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Thread: How do you install an endpin?

  1. #1

    Default How do you install an endpin?

    Sorry for what may be a dumb question. This is my first mandolin. Do I just mark the spot using the tailpiece and then drill a hole?

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    Could you post a picture so we know what you're looking at?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Could you post a picture so we know what you're looking at?
    I am on my phone right now. I will try to post a photo later.

    It's basically the cheapest hardware from StewMac. Their nickel tailpiece and their "ebony" endpin with a little pearl dot on it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    You need a reamer that matches your endpin. Usually costs a lot more than the endpin. Then you undersize the hole, and ream until you get the fit you want. Then a tap with a soft faced mallet gets you seated "permanently".

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    You need a reamer that matches your endpin. Usually costs a lot more than the endpin. Then you undersize the hole, and ream until you get the fit you want. Then a tap with a soft faced mallet gets you seated "permanently".
    Perfect. Thanks, Marty.

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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    Very important: don't force/bang the endpin in hard, you can split the tail block
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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    I just wanted to jump in and point out that although the tapered wood engine with friction fit is very traditional, it’s not the most practical if the player is going to use it as a strap button. It was not designed to be used as such, but many do, and then complain about them popping out. There have been makers who install a guitar style screw in strap button instead. Stew Mac used to carry a nice ebony strap button with a built in screw and an abalone eye in the center. Once installed, it was hard to tell it wasn’t the traditional tapered pin, the head being only slightly bigger. Once I had a a Mid Missouri mandola with a Strap Jack I wanted to permanently remove. I plugged the hole with a dowel, then instead of reaming out a tapered hole, I just drilled a pilot hole for the screw and installed one of those solid ebony strap buttons. The tailpiece hid all the work nicely,it looked nice, and was solid as a rock. They don’t carry those particular strap buttons anymore. I don’t know if there’s another source. But I don’t even think a strap button with an exposed screw head would look bad. If you went with a metal type you would just use a felt washer under it to prevent buzzing with the tailpiece. I know it would be a very non traditional look, and the traditionalists will say “that ain’t no part of nothin’”, but wouldn’t it be much more practical?
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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    I once cut off the end of a button, drilled it, and attached to a guitar neck, I also put a pearl button in to cover the screw. I later noticed StewMac had them, would have save me work. I'm sorry to hear they no longer offer them.
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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    Jim and others who may be interest. After a little research I found a seller on Amazon who sells solid wood strap buttons similar to the ones Stew Mac used to sell. Seller’s name is Iluak Ivory. He offers them in cocobolo, ebony, and ivoroid with no inlay, faux tortoise eye, and abalone eye. They look nice, and he claims made in America (Seattle). NFI just thought folks might be interested.
    Don

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    You could also use these from Stewmac. I always change them over to a slot head screw just because.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  13. #11

    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    I use a solid brass 1/4-20 knurled thumb screw. It comes a little rough, but I dome the end.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    $12 for a pack of 10 in brass, $3 apiece in stainless.
    https://www.mcmaster.com/92421A542

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    Reminiscent of the Weber end pin. I like it. Standard hardware pieces.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  17. #13
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    For posterity here's the Iluak Ivory buttons:
    It is said that a #6 wood screw tap is very helpful when installing, to prevent twisting off the screw. (a little hard to find on Amazon unless you do a search for strap button tapping tool).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Philphool; May-27-2019 at 10:28am.
    Phil

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  19. #14

    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    One of the many thing that make building one or two mandolins impractical is the tools needed. I had twenty years of setup tools collected, fret files, leveling bar, nut files and such, and I still bought or made a lot of clamps, a thickness gauge and a bunch of other stuff. Probably another $200 in tools. A proper reamer is needed just for the end pin. Good thing I was doing it for fun. Next time I'll have a finger plane or two.
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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: How do you install an endpin?

    I've never bought one specialty luthier tool. I'm using either standard tools that I slowly collected over the years or tools I made myself (gouges, fingerplanes, scrapers, purfling cutters etc...). That way you learn how they work and can easily modify them for personal needs or best performance. For endpins I have old violin pegs with proper taper that I covered with really durable coarse sanpaper (Norton 60 or 80 grit) that is almost indestructible. I usually drill 8mm hole half way the block and finish with 7mm so I have less wood to remove with the "reamer" sometimes I start the taper with ordinary tapered round file approx. 8 mm diameter tapering to 3mm)
    Adrian

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