Installing new violin pegs

Tedrow Concertinas/Homewood Music
Birmingham, Alabama

Bob Tedrow

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You will need to beg borrow or steal both a  sharp 1:30 reamer and a sharp 1:30 peg shaper.  It is important that both the peg holes and the pegs have the same taper.      Turn the reamer gently, a sharp reamer will cut away the pegbox with a comfortable sound and feel.  Do not try to force the tool into the wood for fear of compressing the maple and cutting an off round hole.  If your reamer is dull, it may be sharpened by raising the cutting edge with a small burnishing tool as with a cabinet scraper. 

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Only cut enough to clean up and true the peg holes.

I place small marks on my reamer so that I will know how far not to cut.   I learned where to place the marks by cutting too much!

Nice neat holes ready for new pegs

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New ebony pegs and a sharp shaper

I am in the habit of scoring the pegs below the decorative rings with a sharp knife.  This .05mm cut will allow the peg shaper to give me a nice clean edge.
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You can really wear out some fingers shaping pegs.  I usually use an old bass tuning crank to twist the pegs.  You may find that moistening the pegs will help obtain a nice shaving cut.

  Use the hole that will allow the pegs to extend the correct distance from the peg box.  Remember that you can always cut more off but you can't put wood back on the peg.   Cut slowly and check your work.

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Mark the the pegs with a pencil on the backside of the scroll.
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mark each peg so that you can return it easily to its proper peg hole
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cutting the pegs off, try to make an even cut, I chuck the peg in a bench motor so I can rotate the peg (by hand) as I cut.
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I round over the peg with a fine rasp and file, then sand it with a progression of sand papers, I moisten the smooth end and burnish it on my shop apron for a shiny look.

Locate the position for the string holes, drill them out and chamfer the holes for a neat look

It looks nice if the pegs just crest the side of the pegbox.

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Please visit my web page for additional repair proceedures.

I use a light touch of beeswax on the bearing surfaces for a smooth action.