Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

346
Banjo Lovers Online


Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Jul 21, 2019 - 6:09:56 AM
1728 posts since 8/4/2011

So, the 1st spike on my Goldstar has been giving me fits for a long time. It pops up from the string tension, making the 5th string buzz. I've tried regluing it a number of times. I tried super glue and elmer's glue (each I've tried several times). It just won't stay put. It's a pretty annoying problem. Do I need a bigger spike? Different glue? I'm about ready to just pull it out and just retune the 5th if I need to (it doesn't seem to have any trouble going up a step).

Jul 21, 2019 - 6:29:56 AM

raybob

USA

13364 posts since 12/11/2003

What I’ve done is to make the hole a little tighter by putting some sanding dust in the hole before re-gluing the spike. I try to use the same wood as the fingerboard, but any wood dust should be fine. I use super glue for this. Dry fit it first to be sure it’ll go down far enough. Pull it out, apply a couple drops of the glue, replace the spike,check the elevation, and wipe off the squeeze-out. I go for a snug fit.

Jul 21, 2019 - 6:57:10 AM
like this

69678 posts since 5/9/2007

I've always put in spikes by eyeing the spike ahead of the bit.
I use a cheap 1/16" bit chucked in a drill and spinning the bit's side on a piece of sandpaper until it just disappears behind the spike and with a slight taper.Leave the drilled hole short by .030" for a good tip bite.
I don't use glue and they never get pulled out.

Jul 21, 2019 - 8:41:39 AM
likes this

5958 posts since 8/28/2013
Online Now

With those differnt types of glue, you'll probably need to clean the hole thoroughly.

I think you'll need to drill the hole slightly larger, plug it with a small dowel, then re-drill for the spike, maybe in a slightly different location.

Jul 21, 2019 - 8:57:33 AM
likes this

9953 posts since 6/2/2008
Online Now

Situations like this call for my favorite all-purpose DIY fix:  toothpicks!

Seriously, the same thing happened to me almost 10 years ago at band practice. I didn't want to relocate the spike to a new hole, so I tightened the fit, as suggested above by Ray. But instead of using wood dust, I stuffed the hole with two or three slivers of flat toothpick, sliced off with an Xacto knife. Left a bit of an opening in the middle to reinsert the spike. Put a drop of super glue on the spike and pressed it into place. I assume the glue wicked into the slivers and fretboard.

Still there.

It's a rosewood board, so I probably dabbed the exposed toothpick tops with brown Sharpie. Black, of course, for disguising plugs in ebony.

Jul 21, 2019 - 9:02:01 AM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14251 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Joe the banjo guy

So, the 1st spike on my Goldstar has been giving me fits for a long time. It pops up from the string tension, making the 5th string buzz. I've tried regluing it a number of times. I tried super glue and elmer's glue (each I've tried several times). It just won't stay put. It's a pretty annoying problem. Do I need a bigger spike? Different glue? I'm about ready to just pull it out and just retune the 5th if I need to (it doesn't seem to have any trouble going up a step).


Spikes generally stay put once they are installed if done correctly.  Your problem is most likely the result of the initial hole size being too large for the spike used.  Spikes are found in different sizes and some have square shanks which require holes of a different size.

Once a spike is loose enough to pull out then gluing to the old surface is seldom effective.

I would re-drill the hole SLIGHTLY smaller than a round wooden toothpick and fill the hole by putting a little Original Titebond on the toothpick and driving it in.  After the glue has dried simply slice off the toothpick flush to the fretboard with a single edge razor blade and dab the top with a permanent marker (black for ebony and brown for rosewood).

You can re-drill at the same location or shift the location slightly and re-install the spike.

You can re-tune the fifth, but if you note the fifth string then the notes will obviously be incorrect if you are used to the relative positions of the notes to the other strings.  The other problem with re-tuning is that it makes the fifth string more edgy than normal.  A lot of folks have custom instruments made with the fifth tuner further up the neck so the tension can be decreased for a more pleasant tonality.  By raising the pitch the opposite is experienced.

Edited by - rudy on 07/21/2019 09:07:28

Jul 21, 2019 - 9:57:53 AM

1728 posts since 8/4/2011

Well, that's not what I wanted to hear, but thank you! I've never drilled into an instrument before. I feel like I might need to call in a pro for this, but there aren't a lot of people around here I'd trust to do it.

I will try the toothpick trick and see how that goes, but if that doesn't work, I guess I need to just learn how to do it.  Or ship it to somebody I trust to do it.  

Edited by - Joe the banjo guy on 07/21/2019 10:13:22

Jul 21, 2019 - 11:23:54 AM

Fathand

Canada

11375 posts since 2/7/2008

I use a # 63 drill bit, saves grinding down a bigger one but spikes are different sizes so measure your spikes first and look up a number drill chart on the net and buy the right size. A tiny drop of super glue and they should be good.

Jul 21, 2019 - 11:37:24 AM
like this

12013 posts since 10/30/2008

As a sheepish drill-user in my youth, let me WARN you about using a power drill for a 5th string spike hole. You can't imagine how quick that bit will go all the way through and out the back side of the neck. Embarrassing.

I bought a little finger-tip sized, aluminum, "mini-drill", that usually has 3 or 4 TINY bits inside the cap. About 3" long. You twirl it with your fingers, between your thumb and index finger. Slow work, but impossible to go too deep.

Jul 21, 2019 - 11:45:57 AM
likes this

1247 posts since 4/13/2009
Online Now

Jul 21, 2019 - 11:48:22 AM

153 posts since 11/13/2018

Harbor freight has a package of micro drill bits. Unless you have a pin vise small enough to hold them, just build up the shank a little with tape to help you grip it and just twirl it in your fingers to drill the hole. Use a very small finishing nail or brad to punch a starting point and so the bit won't wander.

It's not fast, but that's what you want.

I recently filled, relocated and redrilled the holes for all my spikes after a botched job from a retailer. It just takes a little attention to detail on your part.

A picture of my homemade .5mm microbit holder.


 

Edited by - Trailryder42 on 07/21/2019 11:55:43

Jul 21, 2019 - 12:13:27 PM
Players Union Member

heavy5

USA

908 posts since 11/3/2016

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

As a sheepish drill-user in my youth, let me WARN you about using a power drill for a 5th string spike hole. You can't imagine how quick that bit will go all the way through and out the back side of the neck. Embarrassing.

I bought a little finger-tip sized, aluminum, "mini-drill", that usually has 3 or 4 TINY bits inside the cap. About 3" long. You twirl it with your fingers, between your thumb and index finger. Slow work, but impossible to go too deep.


The safest & best way me thinks & it will cut quite fast so insert the drill to the depth you want then back off for the spike tip to grip as mentioned above . It helps to have  good calipers to accurately measure spike & drill so spike will have a slight press fit . I just did a Gold Star neck yesterday ---- (too hot to do anything else :o)  

Jul 21, 2019 - 7:23:56 PM

1728 posts since 8/4/2011

I didn't realize these hand drills existed. I will try that!

Jul 21, 2019 - 10:13:48 PM

raybob

USA

13364 posts since 12/11/2003

If you’re going to drill, even with a hand drill, mark the bit so you know when you’re deep enough. You don’t want to drill all the way through.

Jul 22, 2019 - 8:15:08 AM
likes this

69678 posts since 5/9/2007

This is where I place my spikes...just ahead of center.

The nearer you get to the 7th fret the more upward pressure is on the spike.


 

Edited by - steve davis on 07/22/2019 08:16:48

Jul 22, 2019 - 10:56:16 AM

beegee

USA

21276 posts since 7/6/2005

Cut the point off the spike, put a slight bow in the shank of the spike and tap it in, add a drop of superglue when it's seated to the correct clearance.

Jul 22, 2019 - 1:24:48 PM

raybob

USA

13364 posts since 12/11/2003

Nice idea, Bob.

Jul 23, 2019 - 10:18:18 AM

jwold

USA

1083 posts since 7/21/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Joe the banjo guy

I didn't realize these hand drills existed. I will try that!


At my local hardware store these little hand drill were listed as a "Pin Vice, or Pin Vise"

Edited by - jwold on 07/23/2019 10:19:39

Jul 23, 2019 - 2:49:18 PM

5958 posts since 8/28/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by heavy5
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

As a sheepish drill-user in my youth, let me WARN you about using a power drill for a 5th string spike hole. You can't imagine how quick that bit will go all the way through and out the back side of the neck. Embarrassing.

I bought a little finger-tip sized, aluminum, "mini-drill", that usually has 3 or 4 TINY bits inside the cap. About 3" long. You twirl it with your fingers, between your thumb and index finger. Slow work, but impossible to go too deep.


The safest & best way me thinks & it will cut quite fast so insert the drill to the depth you want then back off for the spike tip to grip as mentioned above . It helps to have  good calipers to accurately measure spike & drill so spike will have a slight press fit . I just did a Gold Star neck yesterday ---- (too hot to do anything else :o)  


A micrometer would be even better for accurately measuring the tiny differences involved in getting a proper fit.

Jul 24, 2019 - 4:20:04 AM
Players Union Member

Helix1

USA

327 posts since 4/17/2019

The spikes are mild steel.  They take a long time to wear in.

I buy the tapered bits from stewmac, they are FOR spikes.
I have a pin vise, but I use the bit in my Dremel just fine.
A drop of white glue will scab over, perfect.
With the needle nose I push the spike in through the glue membrane which gives just the right amount of glue on the spike. Set the spike in the hole with the pliers
Depth: I use a little flat blade screwdriver held under the head of the spike while I tap with my little jeweler's hammer from Harbor Freight.
This keeps the spike straight. Then I use my feeler gage @ .014 under the spike head and tap the spike to fit,
Personally, no super glue.
Toothpicks and bamboo skewers are just fine.
Bending sound tricky, don't break a bit.

https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Routers_and_Bits/Bits/Straight_Router_Bits.html

Edited by - Helix1 on 07/24/2019 04:29:09

Jul 24, 2019 - 2:37:41 PM

5958 posts since 8/28/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by beegee

Cut the point off the spike, put a slight bow in the shank of the spike and tap it in, add a drop of superglue when it's seated to the correct clearance.


This is a bit tricky to do and in my opinion, not wort it because it can be pretty temporary. A bend will tighten a pin in only one direction only, leaving the other directions the same loose fit. In other words, it may be tight north-south, but loose east-west.

While I admit I have never tried this with an actual spike, I have done this with other small pins, only to find that it still takes very little force to dislodge them. In my opinion, any round object need to be tight all the way around.

Jul 24, 2019 - 2:43:02 PM
likes this

93 posts since 4/1/2016

Hobby Lobby stores sell a pin vise with 5 or 6 tiny bits for around $20.

Jul 24, 2019 - 2:44:05 PM

69678 posts since 5/9/2007

Letting the end bite into undrilled wood is strong.
Nipping the end of the spike with tiny dikes or end nippers to leave the line of the nip going across the grain.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.3359375