With morning temperatures in the single digits I wasn’t up to doing any major work on the Dnepr project today. Instead, I focused on a small mini-project that I could work on mostly indoors. For reasons I cannot explain, I never liked the dark mustard-colored plastic knob on the Dnepr’s reverse lever. Since I’m going for more of a vintage look for the bike, I figured that a wooden knob would look nicer. BMW used wood on some of its hand controls in the early days and they looked great.
I didn’t want to get into wood fabrication work, so I set off searching the web for a small wooden knob. Proving that just about anything can be found on eBay, I found a seller in Ashington, West Sussex, England, who appeared to have just the piece I needed. $6 for a set of 4 wooden tool handles and $5 to ship them. Certainly reasonable prices. These handles are designed for use on awls or files, for the serious woodworker. For me, they are Dnepr reverse lever knobs.
I took a rotary tool and cut around the original plastic knob until it came loose. Not much on the Dnepr is over-engineered, but this knob was incredibly secure – obviously molded in place. I reshaped the tip of the steel lever on a grinder, and drilled a few holes in it to help give the adhesive something to grab. I then drilled a series of holes in the wood handle to form a slot. The drill press made this work fast and easy.
I intended to use a regular wood glue like Titebond, but I came across something in my adhesives inventory that I didn’t recall buying … JB Weld Wood Weld. It’s a 2-part epoxy that has a wood-like appearance, and should be relatively hard when cured. I filled the handle slot with epoxy, as well as the lever tip and the holes I drilled into it to ensure that I had epoxy in all the right places. I tapped the handle into place and wiped away the excess epoxy.
Hopefully the handle will stay in place – I think it will. It will certainly look nicer than the ugly mustard-colored plastic knob, even if nobody notices.