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May 27, 2021 - 7:13:41 AM
14 posts since 5/16/2020

Hi all,

What is the recommended course of action on this crack? Is it similar to a back or top crack? Never seen a cleat in a peg box. Then again maybe I've never noticed because of a job well done. I saw a post/video of fiberglass being used to reinforce. I'd like to get to this before it works it's way up.

Any suggestions aside from taking to a luthier? Essential, I'd like to know what work would be done to repair this.

What are thoughts on Peg Ringer?
youtu.be/OEGeWUidpaw

Thanks


 

May 27, 2021 - 11:10:24 AM
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511 posts since 3/1/2020

It’s definitely a job for a luthier. Peg box cracks can spread very quickly and cause a scroll to break in half, which turns a small repair into a big one in a moment. The pegs exert a lot of pressure on the pegbox, so you can’t take any chances.

The Peg Ringer is perfect for this repair, although the crack needs to be properly cleaned out and glued before a ring is installed. Just be sure to have carbon fiber rings put in, NOT metal ones. Another option is to have the crack glued solidly, then have a set of Wittner pegs put in to avoid stress on the damaged area.

Given how far your pegs have pushed through, you may also need either a new set or some spiral bushings. If the existing set isn’t properly tapered, it might cause cracks elsewhere.

May 27, 2021 - 11:56:47 AM

9353 posts since 3/19/2009

Peg Ringer.. I had to look that up.. amazing tool!!

May 27, 2021 - 2:21:22 PM
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867 posts since 1/25/2008

The Peg Ringer is good, but seeing that it costs $250, you might just as well take it to a luthier.

May 28, 2021 - 10:50:32 AM

5611 posts since 7/1/2007

Peg ringer is pretty neat, but I don't work on six-figure violins. Spiral bushing is a lot quicker and easier, and very secure. There are newer methods that are superior to the traditional wound shaving. Kraft paper works well for a bushing, and is a lot quicker, and phenolic paper tubing works OK for student-quality work. The sooner you get this done the better., the consequences of neglect, as mentioned, can be pretty bad.  IME, most luthiers will have a few bushings made up on hand, and cost is pretty affordable as far as violin work goes.

Edited by - KCFiddles on 05/28/2021 11:00:03

May 28, 2021 - 11:29:16 AM

511 posts since 3/1/2020

I really like spiral bushings and think they’re stronger than standard bushings. They’re great when you need to reduce the size of a peg hole but don’t need to change its position in the pegbox.

It might be possible to get a repair that would hold by just doing bushings, but I would never trust them alone. For a long time the standard approach was to glue the crack, then put in bushings. I’ve done so many repairs to violins that had bushings that split and reopened old cracks or started new ones that I just don’t want to take a chance.

I agree that the Peg Ringer is not a cheap tool and it’s not for DIY work (I bought an earlier version that included the solid hole cutters and it cost me a lot more than $250!), but it’s a great tool for a luthier to have and it allows one to preserve the integrity of the instrument .

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 05/28/2021 11:30:04

May 28, 2021 - 12:03:52 PM
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DougD

USA

10269 posts since 12/2/2007

What about a "cheek" fitted to the inside or outside of the pegbox? Is that just for extreme cases, or an antiquated technique?

May 28, 2021 - 12:37:45 PM

1604 posts since 4/6/2014

Re: Peg Ringer. What if the short grain "inside" the ring decides to crumble away?, Cheeks or just gluing and clamping seem to be a better option to me.... But i'm not a Luthier, so i suppose its just another question/complication.

Edited by - pete_fiddle on 05/28/2021 12:40:16

May 28, 2021 - 1:14:13 PM
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14 posts since 7/11/2018

I suggest you pry open the crack remove loose particles then glue and clamp.

May 28, 2021 - 3:36:09 PM

46davis

USA

47 posts since 3/16/2021

You're definitely due for a peg job in any case.
If it were my fiddle, I'd ream it out for a boxwood bushing, clean and glue-fill the crack, and glue the bushing in with the grain crossways to the crack if possible. To me, that's the easiest way to deal with it.

This isn't a bad crack and if it doesn't spread, I'd leave it alone. If it starts to grow, you can drill down the side of the peg box perpendicular to the crack, through the crack, and fit and glue a round toothpick in the hole. Cut it flush, sand it smooth and varnish over it. Meticulous work, but I've never had to rework the old toothpick repair.

KCFiddles sounds like he's had a lot of experience at this. I don't even work on anything above low four figures.

Edited by - 46davis on 05/28/2021 15:40:32

May 29, 2021 - 8:02:11 PM

511 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

What about a "cheek" fitted to the inside or outside of the pegbox? Is that just for extreme cases, or an antiquated technique?


Cheek patches are not appropriate for crack repair. Internal patches might have some purpose in extremely rare cases, but there is no situation where an external patch is a good choice. Removing original material from the pegbox is something that should be avoided as much as possible. Those patches also have a very high failure rate and they reduce the instrument's value much more than a well-repaired crack will.

I've saved some pretty badly damaged pegboxes without removing any significant amount of wood, so there's certainly no reason to take any out in a case like this.

Also, DO NOT pry the crack open. One crack can turn into a pegbox in pieces in a second.

May 30, 2021 - 8:50:14 AM

5611 posts since 7/1/2007

Agree with all the above. Have seen lots of cheek patches, but never could find a reason to do one, myself.

Jun 6, 2021 - 11:55:21 PM

46davis

USA

47 posts since 3/16/2021

Hey, Johnny, what did you end up doing with your peg hole crack?

Jun 23, 2021 - 8:13:41 AM

14 posts since 5/16/2020

quote:
Originally posted by 46davis

Hey, Johnny, what did you end up doing with your peg hole crack?


I let the tension loose from the D string hole the crack was found in and put project on back burner to do more research.  I then contiplated doing full blown bushing until I heard about spiral bushing. https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/323227-spiral-bushings/

I then thought to make a spiral bushing using carbon fiber until I came across a speed bump about the direction of the carbon fibers.

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/337644-cf-rings-for-peg-ringer-tool/

The conversation was more along the lines of replacement rings for the ringer vs using CF as a spiral bushing material.

I'm currently waiting on a matching accessory set to come in and plan to ream away the area so the crack is less noticeable and then go the way of a homemade channel and ring.

Currently on the lookout for a hole cutter to do the job. Found a few on ebay for under $20. Waiting to find out how thick of a channel will be cut and then will be on to next hurdle to find a matching ring to match the channel.

I could have already completed the reapair long ago with a traditional bushing and reaming. For now, I'm enjoying the lessons I'm learning from taking on a new/different approach. It's been an interesting rabbit hole journey. 


Jun 23, 2021 - 10:45:47 AM

511 posts since 3/1/2020

Good luck with your project to make a cutter of your own. You can learn a lot from making a tool.

I don’t have a machine shop, so it would be especially difficult for me to make the tool. I bought the Peg Ringer because it worked so precisely and I’d had the opportunity to use one in a previous shop and loved it. It wasn’t cheap in the short term, but it paid for itself very quickly and saved me a great deal of time and effort. I looked at it as an investment in a tool that should last my working life.

Jun 23, 2021 - 11:45:12 PM

46davis

USA

47 posts since 3/16/2021

Wow! That seems like a whole lot of trouble to go to for a simple crack. I've had good luck in the past with a spiral bushing made from a dollar bill. The paper in currency is made from 75% cotton and 25% linen so its tensile strength is much higher than regular paper. When impregnated with glue it's stronger still, like fibreglas or concrete is much stronger together than either material separately.

I make about two wraps around the hole making sure that the ends come close but don't overlap so the thickness for much of the circumference is even. I then clean out the hole with a reamer to get a fresh gluing surface, soak the paper in hide glue, wrap it around an old peg coated with soap or candle wax or even a peg-hole reamer with a little oil on it, and press it in the hole. It sets up in about 20-30 minutes and the peg can be removed. When it's good and dry, a VERY light touch up with the reamer will give you a good surface to fit the peg. Done a couple this way, including a bad one where I bored a hole through the wall of the peg box and pinned it with a toothpick. That one's been going for about 25 years.

It's fun learning about the various techniques and possibilities and if you want to do something hi-tech, by all means do it. Let us know what you did and how it works out.

Jun 24, 2021 - 8:51:07 AM

1982 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by 46davis

It's fun learning about the various techniques and possibilities and if you want to do something hi-tech, by all means do it. Let us know what you did and how it works out.


I have done spiral bushings a couple times from paper sack to reduce the peg hole size, but not for repairing a crack. It seems you would need to ream the hole first to make room for a spiral bushing if repairing a crack, otherwise you'd have to reduce the diameter of the peg when you put it back. If you don't do that you will end up reaming your bushing away again for the peg to fit.

Jun 24, 2021 - 9:55:41 AM

5611 posts since 7/1/2007

I'm just starting on restoring a fiddle that may end up being pretty valuable, and I think viola-size fat pegs don't look good on expensive instruments, so I'm probably just going to bush the peg holes down. I like to make a dozen or so bushings out of Kraft paper for stock, so I have some on hand when a job comes up. Back in the day, I seem to recall Jeffrey Holmes saying he used Titebond II for those, and it's nice because of the extended open time, but I've always used hot hide glue and tried to work fast. Maybe I'll try that this time. I use a plastic cutting board for a work surface.

I use 40 LB Kraft paper, since I have a roll in the shop. I used my ancient drafting training to make a template that will wrap around a 30:1 cone, and I use a couple of pegs turned way down small and coated with candle wax as mandrels. I just use the template to cut out the paper, coat it with glue and wrap it as tight as I can, and let it dry for days. Turn the bushings down in a peg shaver until they fit the prepared peg hole, mark them to length, cut the pieces to size, knowing they will slide in a little farther with glue on them. Glue'em in tight, let them dry, rough ream, trim flush, do all your peg fitting and final trimming and touchup, etc. Almost un-noticeable when done. Hardest part is making the bushings. And, it's completely reversible.

I think the Kraft paper works better than shavings did. Fewer reworks.

Jun 24, 2021 - 1:10:35 PM

46davis

USA

47 posts since 3/16/2021

quote:

I've always used hide glue, too. It's right there and the results are predictable. I've never had problems with it holding if the joints fit up properly.

I was reading something about hide glue actually holding tighter to smooth surfaces because it enters into a molecular bond with the surface. Evidently they used to use hide glue to make etched designs on glass by painting on the design with hide glue and then scraping off the glue with a razor when it dried. That's pretty impressive. And I'm impressed with how many times I've gone to pry apart a hide glue joint only to have the wood come apart instead.

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