A Quick Fix for a
Loose End Pin
© Frank Ford, 3/19/98; Photos by FF, 3/19/98

This is a very common problem: The tapered end pin fits loosely, and the player lives in fear of it popping out and the instrument falling to the floor.

This end pin had been "shimmed" by wrapping it in clear plastic tape, then shoving it back in the hole. Looks great, doesn't it?

Well, the tape held, sort of. In fact, the tape's glue remained pliable and the end pin had a habit of slowly oozing back out.

While the customer waits, I can make a very solid and durable repair. First, I'll dispense a little medium viscosity cyanoacrylate glue (superglue) into my little hot sauce cup:

I like to use these little cups because they are cheap and they allow me to dip into the glue. I also minimize the amount I could spill accidentally.

Working very carefully, so I don't drip any on the finish, I'll swab out the hole with cyanoacrylate, which penetrates very well into the grain of the end block:

Right away, I'll grab a new Q-tip and dunk it into my bottle of catalyst (accelerator) and swab the hole again. The glue inside the hole polymerizes instantly and is fully hard and dry when I try to fit the end pin back in. If the pin is still too loose, I'll just repeat the process until the hole is significantly too small for the pin.

I can then ream the hole to fit the peg precisely using my tapered reamer:

A smart rap with my plastic hammer seats the pin tightly:

That's it.

The end pin is in place and fitted properly and tightly without being glued in place; it is removable and predictable.

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