Yup. K3s are REALLY hard to crank. 

> Has anyone developed a modification to get a better grip and/or leverage when 
> cranking the K3??

I don't think a better grip would help much. It's basically a leverage problem. 
The spring is stiff, and the little crank is close to the center axis: compare 
to a Bolex crank which folds out several inches from the axis giving a lot more 

I don't know if there was ever a manufactured product to help crank a K3.

I does seem to me it would be easy enough to fabricate or jury rig an extension 
that slips over the crank wings in the 'up' position, and has a spinning knob 
on the end. I'd probably:

Go to the hardware / building-supple store and get some aluminum c-channel, 
e.g. http://tinyurl.com/pxp2lze. 

Cut two pieces about a foot long.

Screw them together back to back, spaced apart with washers so the gap is wide 
enough to fit over the K3 crank, with 4 stainless steel machine screws and 
nylon insert lock nuts, two on each end. 

On the crank end they be just far enough apart so the slot fits over the crank. 
Closer together on the knob end. 

Then use a drill to make a wider hole in the gap on the crank end, for a #8 or 
#10 machine screw. Whatever you'd use as a knob would rotate freely around a 
screw long enough to go through it and the extension, top to bottom, with 
locknuts between knob and extension, and below extension, holding it on.  

Don't know if that makes sense w/o pictures, and there might be more simple or 
elegant means to do the same thing, but that's all I can think of at the 

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