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ebony bumpers

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by ackeim, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. ackeim


    Nov 10, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    how are the ebony bumpers normally applied to the side of a bass? if you use hide glue, do you have to sand the finish off first? any other options?
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    I think heavy shoe leather is a better option, as it gives a bit and cushions the impact of setting the bass down. Yes, you have to scrape the varnish off to get it to glue down. After installing, you can finish the bumpers with some matching varnish.
  3. jlattuada


    Apr 25, 2001
    Richmond, Va
    Does anyone have a photo of bumpers (ebony or leather) installed? I am trying to visualize what they look like after installation.

  4. In a similar idea, Paul Warburton suggested some time ago that a short piece of a fan "V" belt painted black makes a good bumper. With all the sizes of "V" belts available, you should be able to get just the right height (thickness) for any bass. I've seen the ones on Paul's bass and it looks just like ebony from more than a few inches away.
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I've been concerned with this bumper thing for a long time. The leather works fine but there's the issue of scraping varnish-do you really want to do this on a good varnish? I've been toying with applying heavy black neoprene to the varnish using strong contact cement. Contact cement likes to adhere to a smooth surface and works real well with rubber-type materials. I was concerned with them popping off but out of about 6 sets over the last year there hasn't been a problem. It's also the kind of thing a player could fix on the fly if they popped off.
  6. FidgetStone


    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    Rufus Reid has bumpers of some kind on the Busetto bass that he plays on his new DVD. They look black but I can't tell what they are made from. Any ideas?
  7. Eight 3" x ½" pieces of brown "Gaffer Tape" -



    (not the prettiest, but quite effective - just like me… ;) )

    - Wil
  8. giovanni

    giovanni Guest

    Nov 2, 2004
    Hi everybody, this is Giovanni from Italy!

    First of all, thank you all!! It's a couple of weeks I'm reading your forum and I'm LEARNING LEARNING LEARNING many useful tips and infos about setup and repair... really, THANK YOU ALL!

    Then, please SORRY for my terrible english... I'm trying to give the best, but sometimes I say strange things, or maybe simply I can't understand what you're saying... so, please be patient!

    And NOW finally, let's go direct to the problem:

    I'm buying a new bass... wonderful, pear form, italian bass. It looks really ancient and beautiful. I'm scared, because of its form and because of his dark varnish, that in a short time I'll scratch all the side, puttin it down during reharsal and so on!

    So, I've read your discussion about bumpers, but iI'm here again to ask some tips.

    It seems the ebony is not so good, because of its hardness (maybe can cause cracks on the side) and because to install it, it's necessary to stratch the varnish to have the glue fastened (WHOA, what a difficul phrase... eheheh :).

    SO some of you talked about LEATHER!

    1) how about thickness? (please millimeters if you can.. :)
    2) where to put? ofcourse just one side (the one you put tha instrument down... ghgggggg I'm a GENIUS!! :) BUT directly on the side next to the front and rear table, o directly on the SIDE of the table?
    3) how long and large the pieces?

    Ok, I think that's all! :)
    Every kind tip is REALLY consider like gold, because we (me and my luthier) never experienced bumpers... and we want to try! (we're not used to bumpers in Italy... everybody scratch his own bass.... CRAZY!)

    So, thank you and hope to hear something from you!

    All the best,

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    My Bass doesn't have any edges on the outside. The top and back are flush with the ribs. Heinl's in Toronto installed leather bumpers on the bass...2 small pieces on the upper bout, and 2 long pieces on the lower bout so that if I slide it when putting it down, it won't damage the ribs. I like the way they turned out.
  10. I had leather bumpers installed at Heinl as well and am very happy with them. I prefer them to ebony.
  11. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
  12. giovanni

    giovanni Guest

    Nov 2, 2004
    Adrian, bass boy and Jeff: Thank you!

    Now, do you have any tips where I can find good leather? Maybe old shoes or ...

    any ideas?

    :) Giovanni
  13. 360guy

    360guy Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Lansing, MI USA
    Here's a short video of some bumpers I installed. My local shoe repair shop was out of belt leather and the only solid V-belt at the auto supply shop was a green lawn mower belt. So the notched belt had to do.

  14. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
  15. Gollihur Music sells leather bumpers for 18 bucks. They come in packages of four and have adhesive already applied to one side. I installed them on 2 basses in a matter of minutes and so far they are holding up just fine. Super simple and effective.

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