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Boxwood Peg Repair


ANITIX87
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I have a violin with boxwood pegs as in this image.

The black plastic round accent is loose on 3 of the pegs and is creating a nasty buzzing sound, especially on open A string (and less so on A in different octaves). However, the pegs match the chinrest and tailpiece exactly and I really like the overall look of the violin.

Can the pegs be fixed (with glue) or am I looking at needing new pegs? If the latter, how easy will it be to find a replacement that matches the chinrest and tailpiece?

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Superglue can be your friend,,,

or a complete nightmare.

I would do it on the fiddle, but if you are inexperienced it might be safer to remove the pegs, one at a time, spin the do dads in place, making sure they are where you want them then,,

Put the glue on a needle, and when you have a nice small sized drop hanging anxiously from the point, carefully place it exactly where you want it to go.

(From the shaft side, pointed up, with the head pointed toward the floor)

I would then immediately grab the ring and twist it a bit, the glue will grab, then wipe around the peg shaft with my fingers to make sure nothing is on the shaft.

If your fingers stick, just spit on them and wiggle them a bit and the fresh glue will break free, or put a bit of lotion on you hands just in case,,,, then, rub the shaft with steel wool , or scotch bright, or whatever, if needed, the object is to get no glue on the shaft at all,,,,,BUT,,,,,,

Or, go to a luthier, drop it off, go grab a snack, run to the park and sit on a bench, feed the pigeons, then go pick up your fiddle.

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21 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

Or, go to a luthier, drop it off, go grab a snack, run to the park and sit on a bench, feed the pigeons, then go pick up your fiddle.

I wouldn't even think of doing it myself. I was just checking whether this can/would be fixed (and whether it should dissuade me from buying a violin I really like otherwise) or whether it means new pegs.

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I might add that the idea is to spin the ring to wick the glue fully under the ring, and do it rapidly and with a very lite touch, if done properly, you will not see it at all, unless of course you are a su-prie high level repair person using the latest Zenon Quazer guided spectro genisis infra red guided magnafluxed a facation.

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Just now, ANITIX87 said:

I wouldn't even think of doing it myself. I was just checking whether this can/would be fixed (and whether it should dissuade me from buying a violin I really like otherwise) or whether it means new pegs.

It's actually much easier than playing one, but we all have our gifts.

It shouldn't need new pegs, but I have seen some pretty cheap things out there, can't say with out seeing them.

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I've found this to be a depressingly frequent occurrence on pegs of all wood types with separate collars. For cheaper pegs, i find at least one in every set has a loose collar*, but I still see it occasionally on more expensive "quality" items. I check for this every time I fit a set of pegs, and secure loose collars with superglue, as Evan describes. It's one of the first things I check when an instrument comes in with a buzz.

(*I know, maybe I should change supplier :D)

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Update: I had a luthier glue the peg collars back in place, but the buzzing persists (though it goes away if I hold any of the pegs, as if my grip is dampening the vibration).

He told me it should be as simple as "filing down the A-string groove at the nut" but that he hesitated to do it on a violin I don't own (it's on trial with me). Is it likely that this is correct?

On 3/4/2020 at 6:14 AM, JohnCockburn said:

I've found this to be a depressingly frequent occurrence on pegs of all wood types with separate collars. For cheaper pegs, i find at least one in every set has a loose collar*, but I still see it occasionally on more expensive "quality" items. I check for this every time I fit a set of pegs, and secure loose collars with superglue, as Evan describes. It's one of the first things I check when an instrument comes in with a buzz.

(*I know, maybe I should change supplier :D)

Since the peg collars weren't the issue, is this a reason not to buy in the instrument? Are there any buzzes that can't be fixed?

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Why isn't the seller dealing with this?  Definately don't buy it unless it's fixed, could be lots of things.  Collars could still be the problem, just because they aren't turning doesn't mean they aren't vibrating.  I use white glue for this as I feel I can spin it and get it in all gapping between the collar and peg and have the time to wipe down.  The white glue is more elastic and I'm more comfortable  with it in this situation.

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4 hours ago, Jeff White said:

Why isn't the seller dealing with this?  Definately don't buy it unless it's fixed, could be lots of things.  Collars could still be the problem, just because they aren't turning doesn't mean they aren't vibrating.  I use white glue for this as I feel I can spin it and get it in all gapping between the collar and peg and have the time to wipe down.  The white glue is more elastic and I'm more comfortable  with it in this situation.

I am on the East Coast and the seller is in California. If needed, I will send the instrument back to them to address it, but I figured I'd ask the question here.

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48 minutes ago, ANITIX87 said:

I am on the East Coast and the seller is in California. If needed, I will send the instrument back to them to address it, but I figured I'd ask the question here.

I see.  You might consider that the dealer could be a bit "peeved" at someone messing with their instrument.  I would.  Just a thought.  jeff  Wait....I'm in Ca....did I send a violin out to the East Coast????:wacko:;)

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Sometimes the very end of a string extends through the hole in a peg in a way so that it's lightly touching either the pegbox or an adjacent peg, and that can buzz. But if the repair person who glued the rings believes that it's the a-string slot in the nut, they're being pretty specific about it, and probably have some evidence to conclude that. Try slipping a small piece of paper under the a-string at the nut to stabilize it, and see if that solves the problem. If it does, you can decide whether you want to buy it and have your local tech make the fix.

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2 hours ago, Jeff White said:

I see.  You might consider that the dealer could be a bit "peeved" at someone messing with their instrument.  I would.  Just a thought.  jeff  Wait....I'm in Ca....did I send a violin out to the East Coast????:wacko:;)

Correct, I will not let a luthier touch the instrument without their permission. They gave the OK for the peg collars to get re-glued but do not want any other work done on it. Hence the question of "can a buzz basically always be identified/fixed, or is this a reason not to buy the violin without sending it back first?"

 

1 hour ago, MarkBouquet said:

Sometimes the very end of a string extends through the hole in a peg in a way so that it's lightly touching either the pegbox or an adjacent peg, and that can buzz. But if the repair person who glued the rings believes that it's the a-string slot in the nut, they're being pretty specific about it, and probably have some evidence to conclude that. Try slipping a small piece of paper under the a-string at the nut to stabilize it, and see if that solves the problem. If it does, you can decide whether you want to buy it and have your local tech make the fix.

Thanks, I'll give this a shot. How thick should the paper be? Should be be wedged between the string and the fingerboard or wedged between the nut and the string?

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3 hours ago, JohnCockburn said:

Me too. Stick a little blob of blutak over each of  the pips and see if the buzz goes away.....

 

I'll try that. Holding the scroll or any of the pegs with my hand makes the buzz go away completely (though I hold the finger grip itself, not the pip). Does that mean it's less likely to be the nut?

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12 minutes ago, ANITIX87 said:

I'll try that. Holding the scroll or any of the pegs with my hand makes the buzz go away completely (though I hold the finger grip itself, not the pip). Does that mean it's less likely to be the nut?

Holding the scroll or pegs can make the buzz go away no matter where it is.  I usually suggest to players that they not bother trying to find buzzes on their own so they don't drive themselves nuts or waste their time.  Loose pips will often pop right out with a bit of a tug, and that solves the problem.  It's astonishing how much they can affect the sound of an instrument, even if there isn't an obvious buzz coming from them.

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13 hours ago, ANITIX87 said:

Correct, I will not let a luthier touch the instrument without their permission. They gave the OK for the peg collars to get re-glued but do not want any other work done on it. Hence the question of "can a buzz basically always be identified/fixed, or is this a reason not to buy the violin without sending it back first?"

Sorting out a buzz could involve very little expense, or a lot.

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On 3/9/2020 at 9:04 PM, MarkBouquet said:

Between the nut and the string, of course. Thin copier paper should be enough. It's just an experiment.

I tried this and it seems to have eliminated the buzz. Just to confirm I did it correctly: I loosened the string, slid the paper underneath, and re-tuned the instrument.

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On 3/9/2020 at 8:40 AM, Jeff White said:

 I use white glue for this as I feel I can spin it and get it in all gapping between the collar and peg and have the time to wipe down.  The white glue is more elastic and I'm more comfortable  with it in this situation.

Agreed. When using PVA you have time to wipe off any glue residue outside the collar before it hardens.

 I had this happen more than once on Ebony pegs with boxwood collars. I don't remember the thread but Eric Meyer recommended applying a little Titebond and then spin the collar. Worked perfectly and no problems since.

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3 hours ago, ANITIX87 said:

I tried this and it seems to have eliminated the buzz. Just to confirm I did it correctly: I loosened the string, slid the paper underneath, and re-tuned the instrument.

You did what I was suggesting, for what little I know. So that seems to be telling you that your violin tech was right. The problem is the a-string slot in the nut and it would be easy to fix. Now you can decide if you want to keep the violin. It still needs to be fixed though. You don't just leave the paper in there permanently, of course.

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