Tuesday’s Potentiometer Knob Recipe

Since I took apart a potentiometer yesterday, I thought it would be fun to experiment with different conductive surfaces, like the two pathways that run along the base of the potentiometer.

I worked with wood as a starting material and used a number of different materials to experiment with conductivity.

I started by digging ‘canals’ in the middle of the wood. (If you have the possibility, experiment with different size canals. Unfortunately, the wood I was using was too thin and kept breaking when I tried to make wider ones!)

Then I started to measure the resistance of other potential materials.


Here is an overview of all the materials I tested and a measurement of how much resistance (Ω) is within each material. 


Test 1: 7 cm piece of wood, canal filled with Bare Conductive carbon paint. // (I can’t find the measurement, sorry! Ω )

Test 2: 7 cm piece of wood, canal filled Y-Shield carbon (less EMF) paint, then put in a copper bath. It worked! It was conductive enough to become copper plated. Yay :)  //  before copper plating bath: 7000 Ω // after copper plating 833 Ω

Test 3: 7 cm piece of wood, copper tape (6 cm)on the flat back surface.  //  .1 Ω

Test 4: 7 cm piece of wood, copper fabric on the flat back surface.  //  .2 Ω

Test 5: Fail! 7 cm piece of wood, canal filled with Bare Conductive carbon paint dipped in the copper plating bath. There was not enough conductivity, either because of the Bare paint or the lack of connection to electrical current. If you try this again, would be interesting find out, but in the end, the Bare paint is not water salable and washed and smeared under water, after rinsing it off from the copper plating bath.

Test 6: blank

Test 7: 7 cm piece of wood, no canal, thin layer of Y-Shield carbon (less EMF) paint on the surface.  //  29500 Ω

Test 8: Statex Sheldex Yarn 235f34 x 2 PA AG KW 20/2005 (6 cm)  //  6.9 Ω

Test 9: Plug + Wear Nm 3/10 Yarn  //  when taught 40 Ω  when hanging 277.3 K Ω

Test 10: carbon fabric  //  1M Ω

Test 11: Copper plated Bekonox (6 cm)  //  .2 Ω

Test 12: Statex Sheldex Yarn 110F 34dtex 2 Ply HC PN 08101210 (6 cm)  //  when taught 40 Ω  when hanging 277.3 K Ω

Test 13: Bekonox (7 cm)  //  .6 Ω

Test 14: Copper Thread  //  .1 Ω

Test 15: Gold leaf on MDF board, the bottom most stripe  //  2.6 Ω

For Wednesday’s recipe trade, I would suggest building some sort of potentiometer knob (with the materials measured).

Have fun!


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