View Full Version : Source for brass knobs

David Williams
15-Nov-2011, 20:37
I'm building a feild camera like the Tachihara, Winser, etc. I've located several sources for small (5/8 or smaller diameter) brass knurled nuts several places on the net. But I can't seem to find anything larger. I'm looking for something to use as focusing knobs like the traditional ones for these cameras. Anyone have an idea where I can find these?

I've tried all the usual places like Small Parts, Reid Tools and McMaster-Carr.


John Koehrer
15-Nov-2011, 21:31
Try some woodworking suppliers, Like Rockler, Lee Valley.

Curtis Nelson
15-Nov-2011, 21:45
Try McMaster-Carr:


15-Nov-2011, 22:45
What size knobs do you need? They really aren't hard to make. Any machine shop could turn them out in a matter of minutes, but would probably still charge an arm and a leg. You could always ask, though.

I had to smile at your request. When I bought a lathe for home use, the first thing I did was to make a knurled brass knob to replace a lost one on my wife's telescope. That went a long way towards accepting the beast in the basement. ;)


David Williams
16-Nov-2011, 01:09
Thanks for the replies!

John, I tried Rockler and Woodcraft, but didn't think of Lee Valley. I'll look there.

Curtis, I bet I searched that site a dozen times and missed that page. Thanks!

c.d., making my own sounds fun, and I considered that, but I don't have a lathe, and figured by the time I got all that stuff for making knobs, I could buy a used Tachihara.

As far as what size do I need? I figured at leas 1" in diameter. Anybody know the diameter of the focus knobs on a Tachihara or Wisner?


Steve Hamley
16-Nov-2011, 06:43
Richard Ritter can supply them.

Cheers, Steve

17-Nov-2011, 08:29
You can also buy an old corpse of a camera and salvage some parts.

Jon Shiu
17-Nov-2011, 09:41
You can also buy an old corpse of a camera and salvage some parts.

Yes, old parts are available. I have Kodak 2D knob.


17-Nov-2011, 09:45
David, I have an old trashed B&J 5x7 -- I have been selling the various parts off of it. It still has all its knobs. Would you be interested in them? Basically for shipping costs.

I don't think they are brass, though.

I will be out of town for a week starting Saturday.


David Williams
3-Dec-2011, 03:30

Yes, I would like the B&J knobs of they're still available. Did those cameras use rack and pinion focussing? I'd be interested in those, too. You can reply privately.



Jim Jones
3-Dec-2011, 05:49
B&J does use rack and pinion focusing, but the knobs are silver or black colored. Wooden knobs could look classy on a wooden camera, and are lighter than brass. Smaller knobs might work well enough on a fine pitch rack and pinion.

David Williams
3-Dec-2011, 20:45

Thanks for the info. I have considered wooden knobs, but thought I'd try to locate brass ones first. BTW, Where in NW Missouri are you located? I'm in Kansas City, near the airport, and I'm always interested in finding other large format shooters.


David Karp
3-Dec-2011, 21:08
As stated above, check with Richard Ritter. http://www.lg4mat.net.

Jim Jones
4-Dec-2011, 07:34
Dave (Williams), I live near Chillicothe, about 75 miles east of St. Joseph. I'm a member of the Wyandotte Camera Club http://wyandottecameraclub.org/main/, and get into Kansas City every month for that. The web site is under reconstruction, and has little information at the moment.

David Williams
6-Dec-2011, 00:17
Small world, Jim. My wife is from Bosworth, just south of there. I had a chance to take the one hour photo manager job at the new Wal-Mart there, but company realignment happened before I could do it.

I grew up in Wyandotte County, but never attended the camera club there. I belong to a stereo photography club that meets in Lawrence. Maybe I'll drop in to meet you one meeting.

David Williams
6-Dec-2011, 00:24
Jim, I just checked the club website. It meets next week, the 14th. I can probably make that. Where do you meet? What do people usually bring? Cameras, prints, digital images?

Oops! just clicked on the date and the other location info came up. I know where the library is, I spent hours there each week when I lived over near there. I remember the photo exibits from the club on the walls. I probably know some of the local members.

20-Mar-2012, 21:37

My two cents worth - give Jim Andraki (sic) a call at Midwest Photo in Columbus OH. He helped me out with some knobs for my Zone VI (Tachihara). Great servoce and fast delivery.

Mark Fisher
10-Apr-2012, 20:42
I'm surprised you came up dry on Mcmaster. This page (http://www.mcmaster.com/#brass-machine-component-knobs/=h1x8wp) shows larger ones. The first number in the table is the thread size.

11-Apr-2012, 10:31
If you can use something compatible with a Deardorff, Barry has bins of various knobs and parts in stock (I've seen them!).

31-Jan-2013, 21:37
Small Parts in Miami Lakes was bought by Amazon now called Amazon Supply.


1-Feb-2013, 10:53
If you can settle for something other than brass, then go to the big auction site and search for "deardorff knobs". They are all brand new.