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Wooden Laborie endpin: where to buy?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by lin fung, May 18, 2011.

  1. lin fung

    lin fung Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2002
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm looking to get a Laborie endpin hole drilled in my bass. I have read several places on the web that there are wood Laborie endpins that have a better sound than the carbon fiber version, but I haven't found where I can buy one.

    Any suggestions?
  2. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    I think in most cases, you are better off having one made for you by a wood turner than buying the ones sold commercially.

    The cost of the actual wood for an endpin can range from negligible (oak dowel) to minor (blank of an exotic hardwood).

    The actual amount of time and skill required to turn one that fits the conical hole is really not that great and should be relatively easy for a turner with moderate experience. Its also possible to create the taper using other tools but a lathe is probably the most expeditious path.

    The lower cost enables you to have some more options and to explore different heights and different materials without your wallet acting as a deterrent.
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Try Robertsons Violin Shop in Albequerque, NM.
  4. Cheapest thing to do is make your own if you have access to a proper lathe. The taper needs to be precise. It should match a standard cello reamer, which is something like a 1:17 taper.

    You can experiment with many different woods. I like white oak. Some people really like spruce. Pernambuco has a nice sound, but it would be awfully expensive and perhaps not best use of rare wood.
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Sure, if you have the skills and tools... Us mere mortals need (prefer) someone to do it for us and will pay.
  6. If you would rather buy, you could try Elisabeth Steves in Houston. She just opened her own shop, the Quantum Bass Center. Elisabeth makes a very nice pin (in addition to being a set-up wizard).
  7. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Have you talked to Johnny Atomic yet? He make some fine endpins and advertises here....

  8. Does he make Laborie type pins? The ones I see advertised are straight pins.
  9. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    I use one made from an Australian hardwood. It was sold commercially by a bass shop and it still required hand finishing on the tapered part with tools in order for it to fit properly.

    The tiniest imperfection and the damn thing creaks in the socket while youre playing.
  10. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    previous poster would probably be using one of these I think.

    Bass Works Wooden endpin 400mm

    I'd remove the finish from the taper before fitting and dust with talc, that might help creaks.

    It doesn't look like the endpin taper was turned on a lathe though i could be wrong.
  11. lin fung

    lin fung Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2002
    St. Louis, MO
    Wow, in just one day I've gotten a half-dozen well-informed answers. I love Talkbass. Thanks everyone.
  12. Something about those pictures doesn't look right to me. The taper seems way too steep. Maybe the image is distorted.

    A properly made Laborie pin should fit easily and snugly, without any noises, into a properly drilled Laborie hole. If the hole was reamed with a cello reamer, you can assume it has the right taper (although it's still possible to over- or under-ream).

    I made a bunch of the pins when I was working for Elisabeth. If the lathe was set up correctly for the right taper, the pins always came out perfect. There's no reason for misshapen pins.
  13. George700DL


    Jan 9, 2009
    That looks 100% like a chopped off drumstick to me.

  14. Babar


    Mar 22, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    In the traeger book he talks about using a size 2B drumstick cut down to replace the endpin.
  15. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Its almost right, like I said I had to do some fine work on the taper to get it right. I just cant recommend it at the price.
  16. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    Paul, did you have a template of some kind? I turned a few freehand using calipers and a skew, and I'd love to hear a strategy that worked consistently without measuring down to the 1/100th of a mm.
  17. I had a caliper and an original carbon fiber pin from Robertson's to compare with. I also had a block of scrap wood I'd drilled and reamed to check the fit.

    The lathe I was using had been preset to make a proper 1:17 taper. I think the settings differ between machines, so you'll have to read your manual for that step. After the initial shaping, I'd hold a sandpaper block to the pin, still in the lathe, and smooth it out somewhat. I would also cut off any excess at the end to precisely match the dimensions of the original pin. Usually I'd finish it with finer sandpaper and either a stain or black shoe polish. We also found a threaded steel spike we could install which accommodated 10 mm Goetz endpin tips.
  18. RCWilliams

    RCWilliams Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2007
    Merriam Kansas (Kansas City)
    owner RC Williams Co. LLC
    I finish mine with a pin tapering block I made from maple. drill a hole ream it with a taper , cut away the edge and add a blade. cello end pin reamer is about the right size for a laborie.

    Attached Files:

  19. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    That is sweet. Like a giant pencil sharpener for endpins.
  20. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Barrie Kolstein sells and installs the CF Laborie endpins. I'll bet he'll make a wooden one if you ask him!

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