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So, I took the end pin challenge ...

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by rolandm, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    Thanks for this! I tried the hardware store and came up empty. But I hadn't seen the other idea to put the hard 1/2" tip on covered by the 5/8" rubber tip. I'm getting me some of these!
  2. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    I have a carved Shen Willow. Might one think that a willow endpin would be a good place to start? (I'm not familiar with the properties of willow, so I don't know whether it would be a good candidate for the purpose.)
  3. Here's my entry: off-the-shelf hardwood table leg from local hardware store, $2.50. Remove bottom caster and drill to accept a double-threaded hardened steel spike and rubber ball protector from New Harmony Music (NHM - New Harmony Music about $16 plus shipping. Remove top threaded stud and drill to accept a 3/8" hardwood dowel, $0.95. Made two different lengths, one for the high stools at the concert hall and one for my low-height, fold-up travel stool (shown in place on the bass).

    Haven't tested it much yet, but initially, I thought that the sustain on the A string was improved.



    Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.44.09 PM.png Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.44.01 PM.png endpin_long.jpg endpin_short.jpg
    rolandm and DC Bass like this.
  4. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    So, to report my findings, I played an all-acoustic benefit the other afternoon, and interestingly enough, I could just about hear my bass by itself with no monitors over the acoustic guitar and vocals coming out of the monitors. Thank goodness they actually gave me a monitor, though, as I was really yankin' on the strings to get volume. Sounded really good, and you could hear the openness of the wood and the resonance of the bass didn't seem as choked.

    I used the Walnut for this one.
  5. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    Considering that Traeger sort of linked this to specific gravity of wood, and Walnut, Spruce and Willow all have roughly similar specific gravity, I'd theorize that there's no reason you couldn't use Willow. I'd give it a whirl if you can find a Willow dowel in the appropriate size, or turn one yourself.
  6. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    What kind of spruce are you using that has the same specific gravity as
    360guy and Jake deVilliers like this.
  7. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    I looked up the densities here. Wood Densities

    Walnut in general does sit at the higher end of the three, obviously, but both Spruce and Willow hold a similar level of density range to one another, and can achieve a density similar to Walnut, although they are typically lower. Guess it depends on the growth of the wood, the drying process, etc.

    My point is, it's close enough to give it a whirl and see how he likes the results.
  8. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Willow Weep for Me?
    rolandm and Don Kasper like this.
  9. 360guy


    Apr 28, 2006
    Lansing, MI USA
    I've created a wood endpin design I call the BeginPin. It incorporates a collar that pressure fits the wooden peg (5/8") so there is no poking with the thumbscrew.
    I make my own pegs. I've used:
    Roasted Maple
    Honduras Rosewood
    West Indies Rosewood
    Orange Osage
    Curly Cherry
    Purple Heart

    All the store bought:

    And I'm trying carbon fiber rods and tubes.

    It's still early in the process for me. I'm trying to map the differences but as you might suppose there are many variables. Given that each bass responds differently, I am mostly interested in characteristics that can be consistently noticed regardless of the specific instrument. I may never get there!

    But safe to say, there is a difference and given that it's SO easy to switch between them, I think it's an exciting way to fine tune your sound.

    It's trial and error but a heck of a lot easier than adjusting the sound post, shaving the bass bar, switching stings, etc.
  10. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Yeah John!!!!! Do you have a pattern duplicator on your lathe or are they all hand cut? I've been trying to figure out how to get that 17:1 taper consistent and accurate without spending $1000 for some big bolt on accessory.

    I'll add to the confusion. My carved bass likes an oversized very hard curly Michigan red maple, my giging old rebuilt ply bass is happiest with a 1 1/4" od hollow titanium (3/2 alloy) tube that was fabricated from my broken Litespeed bicycle frame- the same ones that the old aluminum basses tend to like, and I have a new batch in progress that are 1" hollow carbon fiber and carbon / Kevlar tubing to go with the matching carbon fiber armor plated bridges.....and on most of the light colored models with nice figure, I bust out the airbrush and give them a color coordinated little sunburst finish.

    Great thread- accessable, practical, and affordable with lots of folks showing a willingness to experiment and go beyond!

    rolandm, 360guy and DC Bass like this.
  11. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    I have one of John's Begin Pins on an older Czech flatback that I just finished restoring. Curly Cherry, which both looks and sounds great. Sound aside, I really like that it functions well every time. As far as bass fittings go, wood clamped against wood makes a lot more sense to me than metal clamped against metal...
    james condino and 360guy like this.
  12. BassinCT

    BassinCT Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    I'll jump on this train, too...
    I wasn't thrilled with the factory pin, so I did this for fun and because I'm a tinkerer. I also went with the New Harmony spike / ball end and threaded it into a piece of oak baluster (from Home Depot) that had enough material for one full size and two "shorty" pins. The end that inserts into the plug is a cutoff from another steel pin. Sound? No striking first impressions, but I will do some swapping for comparisons to my full steel pin and report back.
  13. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have an Onyx endpin with both ebony and rosewood sticks on one bass and no problem (knock wood!) with breakage. They key may be that I have already cut the pins (which are very long) down by over a 1/3rd. The ebony gives a more direct "orchestra" sound; the rosewood a warmer but softer "solo" sound. On my other bass I have 3 pins: a Cameleopard carbonfiber (which makes the bass sound loud, clear and slightly boring); a titanium pin that feels like it doubles the instrument's volume; and a maple pin that makes the bass sound its best, fullest and warmest (but not as loud as the titanium).

    There's no guarantee or implication that any one else on other basses would get the same results. Just reporting in

    Selim and Povl Carstensen like this.
  14. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    I had a broken stock wood endpin on my '52 Kay C-1 (the receiver had split and the pin wouldn't stay put). As a temporary measure I turned a scrap of hundred-year-old oak into a solid endpin to fit straight into the block taper, with a groove for the stock tailwire. I was surprised at how it opened up the voice of the bass.

    I have a box blanks of various hardwoods to try out one of these days.
  15. kerrycares

    kerrycares Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Howell, Michigan
    If you connect with John Hay on Facebook he makes and endpin and has multiple wood options. He is in the Lansing , Mi area.
    rolandm likes this.
  16. 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.

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