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hungrycanine

ballpark cost of fitting new pegs?

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I recently acquired a rather nice sounding French violin that I doubt has much pedigree. It certainly shows lots of wear and tear, but I like the sound and wanted something cheap that I could travel with and not worry about. It fits THAT bill nicely. But one (perhaps two) of the pegs slip badly, and I think it might need to have new pegs fitted. I'll certainly try peg drops and/or compound first, but if it becomes a job for professional attention, are we talking $100? $500 $1000?   Obviously, much depends on local charges, but I thought I'd just sound this forum out to prevent total shock when I took it in to a luthier. Sorry if this is a question that simply can't be answered.   

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Realistically it depends on who is doing the work and where you are located and what type of pegs. Roger might do it for a cool grand, maybe. But 100 to 200$ is reasonable in most metro areas for someone qaulified.

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Old nice sounding fiddles get played a lot and have a lot of peg wear, holes out of round, pegs out of round, oversized, string hole worn, pegbox hole with 1:25 taper, etc, etc.  Fitting a new 9mm peg often doesn't work well as it gives you a coarse adjustment and difficult tuning-if the old peg is big then the new peg will be bigger and that spells bushing the old hole to get a smaller better tuning peg.  Bushing is a complicated, time consuming, costly.  Hopefully your fiddle doesn't need peghole bushings but if it does count on at least $100 per peg to bush and fit a new ebony peg.  If the peghole is smaller than 9mm then a Perfection peg eliminates the need for bushing and installation really goes quick; the pegs cost about twice as much as ebony pegs but work fairly well.  You can get rid of those pesky fine tuners also.

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1-200 is in the ball park, but again the total cost will depend on the type of peg you want. Also I might add, as you mentioned the violin was french, the french loved using chalk to destroy the peg and pegbox walls, which is one reason why they often are problematic. In cases where particularly thick pegs have been used refitting may sometimes also include bushings. (Certainly not a common problem, but the problem is most commonly french)

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For a cheap travel fiddle with no worries, I'd definitely consider the planetary pegs; Wittner, Perfection or Pegheds.

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1-200 is in the ball park, but again the total cost will depend on the type of peg you want. Also I might add, as you mentioned the violin was french, the french loved using chalk to destroy the peg and pegbox walls, which is one reason why they often are problematic. In cases where particularly thick pegs have been used refitting may sometimes also include bushings. (Certainly not a common problem, but the problem is most commonly french)

 

 

Ever since Hill peg soap ("lipstick") came out, French luthiers, just like everyone else, have been using it and not chalk. This dates back at least 40 years, since I have never used chalk.

www.kreitpatrick.com

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Ever since Hill peg soap ("lipstick") came out, French luthiers, just like everyone else, have been using it and not chalk. This dates back at least 40 years, since I have never used chalk.

www.kreitpatrick.com

An absolutely ridiculous comment. Hill compound is specifically to make the pegs more slippery, less likely to grip. Chalk is for making the pegs grip more not less, so they don't slip. How could you possibly exchange the use of one for the other???

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Those planetary pegs sound interesting. I'm far from making serious demands on ANY instrument, and the French violin will truly be a rough-and-tumble musical companion. These sound like they might be just the ticket for solving this particular problem on this particular instrument. It didn't cost me much to begin with, and I'm certainly reluctant to spend much getting it in working shape. If the violin were worth a great deal of money but had slipping pegs, I might be willing to "do things as they've been done for centuries". But it's definitely not worth a great deal of money -- it just sounds nice to my innocent ear!  I didn't even know about planetary pegs. Many thanks for the idea! 

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I have 3 student grade violins.  Have had PegHeads installed on all three.  They have held up very well for the past few years.  Just aquired my first what I call professional grade violin and am looking to get PegHeads put into them.  I paid about 150 dollars each time.  Have no regrets.  The first two student violins only cost me 300.   Yet to me, it was worth spending 150 to put in the pegs.  When I watched the owner of a violin shop put a violin between his legs and struggle to move the peg I laughed to myself.  Go to http://pegheds.com  and you should see all the details. If you have any problem Google Peg Heads and see how it works.

 

Ben

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The first thing you should check is if theres anything wrong with your pegs or they just need the proper lubricant, check to see how much contact you're getting between the peg and the scroll by looking for the shiny area on the peg where it contacts the pegbox, if you're getting shiny areas almost 100% on both sides of the pegbox visible on the pegs, you don't have a problem that can't be easily fixed. soap makes pegs turn easily and tend to slip, so does Hill peg compound. To make the pegs grip more and not want to slip, I use rouge, many people still use chalk, which works fine, some on this board have recommended powdered rosin. if you do a google search for "maestronet peg dope" you should find some of the many discussions of this topic

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Not enough rouge to make the pegs grip more!!!!!

 

When i put on straight rouge and the pegs are gripping too much, i add a little Hill compound to make them turn easier, not grip more, anyone that says Hill compound makes pegs grip is not getting it from the same source I am!!!!

 

I find to make the pegs slippery soap works best, rouge to make them grip, and a touch of Hill compound to stop them from clicking, or locking in position, but bascially Hill works much like soap, making the pegs turn smoothly, but too slippery to hold.

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Assuming that one is able to fit the pegs well, Hill's works fine.  The pegs adjust easily and yet hold well after adjustment.  It is not just for lubrication.

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maybe your peg fit is providing more friction than mine, but for me Hill works just like soap, you still need chalk or something else to make it turn slower, ie have more friction.

 

To professionally handle all the variations in new and old pegs you are going to encounter in the buisiness, there cannot be a one compound fits all solution that works in every instance entirely on its own, you are going to need at least two compounds in balance, one to make the pegs turn easier, and one to make them grip more, traditionally soap and chalk accomplished that just fine and still do, as far as I've tested it, Hill compound is a replacement for soap, not chalk, if your pegs are slipping, Hill compound isn't going to make them slip less, chalk or rouge on the other hand will make them slip less.

 

The balance of soap to chalk is never going to be the same on every peg you work on, some will need more soap, some will need more chalk, etc etc, That is what makes me wonder if people who claim all you need is Hill compound are actually fitting any pegs at all.......

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maybe your peg fit is providing more friction than mine, but for me Hill works just like soap, you still need chalk or something else to make it turn slower, ie have more friction.

 

To professionally handle all the variations in new and old pegs you are going to encounter in the buisiness, there cannot be a one compound fits all solution that works in every instance entirely on its own, 

 

I agree. With Lyndon. This is an occasion.

 

I might add too the third use for Hills. As a 'filler' between peg and pegbox. Or as a 'medium' to which other substances can be added. For violins generally I find soap slips too much.. (have I mentioned I don't like chalk) I use lumber chalk to assist in the 'sticking' - doesn't stick too much, and won't grate the insides of the peg-holes like chalk does. Hills dope will kind of stick to a point but does tend to be more slippy (depends on what type of wood the pegs  are made of too btw), but is a good medium for which to add other substances at ones' leisure.

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I agree. With Lyndon. This is an occasion.

 

Don't we also agree that Marmite and cricket are great inventions!!!!

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Clearly the ultimate solution is get new pegs made and fitted by a pro.  Short of that, if all those pasty stuff does not seem to work, here is what I have done on occasion.  I rub rougher sand paper longitudinally along the length of the peg stem,  creating some micro ridges for the peg hole to bite into.

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I fit the pegs and just use Hill paste. It works well here.

 

One thing that has not been mentioned is the importance of the position of the string hole in the peg. The string should be wound on so that as it tightens, it snugs up against the pegbox wall, and holds the peg in place without the player having to push it in. The hole should be positioned to accomodate this.

 

I use a pointier peg taper than is now standard. I have a collection of old reamers and can usually match most old fiddles when refitting pegs. I find the pointier taper works best here, as it doesn't push into the pegbox so quickly.

 

I dislike ebony pegs. For modern pegs I only use rosewood, and for 'baroque' I make yew pegs. I'm looking forward to trying some of Mayers mountain mahogony.

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Has someone mentioned that the pegs and holes should be round and have compatible tapers at both pegbox walls?

 

With these properties, it is my experience than minimum doping is needed for fret-free fiddlin'.

 

ps - I have had pro-installed pegs with a dope mixture resembling concrete to mask poor peg-wall matching.

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