Adding an end peg to an acoustic guitar
November 25, 2014 12:29 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get an endpeg to put on a kit-built Martin guitar that currently has none?

My uncle built a beautiful Martin guitar in a smaller size -- maybe 000? -- from a kit. My parents brought it out to us and one of my sons plays it now, and it fits him better than the full-size Yamaha he was playing before. Hurray!

However, the guitar lacks an endpeg to hook a strap to, and The Boy's guitar teacher suggested that buying & installing one is easy. I don't mind taking a drill to the guitar *gulp* but I am frustrated because I can't find one of these for sale online that isn't also a jack for an electrified acoustic.

Any pointers to relevant products, and anecdotes for/against me doing this myself, are very much appreciated!
posted by wenestvedt to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Will something here work for you? Endpins at StewMac
posted by puritycontrol at 12:35 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Small body guitars often have no pin, like yours, since they're so commonly played sitting. But if you want to play it standing you gotta have something!

Do you want a traditional acoustic endpin (wood or ivoroid, slip fit, removable) or an actual strap button (metal or ivoroid, screwed in, usually in a pair with another on the neck heel, though not always)? I like the reliability of strap buttons better but purists would scoff on a traditional-styled instrument.

An endpin needs a tapered hole, drilled and reamed correctly to match the pin (there are 3- and 5-degree tapers). You can get the pin and reamer at StewMac, but you'd probably want to be fairly confident in that sort of thing before working on the guitar. A few practice pieces of wood and you'd probably be OK though.

A strap button needs only a regular old hole with a drill bit, and screw it in with a standard screwdriver, Again, at StewMac: Strap buttons. For a small body, I'd suggest not putting any second button on the instrument, and instead tie the other end of the strap to the peghead, as traditional. For this sort of button, also get the felt washers for extra classiness, protecting the finish, and optimizing the freedom of swiveling. If you want, I think I have a few spare cream felt washers that I can drop in the mail for you, PM me if you want some.

I'm a big fan of this particular button in ivoroid for more respectable acoustics, I have one or two and love the look and quality.

For either type of pin, make sure you very accurately site the hole location, and make a small starter hole with a sharp awl, then drill a nice straight pilot hole with a fine bit before using any larger bit. You're drilling into a block that's hidden inside the guitar down there, so there's a lot of meaty wood to drill, but because of this you want to make sure you're straight on.

If you're installing a traditional taperes end pin, it's a fairly large hole, so watch for tearout; you can use painter's tape on the guitar before you drill to control that, and drill a little smaller than you need, then open it up with the reamer. If you like the traditional pin better but are anxious about the craftsmanship, you might find a guitar tech or luthier nearby who could do it for a fair price.

A final tip: if you do go for the traditional endpin, install it with just a drop of white or wood glue on the pin and try NOT to smear it around in the hole. Just enough to grab it. Otherwise they have a habit of pulling out at just the wrong moment. Or you can tighten it in there fairly well with rosin (ask a fiddler) if you must satisfy traditional luthiers, who would blanche at gluing in an endpin.

Good luck!
posted by BlackPebble at 12:50 PM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you are good with woodworking generally, here's a video that might be helpful to address some of the gotchas:

Guitar Endpin Installation

Me, I would find a guitar tech. It doesn't seem like an incredibly difficult job, but I would be afraid of the "what I don't know I don't know" factor.
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:02 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

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