Non-standard peg repair question


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I have been lurking on Maestronet for a couple years now. I lurk to learn. Since I live in a city where I haven’t met a luthier, I’ve effected a few repairs on my own. Those repairs impressed my daughter’s teacher and she gifted me with a fixer-upper violin. It had been stored in a basement; I cleaned some mold off the front.

I’ve attached pictures. Sorry I couldn’t follow Michael Darton’s instructions mentioned on the ‘interesting website’ thread, as I don’t have the setup. I hope they show the detail needed.

I can see a crack near the sound post in the back that runs strangely not with the grain. The ‘cracks’ on the front appear to be stable, although I’m not sure they are cracks or antiquing The very miss-matched pegs seem to have a non-standard taper. The only thing I can see through the f hole is EM 1867 with the ‘7’ in the European way with a cross through the stem.

I’ve bought new pegs, a reamer, and shaver (although I might modify the shaver before I use it…)

I don’t want to ruin this fiddle if it is something special, and I know I haven’t the knowledge to know if it is. It sounds better to me than the one (Moscow Musical Instrument and Furniture Factory violin from 1972) I have at home in Kazakhstan.

So my questions:

Do I have a violin that shouldn’t be repaired by a learner?

If I have a violin that hasn’t much value, where do I start with the pegs?

Do I ream the peg holes until they are round and the right taper and then fit the pegs?

Have a blessed and merry Christmas

jonathan

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This is a pretty nice looking violin. There are numerous top cracks, and as you've said a post crack, which would be very difficult for someone 'just learning' to repair. You need lots and lots of crack clamps, spool clamps, and thick saddle leather for padding, cleat material, good granulated hide glue, knives and scoops and finger planes, chalk, saws brushes etc. You'd also have to cast this thing up to repair the post crack properly. It's not impossible for someone to do, but again, it's really hard for me to say, "You can do it," if you've only been lurking here on MN to learn.

Why would you modify your peg shaver for first use?

The pegs are mismatched, and should be replaced (because they are ill fitting, not just mismatched). If you have questions about where to start with pegs, I would say that you shouldn't move forward with any other repair.

...

Try placing the reamer into one of the existing holes to test the taper (do not turn). If the reamer doesn't seem to fit, you may be dealing with an older/steeper peg taper (1:20?). Depending on how large the holes have to be reamed to accommodate a normal 1:30 taper, you may need to bush the holes with tapered dowels/bushings of matching maple wood).

As mentioned in another thread, you need to let new pegs adjust to their environment before fitting (if mail ordered or stored in a plastic bag). You also need materials for finishing pegs, to clean up around the collars after shaving, and polish the shaven shaft.

If I were you, I would start on a worse instrument. From one former newbie to another, start on something else.

Merry Christmas!

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Thank you for the reply iburkard. Particularly for the advice to wait on starting this project at this time.

I bought a cheap peg shaver and haven't gotten back to my calipers to physically measure it, or near any scrap wood to practice with. By eye, it looks wrong. I may take the blades off and make my own.

Thanks again for the advice!

Blessings and Merry Christmas!

jonathan

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Thank you for the reply iburkard. Particularly for the advice to wait on starting this project at this time.

I bought a cheap peg shaver and haven't gotten back to my calipers to physically measure it, or near any scrap wood to practice with. By eye, it looks wrong. I may take the blades off and make my own.

Thanks again for the advice!

Blessings and Merry Christmas!

jonathan

Since you don't have your calipers ...

Tapers are usually 1:20 or 1:30 a close measure of the diameter should get you close enough to guess at just what it is that you have.

If you drill some holes of different sizes in a board, and then place your reamer in it, then you should find a match for both ends.

Close enough for government work! is the old saying.

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Since you don't have your calipers ...

Tapers are usually 1:20 or 1:30 a close measure of the diameter should get you close enough to guess at just what it is that you have.

If you drill some holes of different sizes in a board, and then place your reamer in it, then you should find a match for both ends.

Close enough for government work! is the old saying.

Your E string peg looks pretty big, but it's hard for me to tell from a photo. That hole at least may have to be bushed. It looks like two of the pegs were fit with a file instead of a pegs shaver, so the taper is hard to see, but probably all are close to 1 to thirty. You can probably tell if the new peg will be big enough to replace E string peg but remember it needs to be slightly larger to be fit. Bushing peg holes takes some instruction and practice.

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I have been lurking on Maestronet for a couple years now. I lurk to learn. Since I live in a city where I haven’t met a luthier, I’ve effected a few repairs on my own. Those repairs impressed my daughter’s teacher and she gifted me with a fixer-upper violin. It had been stored in a basement; I cleaned some mold off the front.

I’ve attached pictures. Sorry I couldn’t follow Michael Darton’s instructions mentioned on the ‘interesting website’ thread, as I don’t have the setup. I hope they show the detail needed.

I can see a crack near the sound post in the back that runs strangely not with the grain. The ‘cracks’ on the front appear to be stable, although I’m not sure they are cracks or antiquing The very miss-matched pegs seem to have a non-standard taper. The only thing I can see through the f hole is EM 1867 with the ‘7’ in the European way with a cross through the stem.

I’ve bought new pegs, a reamer, and shaver (although I might modify the shaver before I use it…)

I don’t want to ruin this fiddle if it is something special, and I know I haven’t the knowledge to know if it is. It sounds better to me than the one (Moscow Musical Instrument and Furniture Factory violin from 1972) I have at home in Kazakhstan.

So my questions:

Do I have a violin that shouldn’t be repaired by a learner?

If I have a violin that hasn’t much value, where do I start with the pegs?

Do I ream the peg holes until they are round and the right taper and then fit the pegs?

Have a blessed and merry Christmas

jonathan

+++++++++++++

Since you are thinking to fix the pegs, I would think it may be the time for you

to connsider a set of "perfection pegs"

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The crack IS with the grain. The flame (stripes) is not in the direction of the grain.

I knew that the flame wasn't the direction of the grain. I did however expect the grain to be fairly straight with the centerline of the instrument. The crack seems to run straight down from the approximate location of the foot of the sound post, but angles toward the center above that point.

+++++++++++++

Since you are thinking to fix the pegs, I would think it may be the time for you

to connsider a set of "perfection pegs"

Thanks, I have considered perfection pegs or maybe the wittner pegs but I also was interested in learning new things.

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:) It's best to know traditional techniques before branching off into mechanical pegs... do things right, and sharpen your skills... just my opinion though.

+++++++++++

Once you have used "perfection pegs" or equivalents, you will never go back to "tradition".

Just my experience.

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+++++++++++

Once you have used "perfection pegs" or equivalents, you will never go back to "tradition".

Just my experience.

I agree with iburkhard; that to make any progress at all in violinmaking or repair you have to perfect your skills and not take the "easy way out". It's an uphill road but I presume that this will not be the last time "koshpendi" will ever work on a set of pegs and learning how to do it right can be very satisfying.

Bruce

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I agree with iburkhard; that to make any progress at all in violinmaking or repair you have to perfect your skills and not take the "easy way out". It's an uphill road but I presume that this will not be the last time "koshpendi" will ever work on a set of pegs and learning how to do it right can be very satisfying.

Bruce

+++++++++++++

Yes, to master the skill of repairing pegs in general, one should start from basic.

Installing traditional pegs one has to use bushing, drilling etc. It is good to learn all these by doings.

Cutting or trimming "perfection pegs" is harder. If not careful, the appearance of the scroll will suffer.

This is where the professional work comes in. It takes more money to repair the scroll than money to install

a set of pegs. Leave the work for professional from economic point of view.

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I agree with iburkhard; that to make any progress at all in violinmaking or repair you have to perfect your skills and not take the "easy way out". It's an uphill road but I presume that this will not be the last time "koshpendi" will ever work on a set of pegs and learning how to do it right can be very satisfying.

Bruce

Yes, it all takes an investment in time, training and tools, and maybe a little natural aptitude, not unlike playing the violin.

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+++++++++++

The old pegs hole spacing seem crooked. Re- drilling and bushing may be in order.

No adventure, no gain.

Use sharp tools, Good lucks.

PS, Professional jobs should be much cleaner and neat with precision as if that were originally equipped.

Obviously one has to pay to get such level of result.

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+++++++++++

The old pegs hole spacing seem crooked. Re- drilling and bushing may be in order.

No adventure, no gain.

Use sharp tools, Good lucks.

PS, Professional jobs should be much cleaner and neat with precision as if that were originally equipped.

Obviously one has to pay to get such level of result.

The point wasn't that he has to go to a professional maker and pay. Life would be pretty boring if all we had to do is pay someone else to do everything and "koshpendis" initial question would not have been necessary. The point is that he doesn't have a professional violinmaker in his city in Kazakhstan; or evidently anywhere nearby.

From "koshpendis" message I also got the impression that he probably will be doing, and wants to do, more of this kind of work in the future: a fact that would justify an "investment" of time and effort to learn how to do it right.

The violin in question appears to be worth fixing up but likely is not of great value. This would be good for hands on practice if he is interested in continuing with other repairs and in perfecting his skills. :)

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The point wasn't that he has to go to a professional maker and pay. Life would be pretty boring if all we had to do is pay someone else to do everything and "koshpendis" initial question would not have been necessary. The point is that he doesn't have a professional violinmaker in his city in Kazakhstan; or evidently anywhere nearby.

From "koshpendis" message I also got the impression that he probably will be doing, and wants to do, more of this kind of work in the future: a fact that would justify an "investment" of time and effort to learn how to do it right.

The violin in question appears to be worth fixing up but likely is not of great value. This would be good for hands on practice if he is interested in continuing with other repairs and in perfecting his skills. :)

+++++++++++++

Thank you. Now I understand what was the original poster's intention.

It is cheaper to ask questions than to move to a city where there are luthier services.

That thought never crosses my mind, I have luthiers services in everywhere I go and I also have

so many violins. If they break down I just use another one.

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+++++++++++++

It is cheaper to ask questions than to move to a city where there are luthier services.

Is the point really that it is CHEAPER to ask questions or is it the fact that he wants to learn how to change the pegs himself?

He has an instrument to practice on and has already purchased some tools to help him do the job.

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Is the point really that it is CHEAPER to ask questions or is it the fact that he wants to learn how to change the pegs himself?

He has an instrument to practice on and has already purchased some tools to help him do the job.

++++++++++++

Okay, money is not the problem. I think I got it. :)

The top plate are still full of cracks, right?

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The first step for me would not be dealing with the pegs, but taking down the entire setup to see what's going on everywhere. There are so many cracks that it would be wise to scope around through the endpin hole.

I love seeing old repairs, and new damage, with a tiny exam light... very informative before getting out an opening knife.

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The first step for me would not be dealing with the pegs, but taking down the entire setup to see what's going on everywhere. There are so many cracks that it would be wise to scope around through the enpin hole.

++++++++++++

Have you heard about "fake cracks"? They may not be needing fixing. :)

On the other hand, some people don't like " fake" things.

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The first step for me would not be dealing with the pegs, but taking down the entire setup to see what's going on everywhere. There are so many cracks that it would be wise to scope around through the endpin hole.

I love seeing old repairs, and new damage, with a tiny exam light... very informative before getting out an opening knife.

Yes. Take everything off and look.

Spend an hour (no joke) looking at every aspect of it.

Look inside.

Figure it out.

Before I ever work on an instrument I sit with it and try to get a solid grasp of the thing.

Often this is just me spacing out with a violin and a loupe, but hey, it helps.

Cheaper instruments may take 5 min or less.

Fantastic ones, exponentially longer.

Good luck.

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Yes. Take everything off and look.

Spend an hour (no joke) looking at every aspect of it.

Look inside.

Figure it out.

Before I ever work on an instrument I sit with it and try to get a solid grasp of the thing.

Often this is just me spacing out with a violin and a loupe, but hey, it helps.

Cheaper instruments may take 5 min or less.

Fantastic ones, exponentially longer.

Good luck.

++++++++++++

Hey, it is not fair.

We should treat all violins equal.

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