My husband and I recently built our home (its mostly done..."done enough," anyway) and have re-purposed several items from around the ranch and surrounding area to incorporate into our design. I will be sharing these different projects in a series called, "The Re-Purposed Home". If they aren't helpful at all to you, then I hope they will be entertaining!
Still...$8/knob was a bit out of our budget (truthfully, we'd spent our budget on the cabinets). So I figured, how hard can it be? We decided to make our own and we absolutely love them. Just in case you wanted to make your own as well, here's how we did it. (If you didn't want to make your own, but still would like some more affordable railroad spike pulls/knobs or hooks, I am attempting to create a link here.)
2nd, since we were almost to town anyway, we stopped at the hardware store to get supplies. I used a couple metal cutting discs for my grinder (my favorite tool) a box of self-boring screws, a couple of drill bits for drilling metal (just about the diameter of the core of the self-boring screws) and some clear spray lacquer.
4th, drill 'em. I looked at the length of my screws and the depth of my cabinet and did my best to drill as little as possible (about a 1/2") into these buggers. This part took the longest and was the most unpleasant so after doing a bunch myself, I enlisted my husband's help. Once again we were too lazy to walk outside and over to the rusty old building that houses the vice so we sat on the kitchen floor, put a scrap of wood between the spike head and the floorboards and held the spike with one hand while drilling with the other. Took a few hours and a few drill bits. When drilling metal, I've had the most success drilling at a slow speed instead of fast (lay off the trigger) while applying pressure but not "tons" of pressure. Otherwise, you break and dull drill bits at amazing speed.
5th I wanted these metal spikes lacquered up so they shined, were easy to clean and didn't continue to rust so i took them outside and gave them all several coats of clear lacquer using my spray can. I love that stuff because its easy and quick-drying. Like I said, I'm lazy.
6th We installed these bad boys by marking the spot for the knob on the front and back of the door or drawer. I had my cabinet guys help me because I was new to this project and didn't want to destroy our new cabinets. They listened to me patiently and were optimistic about my idea. (Thanks guys!) While it did take some muscle to hold the knob in place while the screw bored its way in, we were done within an hour or so with all 30 knobs on all my cupboards and drawers. We have absolutely loved them!
We are now doing our mudroom cabinets and if I can get my little baby boy to actually take a nap without me holding him, I might get these spikes finished and on the cabinets for our family in time for Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed!