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Stephen Faulk

Any leads on good Fruitwood and Rosewood Viola Pegs?

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I have a request from a customer to find viola pegs made with woods like Pear, plum and other suitable hard fruit woods. He does not want ebony. 

 

He also mentioned he likes Cocobolo and some other rosewoods. I can usually find that. Fruit woods a bit more rare. Open to any suggestions as substitutes for fruit woods. 

 

Box wood not too expensive is an option, but I'm hesitant to buy the Chinese Jujube pegs I see...maybe real box wood. There is not room in the budget for custom made pegs unfortunately, but good grade commercial pegs are in order. 

 

I will check the usual suspects, but the fruit wood request seems like a thing to ask about. 

Thanks for any leads. 

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You can't go wrong with cocobolo; in my opinion it's one of the best woods for fittings, superior to ebony or any other dalbergia rosewood.

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Ummm..... are you saying you can't find cherry wood to turn in your area?  :huh:  I'm sure you have the skill to make them.  :)

 

Edit-- And what about persimmon?

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Violins.ca under fittings pegs Otto Tempel has plum, but only for violin. Lots of peg options on this site, though.

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The Cherry I have will make guitar bridges...chainsaw a whole fracking tree and some axe work and planing to render a box of bridges. Two more years of seasoning. Cherry is a boondoggle. 

 

Persimmon, good,don't have any at the moment. I will check Otto Temple, meanwhile keep those ideas coming. 

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Thanks for asking this question, Stephen, I'm looking for fruit wood too, like pear, but can't yet find anything suitable. I'm searching at the moment myself, if I find something, I'll let you know.

 

I'm making a copy of the 1613 G. Amati piccolo violin which has boxwood pegs. I can't find boxwood anywhere, I've also unsuccessfully looked for yew, so I am thinking a fruit wood would be authentic enough. For gut strings, I don't think it needs to be super hard, it's the colour I am after most. As a last resort, I suppose I could use a dense maple, but don't want to.

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That's a very kind offer, thank you. I don't have a lathe right now, but I'll be getting one within the next couple of weeks. I used to turn a lot of pegs in the past, I'm getting myself set up again. I've got by for a while now with bought pegs, but the piccolo needs custom pegs.

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682 grams of 25 x 25 mm of 60 year old seasoned Sakura. 

 

I send to you as spring gift. 

We can take it to PM to exchange address. This stuff is really tasty, may be just the thing. 

 

You see what I did with it, and the color. It's not rock hard, but it will hold a tool mark crisply and has enough hardness for a peg. Not super heavy either. 

post-69241-0-16309800-1460534528_thumb.jpg

post-69241-0-33365600-1460534932_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Stephen, 25mm will just be enough if I am careful. :) I might have something you might like too, I have some desert mulga, very beautiful, harder than ebony, turns and polishes beautifully. I've made fittings from it before, it's hard to imagine them ever wearing out. I'll send a PM.

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Thanks Stephen, 25mm will just be enough if I am careful. :) I might have something you might like too, I have some desert mulga, very beautiful, harder than ebony, turns and polishes beautifully. I've made fittings from it before, it's hard to imagine them ever wearing out. I'll send a PM.

 Something worth considering: Is it better for the pegs to eventually wear, or the pegholes? Wood with high silica content may be prone to chewing out the peg holes faster. I'd rather the pegs get replaced due to wear,  than the pegholes.

 

The reason I mentioned cocobolo is that it is self -lubricating due to the oil content.

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We used cocobolo on the group build scholarship viola.  They were quite nice, rather like rosewood.  I seem to have been in a fittings buying death spiral for the last year!  I have been pleased with Otto Temple Boxwood, B&C Boxwood, and of course Eric Meyer's Mountain Mahogany.  All very nice.  The B&C pegs are very crisply carved (turned) but the edges of the pegs are fairly sharp and maybe not as comfortable to use as others.  I think www.violins.ca  a good source for all kinds and sorts of pegs, etc.  They have some that are not too$$$ They have some for about $14.00 a piece.  I have ordered from them before and seem to do a good job.

 

 

DLB

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 Something worth considering: Is it better for the pegs to eventually wear, or the pegholes? Wood with high silica content may be prone to chewing out the peg holes faster. I'd rather the pegs get replaced due to wear,  than the pegholes.

 

The reason I mentioned cocobolo is that it is self -lubricating due to the oil content.

 

I don't use Australian timber anymore, so these days I would agree with the pegs being throw away items.

 

Definitely back when I was using mulga, I didn't want the pegs wearing out. I got my start in violin making 25 years ago learning from Kevin Williams, and worked with him for 7 years. Kevin was a pioneer for using Australian timber to make instruments, so that's what we used. Although my first violin was made entirely with traditional wood, all of the instruments produced in the workshop were made entirely of Australian timber, except for a viola I made.

 

Mostly we used Victorian Blackwood for the back, sides and scrolls, which when figured is far more beautiful than maple could ever hope to be. It is very much used by guitar makers. Every piece was unique and beautiful, so every instrument looked very different. It has a natural brown colour, not white like maple, so we usually made our own purfling which was white/brown (mulga)/white.

 

Mulga fittings were made as a set to match, usually a deep brown colour. The fingerboard, tailpiece, pegs and chinrests were made from the same log. Figure in the mulga could go along the fingerboard and in the tailpiece. Everything matched, a stripe running down the fingerboard would go along the tailpiece and chinrest, and we'd try to get the stripe in the pegs too if we could. They weren't considered throw away items by us.

 

We did at some point use sycamore veneer (ok not Australian) to bush or line the peg holes, it has pretty speckles on the quarter cut which made a nice frame around the peg, and was a contrast to the darker wood of the pegbox. These could easily be replaced in the future as pegs wore through. I don't remember doing this on any violins or violas, but on a cello we did. It was probably a later idea, I can't remember exactly.

 

I made a viola on commission, my only commission at that first time I was making instruments, out of traditional maple and spruce, the friend who commissioned it wanted an almost clear varnish, and fittings that were not ebony. I used a deep red mulga with figure right down the fingerboard, and tailpiece and chinrest. The pegs matched, and I also used the same mulga to make custom purfling red/white/red. With the almost clear varnish, it was an interestingly different instrument, and my friend couldn't have been happier. It's another example of why it was important that the wood be long lasting.

 

I played on a violin with a mulga fingerboard for years and didn't need to resurface it.

 

That was a long answer to your question. :)

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I'm making a copy of the 1613 G. Amati piccolo violin which has boxwood pegs. I can't find boxwood anywhere, I've also unsuccessfully looked for yew, so I am thinking a fruit wood would be authentic enough. For gut strings, I don't think it needs to be super hard, it's the colour I am after most. As a last resort, I suppose I could use a dense maple, but don't want to.

 

You mean these little fellows?

Why is it so hard to get boxwood down under? Gilmer wood here in Portland has it and I'm sure they ship internationally.. 

post-3813-0-22457100-1460666081_thumb.jpg

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Yes! Those little fellows! Very nice, are they yours?

 

Thanks for the Gilmer Wood suggestion. Looking through the site, I quickly recognised it, I had seen it in my searches. They have castello boxwood, is this fine for pegs?

 

At the time it looked like there wasn't enough boxwood to buy for a set of pegs, and I'd like to buy enough for several sets and meet their $100 minimum order: https://www.gilmerwood.com/items_new.php?species=Boxwood . With all the trouble I've gone to, to make all the templates, rib form and carving cradle, I can't just make one of these things. :)

 

I'll contact them, explain what I want it for, and ask them to contact me when they have enough of it. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to some very nice cherry! :)

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Ok, they look a very different colour to the photos on the NMM website, and less beaten up in your photo. I thought they might have been new and antiqued. I thought the shape was spot on. :)

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Not only that, but violin pegs will allow for more peg  refits over the life of the instrument, before bushing is required. I do the same with my violins, initially fitting with small diameter peg shafts.

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