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Tolerance of peg holes


Casey Jefferson

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Hi all,

I've been thinking about this recently, how much tolerance that the peg holes can usually take? Apart from heavy handed tuning (some players do really push the pegs hard), how much we should be careful when it comes to humidity and maybe temperature change?

I usually playing in places with and w/o air-con and the humidity changes is within 12+- (maybe 15 the most but I think that's probably extreme case? since I live in a country that's always humid summer), should I take care not to stick the pegs in too hard when in cold and dry room? My violin has boxwood pegs installed.

Hope to hear some inputs from luthiers.

Cheers!

Casey

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Hi all,

I've been thinking about this recently, how much tolerance that the peg holes can usually take? Apart from heavy handed tuning (some players do really push the pegs hard), how much we should be careful when it comes to humidity and maybe temperature change?

I usually playing in places with and w/o air-con and the humidity changes is within 12+- (maybe 15 the most but I think that's probably extreme case? since I live in a country that's always humid summer), should I take care not to stick the pegs in too hard when in cold and dry room? My violin has boxwood pegs installed.

Hope to hear some inputs from luthiers.

Cheers!

Casey

There's a lot to think about here.

Tolerance with regard to peg fitting is more of a "go by feel" proposition for me. That's not to say that certain technical requirements are not necessary first.

In any case, lots of pressure should not necessary with a proper fit.

I start by working to match the taper to the reamer so that the fit is exact to start with - meaning that when you turn the peg in the hole with light to medium pressure and no lube, two shiny bands show on the peg shaft, evenly wide and fully around the peg shaft - then I lube the shaft with Lava soap (yes, I know this point will be debated) or whatever peg lube or dope you'd care to use. Dry fit pegs need something as a lubricant so that the pegs operate correctly and dont stick permanently, etc..

In the final analysis, though the point is that a perfect fit is required in order to not rely on pressure to seat the peg enough to resist the string pressure. Eventually causing peg box cracks, and pegs that don't hold.

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There's a lot to think about here.

And regarding the "humidity" factor...

In my opinion, the procedure is the same for well fitting pegs - regardless of the ambient temp. or humidity.

If the violin is going to be put away for a long time or not played, the pegs should be loosened a bit first.

Otherwise, the way I initially fit the pegs is not dependant on high or low humidity, and, as the seasons change - well fit pegs don't seem to suffer much either way (at the worst, they may suddenly spring loose - where the string becomes a loose jumble, or they may become a bit tight) while ill fit pegs will be problematic always, no matter what.

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Hi all,

I've been thinking about this recently, how much tolerance that the peg holes can usually take? Apart from heavy handed tuning (some players do really push the pegs hard), how much we should be careful when it comes to humidity and maybe temperature change?

I usually playing in places with and w/o air-con and the humidity changes is within 12+- (maybe 15 the most but I think that's probably extreme case? since I live in a country that's always humid summer), should I take care not to stick the pegs in too hard when in cold and dry room? My violin has boxwood pegs installed.

Hope to hear some inputs from luthiers.

Cheers!

Casey

If you always tune with the pegs (rather than with fine tuners) the pegs, once they are properly fit and lubricated, will automatically adjust themselves while you are turning them to the right tightness, which is tight enough to hold the strings in tune yet loose enough that you can turn the pegs.

You seem to be concerned that if you push the pegs in tight enough to hold the strings in a low-humidity environment, they will become dangerously tight in high humidity. But as long as you can turn the pegs, they are not so tight that they might split the pegbox, assuming that there are not cracks or other damage already present. And as you turn them they will automatically work themselves a little farther out if they are too tight, or if they are too loose you will find that you have to push them farther in to hold the strings in tune.

It is only when you tune with fine tuners instead of the pegs that you can run into problems. If the humidity increases and the pegs swell too tight you would never be aware if it.

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If you always tune with the pegs (rather than with fine tuners) the pegs, once they are properly fit and lubricated, will automatically adjust themselves while you are turning them to the right tightness, which is tight enough to hold the strings in tune yet loose enough that you can turn the pegs.

Yes, I think the same thing.

Very often, with a specific question, for me it is a matter of how much information to give, or to pile on at first, in order to answer the specific question alone.

The pegs absolutely will self adjust, when used properly - for me this is sort of a "second tier" bit of information. The pegs ride infintesimally further in, or further out, depending on a number of factors including softer wood compression, humidity or wear. Turning them keeps them right where they should be if you're not habitually heavy handed. Very interesting stuff, in my opinion.

Once the pegs are properly fit - many aspects of why they work the way they do (regardless of ambient humidity or temperature) start to become obvious when you think about it.

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I do try to tune the pegs a little harder than I normally do these days, because I've had few situations where the peg will set free when I play in room with air-con with dry setting. Other than that, the pegs seems to stay in place well, even I tuned the violin in humid place beforehand and the pegs stay well in less humid rooms despite a slight force the peg will set loose when I tune - that's when I hate when it set loose itself when it gets too dry and I'm not aware of, especially halfway during performance (although very rarely occur, since going from humid to less humid room the tuning going to be off). There's once I left the violin alone when I'm away for a while and come back with 1 peg loosen, despite I already tuned the violin and played for a while in the same room beforehand.

Maybe I'll just need to be careful when I'm about to play at places that with air-con running and re-tune a few times so the pegs will automatically adjust itself instead of sticking in hard at first.

PS: Pegs on my violin seem to fit well as I can see even shiny bands that matches the wall of the pegbox.

Thanks again all!

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PS: Pegs on my violin seem to fit well as I can see even shiny bands that matches the wall of the pegbox.

Thanks again all!

There are other problems that can cause the peg to want to pop out, than the taper not matching...

One would be if the hole for the string on the peg shaft itself is too close to the inside of the peg box wall - and wants to push the string into the pegbox wall when tuning, easy to overlook, first thing to check for, just examine the strings (where their holes are) for that one and you can see if it is the cause and the other common reason happens if the pegs themselves are too soft (often they look like good pegs), and one or more of them develops a "shoulder" on the shaft from being compressed over and over, it's almost always located outside the pegbox cheek wall, right past the exterior of the large end of the peg hole, just shy of the tuning pad. It's best to remove the peg and feel for it, because it is can be somewhat tricky spotting it when the peg is in place, up to pitch, and with the strings on.

These problems I consider in the "ill fit peg" category - but both problems are very common.

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Pegs are held by friction. The harder you push the better it holds. Problem is that it will not be long

the holes are distorted or deformed. Everybody knows that but few seeks altenative. "perfection " is

a solution. I do not sell them. I bought them only for my own use.

Try it if you do not like it write a review to let others know.

In the old days, people used metal gears to assist the pegs to achieve the necessary friction and easy tuning.

Now they hide the gears insider the pegs. I like it alot. If you Do not need them it means you have good

friction in the holes to hold the pegs. Of course the fact itself is an accomplishment. Not everyone is that smart.

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