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How do i make these lever knobs?

Started by mister_hughes, May 16, 2014, 05:13 pm

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May 16, 2014, 05:13 pm Last Edit: Jun 29, 2014, 12:38 pm by mister_hughes
door lever.PNG
I don't know what the BBC used to make the lever knobs for the doors, does anybody know where from i can get the knob?
Tardis lever.PNG
Here's the demat lever (not sure) from the 1st and 2nd doctor's TARDIS console... again...does anybody know where i can get this knob ?


Jun 30, 2014, 05:53 am #1 Last Edit: Jun 30, 2014, 05:54 am by galacticprobe
Mister_hughes, I just saw your post as I was scanning through for any I may have missed, and sure enough I missed this one!

Which Door Knob are you looking for? The Hartnell/Troughton Door Lever (according to the article in a Doctor Who Weekly (before it became Doctor Who Monthly, before becoming the Doctor Who Magazine we know today), was a small knobbed lever similar to those that were above the Demat Lever. (Incidentally, the photo you've got here of that console shows one of the two "Materialisation" Levers that were on this panel; the Doctor's hands working the Stasis Switch are blocking the other Mat Lever.) Those knobs came off of old electronic equipment, like radio tuners and such. You can probably find some in military surplus stores, second-hand/antique shops and the like. They're not easy to find, but they are out there if you look hard enough.

On the later Tom Baker console (Season 15 - pre-"Five Doctors" 20) they used a red ball (about 2 - 2.5" in diameter) at the end of a "dowel" which extended from one of the old Hartnell Mat/Demat Lever housings (as you can see in your pic).

To make either of the door levers, you can buy the appropriately-sized wooden ball at a craft store, as well as the proportionately-sized dowel (and a hollow brass or silver tube to slide over the dowel for structural strength). Then drill a hole in the ball to accept the dowel. Build the housing that the dowel is going to sit in (finding the pivot point of the dowel and then affixing the dowel to it might be the hardest part). Then before affixing the dowel to the pivot point, slip the brass or silver tube over the dowel; this way should the dowel snap for some reason - which shouldn't happen with the metal support from the tube - the tube will keep the knob from falling off with a broken dowel sticking out of it. (And it will hold it together until you can get a replacement dowel.)

Hopefully some of this is helpful to you.

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"



The 40mm (about 1 1/2 inches) rotary knobs would be great for like the radiation meter on the original TARDIS console, but they would need to less than twice that size (say 60-70mm) to be used on the large levers.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff


Jul 01, 2014, 05:56 am #5 Last Edit: Jul 01, 2014, 05:59 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: markofrani on Jun 30, 2014, 08:20 pm
Just seen this as well if anybody might be interested. This is a large panel meter like the ones used on the original Tardis console...

OUCH! Postage alone to the US is $95.63 US! "Buy It Now" is $140.80 US (total $236.43 US)! I can't afford one, much less the four I'd need if I was going for a full-on Hartnell console (still my top favorite, actually tied with the 2005 console).

And those knobs? $186.77 US for 100 pieces! (You could open up shop with a lot like that!) Granted, that comes out to only about $1.87 per knob, but still, and depending on where in the Hartnell era you want your console you'll need about 5 - so you could get 20 Hartnell consoles out of this lot; if you're after a later Hartnell or Troughton era you'd only need 3, and then could get 33 consoles (with one spare knob) out of it. <stand by for pun> Who needs 100 of these? (I'm glad I snagged a few of them when they were upgrading our ship's equipment back in the late '80s/early '90s!)

This is one of those times when people looking for some of these knobs (but not 100 of them) should all meet up in the Chat Room and discuss... well... you know what. (I'd say more, but I'm afraid I'd be moderated.)

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


The price for those knobs was eye-watering!

Try here instead: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/INSTRUMENT-KNOBS-/130356978012

Browse the gallery. It's possible that lot #8 is a better match than lot #1.

- Peter


I actually found something similar in the small parts bins at Sears Hardware. It might not be 100% acurate, but it looks pretty close. Take a look...

Lever handle circled in red


 ;D ;D

Thanks to you all for the links to those items I needed! I'm in the design and budgetcalculation process for my TARDIS console, and will be starting to build as soon as I've got all the parts for the console.

;) ;)


Jul 01, 2014, 11:28 pm #9 Last Edit: Jul 01, 2014, 11:30 pm by galacticprobe
Quote from: timewomble on Jul 01, 2014, 09:06 am
The price for those knobs was eye-watering!

Yeah... but the description did say it was for 100 pieces! (Still... OUCH!) Looks like Peter's suggestion is a better option. (But the Sears bins are also a good option to dig through.)

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Jul 02, 2014, 05:20 pm #10 Last Edit: Jul 02, 2014, 05:21 pm by 13drwho
Did they sell out? I didn't see a number 8 lot. All the knobs that are left (in the lots I can see) are not even close. A lot of those knobs are available at Digikey (electronics supplier) for half the price. Another problem is scaling. A lot of those knobs are small, but the one on the console is rather big. I work in electronics so I did a fair bit of research. I got so frustrated I was going to model it and get it 3D printed, but then I found the knob you see in the picture. Whatever you try two things... Good Luck, and post pictures...