How to Modify a Sewing Machine Hand Knob

One Methods:Optional

The modern sewing machine has a hand knob which can make using the machine extremely tiring. This article shows you a way to turn the knob much more easily.

Alternatively, use the foot pedal to sew. The hand crank should not be used extensively.


  1. 1
    Assemble these items in the "Things You'll Need" list below.
  2. 2
    From the handle end, saw the toothbrush to a length of 2 5/8" and smooth the cut end with the sandpaper.
  3. 3
    Cut a piece of rubber from a used bicycle inner tube of about 1/2" x 2 1/4".
  4. 4
    Wrap one layer of the rubber around the toothbrush handle. Two layers will not work and using rubber from a car tire will also not work.
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    Clamp the handle to the hand knob with a hose clamp using your flat head screwdriver. The size of the hose clamp doesn't matter too much. Do not put this new assembly flush with the sewing machine. When the hand knob spins, it should not rub against the machine.
  6. 6
    With the pliers, shorten the protruding end of the hose clamp by bending it back and forth many times until it breaks at the crease. You could cut the end of the hose clamp with a heavy-duty cutter, but the cut end will require more filing or sanding in this case.
  7. 7
    After smoothing the end of the hose clamp, use strong needle nose pliers and bend the end inward so it will not cut you.


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    Sew a cover for your sewing machine, since the original protective case will probably not fit over the sewing machine.
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    When sewing a cover, sew a flap or leave an opening so you can grasp the handle.

Things You'll Need

  • Used toothbrush
  • Sheet of sandpaper
  • Thin blade saw
  • File
  • Hose clamp
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Used bicycle inner tube
  • Flathead screwdriver.


  • This project applies only to machines that do not have an automatic needle-stop.
  • This little project can be easily and quickly done. It's sewing the cover that takes time.
  • Any bicycle shop will have lots of used inner tubes to discard. Just ask for one!


  • Remember that the knob also spins under the power of the sewing machine motor, and a protruding object like this could hit you very hard if you put your hand near it while it is spinning.
  • Remove this modification if you are not using it.

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