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Thomas Coleman

Swiss peg, French peg?

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What is the difference between a Swiss peg and a French peg?  The key shape, I know.  But...

I've tried to peruse catalogs and web images but i'm hard pressed to figure it out.  Any photos of pegs would be helpful.  Thanks.

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I guess I call the one on the right a Mirecourt style (French)

I recognize the Swiss one now.

I always think the heart shaped Hill style pegs are the easiest to grab but I'm pretty sure many will disagree.  I think I was warped by all those violin books when I was a kid, that and my teachers' instruments.

 

DLB

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Sorry if this is slightly off topic, but I’d like to clarify something. I was told a long time ago that the “heart” pegs were really designed for the Hart shop in England, and that the correct name was Hart pegs, but the manufacturers didn’t know the history and assumed it was supposed to be “heart, not Hart.”  Hill pegs have their own shape which differs somewhat.

Can anybody confirm this?

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22 minutes ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

Sorry if this is slightly off topic, but I’d like to clarify something. I was told a long time ago that the “heart” pegs were really designed for the Hart shop in England, and that the correct name was Hart pegs, but the manufacturers didn’t know the history and assumed it was supposed to be “heart, not Hart.”  Hill pegs have their own shape which differs somewhat.

Can anybody confirm this?

I had always heard that, but the victors write the history, and outside of the trade who knows of George Hart?!

I am fond of Winterling pegs. I've never found Hill-style pegs to be comfortable, but I am not sure that I have ever had fine Hill pegs in my hand. Chinrests and tailpieces, yes, but not sure about a real Hill peg.

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Very interesting topic. If I may ask another question dealing with pegs. On occasion the violin supply houses will sell pegs, usually french or swiss style very cheap; around $1.75 each. I have brought them and they look OK. My question is: does the cost and quality of the pegs make a difference in shaving the pegs and having a peg with a very good, tight shaft that will work smoothly in the peg box when assembled. Is it worth paying extra money for the pegs so they work better, smother and last longer. This will help me when I make more violins to know if I should buy better pegs. Thank you.

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55 minutes ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

Sorry if this is slightly off topic, but I’d like to clarify something. I was told a long time ago that the “heart” pegs were really designed for the Hart shop in England, and that the correct name was Hart pegs, but the manufacturers didn’t know the history and assumed it was supposed to be “heart, not Hart.”  Hill pegs have their own shape which differs somewhat.

Can anybody confirm this?

This is cool, and it makes sense to me.  I guess I like the Hart (Heart Shaped) pegs best.  The Hill pegs I guess I called English.  I will say I really hate ugly fittings, but it's really just a quirk on my part. :-)

 

DLB

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It's been my experience that most of the cheaper pegs have grain which may or may not remain parallel throughout the peg, causing tear-out of the wood while you are shaping the peg. Better quality pegs have straighter grain and are MUCH easier to work with and the final result is a better fitting, longer lasting peg with less chance of warping.

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3 minutes ago, Greg Sigworth said:

My question is: does the cost and quality of the pegs make a difference in shaving the pegs and having a peg with a very good, tight shaft that will work smoothly in the peg box when assembled. Is it worth paying extra money for the pegs so they work better, smother and last longer.

To me, it can. I have often been able to successfully shave pegs with major grain runout, by working very slowly and carefully.  But these pegs often ended up being more flexible than I or the end user liked.

In the buck-seventyfive range, about half of them ended up being throwaways, after I had put about ten bucks of labor into every one to figure out whether they were keepers or throwaways.

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3 hours ago, duane88 said:

Swiss on the left, French on the right.IMG_2955.JPG.d53c2ef5ae4bdc3de1c895ee7245489a.JPGIMG_2955.JPG.6e007e47775e797fddf8c9ea84ae787f.JPG

Awesome!  Thanks!  What do Winterling pegs look like?  I've heard the name. 

 

5 minutes ago, Urban Luthier said:

from a usability standpoint -- which type of peg do users prefer?

Good question.

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49 minutes ago, Urban Luthier said:

from a usability standpoint -- which type of peg do users prefer?

Users tend to prefer the "heart shaped" Hill-style pegs, which I think were one of the best attempts to combine fancyness with comfort and utility.

However,  many players with long hair also refer to these a "haircatcher pegs".

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I agree with David. Too much waste with the cheaper stuff. Just spend a bit more and get decent pegs. 

I took these out of a Winterling violin.IMG_2956.JPG.bea967b2ac035535e8565deb5ff6c473.JPG

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I won't comment on the price of pegs, since mine are bloody expensive, but with all the polo ponies and $100 lunches who has time to actually make the pegs. 

There are heart shaped pegs that appear in some form before the Hills made them famous but William Retford, the bow maker, designed the peg we know as heart or Hill in a garden shed behind his house. This I learned from Bill Watson, Who made pegs for hills as he was apprenticing as a future bow great under Retford. To me the Swiss style is more like the one on the right (sorry Duane) but it's all just nomenclature. Swiss style in my mind has a rather bulbous head and smaller area of concavity than the french (which I call Mirecourt). More so than the one on the right.  They are both charactrized by 2 part collars and varying degrees of round. What I call swiss are larger at the top. The winterling peg for me is very beautiful, and also difficult to pull off as a non factory made item. anything with an undercut, even a subtle on like that has to be done by hand, and you don't see what it looks like while you are turning it. Really nice peg. Do you know when they were made?

beautypegs1.jpg.b392dfe4ae2ce991438bf2b67822113f.jpg

The English heart or Hill pegs are pretty flat sided and don't have much taper from top to bottom as do the copies made in Germany. There is a peg that some call english that looks like a hay stack and an older style that had points at the bottom and one sees onolder Brit fiddles like Hardie.

I won't say anything about the price of quality pegs or tailpieces other than the fact that you can buy a violin that looks and plays like a violin with spruce and maple and a case for $300.  I guess I just Did say something.:)

 

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12 hours ago, Urban Luthier said:

from a usability standpoint -- which type of peg do users prefer?

I use the Swiss model from Dictum, but they seem to be more like a blend of the 2 in the photo. I like the shape and I find it comfortable to use.

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10 hours ago, MeyerFittings said:

I won't comment on the price of pegs, since mine are bloody expensive, but with all the polo ponies and $100 lunches who has time to actually make the pegs. 

There are heart shaped pegs that appear in some form before the Hills made them famous but William Retford, the bow maker, designed the peg we know as heart or Hill in a garden shed behind his house. This I learned from Bill Watson, Who made pegs for hills as he was apprenticing as a future bow great under Retford. To me the Swiss style is more like the one on the right (sorry Duane) but it's all just nomenclature. 

They came from Larry Kass and Howard Core and that is their designation, not mine.

I bow and defer to you as the expert of fittings. 

So, where are my fittings that I asked for?(just kidding...)kinda.

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I watched Emile Laurenz turn french pegs back in 198something at his small shop. I was with Bob Lundberg when he taught a lute making class in Erlangen (sp?). I had no idea at the time that i would wind up making pegs too. He was amazing to watch. I don't do it free hand like he did. The names of pegs are often confusing as are the names of types of wood, and often regional. Some people call all heart style pegs Hill. Some make the heart style tapered, some rounded. 

 

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I have seen some baroque style pegs that look amazing.  Can anyone think of any real disadvantage of putting these on a modern set up instrument.  Is it just not done for some reason?

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No, other than the fact that we have become rather standardized in our approach to what is acceptable. Pegs were much more regional before industrialization and more ease of communication and travel. Oh, and catalogues. 

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The alternative to buying pegs is to turn your own, I have done this in Ebony and Rosewood. One thing I make sure of is that there is no run out of the grain.

Adding ornamentation to the pegs such as gold, silver trim is not advisable. This will just give the added parts a chance to buzz when they come loose with seasonal changes in the wood.

So I guess I prefer to make my own pegs. 

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3 hours ago, Fiddlemaker5224 said:

The alternative to buying pegs is to turn your own, I have done this in Ebony and Rosewood. One thing I make sure of is that there is no run out of the grain.

Adding ornamentation to the pegs such as gold, silver trim is not advisable. This will just give the added parts a chance to buzz when they come loose with seasonal changes in the wood.

So I guess I prefer to make my own pegs. 

Eric...I know, tailpieces are harder.

Until I make a peg that someone else wants to purchase-for the value of the time that it took me to make it-I'll just continue to buy them.

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