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JCHungerpiller

Stuck Pegs

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You can try using WD40 or a similar penetrating oil, Some contain graphite. I use one that comes in a tiny bottle with a needle type applicator. I think it is used for freeing locks. You will need to test it on varnish before using it on a fiddle. The one I use doesn't harm the varnish, it merely leaves an oily deposit that needs to be cleaned off. But don't swamp it a few drops are usually enough.  

 

 

Rodger,

 

are you kidding,,

 

or not  ?

 

It is thinking outside the box,,,,,,

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Recently a student violin was presented to me with all four pegs really stuck and they were really stuck and didn't want to move with a peg wrench or hammer and punch; I stuck the instrument in the refrigerator in the afternoon and the next morning the pegs were loose enough to remove with moderate finger pressure.  I cleaned and lubed the pegs and no more problem.

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Actually I never spray the stuff on; I apply it very sparingly on the inside of the box. Does this mean that I was thinking inside the box? I have used WD40 without problems, but the best stuff is a lock freeing oil with graphite. Its called graphite oil. (Sorry no commercial name) It comes in a tiny bottle with a hypodermic needle type dispenser. You really do only need a tiny drop. It is designed to penetrate and that is what it does. It softens the dried out peg paste and soap or whatever is jamming up the works. I would certainly try this before sticking a fiddle in the freezer. 

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While I question several statements about Larsen in Wikipedia (the bio is badly written and poorly sourced), he did name his business Rocket Chemical Company, and he was in San Diego, where rocket production has been a very big deal.  In 1953 a team at Convair's San Diego plant (later General Dynamics San Diego Division) was working on developing what would become Atlas missiles, which were the first US ICBM, and purpose built as a nuclear delivery system.  They proved to be a poor ICBM design but a marvelous space launch vehicle and a variety is still in production, using, ironically, Russian designed RD-180 engines.  I saw vintage early Atlas components while working at GD and due to the dissimilar metals and thin gauges used it was a sheet metal corrosion failure waiting to happen, without proper storage and maintenance.  Larsen unquestionably first sold his product to Convair, and it was used during the early Atlas program as a protective agent.  While the why part of the story is lost in the mists of time, the supposition is that he knew someone working on the program.  That's how I got part of my info, anyway :lol:  Maybe some surviving steely-eyed missileman from those days who now makes violins knows more..

 

BTW, the stuff contains a volatile fraction that i wouldn't trust on varnish.  Try spraying a Q-tip with it and dosing the peg after the carrier has evaporated some.  At least one of the "copycats" lists chloroform as an ingredient, though the original doesn't contain any.

 

Has anyone tried the silicone spray used on scuba equipment?  I know it's free of anything nasty.

 

The tiniest hint of silicone can cause  horrible problems with varnish. Anyone who dared bring silicone into my shop would be lucky to escape defenestration.

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The tiniest hint of silicone can cause  horrible problems with varnish. Anyone who dared bring silicone into my shop would be lucky to escape defenestration.

Thank you, that answers that admirably :lol:

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The tiniest hint of silicone can cause  horrible problems with varnish. Anyone who dared bring silicone into my shop would be lucky to escape defenestration.

 

Silicone perked up my lips beautifully, but does this mean that I will not be able to use lipstick any more?

Now that Roger brought that up, I can see Nathan getting a lot of publicity, but probably offset by the legal fees.  Depending on the soloist who gets pitched, it might even make the cover of The Strad :lol:

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I like to put the fiddle, or just the scroll in a lower humidity environment for a couple of days. After that, they can usually be loosened by hand. It's not quick-turnaround, but stuck pegs aren't usually something which happens to an instrument which is used regularly anyway.

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Silicone perked up my lips beautifully, but does this mean that I will not be able to use lipstick any more?

 

Quit kissing your fiddles :)

 

I like to put the fiddle, or just the scroll in a lower humidity environment for a couple of days. After that, they can usually be loosened by hand. It's not quick-turnaround, but stuck pegs aren't usually something which happens to an instrument which is used regularly anyway.

 

 

Or one that has well fit  pegs.

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Silicone perked up my lips beautifully, but does this mean that I will not be able to use lipstick any more?

Yes you can still use lipstick,,

But it must contain a non-skid emulsifying agent to allow it to spread evenly across those beautiful lips of yours.

Otherwise it will appear blotchy and messy,,,

Thus revealing the true nature of the old fart that you really are.

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The tiniest hint of silicone can cause  horrible problems with varnish. Anyone who dared bring silicone into my shop would be lucky to escape defenestration.

[

Chuckle chuckle. Great answer! fred

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 It's not quick-turnaround, but stuck pegs aren't usually something which happens to an instrument which is used regularly anyway.

Not necessarily true. Many players who use steel strings tune almost entirely with the fine tuners and can go months without touching the pegs.

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Silicone perked up my lips beautifully, but does this mean that I will not be able to use lipstick any more?

Roger

 Is silicone really an ingredient in lipstick? If so I guess I'll have to stop my clients from kissing the unvarnished fiddles.

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Roger

 Is silicone really an ingredient in lipstick? If so I guess I'll have to stop my clients from kissing the unvarnished fiddles.

Roger is, I believe, referring to injectable silicone oil, similar to that contained in some breast implants but injected directly into the body..  Direct silicone injection is illegal in many places today, but still goes on :rolleyes: Lipstick doesn't contain it, though it often contains a number of things I wouldn't care to smear on a fiddle :lol:

 

I believe current cosmetic surgical practice uses collagen injections for lips.

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Not necessarily true. Many players who use steel strings tune almost entirely with the fine tuners and can go months without touching the pegs.

Yes, I should have said "an instrument on which the pegs are turned regularly", rather than "an instrument which is used regularly".

 

I'll also mention that I find stuck pegs to be more common on instruments where the string has been wound up against the side of the pegbox, forcing the peg in more tightly than it might be otherwise, and not allowing it to go in the other direction as needed (when turned) when moisture conditions expand the parts.

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Sizing the pegs and the peg holes with varnish or glair, wouldn't be the solution to prevent humidity swelling the wood?

Not really. While many things will prevent short-term liquid water penetration, not many are effective long-term vapor barriers. The wood will eventually wind up being in moisture equilibrium with the surrounding air. There are some which perform much better than others, like a thick uninterrupted coating of paraffin wax, but you can see how this might not be practical.

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Not really. While many things will prevent short-term liquid water penetration, not many are effective long-term vapor barriers. The wood will eventually wind up being in moisture equilibrium with the surrounding air. There are some which perform much better than others, like a thick uninterrupted coating of paraffin wax, but you can see how this might not be practical.

You mean a bit of vapour will penetrate even through the varnish barrier?

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My solution to the sticking peg problem was to make a peg-extractor tool which in most cases dispenses with more violent methods.

 

My peg tool resembles a light weight aluminum C-clamp,one end of which is forked and padded with thick cork;the opposite end,containing the thumbscrew(also padded with cork) bears against the small end of the peg,while the forked end is pressing against the side of the peg box beneath the collar giving support to the side of the peg box. A gentle,slow twist of the thumb screw presses the peg out of the box. Only rarely is a slight tap with a small hammer on the end of the thumbscrew required. I've used this tool for several years and have always had complete success.

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Robertdo,

Maybe, but not much. I don't. For removing stuck pegs I use a modified automatic center punch. A little care is required, of course, but I've never experienced peg box damage. Even that is difficult if the string is tight against the wall, as David noted.

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My solution to the sticking peg problem was to make a peg-extractor tool which in most cases dispenses with more violent methods....

 

Sounds interesting.  How about a picture?

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