StoneDog is now in possession of the TRAVELING FIDDLE in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. :-)
I've seen several posts and sites about applying peg compounds to help keep them from slipping or lubricating them. What about removing old peg compound?
My old violin seems to have a build up of compound and it seems to be causing more friction, to the point where turning the pegs is very difficult. I've noticed this build up of gunk on the pegs and in the peg holes which has hardened over the years. It won't come off by simply "picking" at it or wiping it and I'm scared to do much much more for fear of damaging both the violin and peg.
Is there something I can use to remove this unwanted gunk?
I've actually thought about it. I've had my eye on a set of pegs with the gears inside them!
I'm just worried about the residue left over in the peg whole. For a 90 year old violin, I don't want to do anything that will damage it!
You may be talking about perfection pegs, but I don't think they go in the same hole.
Kevin will know. I think the peg hole are reamed to different fit.
Perfection pegs do go in the same hole, it's not even reamed much larger than a "regular" hole. A peg reamer is all that's needed for installation and your peg problems are over (so they say – I haven't tried them) forever. Reaming the holes will remove all the peg compound gunk, too.
I wonder how much material and wood that will remove. I nervous doing and work to this violin! lol
I think the prior owner had the idea to change the pegs over as well. I found a set of metal tuners with gears in the case. They looked like they were never used as they were in the original box!
Ive given this only a little thought, so don't pay too much attention.
I have not seen your fiddle, but if I were working on my 90 year old fiddle and it had the problem you describe, Id cautiously remove the pegs and use a small very sharp knife to slice tiny shavings from the accumulation without touching the wood. I might consider using a nail file or fine steel file with which to work. Whatever tool that might allow me to attack the goop without too much contact with the wood is fair game.
Then, I might use an extremely fine sandpaper to rough up the peg and hole; forming the sandpaper into a straw-like slightly tapered tube for the hole.
If the offending substance is in the beg box as well, i might gently remove the gunk while using a pick, speciality blade, or scraper. Hobby knife sets have many blade styles.
Mind you, I am very good at what I do. Not everyone has the same skill set.
I wish you good luck.
The problem is that as pegs and peg holes wear they become oblond holes and the pegs get smaller. When you use a reamer you remove only enough wood to make the taper correct and the hole round again. The problem with the mechanical pegs is that the holes have to be made large enough to fit them and after if you decide not to use them you would have to put bushings in and the drill them out and ream them. Even if you buy new pegs, the regular type, they have to be shaved to fit the tapered hole and polished to work smouthly. I have a feeling you are judging how pegs work by the violin you have now but when the pegs are right they move freely and hold well. Try tuning a violin at a shop and see how the pegs work then you might decide you want to put in original pegs.
The mechanical tuners were the first thing my grampa did when he got his fiddle. Having never known any different, I don't find them especially heavy. Also, since he used the old-time fiddler chest hold and supported the violin with just his hand anyway, I don't think the weight of the tuners made much difference to him. He was a dairyman and milked cows for a living, so he had pretty strong hands.
Didi, I saw an olf timer fiddler actually play sitting with his elbow on a cushion hehee. He looked so comfortable playing and played well! And here we are twisting this way and that trying to find a good hold
I may just take it in to a luthier…….although it's easily a 60 mile drive to one! lol The mechanical ones aren't that heavy at all, but I really don't like the look of them. I may go with perfection pegs but I won't dare install them myself!
I did take a fine grit sand paper to the pegs and holes which seemed to help a little bit. I don't want to do too much until it's inspected.
When tuning, the pegs still don't turn easily and I get a "snap" every time I try to tighten or loosen them. It pretty much makes any finer adjustments impossible.
I only have one fine tuner on the E string which I've recently replaced. Every time I hear that crack/snap sound when turning the peg, I freak out thinking it's the scroll or something!
I happen to sell the mechanical pegs BTW
I installed my first set of "perfection pegs" at the luthier shop where I work P/T. I was confident i could do a very good job and after watching their youtube video it was about a 30 minute job for me. The instrument belonged to a university music major and they were sick of having the pegs always slipping out of tune. They only had a fine tuner on the E string and this was a real time saver for them. We charged significantly more for the pegs and the labor was charged at $35.00
Be extra careful using the reamer and be sure to get the proper taper (meaning get a reamer FOR peg hole repair). Some hardware and tool stores sell reamers from China that are not exactly the right taper, (must be something to do with the metric system of measurment) and the cost of one is about $12.00 for the correct taper. The first hole took me the longest, had to ream it 4 times to get it the correct size. The next 3 only took a bit longer than the first! Better to remove wood and glazing 4 times than ruin it once.
They are very smooth, takes a little longer to wind up the strings when putting them on (4:1 gear reduction you know) but they are very nice. Well made and for someone who hates tuning all the time for whatever reason, they eliminate the need for 'peg drops' ! LOL
I was thinking of putting them on my 90 yr old violin but after a lot of thought… I decided to stay with standard pegs, clean the holes with a proper reamer and install new ebony pegs which I properly prepared as well. I also have a tailpiece with 4 individual FT's and I have no issues at all.
If you choose to go with the Perfection Peg, I strongly suggest buyng them from FM… it's the cheapest retail cost I've seen out there.
Just my beginner luthier opinion.
Thanks for that Dennis. You can guide everyone around here, maybe even help us out with a "how to" guide. I know they have that video. I was thinking about doing too for the fun of it. How much heavier are those pegs by the way?
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