I really considered the title to this post more than usual. What do we call it? Making a knob? Machinery is safe for children? Flouting labor laws and loving it? Well anyway, you can see what I came up with.
Today is a snow day. While one child has childcare for the day, my 5 year old’s daycare and school are closed. With no alternate plan, he gets to come to work. He has been here before, several times, but none too recently. Today, he is fascinated by the machinery, and as I type this he is following Steve H., our shop foreman, all around the shop. With this, Julian got a chance to assemble a Sheraton knob.
Step 1, we start with a knob front and a knob back.
2. The knob back is placed in the die, the knob front is placed on top. Then, the kick press (yes, there is no motor-the kick press relies on leg strength) is used to “crimp” the two pieces together. We simply place both hands on the table and kick.
3. You can see that the knob is already dark brass, but at this stage the color is rather gray and chalky. Once assembled, the knob goes to Elizer in color for brushing. Elizer brushes each and every knob in our antique brass and dark antique finishes with mineral oil. The amount of pressure he puts on determines whether it comes out brown or black.
4. Once we get the knob to a nice matt brown finish it, we tumble it. We use a number of different rotary and vibratory tumblers. Depending on the specific part they are filled with either ground up corn cob or steel shot.
This particular tumbler is a Rosemont Industries tumbler and the media, corn cob in this case, is heated to facilitate drying. Ground corn cob is media of choice. It acts as a sponge that absorbs all the oils used in production and finishing. It is inexpensive, safe, and biodregadable. Because all our cob ever touches is metal parts and mineral oil (which is food safe), we can simply throw it away when we are done.
Finally, everthing is done and we are waiting for the parts to come out and ready to ship.