What would you pay for these shift knobs?? - Page 2 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2013, 08:45 AM
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way to much money..

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2013, 09:59 AM
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Damn Killer...simmer down. He's asking if there is any market for a particular product, he has NOT posted the name of the artist, an Etsy account or even a contact number. Simmer down. Let me explain how this works; The company I work for has been in business since 1945. We design industrial gearboxes and transfer cases. You better believe Im going to ask a potential customer base before we tool up a product, if there is any INTEREST. Its not selling a product (which, at this point hasn't even been created apparently). The OP (in my opinion) has handled himself appropriately and kept any identifying marks out of his posts.

Norm Grabowski (R.I.P) did custom knobs; and there are other cats eye/marble/ glass shift knobs out there, but it looks more like a glass rod is laid up using stripes of alternating color, molded and cut. Shift Dawg and American Shifter both sell resin shift knobs and some of them are REALLY pricy (blah blah, dont work for them, not affiliated in any way, yadda yadda etc etc)

Personally; I think theyre cool, and in my neck of the woods we have the Corning Museum of Glass; which is one of the most boring sounding but coolest museums youve ever seen: How pyrex is made, how fiberoptics work, glass blowing demos, and glass fusing demos, along with art glass from the Byzantine Empire.

Id say you're better off talking to guys in the show car circuit, the 'gold chainer' set, street rod enthusiasts etc. A short run of 3-5 will test your market effectively, BUT you've gotta pick customers willing to tell people WHERE they got it. A lot of my customers are competition oriented and WON'T share where they get stuff; this makes it hard to market effectively. Selling your knob to a guy who wants a custom 1 off piece and wont share the artist to protect his coveted "I have it and you can't" feeling won't do you any good.
Dont forget the Brody/Suicide/Necker knob market; and the Jockey-shifted custom motorcycle guys. Perhaps another option is to talk to a shifter company.
Also remember (from a gearbox standpoint); a really heavy 'handball' on a long arm means if you hit a proper pothole, it may have enough mass and leverage to bump your trans out of gear

American Shifter also makes a display piece for a desk using their stuff...take a look at that
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:21 AM
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I don't think the OP has been in the business of selling these shift knobs for 7 years.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:05 PM
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Shift knobs can add a nice touch to the interior. There is a target market for this sort off thing. One of the best knobs I found to be the 90-00 Camaro 5/6 speed 2" round leather ball. Not made anymore but very comfortable season round. The chrome ball shifters can get hot in the summer. 2" seems to be a good fit in the adult hand.

Some other greats were a MLB baseball, a stress reliever gel squishy boob with a nipple, and a small disco ball.

Stoners like glass art. Weed is getting pretty accepted nowadays. It is a mixed bag of a topic. The market for swirly glass might increase with this social flux.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:13 PM
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I personally like joystick style shift knob with a slight bend forward on the bar. The easiest cheapest way to make them is to take the bar in a vice and carefully bend it then use the internal base from the old shift knob fastening it onto an ebrake handle then remount and good to go...but this is make and model specific with using the old shift knob base. I havent had a column shifter in a long time so I dont know what direction I want to go with for the truck. I do know its staying on the column for a while yet, I do want to shorten the bar and bring it forward so this will define the shift knob/handle I go with for it and which ever route is last on the list. Theres alot on the plate so its one of those yay I got that huge project done got 50 spare bucks and some time ill do the shifter I wanna do bonus finishing details. Unrelated but removing the ebrake pedal and mounting up a handle based ebrake is another little bonus details.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:30 AM
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I understand the price point is going to be a hard thing to swallow for most people but then again look at what people pay for High end Rods and Customs. I have seen some videos of this guy making marbles and it looks like they take about 45-90 minutes to make. Now with shop time of around $90 an hour around here its really not out of line. My understanding is the glass (pyrex) in the very vibrant colors is very hard to come by and very expensive. I'm thinking people in the low-rider crowd might be receptive, huge glitter flake and wild colors ect.

I think I'll talk with him and buy 2-3. If he could make the holes that would be great. But the other problem I see is making a universal knob. Maybe going with inserts for different thread patterns but in the end it may be too much trouble.

PS. My main business is screen printing. Over the years I have tried to incorporate my hobbies into things we sell, lithium ion batteries for high end flashlights, carburetor parts, LED lighting, For a while, rebuilding superchargers and Electric fans. This is basically why we have stayed in business. Being able to change your business plan, move around and change things up. Being a home based business gives us more flexibility in some ways.

PPS, thanks for the info Autogear, seems like a valid point about people not wanting to share info when they get something special. I know with our sales we send a slip basically saying, thanks for your order please share with your friends, and add our web address.

Last edited by xxllmm4; 05-18-2013 at 12:39 AM.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2013, 07:23 AM
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Just a thought, could he somehow insert the proper diameter/threaded nutsert into the knob when he creates it?
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:23 PM
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Perhaps if I were building one of those bright little T buckets something like these knobs would certainly be interesting. But my future daily driver is a diesel powered '53 'Binder semi-rat so these knobs would be lost on me and the crowd I tend to hang with.
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