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Replacing Les Paul speed knobs with top hats

MGT

Member
Messages
1,957
Hope this isn't the dumbest question ever but are there different sizes of top hat knobs?

I want to replace the speed knobs on my Les Paul Traditional but when I try to put on my new top hat knobs (they are Gibson, by the way), they don't seem to go all the way down to the body like they do on my Standard. There seems to be a gap between the top of the body and the bottom of the knob. Maybe I just need to press harder on the knob to force it down but I want to make sure that it's the correct size before doing that.

Any ideas?
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,939
Hey MGT -

Measure the depth of the hole in the knob w/ a toothpick, and compare it to the length of the exposed length of pot shaft - that's your answer. It's possible that the receiving side of the knob isn't knurled all the way to the bottom of the hole, so the depth can fake you out - maybe use reading glasses or a magnifying glass to look inside the knob.

You seem to be aware of this already, but use caution when pushing the knobs on - as you imply, don't wanna break anything (GRIN).

You can unscrew the pots and put more washers under each one to lower them if the knobs stick up too high.

Hope this helps, Dana O.
 

MGT

Member
Messages
1,957
Thanks, Dana - I'll check that out tonight. Adding washers is a great idea! Clearly, I'm not that mechanically inclined.
 

Fons

Member
Messages
537
Hey MGT -

Measure the depth of the hole in the knob w/ a toothpick, and compare it to the length of the exposed length of pot shaft - that's your answer. It's possible that the receiving side of the knob isn't knurled all the way to the bottom of the hole, so the depth can fake you out - maybe use reading glasses or a magnifying glass to look inside the knob.

You seem to be aware of this already, but use caution when pushing the knobs on - as you imply, don't wanna break anything (GRIN).

You can unscrew the pots and put more washers under each one to lower them if the knobs stick up too high.

Hope this helps, Dana O.
Hi Dana,

I had a similar situation: I couldn't push the bell (Gibson style) knob low enough on the knurled shaft. These knobs are just not deep enough like the Stratocaster knobs are. I also could not lower the pot with washers any more...because you can only go as low as the threaded bushing allows for as the nut must have thread to clamp the pot in place.

I wish them manufacturers would make the inside of these Gibson style bell knobs just as deep as the Strat knobs. :boxer Problem solved.
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,939
Hi Dana,

I had a similar situation: I couldn't push the bell (Gibson style) knob low enough on the knurled shaft. These knobs are just not deep enough like the Stratocaster knobs are. I also could not lower the pot with washers any more...because you can only go as low as the threaded bushing allows for as the nut must have thread to clamp the pot in place.

I wish them manufacturers would make the inside of these Gibson style bell knobs just as deep as the Strat knobs. :boxer Problem solved.
Good point Fons, about adding washers. You're right, of course, you can only add washers inside the control cavity until the threads on the top side are not exposed enough to hook the nut - at that point, that's all there is and there ain't no 'mo!

Another posssible approach would be to CAREFULLY, with a drill press, make the hole a little deeper in the knob while being very careful not to mess up the knurlings inside the knob. Maybe employ the help of someone who's mechanically inclined for this job (GRIN). It's not hard to do, but you could mess up the know easily if it's not done right.

The good news is that replacement knobs are pretty low cost, so if you mess one up it's a pretty cheap lesson.

But Hey MGT - measure how deep the receiving hole in the knob is with the toothpick, look carefully inside the hole, and just push it on to the pot shaft as far as your analysis tells you it should go. If it seems to be getting hung up on something, look again, and if need be, try the drill suggestion.

Good call Fons, hope this helps, Dana O.
 




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