Introduction: How to Make Backlit Gear Shift Knob
Back-lit Gear shift knob made out of wood.
Material needed are very cheap but result is one sweet piece of wood work.
I build it with basics tools.
Feel free to ask your Questions or to give any thoughts positive or negative.
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Materials and Tools:
Tools you will need:
2. different types of saw (for wood and metal)
3. surgical knife
4. soldering iron (and tin)
5. die cutting tool
6. sheets of sandpaper with different grits.
7. Glass cutter
Materials you will need:
1. piece of ash wood (dried)
2. piece of aluminum and plastic plate (color of your choice)
3. metal tube inner bore should match the outer diameter of gear shifting handle
4. small pieces of conductive metal for connectors
5. some plastic piece (fire resistant) similar to shape of plastic bottle cap for light bulb socket
6. sort of cable or wire
7. small piece of glass
8. some metal paint and wood paint (color of your choice)
9. matching nut for metal pipe
10. sort of light bulb.
Cut piece of ash roughly with saw. Use your imagination for the design. Measurement should be according to drivers hand. I cut it like in the picture.
Use saw and sheets of sandpaper with different grits to sand down wood to desired measurement and shape. As you come closer to your shape use finer sandpaper but let the polishing one for later.
Use your drill and surgical knife to cut the following shape in wood. First mark straight edges and 90° angles with surgical knife (cut them in wood|) than take down wood with drill and use sandpaper to straighten the wood. The most important thing in this step is to make 90° angles and straight edges true as much as possible since that the only thing that would be visible . It's also the hardest because making round edges in wood it's much easier than straight and 90° angles.Make depth according to the thickness of combined aluminum, plastic and glass piece.
Next drill one big and one small hole. The small one is for cable. The big one should be close to the outer bore of the metal pipe. Then use drill, knife and sandpaper to give the wood shape as in the picture.
From some sort of round hard plastic piece make light-bulb socket by drilling a hole just big so the upper body of a light-bulb can go through . Cut and attache with glue two metal pieces for connectors to the plastic piece and solder cables to the connectors . The light-bulb that I used was for car dashboards. It fits good and can be changed if needed from the bottom of the gear shift knob. You can see in the picture the cable going through the smaller hole and exiting in the bottom. In the picture is also a light-bulb similar to one that I used.
From the piece of aluminum cut plate to right size so it can fit in gear knob. Do the same for the plastic and glass piece . Next cut the Roman numerals using saw. Be patient and precise so you don't make mistake.
I used modeling saw (very thin sheets) similar to the one in the picture:
Aluminum is soft and not easy to cut straight. Mark numerals with pen-marker, drill small hole to each number as a starting point and insert saw sheet into hole. Work your way slow. And you can use sandpaper with finer grits to straighten edges along the numbers. Alone sandpaper in this case is not a tool but glue it to some small thin straight plate(it should be narrow enough but not to much ) that is rigid and that you can insert between number lines and work your way.
When done cutting paint the aluminum plate in color you like. Let it dry.
When you are sure that everything fits just right you are ready for the finest sandpaper grits. Polish your gear knob. It should be very smooth. Next paint it and let it dry. It's walnut color.
When everything is dry:
1. insert light-bulb into the socket (it can be also done from blow the gear shift knob if socket inserted first)
2. insert light-bulb socket and glue it to the wood
3. glue the plastic piece to the wood (blue piece in my pictures)
4. glue the aluminum plate to plastic piece
5. and at the end glue the glass piece to only wood at the edges so no glue can be seen.
On metal pipe make inner threads with die tool. After that make outer threads on the gear shift handle that match the one in pipe(if gear shift handle had it's original threads than pipe should be done for that threads). Next just screw up first the nut to the gear shift handle than gear shift knob. When you get to the point it feels firmly clamped center the gear knob and tighten the nut. Next you should connect the cable from gear shift knob to fuse that supply the position car lights with power. So when you switch on your car lights the gear shift knob light should also turn on. You are done. If any one have any question feel free to ask.
Sorry for bad English
Best regards to all
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