20 October 2013

Twerpy Rotary Knobs

It's been a while, since I documented any progress here. 

Reasons are many.....had to go through shifting my home and family due to work.....waiting and testing the new release of TacPac....and so on.

Ever since I had started this project, I had known that getting the correct (shape, size and color) rotary knobs is going to be a problem. 

Right Console Panel of VRS F/A-18E Rhino
I knew I will have to address this issue with 'Hook' and 'Landing Gear' control lever's also. Shapes of certain other switches (landing light switch, jettison knobs e.t.c) are also different from the switches I have managed to purchase commercially. 

I could purchase these switches internationally, but decided to consider that as an option, only if nothing else worked out.

Over the past few months, I had considered learning how to mold plastic at home. After a lot of reading, I finally decided to try and carve myself some switches out of wood and experiment how that pans out. Will take a final call, after completing my experiments.

Over the last couple of weeks, purchased myself wood carving knife chisel set and a diamond needle files set for carving out some wood. Both the tools were purchased off ebay.
Wood Workers Tool Knife Chisel 12 Pc Set

Diamond Needle File Set

With the tools in place, I experimented with my first rotary knob. I chose a sample which was neither too easy, nor too hard.
The Rough Stock

The First Cut (is actually the deepest)

Piece is shaping up now

Filing the "Piece"

Almost Done
Painted and Finished

How it compares

It was a good weekend. Finally made (a little) progress.

The knob has come out quite okay, though it's still not finished to the way I would like to accomplish. But, this is the first time I have touched wood and tools to work on wood. For a first time attempt, I'm smiling :)

As I find some more time, I will practice with a few more pieces. 

The texture, weight and feel of wooden rotary knobs is just about right. They take a long time carving, but it's turning out to be very cheap product to make.