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I really like Knilling Perfection pegs, and until now I have a set on all of my violins. But in the last few weeks I have been working on a "color coordinated" electric violin that I am fitting with boxwood pegs. They may (or may not) require the use of something like peg drops so I started looking into what would be needed to DIY the drops.
Fortunately, there is a patent 4682527 dated July 28, 1987. In it is a list of the following ingredients: 500 ml isopropyl alcohol, 166 ml tincture of green soap, 166 ml glycerin, and 36 g violin rosin. Obviously, this is somewhat a commercial batch amount for something applied by the drop, but the quantities can be easily scaled lower (for example, 50 ml isopropyl alcohol, 16.6 ml tincture of green soap, 16.6 ml glycerin, and 3.6 g violin rosin). I was thinking of using the rosin with the gold flecks in it for a festive note.
I had not heard of tincture of green soap, but it is widely used by trappers and tattoo establishments (and cheap).
Hello Martha (and others). And to think that I was experimenting with this by the ml when I could have been making buckets LOL. To other experimenters, I think that the patent was generous on the quantity of rosin expected to be dissolved in the alcohol. The only other reason I can think of is my alcohol has been contaminated with water from the atmosphere (which is a constant problem with alcohol).
Hi Martha (and others). I was using the 91% version of Isopropyl Alcohol. I have a laboratory grade of n-propyl, which is what I am going to use next. I also have "Graves" ethyl alcohol (a mainstay in microbiological laboratories) which I believe has a 5% water content. I am reluctant to heat the alcohol while mixing it with rosin (for safety) and it seems pointless since the excess rosin would come out of solution upon cooling. I just don't believe that the patent lives up to critical examination as it relates to rosin percentage.
In my original batch, I used Pirastro Goldflex rosin because I thought that it would be cool to have flecks of gold in the peg drops. I did achieve the effect, but removing 7 grams of rosin from the cake took a rather severe segment, so I began to look for alternatives (actually, I have several bars of Cecilio rosin that I removed from various violin purchases that I could have used) when I came across rodeo rosin on eBay.
Pure rosin, in theory, should work better than violin rosin for peg drops since I believe that violin rosin is a mixture of rosin, bees wax, and other ingredients. I am now wondering if the rodeo rosin is composed of smashed up violin rosin cakes (it looks to be very consistent).
I do have very fine pumice as well (as suggested by Fiddlerman) but I am reluctant to add an abrasive to the mix. On the other extreme, I have been successful on using Teflon (tm) tape on fasteners to secure their position in a threaded hole. It seems counter intuitive, but it may be possible to secure a peg with teflon (tm) tape. Who know?
Did you mix in the order stated in the patent?
In order to make the peg drops, the violin rosin is crushed into powder and blended into the isopropyl alcohol until it is completely dissolved. This can be done with a conventional mixing device and should be done at room temperature. This will result in an amalgamated or homogeneous mixture.
Then, while the amalgamated mixture of isopropyl alcohol and violin rosin is still being mixed, the glycerin is added until the mixture is completely amalgamated and homogeneous with the three elements. Thereafter, while the mixture is still being mixed, the tincture of green soap is added until a new amalgamated and homogeneous mixture is obtained.
Folks who have made a cake from scratch know that the order of mixing a complex emulsion can change its properties....
Btw, the inventor Michael Pagliaro seems to still be selling his product, see http://pegdrops.com.
Yes, but you seem to be talking about dissolving the rosin in the alcohol, while the patent is a little contradictory and/or broader, talking about using a "conventional mixing device" (like a kitchen electric mixer? or industrial paint mixer?) to blend powdered rosin into the alcohol. It characterizes the result both as "dissolved" and as "an amalgamated or homogeneous mixture," which sounds more like a suspension, i.e., not a solution. Then the glycerin is added "while still being mixed" (i.e.--as I read it--while the "conventional mixing device" is still running, add the glycerine a little at time... ), and then the tincture of green soap added similarly.
I was wrong to characterize these things as if they were just the order added.
It is possible to have a suspension that stays a suspension indefinitely, even though one or more of its ingredients is present in greater proportion than would be possible in a saturated solution. I think that's what the guy is talking about.
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