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Bushing/Reaming One Side


lvlagneto

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Does anyone have tips for bushing one side of a pegbox?  I guess the bigger issue is reaming the hole clean. 

I have a violin with extreme pegbox hole taper, and unevenly reamed larger 'lead' holes.  The larger holes are very big, and the smaller holes don't need anything other than slight reaming to a standard taper.  If I were to simply ream out the larger holes until they were clean, it would do harm.  I would cut into the back of he pegbox quite a bit, an unacceptable amount.

I was considering purchasing a decent quality reamer and filing/turning most of the cutting length into a guide.  Has anyone done this -- any tips about how to modify tools?

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  • lvlagneto changed the title to Bushing/Reaming One Side
4 hours ago, iburkard said:

...I was considering purchasing a decent quality reamer and filing/turning most of the cutting length into a guide.  Has anyone done this -- any tips about how to modify tools?

I don't think your reamer modification idea would be practical unless you have access to a machine shop.  Your guide section would have to be cylindrical -- not tapered -- with a diameter equal to the diameter of the smaller hole at the outside of the peg box, and it would have to be concentric with the unmodified cutting section of the reamer.  This would require precise machining with a tricky set-up, and the operation would possibly be further complicated by the hardness of the reamer.

I have never tried reaming the hole on just one side of a peg box.  All I can think of would be to cut off a reamer short enough to ream only the large holes.  And, since you would probably only use this reamer once, I think it would make sense to use a cheap one or a worn one.  But make sure that its taper matches that of your peg shaver.

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"I don't think your reamer modification idea would be practical unless you have access to a machine shop.  Your guide section would have to be cylindrical -- not tapered "

I was hoping to turn the taper down so much that I could put a leather sheet/tube around the modified non-reaming tip of the reamer, so that it would be steadied and turn neatly.  It could still be tapered if it was small enough, but I understand what you're saying.  As far as needing a machine shop, not really.  The mandrel can be popped out and turned on a drill.  --  I could also do as you say and just chop an inexpensive reamer, and put a pin in the end.  If I just chop it, I was concerned about reaming chatter without the reamer being steadied by both pegbox walls.

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A piece of hard wood can be turned into a special reamer easily.

I use a drill to turn dowels by running them through a peg shaper all the way out the back end. Turn down the dowel in a large shaper of the appropreate size, then turn down the small side for your guide. With only one side of the box wall needing a bushing I don't see the need for a guide anyway, just a good eye and a steady hand, and all will be straight and square.

Glue on a piece of "high quality" sandpaper for the cutter.

I know that sandpaper gets a bad rap, the problem is that it cuts all the time, every thing it touches is rounded over, there is no regulation with it, and often people make a real mess of it, so ultimately it's not the fault of the paper, just the lack of the users skillset.

Sandpaper is a wonderful tool when used properly, as in carefully, watchfully, cautiously, and very importantly grit appropriately.

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22 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

A piece of hard wood can be turned into a special reamer easily.

...

Sandpaper is a wonderful tool when used properly, as in carefully, watchfully, cautiously, and very importantly grit appropriately.

I hadn't thought about this, but seems like a fine enough thing if done neatly, and it would be easy to have a guide in wood.  

What grit would you cut with?  I can step through many I suppose.  ^_^

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Grit size the smaller the better.

I would start off with a dowel/peg that would barely fit to locate the high spots. Then follow with a smaller dowel with a small piece of 220, maybe to 400, 3 to 4 mm wide and just touch the high spots, making sure that the backside of the dowel is firmly square in the hole to keep things perfectly straight. Use a surgeons touch, then recheck the hole for high spots. Put the papered dowel in squarely then barely turn back and forth a couple of times then check. Don't cover the dowel completely with paper and then indiscriminately twist,, NO! Just remove the high spots carefully, with a small piece.

And importantly, keep things square, move slowly, and deliberately.

The shorter the dowel is, the easier it is to keep square to the hole, to a point.

I am talking modern 3m paper,,,

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42 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

Put a spiral bushing in the bigger side, and carefully ream until you just start hitting on the smaller side.

I think that would always be my first choice these days, unless the hole is HUGE, or the peg needs to be relocated to a different position.

There's still the issue of cleaning up the hole for good glue adhesion. I'd probably cut off a mostly out-of-service reamer; or see if a cello reamer would suite the job, like Hogo suggested; or use sandpaper on a dowel cut with a peg shaper. Any of these would require some skill and careful handling, since they wouldn't be "foolproof".

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Just now, David Burgess said:

I think that would always be my first choice these days, unless the hole is HUGE, or the peg needs to be relocated to a different position.

There's still the issue of cleaning up the hole for good glue adhesion. I'd probably cut off a mostly out-of-service reamer; or see if a cello reamer would suite the job, like Hogo suggested; or use sandpaper on a dowel cut with a peg shaper. Any of these would require some skill and careful handling, since they wouldn't be "foolproof".

Nothing is fool proof. They just keep creating better fools.

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1 hour ago, iburkard said:

That's the plan, once the larger hole is clean enough for a spiral bushing.  image.jpeg.165a861586fd59da6f77ccd04341968a.jpeg

Take an old peg, cut off the small end, and wrap some sandpaper around the large end. That should work to clean up the hole.You could also use an old peg, with some plastic tape around it, to seat the spiral bushing.

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25 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

Take an old peg, cut off the small end, and wrap some sandpaper around the large end. That should work to clean up the hole.You could also use an old peg, with some plastic tape around it, to seat the spiral bushing.

You actually don't have to cut the end, just wrap/glue sandaper on the peg except the end that goes into the smaller hole. Insert the peg and slowly ream/sand the larger hole till the peg fits back home into smaller hole. By the time the larger hole will be enlarged by the thickness of the sandpaper which should be just what you need for spiral bushing.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I think that would always be my first choice these days, unless the hole is HUGE, or the peg needs to be relocated to a different position.

Do you have a general rule (% area to be filled) for when a spiral bushing would be counter productive?  I saw a few other threads where people were commenting that spiral bushings "always come back" and end up being redone with solid boxwood.  I also saw luthiers using wood glue vs traditional hot glue.

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12 minutes ago, HoGo said:

You actually don't have to cut the end, just wrap/glue sandaper on the peg except the end that goes into the smaller hole. Insert the peg and slowly ream/sand the larger hole till the peg fits back home into smaller hole. By the time the larger hole will be enlarged by the thickness of the sandpaper which should be just what you need for spiral bushing.

I understand the idea, makes sense.  The issue here is that I don't have any of the original pegs, and the taper is extreme.  Unlike many mentions of original pegs with extreme taper staying put, I guess these pegs were a degree too far and took off.

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I'd just use any regular peg that would fit the thinner hole reasonably (just for stability of the final sanding action) or just make a dowel out of scrap (using peg shaver or lathe) use of original peg would probably remove slightly less material but you'd need to use that same peg for making the spiral bushing as well.

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Whether you use a modified reamer or make a mandrel to sand the larger side you're likely to get more accurate results with the method that includes a smaller diameter pilot to go through the small side, presuming it fits well, as in the original post.  It won't be able to wobble as you clean up the larger hole.  Though sanding will like not give you a perfectly shaped surface as the sandpaper will wear and impart a slight rounding, I think this method is more practical than modifying a reamer.  The wood mandrel will be light and it will be easy to feel what's going on, just don't make it much longer than you need to.  Filing an existing hardened reamer won't work well for a variety of reasons.

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Also, IF you decide to use sandpaper I'd prefer good quality paper with grit 150 or even 120. Finer grits will load and tear and require more work which may lead to rounded oversanded edges, while gentle action of rougher paper will remove wood more easily and won't clog and the dust will be easier to leave the hole. The surface will be smooth enough for gluing bushing.

I ocassionally work on fiddles (mine or kids from music school) and I don't have reamers or pegshavers so I use these "less sophisticated" methods of fitting pegs and especially endpins on my mandolins. I have old pegs in various sizes wrapped with good quality sandpaper and they work well for light refreshing of worn holes.

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