Thread Number: 72966  /  Tag: Wanted to Buy Items
Frigidaire washer knob
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Post# 963946   10/22/2017 at 22:30 (364 days old) by sfh074 ( )        

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I am in the process of restoring a '62 Frigidaire WDA-62 washing machine and am in need of a better timer knob than the only one I have (pics included). Mine is pretty rough .... multiple cracks and pitted chrome. This clear knob was used on all of the '62 models, both washers and dryers .... except for the TOLs. Each model got a different printed insert that went behind this knob and mine is in good condition, (pic #3).

Would you guys help me out and check your stash of parts and see if you perhaps have one of these clear knobs? I would greatly appreciate any help in locating a knob in better shape than the one I have. Thanks! Bud, Atlanta, GA.

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Post# 964511 , Reply# 1   10/27/2017 at 09:58 (360 days old) by sfh074 ( )        

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Could I try one more time to get you guys to check your bins and boxes of parts and see if by chance you have a knob like this? I have gone so far as to have the control panel overlay duplicated and silkscreened and looks brand new. The only thing left that hasn't been renewed is this control knob and the one I have is in very poor condition. Any help greatly appreciated. Bud, Atlanta, GA.

Post# 971491 , Reply# 2   12/4/2017 at 12:48 (321 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
Since I got zero replies on my 2 pleas for help above ....

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I ended up having to reproduce my '62 dial knob myself. Turns out it was easier than first thought. If anyone needs a copy of this knob, let me know. All '62 Frigidaire models, washers AND dryers (except for TOL) uses this knob. Only difference is the center stem that can easily be swapped. Gee, I wonder what I'll try to repro next. Hint: top center of enclosed pic. I just have to work out getting the correct shade of (yellow, coral, and sea foam green)! But that will be the hard part. Urethane dyes are super concentrated and accurately measuring tiny amounts to get consistent batches is tough since I can only make one part at a time. I'll post pics as I move forward.

BTW, does anyone have a good '58-'62 Circulator ring I could borrow to make the mold? Mine for some reason has deep cracks and I'll end up making a minimum of 3 molds to work out the flaws. My Lint ring and '60-'62 Cap are in very good condition and should only take 1 mold for each.

I could use a '58-'59 Cap as well to make a mold if you would like replacement parts to cover all variations of '58-'62. But I am assuming the lint and circulator rings are the same from 58-62. Let me know if my assumption is correct or not on the rings.

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Post# 971493 , Reply# 3   12/4/2017 at 12:59 (321 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
One mistake on the cap

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I see that the 1960 cap was a one year only design. 58-59, 60 and 61-62 ..... same cap but 3 different logos.

So if anyone has a good 58-59 and/or a 60 cap I could borrow for making a mold, let me know. Like I said, I only have the 61-62 cap to work with. I'm thinking its about time someone took the time to repro these NLA parts.

Post# 971496 , Reply# 4   12/4/2017 at 13:19 (321 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
Another pic

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Someone just messaged me and asked for a better close-up of the original and repro part side by side. So here it is.

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Post# 971520 , Reply# 5   12/4/2017 at 16:49 (321 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        
Kudos to you

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for taking on the job of reproducing the knob. That's great. Im sure you'll get requests for Frigidaire agitator rings. Maybe in the future the infamous and sought after Westinghouse washer door boot?

Post# 971585 , Reply# 6   12/4/2017 at 21:19 (321 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
Super Cool Work!

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Very impressive Bud, I'm curious how you learned to make the mold and plastic dial?

Post# 971942 , Reply# 7   12/6/2017 at 11:59 (320 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
March of last year

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Robert, back in March if you remember, there was a college student that started a thread on Imperial and was asking for soft or plastic parts to reproduce in a college lab/class. I ended up talking to him a few times and agreed to send him a '62 Frigidaire cap, lint and circulator rings which I did. For months he kept telling me he was working on them and finally admitted he was too busy with school to complete the project. So I had him send me my samples back. Thank goodness he did! Since I was in the middle of 2 Frigidaire washer restorations and all of my rubber parts look terrible, I was hoping he would actually make the molds and start offering replacement parts of these items. I alone could use 3 sets, and every picture I have ever seen of these parts are always discolored and in "fair" shape at best. The yellow ring color in every picture I've ever seen is always faded and the cap likes to turn darker and get rock hard over time.

But anyways, since I need these parts I have no alternative but to learn how to reproduce plastic and rubber parts. However I was in luck because it turns out the guy that scanned, photo-shopped and silk-screened the replacement control panel for me, his brother is an engineer that has worked in the plastics industry for a very long time. I got in touch with him and we got together and he showed me the products, tools and method(s) of making and casting hard and soft rubber parts on a small scale. He also had the device to measure the ShoreA hardness of the original neoprene cap and rings so as to measure the proper firmness/density so they will feel like the original. After me spending several hundred dollars on the tools alone, I'm totally committed at this point to repro these parts and finish my Frigidaire projects.

For starters, I did the hard clear dial knob above to get the mold making method down and since it did not require any color matching, it was my first attempt (which went extremely well if I may say). He also had the device to measure the ShoreA hardness of the original neoprene cap and rings so as to measure the proper firmness/density so they will look and feel like the original. Like I said before, matching the colors will be the challenge since I won't be making big batches of parts at a time. I'll be doing just one part at a time and mixing just enough resins for a single part, which will require a way of measuring tiny amounts of colorants. But I think I have a way to do it to get consistent colors. I did a couple of test mixtures to get the color and correct texture of the cap and finally nailed it. I was worried since the original cap was made of neoprene and required a heat process to cure, reproducing the cap in a newer hi-tech product (urethane) would not achieve the same look and feel. Well this is not the case. I can get the same color, sheen, and firmness as the original. The only thing I am not sure of is if my original cap when we measured the ShoreA value .... if my cap was still of the same softness as when it was originally manufactured 55 years ago. Two of the 3 caps that I have are slightly harder than the one I used to take the measurement... thinking the softer one is most accurate in firmness. (BTW, DOES ANYONE HAVE A NOS CAP THAT I COULD "BORROW" TO MEASURE THE ShoreA VALUE? I PROMISE TO RETURN IT UNHARMED!!) Since I am this deep into this project I want to make sure my work is not in vain and make a rubber part too hard or too soft. I could also use a good example of the lower Circulator ring since the only one I have has surface cracks and will require a lot more work to make a good mold. Anyone that supplies me with a good cap or lower ring I promise to return in the same shape as received! My email address is in my user profile.

So Robert, in a nutshell this is the answer to your question. Any future successes I'll post as I go along.

BTW, I made a perfect mold of the '62 washer and dryer knob .... if anyone needs a copy to put the finishing touch on their restoration project, let me know. These knobs were notorious to crack from the center, outward for no apparent reason.

Bud, Atlanta

Post# 971946 , Reply# 8   12/6/2017 at 12:10 (320 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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very very cool, Bud....even if I haven't a current need, good work on getting this started!

Post# 972158 , Reply# 9   12/7/2017 at 14:20 (318 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

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You definitely did an amazing job reproducing that plastic knob! I an amazed at how great it turned out for you!


Post# 975260 , Reply# 10   12/23/2017 at 22:37 (302 days old) by dnastrau (Lords Valley, PA)        
Awesome work

Great job! This information should be posted on the Imperial site so that it is saved long-term.

Andrew S.

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