Burner Control Knob Upgrade

I’ve been buying low priced O’Keefe & Merritt stoves for parts. Apparently there are many owners that, for one reason or another, have decided the ole messy girl’s gotta go. Why buy? I’m collecting the best possible parts to restore my stoves. What I don’t need I can sell to

The Bakelite knobs on some of these stove can look pretty disgusting after years of neglect or storage. I don’t want to come into direct contact with whatever glommed on to knobs and door handles that are strangely coated so I usually wear gloves.

One wonders how a stove knob could get this bad.

However, many are restorable with an investment combination of patience, cleaning, repairing, sanding, polishing. After cooking the knobs and handles in soapy boiling water, it’s usually easier to remove the guck.





Bling-up those Bakelite burner control knobs.

The metal strips on the control knobs of my O’Keefe & Merritt  were pretty dull.  I wanted to shine them up but turns out they were corroded. The control knobs of the parts stoves I bought were in worse condition.

So I decided to replace the metal strips. The closest thing I could find was rectangular wire from Rio Grande, a jewelry supplier.  Replacement was fairly easy. I used pliers to remove the old strip, removed debris and old glue from, and cleaned out the groove with a little Goof Off. Next, cut a 3 1/2″ strip from the sterling silver wire, placed it onto the knob, used my chain nose pliers to bend it around and into the knob’s backside and crimped it into place. The wire was stiff enough to remain in place without glue.



Old corroded strip and  knob with sterling silver strip upgrade.

5 thoughts on “Burner Control Knob Upgrade”

  1. Thanks for sharing your source on the wire — just what I was looking for!

    Will the silver tarnish over time? I wonder if stainless steel strips could be found.

    1. They can be found! I found stainless steel wire from a seller on Etsy. I can’t recall the name at the moment, but if you search for rectangular stainless steel wire on that site. I think you’ll find him. He’s the only one that product.

      And yes, the silver wire will tarnish over time. But so far, it seems to be a very slow process. I’ve had mine for over a year and have wiped them with a polishing cloth once.

  2. Hi there,
    I continue to return to your site for the wealth of information you have provided! The Wedgewood stove that I am restoring has gold anodized trim pieces (clock base, burner knob and oven bezels) that included the center strip that you show here. I had never thought to search for “flat wire” on etsy but today I found a supplier in Pittsburgh of 14kt gold filled wire that will be a great upgrade from the anodized aluminum strips that were overcleaned to a dull grey. Thanks again!

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