Endpin Help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner [DB]' started by flatback, Jul 13, 2020.


  1. flatback

    flatback

    May 6, 2004
    I have a Camelopard endpin (a hollow titanium endpin filled with a dampener) designed and built 25 years ago and no longer available. I have used it on different basses and somehow it makes a big difference in the open resonance of my bass. It is 5/8 tube and came with a beautifully hand made and gold filled fitting/plug.
    The rub is that it does not perfectly fit in the hole at the bottom such that when it is under pressure it pulls out a little and slightly unseats (maybe a 1/4 inch) Gael used some shims when installing it and it has worked that way for some time (slightly unseated) but I don't like it. Is there any way to refit plug and hole so that the fit is tight and does not pull out?
    thanks.
     
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I looked for one of those pins years ago but couldn't find one. I believe the maker was ill at the time. From another post, It looks like he died a year ago. Fred Miller was his name.
     
  3. flatback

    flatback

    May 6, 2004
    Yeah Fred was alright. He sent me his pins and plugs, maybe 20 years ago when I was living in NYC and then sent several alternate pins that fit his plug to make his point....He made both Pizz and Arco pins but he sent me solid carbon, hollow titanium, hollow aluminum, solid steel and wood so that I could take it to Gage and show that the pins made an aural difference. They did. His sounded best and I have used them ever since...Gage wasn't interested and neither was anybody else, except a few bassists I showed them to. A few years ago I sent them to the cat at New Harmony to see if he would build them (Fred had passed by then I believe) and although he was interested and I think he is offering titanium, it is the hollow titanium with dampening that sounds so good to me.
    But the looseness of the plug seems more a problem now then putting back in the original New Harmony carbon that came with the bass....
     
  4. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have one of Fred's endpins on my Tyrolean. It came with the carbon fiber pin, but now I use both ebony and rosewood pin from Onyx that fit very nicely into the Cameleopard unit and give a richer, warmer sound than the carbon fiber.
     
  5. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Toronto
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    One reason endpin plugs come loose is if they’re not round to begin with. You've said this one was beautifully hand made, so possibly that’s not the problem. Another problem is if the endpin hole is cut without the proper taper. This can lead to needing shims to try and hold things together that don’t fit well. The two parts need to mate well, and it sounds like yours don’t.

    It’s always possible to fill the hole in the bottom block and re-drill a new one. I’d say have the hole bushed and recut.
     
    flatback likes this.
  6. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    Since we're here, a luthiery question. When drilling for a tapered endpin, we start with a straight hole and use a standard tapered reamer to finish, right? What's the procedure for drilling to fit an endpin set with a nonstandard taper, or correcting a taper to fit the endpin? It's probably simpler to recut the endpin taper to fit the block taper, but it seems tricky too.
     
    flatback likes this.
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Sorry, not clear - is the endpin or the collar/plug that doesn't fit?
     
    flatback likes this.
  8. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    I'm not asking about a specific repair, more about how to approach the repair when the tapers don't match.
     
  9. flatback

    flatback

    May 6, 2004
    yeah the collar plug does not match the hole, the taper is off. The taper is too straight (the hole is more conical)
    I have since gone back to the New Harmony Graphite pin and plug because the fit is better. Just wondering if there is a way to accomplish without retapping the bass. Thanks for your insights.
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    My bad, that was for the OP.
     
  11. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Toronto
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    If I’m reading this right, the nicely hand made collar isn’t a standard taper. In this case I'd want to reshape the plug on a lathe (to make it conform to the taper in the block). It’s a job that needs to be done slowly and carefully, as you can’t put material back on once it’s removed.
     
    james condino likes this.
  12. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Agreed. It is a relatively simple problem- a tapered pin into a tapered hole. You just need someone with a good lathe and solid skills. Most bass luthiers should have this skill and tool, but many do not.

    It is also possible that the socket in your bass is a little out of true. That is pretty easy when: you drill anything into a block of solid wood, half of it is sidegrain and the other half is endgrain. The two expand and contract at different rates, forming a somewhat oval hole over time. 'Simple to correct with a proper reamer. The high percentage of basses that I see with a poorly fit endpin often amazes me. It is a huge grounding point for everything with the voice of your bass.
     
    s0707 likes this.
  13. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    I just saw this.
    The easiest way to do it without altering the bass is to glue wood veneer to the plug and then shape it to fit the hole. If the veneer is wet, it will naturally curve in one direction and I wrap it to a suitable thickness and use masking tape to hold the shape. Use hide glue (or CA if it will be permanent). Then remove the masking tape and use CA or Titebond between the layers, and shape it to fit the hole.
     
    flatback likes this.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 28, 2021

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