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Finishing Silver Pin in Frog Heel Plate


Brad Dorsey
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I have always found finishing a replacement pin in a frog heel plate to be a challenge, because it seems impossible to file or sand the pin down to flush, or near flush, with the heel plate without filing or sanding a bit on the plate, too.

I tried to think of a solution yesterday when I replaced a pin.  I drove the pin in with light taps of a small hammer to upset (expand) it to tightly fill the hole in the plate, then I sawed the pin off as closely as I could.  I drilled a hole slightly larger than the pin in a little piece of .006 inch stainless steel shim stock, put the pin through the hole and filed the pin down flush with the shim, leaving the pin .006 proud of the plate.  Then I stuck a piece of clear plastic tape on the plate and filed the pin down flush with the tape.  Since the tape was .001 inch thick, the pin was now just .001 inch proud of the plate and the plate was completely unscathed.  My goal was not to make the pin absolutely flush with the plate, because pins on old bows often are not.  But even with the pin sticking out just .001 inch, it still looked like it was sticking out too much.

Does anyone here have any other tricks for the final finishing of a silver pin without touching the plate?

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This is similar to the question of how to file a replacement ivory face so that it is level with the head, but without leaving file marks on the head itself.  I have been taught to do that with a piece of painters tape on either the side of the head or on the side of the file.  That lifts one side of the file away from the bow head  while the other side takes care of the face.  But a pin is surrounded by silver, so that wouldn't work so well.

One thing I have done is similar to your method with stainless steel shim stock, but instead to paint the silver plate with frisket - watercolor painters' masking fluid.  It leaves a surface probably thinner than the shim and when the file is removing the frisket you know you are done.  But its not perfect.  I'll be interested to see any other solutions.

Ed

 

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Only slightly off topic...  What about silver pins in the underslide?  I noticed this pin lying inside my violin case, and looking at each of the bows in the case, I see that the WH Hammig is missing a pin (see photo).  Is this pin the right length for that hole?  lI'm inclined to just dab a bit of glue on it and stick back in.  But since this is a nice bow, maybe it should be brazed or something to make the seam perfect?   There is a second pin infront of the eyelet that is all but invisible.  Thanks.

F96C7345-A2BA-4B42-9FF8-73CC28C92311_1_201_a.jpeg

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The pin in your picture is not the type used on bows.  A bow pin is simply a short length of silver (or gold or nickel) wire of the right diameter and sometimes filed to a point on the end.  A pin is driven in, then the excess is trimmed off flush.  (I’m asking for tips on the trimming here.)   Brazing heat would set the frog on fire.

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41 minutes ago, Richf said:

Only slightly off topic...  What about silver pins in the underslide?  I noticed this pin lying inside my violin case, and looking at each of the bows in the case, I see that the WH Hammig is missing a pin (see photo).  Is this pin the right length for that hole?  lI'm inclined to just dab a bit of glue on it and stick back in.  But since this is a nice bow, maybe it should be brazed or something to make the seam perfect?   There is a second pin infront of the eyelet that is all but invisible.  Thanks.

F96C7345-A2BA-4B42-9FF8-73CC28C92311_1_201_a.jpeg

Your pin looks more like the rehair nails used by ill trained "repair" people.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 11.27.17 AM.png

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Thanks guys.  So to replace the pin in the underslide (with a correct pin, not mine), that would just be a filing-off process as on the heel plate, with less concern about filing the metal around the hole.  Right?  (Now I need figure out where that pin really came from.:))

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2 hours ago, Richf said:

...to replace the pin in the underslide...would just be a filing-off process as on the heel plate, with less concern about filing the metal around the hole.  Right?...

Right. The filing-off would be the final operation after the pin were installed.

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