Carbide Tip Source

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner [DB]' started by Dr Rod, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Do you guys know where I can buy carbide tips for endpins? (not by the 1000s)

    Yes, I have googled it extensively. I have also looked on Amazon, Ebay, Aliexpress, McMaster Carr, etc...

    It is a small insert, 3mm in diameter and maybe 10mm length. Similar to the one on the picture below.

  2. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
  3. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    thank you Louis.
    I am sure they have it, but since they only sell through distributors with a catalog, I think it will be difficult.
    But I will try.
  4. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Tungsten electrodes for TIG welding can be ground to a sharp tip. Try a welding supply house.

    I think you can buy carbide drill rod in a variety of sizes. Try MSC.
  5. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    good tip, thanks
  6. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    Might need to be a bit more precise in your measurements to get one that really fits. Might also need to remove it and see how it's held in place.

    "About 3mm" is also "About 1/8 inch" (3.2mm) and I can find carbide scriber replacement points, some plain, some threaded on the inner end, for $2-3 each, or possibly more or less with more shopping.

    The cheapest ones seem to be a "standard" concrete scribe, with a carbide tip inset in a steel shank, which is threaded.

    I would not exactly be shocked to find that some clever folks had adopted the same standard for endpins, but it would depend on your particular endpin.

    This one claims to be 20mm x 3mm and a replacement tip for a "vibro-engraver", whatever that is. $4.49 - If you need it shorter and can't find the length you need, you could cut this down.
    As far as I recall from learning to TIG weld in college, welding tungstens are NOT tungsten carbide, they are just tungsten, with or without a bit of Thorium or Lanthanum - the thoriated ones are a bit radioactive, so you want to give those a pass, but you may want to pass entirely if you want tungsten carbide.

    I also found an 1/8" engraver point with a flat on one side, and a diamond tip (oh, the tone BS you could get into by claiming to hear a difference) for $59.

    Another scribe with replaceable tips was described as a "jewelers scribe" and classed with "stone setting tools" on a jewelry supply website. Didn't see the tips alone there, and they are a bit vague about is is really 3mm or is it really 1/8" as they describe it as both (not quite possible.) That was $15 with both tips and a handle, one tip similar to the rest here and one with a smaller point section.

    Should give you some more googling/shopping options.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  7. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    wow, that's really great, thank you so much.

    unfortunately since I didn't hear anything for over a week, I went ahead and ordered an entire endpin !!! (the replacement rod was not available for my size)

    I do think, however, that the diamond tip would be awesome because I would never need sharpening.
    T_Bone_TL likes this.
  8. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I experimented with this for a bit. I found that the points like this - mine were made for grinding wheel dressing - are both expensive and delicate. Dremel engraver tips are expensive, and not nearly as hard as they claim. I think the best solution is to make a pin out of oil hardening drill rod (3' of 10mm O1 alloy costs 8 bucks at McMaster). Anyone with a metal lathe can carve the notches, thread if necessary, and make a point. Then you heat the end to incandescence with a propane torch and quench it in oil. If you have a power drill and bench grinder you can resharpen when necessary, but it will be less often than you might think.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
    Dr Rod and T_Bone_TL like this.
  9. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    They are hard, but they can be broken. I truly mentioned it only as a (poor) joke.
    Dr Rod likes this.