Realistic Caboose Door Knob on the Cheap

Realistic Caboose Door Knob on the Cheap

Article by Don Pearson

While not OSHA approved, I used a cut off wheel and got the thread down to an acceptable diameter.
While not OSHA approved, I used a cut off wheel and got the thread down to an acceptable diameter.

While I am not always adverse to buying detail parts, sometimes I get a little bit OCD about a project being home-built in its entirety.
I started a caboose project and the door knobs were simply not available, at least not with the appearance I wanted them to have, so I decided to try making my own.
I purchased a box of ¼”-20 machine screws ¾” long. I then chucked one up in the drill press to ‘machine’ down the threads just behind the head.

 

1/4 20 screw in the chuck of my drill press.
1/4-20 screw in the chuck of my drill press.

Using a screw that was not ‘machined’ I then used two nuts (one inside, one out) to secure the inside nut with a tack weld. Once that was done, I remove the screw and second nut and put the machined screw in to the depth I wanted.  I then filled the head of the screw with J B Weld, and using a wet finger tip (this works extremely well and does not effect the J B Weld at all) I formed the head to a nice round shape

 

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A good coat of paint, and the contrasting colors of the window frames and door frames, along with the white hand rails and white door knob, and this is a pretty decent end of a caboose. The door knob is exactly the size I wanted, and looks nice in comparison to its surroundings. It is important to note that while these picture are close up, it would be next to impossible to look this closely at them while on the track. I don’t believe this would be for everybody, but it certainly works for me. If this were going on wood construction, the nothing more than longer machine screws could be used, and epoxy rather than welding would yield the same results.

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