knob and tube

We Are Buying Knobs, Tubes, and Cleats

Sundial Wire is buying porcelain knobs and tubes that we can use for resale. (If you are looking to buy knobs and tubes or knob-and-tube wire, please click here.)


What We Currently Do Want

  • both glazed and unglazed knobs in the two-piece clamp style
  • both glazed and unglazed knobs in the one-piece wrap around style with diameters oF 1" or 1 3/8", NOT diameter 1 1/8"
  • tubes only of the following lengths: 2-2.75", 5-5.75", 6-6/75"
  • cleat pairs

What We Currently Do NOT Want

  • knobs with mis-matched tops and bottoms, i.e., glazed with unglazed or different sizes
  • tubes in sizes not listed in the list above
  • any pieces with really major chips or other significant breakage
  • any pieces with any more than a small spot or two of paint or other non-removable coloring

We price the pieces based on their condition when received and prefer to buy lots of 50 pieces or more, except for cleats, which we will buy in any quantity, but we are open to buying smaller quantities at times, when our stock is low.

We pay:

  • $0.75 a piece for new-old-stock, pieces that have never been used, in other words are pristine clean, no chips or marks of any kind.
  • $0.50 a piece for any knob or tube or cleat pair that is in as good or better condition than this: slight chips, a tiny amount of paint, moderate dirt, no more than slightly bent nails.
  • $0.25 for pieces with these conditions: large chips, no major breakage, a small amount of paint, significant dirt.

Please understand that what we charge customers takes into account the high amount of labor involved with handling calls and emails on available product, sorting, evaluating, communicating about the purchase, sending payment, etc. These are very high-overhead items for us.

We will do the evaluation as to whether the pieces are new-old-stock, very good/good, fair, or not-saleable when we receive the product. By sending us the pieces, you are agreeing to accept our evaluation. You will not be paid for pieces that are evaluated as not-saleable. Items categorized as not-saleable are either too broken or covered in paint or items we cannot sell at the moment. Please see the section above on what we are/are not currently buying.

Packing and Shipping

Please note that newsprint dirties the porcelain. You will get better prices if you pack the knobs and/or tubes in unprinted paper or bubblewrap.

To ensure what you send arrives in the same condition in which you sent it, please pack the pieces very tightly together so that when you shake the box there is absolutely no movement. Each side and the top and bottom of the inside of the box should be well padded and the product very tightly packed within that padding. If the pieces have room to rattle, they get chipped. It is NOT necessary to wrap each piece if the pieces are in rows and kept tight together. In fact, wrapping each item makes the items take up far more room and makes them far less convenient to process. The really important thing is to put the items flat and in rows, padding at the top and bottom of each row and on the sides of each row. (For tubes, alternate the direction the large ends are facing so they fit together better.

If you are planning on sending us pieces, please contact us at with an estimate of how many pieces you will be shipping and your zip code. We will be able to evaluate the most efficient way for you to ship them to us based on your location, the size of a box required to fit your pieces, and the weight of your package. We will give you our physical address which you should use for mailing. We will reimburse you for the shipping costs of the method we have determined to be the most appropriate. We will not pay for a more expensive shipping method.

You can get official USPS (Post Office, NOT UPS) Priority Mail shipping boxes free of charge at the Post Office or on-line, here for a Medium Flat Rate box and here for a Large Flat Rate box. We will let you know which box you should obtain for the method we have advised. We will not reimburse you for more than you paid in shipping and we won't pay more than what the shipping method we recommend would cost. In other words, if we recommend a Medium Flat Rate box, we will not pay more for shipping than the $13.65 it costs to use that box. If what you are shipping does not fit in the box we recommend, please call us and let us know that BEFORE you shIp.

Before sending us anything, please e-mail us at: and let us know what you have. We will let you know if we are interested. We will not necessarily purchase the contents of packages we haven't agreed to receive.