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orsonw

Posts: 1971
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

Peg shaving 

My guitar has a peg that is slipping; the D string. But I am not going to fix it myself. I have taken it to a very experienced and reputable violin luthier and repairer. I thought they are masters of the friction peg. The near guitar luthier is not that familiar with them.

The violin luthier told me the peg has gone slightly oval but the hole is ok. They said they can fix it. They will check the other pegs, and may have to adjust so they all stick out the headstock the same distance.

I would be grateful to the luthiers here if they can respond this question:

Is there anything particular that I need to make the violin luthier aware of when fixing guitar pegs?

E.g. From what I've read of old foro threads; having the inserts on the end of the pegs means they cannot cut the end of the peg down if shaving them means they stick out too far? But what is too far?





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2022 17:33:39
 
ernandez R

Posts: 761
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

I’m a fairly new Luther, just a few years and in on my 15th now but 13 of those have friction pegs.

-I case harden the peg shaft and hole after final reaming and shaving with ultra thin CA then shave again, then 2-3 more times with medium CA shaving each time as required.

-In your case I would have build the peg back up to round with coats of CA if it was not too out of round and do the same with the hole. This way your peg doesn’t change its depth and can be adjusted by adding layers of CA or reaming/scraping as need be.

-I do all the holes first for good measure and set the depth with a strip of tape on the ream. Then do the same with the pegs.

-I’ve found that with care all the pegs are interchangeable with any hole if one takes the time to be precise.

-String up for a good 24 hours or more and twist the pegs every three hours or so. The following day make any final adjustments.

*This is not for your guitar but I do something different with my pegs, I install mine by tilting the string hole end toward the sound hole about five degree. If you study the peg shaft angle, the reamed hole, and the string pull angle closely you will understand that the tension and unwinding also introduce a downward force that loosens the peg in the hole. By tilting the peg just a degree past 90 on the nut side of the peg we introduce an force that tightens the peg. I think this is about 5-6 degree and it’s hardly noticeable although the purest might be offended ;)

Well tended pegs are a joy to use but they do take some care to operate and maintenance by a skilled and experienced luthier.

My aesthetic sensibilities are offended by the look of the geared pegs, the mechanic in me is amazed, and my aging hands are looking up at me and saying, WTF is your problem ;)

Bravo for sticking with the friction pegs!


HR


ps. On my instagram there are a number of posts about pegs, how I make mine etc.

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2022 18:50:46
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

Orson,

Just let them do it the violin maker way, but ask them how far the peg is going to stick out and how much shaft on the backside will remain.

Between the back of the headstock and the collar on the peg about 25 mm of shaft is good. Plus or minus a few mm either way.
Having too much shaft on the back and the peg can wrack and that leads to problems.

If they are just truing up the peg, have them check all the pegs and give them a spin in the peg shaper to true them.

Ask them for a good recommendation for peg dope and get the inside hole on the headstock well coated.

They know what they’re doing.

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2022 7:42:49
 
orsonw

Posts: 1971
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to estebanana

Thank you very much for your advice.

And don't worry HR there's no way I'd ever convert this guitar. I find that when the pegs are working, they are in some ways easier to use than machines. I like the feeling of tuning directly with no gearing, and of course string changes are much easier.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2022 21:15:01
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1693
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

This may sound barbaric, but one fix is to apply a little Lava brand soap to the peg. Lava soap contains pumice, an abrasive. Turning the peg so treated in the hole will round both the peg and the hole.

It's not surprising that the holes or pegs become oval with changes in humidity, since wood shrinks (or swells) much more perpendicular to the grain lines than it does with the grain.

_____________________________

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www.edluthier.com
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2022 21:23:38
 
pbekkerh

 

Posts: 34
Joined: Dec. 11 2012
 

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

quote:

E.g. From what I've read of old foro threads; having the inserts on the end of the pegs means they cannot cut the end of the peg down if shaving them means they stick out too far? But what is too far?


You don't shave the end, you shave the pegs round and make the holes suit the pegs. As described you can use superglue to make the holes smaller and then ream them.

Sometimes a bigger size pegs are needed if the holes have become too big for the existing pegs.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2022 0:43:43
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3436
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

quote:

ORIGINAL: orsonw

Thank you very much for your advice.

And don't worry HR there's no way I'd ever convert this guitar. I find that when the pegs are working, they are in some ways easier to use than machines. I like the feeling of tuning directly with no gearing, and of course string changes are much easier.


My '67 Ramirez 1a blanca was built with pegs--rosewood pegs, in cedar holes. They never worked smoothly. Eventually they wore to the point of being annoying.

For a while I lived half the time in Palo Alto, so I took the guitar to Gryphon and asked for it to be converted to machines. Frank Ford took the trouble to come out of the back room and lecture me. He refused to do the conversion because it would "betray the character of the instrument."

When I told him that Jose Ramirez III had offered to do the job, but I never had the instrument in Madrid long enough to get it done, Ford came close to calling me a liar. i said if that was what he meant, would he mind stepping out onto the sidewalk?

Ford demurred.

(I was in my late 40s, somewhat more impulsive than I am now.)

A few years later I lived overseas and visited San Francisco for a week or so. I asked Kenny Hill to do the conversion. It was done in his shop at Ben Lomond up in the Santa Cruz mountains.

The guitar and I have lived happily ever after.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2022 3:05:28
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

I hate to be an A-hole here, but none of these solutions work. Except conversion to machines.

Oval pegs have to be shaved to make them round again. CA is a bad idea.
Larger pegs? No.

If the pegs are not fitting they need to be shaved. At a certain point the pegs will become too small in diameter and they’ll have to be retired. Then it’s likely the peg hole needs to be bushed and re-drilled and then reamed to accept a new set of viola sized pegs.

Bushing the peg holes is really simple, you get or plane out a dowel of the same material as the peg headstock. Turn the dowel in the peg shaver and taper it. Then check the fit in the peg hole, if it fits cut that section off brush some hide glue on it and push it into the peg hole to bush it. Couple hours later trim the plug bushing flush and re-drill it. Then ream it to fit the old pegs or a new set of pegs.

No short cuts, do the job proper.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2022 13:54:12
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Richard,

I’m pretty sure in a street fight you’d easily have taken Ford out quickly and decisively. But he has a bone saw in the back of the shop and I wouldn’t put it past him to use it. Luthiers are tricky customers.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2022 14:03:12
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3625
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

My '67 Ramirez 1a blanca was built with pegs--rosewood pegs, in cedar holes. They never worked smoothly. Eventually they wore to the point of being annoying.

For a while I lived half the time in Palo Alto, so I took the guitar to Gryphon and asked for it to be converted to machines. Frank Ford took the trouble to come out of the back room and lecture me. He refused to do the conversion because it would "betray the character of the instrument."


With mechanical pegs noone can tell the difference from more than 3 feet away, so they won't "betray the character of the instrument."

More importantly from my point of view (I'm really not that bothered about the "look") is that Wittner mechanical pegs, while obviously heavier than wooden pegs, are half the weight of machine heads.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2022 15:18:09
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to mark indigo

Richard is speaking about a time and place when men were men, luthiers yielded bone saws and high quality mechanical pegs didn’t exist yet. That face off ended without bloodshed.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2022 22:16:29
 
silddx

Posts: 642
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to mark indigo

I imagine by character he meant more than its appearance.

My Wittners work really well, but I love my rosewood pegs. I really don't like machines.

Just my personal preferences, as a flamenco rookie.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2022 12:55:26
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1140
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

The headstock of that Esteso is just lovely: mid seventies? I imagine the guitar must be special and I would keep it as original as possible.
In a general sense, either you love the pegs or you just don’t. I belong to the 2nd category.
Years ago I did the conversion job myself on a Bellido guitar: I used to play regularly that guitar but with the time I felt more and more uncomfortable with the pegs. Eventually I hesitated in doing the conversion job because I was afraid the modification could have altered the instrument’s tone or feel.
Eventually it didn’t at all with my surprise and I enjoyed the guitar better with the tuning machines. This is just me obviously.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2022 14:53:52
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3436
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to silddx

quote:

ORIGINAL: silddx

I imagine by character he meant more than its appearance.



I selected the guitar because of its sound and playability, not because of its appearance. I couldn't tell any difference in those qualities after the conversion, though of course a direct comparison was impossible.

In fact there are slight irregularities in the color of the catalyzed polyurethane finish, visible upon close inspection.

I had never owned a guitar with pegs. The fact that it had pegs weighed slightly against my choice of it, since I was unfamiliar with pegs.

It never was as easy to tune precisely as it has been with machines. I have played guitars whose pegs I have liked a lot more. Maybe I would have remained comfortable with them.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2022 2:31:38
 
orsonw

Posts: 1971
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to Echi

quote:

The headstock of that Esteso is just lovely: mid seventies?


1971 Sobrinos Esteso.
Visual aesthetics, haptics; pulsation/playability and peg use, sound, smell: all sensory experience of a guitar matter to me, though I have yet to eat one! For me this one has everything, it even has my favourite rosette. This guitar is iconic.
(PS I do also like guitars with machine tuners. I am not a peg head vs machine tuners person. I understand all pegs are not equal, but on this guitar I find that it is easy to use them.)

I've had it 10 years. Javier Conde playing it before I owned it:
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2022 14:37:35
 
orsonw

Posts: 1971
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

The repair has been done, now it tunes easily again.
Only the 4th peg needed shaving. The luthier checked the other pegs, nothing needed doing, and for me they have been working perfectly.

Now I see that the height of each peg was already a bit different, but this is only noticeable on close inspection.

I would use them again for peg problems https://bridgewoodandneitzert.london/





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2022 14:47:03
 
Ricardo

Posts: 15035
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

Nice. This makes me want to pull out my 73 immediately!!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2022 18:50:25
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3436
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Peg shaving (in reply to orsonw

quote:

ORIGINAL: orsonw

The repair has been done, now it tunes easily again.


I'm glad it turned out well. Few things are as sweet as a guitar you really like.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 8 2022 9:25:53
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