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String hole position in peg


Alex_E
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I have read conflicting advice as to where the hole should be drilled, examples being:

1. That the hole should be close to the pegbox wall on the thinner end of the peg and that the string should be wound on without a crossover.

2. That the hole should be in the centre of the peg or close to the pegbox wall at the large end of the peg, locked with a crossover and then wound towards the thinner end of the peg to reduce the rotational force, for less chance of the peg slipping.

What is the general consensus for the recommended position of the hole and whether string crossover should or shouldn't be used?

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If you put the hole near the outer pegbox wall, you'll soon find yourself drilling another hole, when the first disappears into the wood. To prolong the life of the hole is why it's usually drilled closer to the peg head.

If you don't do the crossover, the string can slip out easier, however never do the crossover in the final two turns, so all you need is two turns space between the hole and the pegbox, which space will unavoidably grow with time. Some strings don't need it, but it's always more reliable that way than not, so why not?

So there are the proactive reasons for drilling nearer the head, and the overlap. What's the logic for the other way?

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Quote:

........and that the string should be wound on without a crossover.


I always use a crossover. It allows for getting the hole closer to the peghead.

The only time I wouldn't use a crossover is when there is too little clearance between the peg and bottom of the pegbox---sometimes the case on the D and A pegs.

"That the hole should be close to the pegbox wall on the thinner end of the peg ".

As Michael says, if you do this then you will soon need to drill a new hole. If you do this on the D peg then it's also likely the A string will rub on the D windings and soon break from the friction.

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I spend an inordinate amount of time seating the pegs well and compressing the wood before I trim the ends and dome them, then drill the stringhole.

I like to drill the string hole about 3/32" away from the far peg box wall, so that the string winds (with no overlap) and exits the peg in an almost straight line out to the nut.

I've had to redrill many pegs where the string has entered the pegbox cheek - but I haven't had to redrill one of mine yet. Undoubtedly one day I'll have to.

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I drill the hole in each peg slightly towards the peg head (from center of peg box) to allow for some settling inward. I'd rather cut the string length if too long than wind a crossover. I wind them straight and I have never had any slip off the peg shaft without a crossover. Usually 3 or 4 wraps around the shaft and inserted well into the right size hole will not allow to the string to slip off the shaft anyway. On some violins with a shallow peg box bottom the cross over just interferes anyway. I also drill the hole in the shaft perpendicular to the peg head to allow for easier alignment and initial turning while stringing up.

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Ya know all of the above seems to be from the makers, as a player - no matter where the hole is, I start with one loop around the peg away from the head then cross back and wind toward the head. It's the way I learned to do it way back and still do. I have had strings slip from the hole even this way, and would not trust one to stay without the crossover. I would think as a luthier, when you make a new set of pegs it would be important to verify what the player plans to do when they restring in 6 months or so.

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Regis,

Well, depending on the instrument, but normally I make all the holes the same size and usually gauge it by the threaded end of the thickest string, but on higher end violins I have been known to gauge each hole differently for a more snug fit (or at least two sizes). And yes I always do chamfer the holes slightly with a small rat-tail file.

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Yes, but It's not always actual wear that allows the peg to travel inward but rather different reactions to humidity between the peg wood and that of the peg box wall. Even if you compress as much as possible that will not eliminate peg travel 100% and it will happen to virtually ever newly fit peg at least a little (I normally allow from .5 mm to 1 mm for this when cutting and rounding off the ends, and drilling the holes). At least that is what I have found to be true here in our NM climate.

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Michael, Ah yes, but I never make them too snug. I only use the string as a gauge to determine what size hole to use with a little lee way. Normally I just use one size too, thick enough to accept a Tonica aluminum "D" string which are normally very thick. What size drill bit do you recommend for violin pegs?

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Thanks to all who replied, I've spent most of the past week helping one of my sons build a huge retaining wall out of earth filled Terraform concrete blocks, with much shovelling, tamping and sweating.

Most of my ordered violin parts have arrived with only three ebony pegs on back order, so once all the muscles and joints settle down it's back to try and finish off my two current prototypes before the pacing season starts again.

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