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Are peg drops habit forming?
What solvent is used?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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RosinedUp
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May 28, 2013 - 5:18 pm
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The following is speculative, as I have never seen or used peg drops.  It won't make sense if I am wrong in my assumption that peg drops use a volatile solvent such as water.

I have been thinking that peg drops work by soaking into the wood of the pegs and peg holes and making them swell up and soften.

Then the solvent evaporates so that the wood shrinks and hardens again, causing slippage again, so that more treatment is needed.

When some other fix is substituted and peg drops are discontinued, the evaporation continues, causing slippage to recur for some time.  Then there is a tendency to think that the new fix is not going to work and that drops are preferable, so that the player goes back to peg drops.

Does this scenario make sense?

What is your general experience with peg drops?

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Ferret
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May 28, 2013 - 7:02 pm
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A very good question. I don't know the answer but your reasoning seems quite reasonable.

I recently had some trouble with slipping pegs and FM's advice to try chalk worked out well.

thumbs-up

I don't think it could have any of the problems you mentioned in regard to peg drops

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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Fiddlerman
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May 30, 2013 - 9:05 am
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We sell peg drops but I've never tested them.
Test the chalk but also try 0000 fine wool. There is usually a reason for the pegs slipping. I would try the fine wool first. It may remove a grime, grease, fat, oil, that is causing the slippage. Possibly use alcohol on the fine wool.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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RosinedUp
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May 30, 2013 - 4:26 pm
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I was getting a little slipping in the pegs of my MV400 when it was new. 

In KK or Mendini's FAQs or similar, it said to rub the pegs on the rosin blocks to stop the slipping.  I did that, but first "burnished" the peg holes by repeatedly pressing the  pegs forcefully into the holes while turning.   Those two things fixed the problem completely. 

But It may have made the pegs bind a little in the holes, so that they didn't turn smoothly.  For me that isn't a problem, because I rely on the fine tuners.

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DanielB
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May 30, 2013 - 5:52 pm
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The solvents would be water, alcohol, and glycerine. 

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/th.....peg-drops/

I don't use them, personally.  With my cheaper violins, all I found necessary was a few strokes with some light sandpaper on the shafts to keep pegs from slipping.  The 160$ violin (still "cheaper" to many folks, probably) never even has needed that.  That one I only do peg tuning since I didn't put fine tuners on it when I changed tailpieces. 

I think that maybe for some folks, the pegs are harder to tune from because they avoid doing it as much as possible.  The action on them does get smoother over use. 

Pegs slipped a bit on my electric at first, but it's plastic pegs in a fiberglass pegbox.  A couple light strokes with some 200 grit sandpaper on the shafts and they've been fine for over a year now.

I did have a few problems with a Mendini MV300 because it had painted pegs that slipped.  Easy solution.  I scraped the paint off the shafts of the pegs and sanded lightly and it was fine.

I would say that there is probably something to your theory on peg drops being "habit forming", RU.

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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RosinedUp
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May 31, 2013 - 12:31 pm
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DanielB said
The solvents would be water, alcohol, and glycerine. 

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/th.....peg-drops/

...

I would say that there is probably something to your theory on peg drops being "habit forming", RU.

Thanks for the link to your earlier thread and that 1987 patent for peg drops.  I had looked a little for such details but didn't find anything as good.

Thanks also for finding some merit in my peg-drop-addiction idea.

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Tucson1
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August 10, 2014 - 11:35 pm
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Habit forming ?  No ...peg drops / peg compound seals the wood grain and allows break in of peg to pegbox with minimal wear ...this is a good thing ....i have never had to re treat even with huge swings in temp and humidity ...

Forming opinions without first hand knowledge ....bad habit ...violin-1267in my opinion..

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DanielB
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Well, if I were having some problem where I was considering using peg drops, my concern would be that they haven't actually been around long.  I don't know anyone who has definite direct personal knowledge of what the use of them may do to an instrument over a long period of time, like 20 yrs, 50 yrs, or more. 

That is speaking strictly of peg drops, since that was what the original post was talking about.  Peg compound is a different treatment, and I haven't ever looked into what they are made of.  Talking about peg drops and peg compound as if they are the same thing may be adding some to the confusion here.

The alcohol and water in peg drops is going to evaporate, but the glycerine, rosin and soap don't.  I do not know what repeatedly adding those things into the fairly thin maple the side of a pegbox is made of might do over a long period of time.  Not saying I know for sure that will end up being bad, but just saying that I do not know.

I have seen even beginners who just ordered a violin being told to buy themselves some peg drops.  To me, it wouldn't make sense to order the remedy when they haven't even gotten the violin yet and don't know if they have a problem.

If the actual problem was that the pegs do not fit the holes well enough, I can see where using drops might work, but maybe only until the water and alcohol evaporate off, and then the person might just keep putting on more every time that happens.  That would resemble "addiction" well enough that I can still see some possible merit in RU's original point (which he specifically stated was speculative).

@Tucson: So you have actually used them.  That is more than I can say.  But how many years have you been using them, so far?  Since you are the only person so far who has responded in this thread that has actually used peg drops on any of your instruments, you are the only one who has any personal experience with their use.  The rest of us just have questions. LOL

My question for you would be regarding

"peg drops / peg compound seals the wood grain and allows break in of peg to pegbox with minimal wear …this is a good thing"

... Are you talking about the drops or the compound there, or the use of them in combination?  I'm a little confused on that point, Tucson. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Tucson1
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August 11, 2014 - 9:25 pm
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Hey Dan ,

Welp , strictly speaking , I guess peg drops in their present form may be somewhat new to the violin players , but not to the luthier ...drops and compounds of one sort or another have been around since the first times pegs were put to use on stringed instruments , not just violins ...and were somewhat of a trade secret for luthiers  ...

Got a sticky or slipping peg ? take it to yer luthier ..he fixes it but it happens again ...dang , go to another luthier , complain , he fixes it and it stays fixed ....new go to luthier ...he just says it needed   " refitting " , same thing the first luthier said ...luthiers keeping secrets ?   maybe they just got tired of arguing with folks who didn't want anything foreign put on their violins but had no first hand knowledge ...

Many luthiers don't buy ready made drops / compounds ...they make their own ...one of the pro luthiers i work with has over 45 years expertise and another 25 years ...there are many more here in Tucson ...this is just one source of my training ....and the folks that trained them in France , Canada , and Utah passed on techniques older than they were at the time ....

Is my way the only way ?   Heck no ...it's yer instrument , have it your way ...just like Burger King...

While on the subject of pegs ...I might as well point out that many new pegs are fitted dry and this may lead to problems down the road ...when shaving pegs you must lightly sand in-between shaving and fitting along with a light application of dry soap and chalk mix ...i use Irish Spring myself ...

And , to answer yer other question , I use peg drops / peg compound ...if I had a larger need like a big shop , i might invest in a bottle of each ...but this little bottle of two in one will likely outlast me ...and it works better than i do ...

And with all that said , i'm sure you won't have any trouble finding luthiers who are dead set against using drops or compound and would never use soap or chalk when fitting new pegs ....more than one school , more than one school of thought ...different strokes fer different folks ...

Have fun ...be happy ....violin-1267

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Fiddlerman
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August 11, 2014 - 10:49 pm
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I never tried the drops. Look forward to testing them some day. We use a lot of compound and it's great.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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RosinedUp
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Tucson1 said

Forming opinions without first hand knowledge ....bad habit ...

I hadn't intended for the thread to turn philosophical, but ...

I've found that those who think they have first-hand "knowledge" may be apt to get it wrong, being like one of the blind men and the elephant.  They may count their experience for more than it is. 

I knew someone who said he worked in a lab doing titrations.  Then I found that he didn't have the least understanding of what a titration is, although he was very sure that he did.  Had he taken chemistry in school or done a little studying on his own, he would have known far more about titration than he got in all the hours he spent in the lab actually doing them.  That lab experience shouldn't have been a negative.  Knowledge depends on whether one can see their experience in context.

At least those blind men were talking to each other about the elephant, so they had some hope of getting to the truth. Trying to quash thought and discussion may have been the norm in art in the past.  With modern communications systems, I think it's getting kind of outmoded.

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Tucson1
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Welp , RU ....when yer right , yer right ....

I'm looking forward to the many workshops at the VMAAI convention in Oct ...workshops put on by award winning violin makers from around the world ...even if they are all wrong about knowing what they're talking about , it will still be interesting to compare notes ....and listen to the tonal results of this years competition ...

I'm sure I'll see you there, as your expertise is much needed , I'm sure ....

All joking aside , though , I'll try not to offend in the future ...

Oh , by the way , these master builders learned their skills in violin making and bow making in schools around the world , so if ya think there are differences of opinions here at FM forum and chat ....oh boy ....you would really like this convention ...

It would be really , really cool if you could visit Tucson in Oct and attend this four day event ...I think you would enjoy it ...violin-1267Have fun ...Be happy

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RosinedUp
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Tucs ... I wish I had something like VMAAI on my doorstep, but I don't, so I don't think I can swing it.  But thank you kindly.

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