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Peg Compound / Dressing


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#1 difrangia

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:55 PM

I have searched the forum in all ways that I can think of and I can find nothing on this subject. I know that a topic as commonly encountered as this has to have been hashed over more than a time or two.

My question is: what do the members here use to dress or condition the peg-to-pegbox-hole interference fit to get the proper grip for adjusting strings?

I have been using 'Ardley's Peg Drops' and have purchased the 'Howard Core' product but haven't recieved it yet. Do you oldtimers use a 'market obtainable' product or brew up your own 'folk medecine' for getting the right grip & slip for peg fit? Thanks in advance for any info.

Steve

#2 Woodland

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:09 PM

I've used Lava soap for sticking pegs for years. A lifetime supply will cost you $3. I use the liquid drops for slipping pegs, seems to work well enough. Sometimes I'll use a combination of the two to get a proper grip.

#3 DonLeister

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:20 PM

Hill Peg Compound used liberally works the best for me. I have tried Pirastro Peg Dope, Lava soap, olive oil soap, plasticine, talc and beeswax, rosin and soap, Dawn detergent, chalk and mixtures of some of these. The pegdrops help if the pegs slip too much.
I would like to hear what works for others.
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#4 emviolins

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:26 PM

I like Hill Peg Compound the best...tried Peg Drops and did'nt like it...

#5 viola_license_revoked

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 01:17 AM

disclaimer: "I've had no formal training, but this is what I do..."

hello, i'm not sure if i'm wise enough to call myself an old timer. so please disregard this post if found to be unqualified.

for 20 of the last 26 years i've been playing, i've penciled sticky/new pegs. just two or three little strokes of a 2b on contact points will do. to fix slipping pegs, i clean the peg and peg holes.

the assumed prerequisite would be that the pegs are properly fitted in the first place.

i also think different woods fit differently. i would prefer boxwood pegs 'cause i like the way they turn, but for 4 good boxwood pegs, i can buy a block of rosewood to make many pegs... i'm cheap like that.

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#6 mysticpaw

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:27 AM

Many years ago ( more than 40 ) I knew an old ( 80 years ) luthier that used to keep an old bow handy. For pegs that either slipped or tightened up he would clean holes and pegs, then rosin the bow, spit on his finger, wipe along the hair and transfer to the peg.... worked a treat every time !! No idea of the physics/chemistry/hygiene behind it, but as I say.. It worked !!
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#7 fiddler59

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 07:42 AM

I find Hill Peg Compound to work best. I've tried everything else and Hill Peg Compound still wins for me.

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#8 rudall

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 07:51 AM

i also think different woods fit differently. i would prefer boxwood pegs 'cause i like the way they turn, but for 4 good boxwood pegs, i can buy a block of rosewood to make many pegs... i'm cheap like that.


There must be a simple answer to this, but why not buy boxwood and make your own pegs from that?

Andrew

#9 Brad Dorsey

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 07:56 AM

Hill Peg Compound used liberally works the best for me. I have tried Pirastro Peg Dope, Lava soap, olive oil soap, plasticine, talc and beeswax, rosin and soap, Dawn detergent, chalk and mixtures of some of these...I would like to hear what works for others.


I've also tried most of those that you mention, and I also seem to be back to Hill compound for now.

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#10 Barry J. Griffiths

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:57 AM

Hill peg compound: applied and worked into the peg/pegbox interface followed by another application of same. I've also gotten good results with alternate dabs of Lava soap and chalk. I shy away from it as a default application for fear that the abrasive in the Lava soap might prematurely wear the peg and/or pegbox.

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#11 MikeC

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:08 PM

does anyone have any idea what would have been used on pegs in the 18th century?

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#12 Barry J. Griffiths

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:25 PM

does anyone have any idea what would have been used on pegs in the 18th century?


Contrary to popular belief, I'm not that old.

#13 lyndon

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:37 PM

i know what doesn't work, hill peg compound, unless your using some antique 30 yr old tube it just makes the pegs slip, which is fine in moderation if there sticking, makes me think people aren't actually using it, just reccomending it, which is not cool. basically you need some kind of soap to make the pegs turn easily, too easily and some mild abrasive to make them grip and turn slowly like chalk, pumice diatamateous earth or rouge which is the principal ingredient in a lot of peg compounds, hill compound turns more easily than soap meaning you need more abrasive to make it grip.
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#14 propolis

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 01:02 PM

I use Hill's, and plenty of it. If anything it takes a bit of soap on top of that, just a speck, to get them turning easily the way I like. I don't go through the stuff that fast, but I think what I'm using is only a few years old. Couple of sticks in the shop, one in the den, one in the case with the kitchen-sink pockets... I know a fellow who swears by Bötel's Wirbelseife.

My totally uninformed guess is that tallow or soap and clay or other fine earth was what the 17th and 18th century players used. I would be interested to see something definite about that.

#15 Scott S

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 01:46 PM

Ok, I am an old timer and even older than my time. I don't claim to be an old timer repairer but I do have multiple experiences. We are talking about two very different situations here. One situation is slipping pegs caused by a lack of friction. The other situation is sticking pegs caused by too much friction. How in the world can one product add friction in one case and also reduce friction in the other case? I've only had one case of slipping pegs when I experimented with dish soap. I remedy grabby, ratchety pegs by polishing the peg shaft with Scotch-Brite and then burnishing it into its hole.

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#16 David Burgess

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:08 PM

Things I don't care for:
Abrasives, or anything containing abrasives. That would include chalk, pumice, pencil lead, and lava soap. If you need the revenue from fitting new pegs, doing bushings, or trimming protruding ends as the pegs wear farther though, maybe it's a good idea. :D
Peg drops. When I talked to the manufacturer, I was told that the product remains liquid. I wonder how far it can travel in the wood? I wonder how hard it is to glue an area which is saturated with this?

Things I've had the best success with:
Rosin combined with Ivory soap. It takes some experience to get the proportions right with the rosin and soap, and also the quantity. When everything is right, it will feel like there is a highly viscous interface between the peg and the hole, which is probably in fact what you have. No sticking. No slipping. It even does a pretty good job on poorly fitting pegs.
Bötel's Wirbelseife. Danged good overall. This can get slick if too much is applied. I can't say with certainty that it contains no abrasives.

I like to go way beyond "not sticking" and "not slipping". They should be smooth as a baby's bottom, and work like buttah. :D

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#17 MikeC

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:20 PM

how do you combine rosin with ivory soap? Do you crush a piece of rosin into a powder? do you have melt the soap somehow?

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#18 rudall

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:35 PM

How is it that the rosin - if it is mixed with the soap as a powder - is not an abrasive?

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#19 David Burgess

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:57 PM

how do you combine rosin with ivory soap? Do you crush a piece of rosin into a powder? do you have melt the soap somehow?

I apply them separately. Some soap, then some rosin powder. Spin it a bit to mix, allow it to cool (it generates heat), and see how things are working.


How is it that the rosin - if it is mixed with the soap as a powder - is not an abrasive?

Andrew

If rosin was an abrasive, wouldn't you see huge wear in the bowing area of the string? Better yet, try to use it to alter the surface finish of metal (one way I've used to attempt to evaluate the abrasive content of peg compounds).
No, the major string wear tends to be where the string hits the fingerboard. Always. Except in a few cases where abnormal body chemistry does bizarre things.

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#20 Scott S

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 06:28 PM

Google Pagliaro Peg Drop Patent, the ingredients are isopropyl alcohol, tincture of green soap(?), glycerin and violin rosin. Sorry, not familiar with posting links, maybe someone else can?
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