peg turning started

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CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I jumped in and took a whack at one to experiment:

turning-peg.jpg


That's soft maple, which is an experiment in itself; I was going to use strictly hard but soft will probably be fine for gut or hair strung instruments. It is still in progress; I was primarily working on shop reorg (yeah, still, but I am getting close) and just take a few minute from that to work on this.

There are 3 things in the background - the plan, the reamer and my digital caliper. I vary from the plan to make the taper match my reamer so I can make a snug fitting hole for it.

The reamer (lousy pic, but proof it exists :) ) is a minor gloat from the Grizzly outlet ($10.50 instead of $26, but of course I had to order something else to make shipping worthwhile :rolleyes: and also ordered an unpictured discounted pop reamer that hasn't shown up yet to replace my broken one). The caliper I have had for a while; it is the HF Cen Tech that often sells for $5 or so.

Not sure how much more I will mess with the "large" part. Not sure if it is clear from the plan, but it gets cut/shaped flat anyway.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
My old friend the violin maker has a matching set of reamers and shapers.

In other words something similar to a pencil sharpener for shaping the peg and a matching reamer to make the hole. He has a few different sizes for various instruments.

You might check with some of the Luthier supply houses to see what a set costs.

He told me years ago it is almost impossible to get a proper fit without a matching set.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Yeah, I need to make a shaper. I had dreams of making a jig to turn so accuately it would be uneccesary, but reality set in. I made one a few years ago and then sold it during a period of frustration. I have a horrid picture of it:

pegshapr.jpg


I used to be even worse at photography. :)
I sold it with its reamer when I got frustrated because I couldn't make a Strad in a weekend. :rolleyes:
You drill a hole, ream it then cut to it with a backsaw (cut surface must be flat) and screw a blade to it. You need more shapers than reamers. The reamer I just got has a decent size range, but for most pegs I will be using it toward the middle, so I need one for the middle two inches and then overlapping ones for the two ends of the reamer's cutting range.
Turning pegs sur is more fun than making shapers. :rolf:
 

manirban73

New User
Anirban
Very cool - I also thought carefully about that reamer - but the diameter wasn't going to work on the size of the holes I have in the sarod, so I'll have to look elsewhere or rig one up.

The cost of an actual reamer and shaper are probably too prohibitive for the beginners (like me), but I'm toying around with the idea of seeing if I can find a metal shop that wouldn't mind putting a tapered hole into a steel block and tap some set-screw holes onto the top so I can put a blade there. I bought some replacement blades for a shaper from Int'l Violin when I was buying some peg dope. The reamer is a different story (I wish someone would sell theirs off on CL, but no luck).

I'm also on hiatus while I make some workbenches for the garage, now that I convinced my wife she *really* doesn't need to park her new car there (we only have a 1 car garage at the apartment). I'm tired of using the Workmate and having to lug everything on and off of it.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
You really only have to buy the reamer and then make the shapers. I will have to post a "How-To" when I make mine, knowing it will get read at least once. :) The reamer from Grizzly has a 140mm (about 5.5") cutting length tapering 10mm to 6mm, so I will probably make at least 2 shapers. I have 3 instruments in progress and need two sizes. You can't just make one big one because the tuner buttons prevent you from shoving the small ones further down. :) The one in the lousy picture above worked fine. That was just a chunk of hard maple. They don't have to be metal


You can get reasonably good reamers for under $50 from International Violin, but they also sell higher end ones for much more. Same with the shapers (that Herdim is very nice, but over $300!). I guess you know that since you ordered peg dope and blades from them; they probably sent the catalog. What is the diameter and taper of the sarod pins? Did you also look at the end pin reamer at Grizzly? It has a steeper taper and isn't suiatble for tuners for most European string instruments.

I am cheating on the tuner discussed here. It has a larger diameter and steeper taper in the plan. That doesn't make mine "not period", BTW. There was no standard; that was measurements from one maker and others differed. I guess you already have holes and can't adapt it though.

I am also not getting time on it right now; I just stole a little because I wanted to play with the new toy. I am not finished with the shop reorg, have some prefab furniture to assemble (actually some nice stuff; better than I could do) and some gifts I need to make.
 

manirban73

New User
Anirban
My sarod is a 23 stringed instrument (they range from 18 to 25 strings) - 5 of them are the main playing strings that you pluck, another 3 are also plucked, but used for rythmic purposes, and the remaining 15 sit below the main 8 strings and are sympathetic strings - they vibrate to the notes being played and add resonance. Usually the sympathetic strings are tuned to the notes of the piece you are playing where you are using the fingernails of your left hand to press to the fretless fingerplate. By doing so, you are adding a energy dissipating point and cutting off the speaking length of the string, so the resonance helps - ie - the additive properties of the frequency and amplitude of 2 waves.

OK, I digressed on the main point here - there are 3 different sizes of pins - they all are roughly a 1:25 taper (some veer to 1:30). The mains range from 0.375" to 0.675", the other are proportionately smaller.

Long story short - I can get away with one reamer, but will need 2 shapers, minimum. I have delusions of grandeur that I can get away with the ground up scissors routine, since I already have holes in my instrument that are close, I just need to be able to shave a little bit off.

BTW, I'm going to use basswood - picked up a big box of various sizes from WC on clearance. Let's see how this works.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Those are big!

I would be a little concerned about basswood. You mentioned that before, but I thought it was for learning and working on jigs. The big box from WC is carving blanks. I think you want something that will pass the "thumbnail test" - if you can dent it with your thumbnail, it is probably too soft for tuners. Unfortunately, the thumbnail test is done in reverse for basswood carving blanks - you want ones you can dent. Violin pegs are typically ebony or rosewood and it isn't just because of looks. I consider my use of soft maple to be an experiment, but it probably be will be fine on a jouhikko since it is strung with horse hair at low tension. For most instruments I am planning to use hard maple or holly, though I would also like to experiment with cherry.
 

manirban73

New User
Anirban
I will have to rethink the basswood then - they may end up the "test" cases - my main concern is balancing the hardness with the weight considerations. We're talking about a 40" long instrument - adding weight to the end will make it top heavy, and it ends up being too cumbersome to play for a long time (this is why I'm also using a thinner gauge of steel for the fingerplate). In it's previous incarnation, my instrument was pretty dang top-heavy - after about 45 mins of practice, my right arm would feel like it's going to drop.

So sarod pegs are usually never ebony - usually rosewood, teak, and sometimes cocobolo.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Not that the Janka Hardness numbers are anything absolute, but rosewood, teak and cocobolo all are 1000 or more while basswood is around 400. Looking at a table, the woods below 1000 are the ones I am nervous about - cherry and soft maple come in at 950.

Here is a table:

http://tinytimbers.com/janka.htm

I don't see anything below 750 that I would want to even experiment with.
Walnut is tucked right between teak and cocobolo and cherry is just below.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I think you need to be more toward the 2000 or even 2500 range for tuning pegs. The peg takes on enormous pressures and will fail to stay in tune if not very hard and dry.
 

manirban73

New User
Anirban
I forgot to mention - Butternut is the other wood - but I don't see it on the Janka list.

(I'm a bit wood illiterate, by my own admission).
 

manirban73

New User
Anirban
Never mind - Butternut is 490...

Looks like cocobolo or rosewood for me.... I'll have to be a lot more careful when doing the real stuff... these woods are significantly more expensive.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Butternut is another easy to carve wood (cuts like butta' :) ), so it willl be low.

There are a few factors that affect reasonable choice. String tension is a big one. Gut and hair strung instruments have lower tension and even the steel strings on Baroque instruments was light. Then there is the issue of peg mounting. If you have a pegbox, like a violin, the peg is supported on both sides of the string. If you have a plank peghead with the buttons in back, like a ukulele, you need a good stiff tuner because it's not supported at both ends. But at least the string tension pulls it tighter into the hole. The worst is the peghead with the buttons on top. This is common in Oriental instruments, Arabic instruments, citterns, citoles and gitterns. The string tension is trying to pull the tuner out of the hole and it is only supported on one end. Fortunately, most of those are low tension.
 
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