About: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 17 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 14 year Melanoma Cancer Survivor. 81 years young.

Little problems in the house bother me. This one only takes about an hour and is a great improvement .

The circuit for the light switch for the light in the ceiling over the cabinets was later modified by adding 4 recessed cans holding BR40 bulbs. Our coffee pot sets directly in front of the switch making it difficult to spin the rotary switch on and off. Here is what I did to make my wife's life and mine a little easier.

Step 1: BEFORE

This photo is a switch exactly like the one I modified. I realize I could have bought and installed a slide switch or a rotary switch that can be pushed on & off, but that costs money, which I have little of.


The first thing I did several months ago was to drill little 1/8" holes around the circumference of the knob and insert short pins into the holes. With that improvement, we could push on the posts counterclockwise with one finger on top, turning off the lights. A clockwise push on the bottom turned them back on. This worked fairly good, but I decided it could be better.


I came up with a new idea of spinning the knob with a cord around the knob and hanging down on both sides. I tried a piece of paracord, but it was too stiff without something heavy on both ends. I removed the inner cords from the paracord. Itwas still too stiff and bulky. I decided to use the inner cords I had removed from the paracord. It's a nylon string that's very flexible and small in size. I attached it to the knob in the pattern shown and weighted the ends with some very small #6 hex nuts. I used a hot melt glue gun to attach the cord to the knob and to the nuts. The knob is beveled, bigger rear diameter than the front. That keeps the cord from sliding off the rear. The green pegs keep the cord from sliding off the front.


This is so simple and easy to use. It doesn't matter if you want to turn the lights on or off. You ALWAYS pull the short cord. The wife loves it.

If the lights are off pulling the short cord turns them on, If the lights are on pulling the short cord turns them off.

I know, you think I have way too much time on my hands. I'm 80 and have worked all my life from milking cows and driving a tractor when I was 10 to fighting fires for 20 years and then farming full time for another 16 years. A cancer on my face forced me to retire in 2003. Now I just do silly projects like this when it's raining or too cold to be in my shop.



    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest
    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Sticking with imerrymarys and WalkerD1s comments. Nice one!

    If you would attach a little bar to both ends of the cord you should be able to turn the lights on, off and dim precisely with a flick of the wrist.
    No need to grasp for the other end of the cord.

    For keeping the cord to the knob just hotglue a mason jar lid or alike to the knob, but I think you had that idea by yourself already.

    Nothing silly about this project!! I appreciate the simplicity and look forward to more of your ideas. I'm always interested in tweaking things at home and at work to make things more practical. This one's a treasure!

    1 reply

    Nice for someone that is disabled and can't turn a knob.

    1 reply

    I hadn't thought of that, but you are right, WalkerD1. It has just been a short while since I did the fix, but it is really handy. It would have been better if I had mounted a wheel with a flange on each side. We have to pull straight down on the cord or it will jump off the knob. That has happened only once so far. Thanks for the reply.

    Nice for someone that is disabled and can't turn a knob.