pattern burned into it?
mattthegamer463 (author)  M3G10 months ago
Glad you like it. I considered that but I couldn't think of a way to do it that wouldn't look ugly.
colin35310 months ago
So amazing!
rimar200010 months ago
BEAUTIFUL!