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Help On Removing An Endpin

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Rob Hunter, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. Last summer, just prior to leaving on a week-long gig, the endpin started sliding out of my Strunal bass. I quickly glued it back in (with regular white glue) and it hasn't been a problem since then.

    Since it was a rush job, the endpin "housing" wasn't flush with the bottom of the bass, so the pin's on a slight angle. I'd like to now take the time and fix it right. So here's my dilemma: How do I safely remove the entire endpin system? (I realize the strings, bridge and tailpiece will all be off and I know how to reset a soundpost.)

    I'm thinking that just a good, firm knock with a rubber mallet may take it off (much like removing a nut), but I won't do it if there's a chance of splitting any wood anywhere. Applying heat (to melt glue) is not an option.

    Any wisdom? I won't attempt this if it's going to be a big deal, as I can live with the bass as is. Also, I've taken two luthiery courses so I'm not afraid of doing SOME work on my instruments. Still, I'd like to know what I'm facing....

    Look forward to hearing from you,
    - Rob
  2. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    Too late for that. I think the elmers is gonna really be a pain in the end pin hole.

    Maybe a pipe wrench - carefully twisting?
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    My vintage Strunal endpin plug was plastic - clean, smooth plastic, and no glue whatsoever to keep it in place - for a superior delivery of tone. The channel locks/muscle combo would be my choice, unless I suspected the glue welded the plug into the endpin block.

    What do your luthier courses advise regarding bridge slippage when you put your strings back on?
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Those types of glues bite pretty good into wood. Since, at the time, you were not aware that endpins are tapered to friction fit and should not be glued at all, you may have an issue.

    I would suggest using steam or another heat source to soften the glue before removing the plug.

    You say it isn't an option, but since your options if you split the endblock are limited to removing the top, loosening the ribs and pretty much rebuilding the bass at a cost likely very close to what you paid for the bass to start with, you may reconsider.

    If you just won't even think about heat, take it to a luthier. He or she could probably drill through the plug and use their reamer to cut out the rest of it. Then replace the endpin with one with a bit larger plug.
  5. You're not supposed to glue an end pin in. Especially white glue...Of course you know now, but get it to your luthier. He may have to chisel it out! I don't suggest you try this your self! Not only the block is in danger on this. The ribs come together and are hide glued to the block down there...
    Unfortunately, dropping your sound post is the least of your problems! Good luck Man! I did this once when I was very young.......

    Sorry Chas...we must've posted at the exact same time.
    The steam might loosen the ribs from the block!
  6. OOOOoooooh.

    White glue is DEFINITELY going to be a problem, but if steam or something like that helps loosen the glue's grip, you'll also probably need carefully applied force to budge the thing.

    I once had an endpin that was seriously stuck with only the tapered friction fit. No amount of tapping, twisting, visegrips and rubber pad with rubber mallet, etc would move it. In the end, I used a long steel shaft (in fact, it was a long cello endpin, which was sitting around the workshop), applied to the top of the endpin assembly fromthe inside and tapped briskly with a mallet.

    Access was through an f-hole, the thought of which will undoubtedly make any bass player or luthier wince. In my case, short of opening the top plate, impact on that end was the only thing that was going to budge it. We protected the f-hole by passing the rod through a several-inches long length of soft rubber garden house, which was in turn wrapped in a rag and held carefully by a second pair of hands, whilst I did the tapping. A bit scarey, but it worked.

    Again, this may all be moot, because that glue's gonna be a real problem. What about just learning to play the bass with the endpin as is, or introducing a bit of a bend into the pin itself to compensate for the funky angle of the bushing?
  7. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    You can do this yourself, but I think you're going to sacrifice the endpin to save the bass. DO NOT use steam in that area or you will be facing the possibility of an unglued endblock or worse! Remove the screw and collar, then split the endpin into pieces with a chisel. Work slowly and you should have no problem. Then remove the glue residue with a file or rasp, and install your new endpin.
  8. Thanks for all the great info. Yup, I just may leave it as is, since it's only a cosmetic thing. As stated, it was an emergency and I would've rather left it as it was (if I had any hide glue, I would've certainly used that instead). Anyway, not a big deal or a problem.

    You guys are great!
    - Rob
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    Bad Zoot! Naughty, naughty, wicked Zoot!!!

    Sorry. The only thing worse than no advise is bad advise. It never occurred to me that the steam may not be prejudice in dissolving glue.

    But this would probably work: :)

    ". . . take it to a luthier . . . "
  10. Oh, I should've mentioned that I'm replacing the tailpiece wire, which is why I figured if I was going to do anything re: the end pin, this was the time.

    I can't imagine there's anything to know about the "wire job" - but as I've never done it, any advice is welcome!

    Happy slappin',
    - Rob
  11. Hey, there you go - should be a simple as gluein' the ol' endpin back in! Why not re-do the fingerboard at the same time? Or even re-graduate the top? Can't imagine there's much to know about those two jobs either… …think of the $$ you'll save! …and you might just learn something - even if it's only that you should have gone to a good luthier from the start… :rolleyes:

    - Wil
  12. As stated, just one of life's little emergencies! Would I do the same thing again? Absolutely!

    There are several issues related to tailpiece wires: distances, wolf tones, tuning, the actual wire material, etc. I look forward to learning about this - and the best way to learn is to do....

    - Rob
  13. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Maybe they didn't cover this in your two luthiery classes...

    Don't glue in endpins; and absolutely don't do it again. Period. If it is slipping, temporarily "bush" out the hole with a little sheet of sandpaper, tape, or cardboard until you can get 1)a bigger endpin or 2)a tapered wood plug and subsequent re-fitting of your endpin.

    Sometimes a hammer and a long rod, inserted through the ff-hole, will knock a stubborn endpin out. But glued endpins usually get carved out.


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