Slipping planetary

March 23, 2018, 6:52 AM · I love planetary pegs, but lately I've noticed that my E peg keeps slipping on my instrument. I know how to deal with a slipping standard peg, but since planetaries have internal gears I'm rather at a loss. Does anyone know how to remedy this short of replacing the peg (or retuning every 30 seconds)?

Replies (26)

Edited: March 23, 2018, 7:25 AM · Check to make sure it is not slipping at the peg box.

If it is, loosen it (carefully so as to not crush or disfigure the soft aluminum housing) put a tiny dab of super glue on the peg thread and screw it back in as quickly and as far as possible.

Out of 53 or so planetary pegs I've installed I've had 3 slippages and that's what fixed them.

If that is not what is happening be sure the turning part of the peg is forced into it's socket as far as possible. If it is and its is still slipping I would advise getting in touch with some luthier who deals with these things or even who invented it (Chuck Herrin - if he is still there) for advice.

I know these pegs are bought in sets of 4, but can provide a single replacement peg if needed (they did it for me once when I was repegging a 5-string violin),

March 23, 2018, 12:46 PM · Are you sure that thread in the hole has not stripped? That's the only time I've had a problem like that.
March 23, 2018, 6:16 PM · And if super glue doesn't fix it you won't be able to replace it because its super glued in place, idiocy!!
Edited: March 23, 2018, 6:53 PM · Knilling Perfection Pegs and PegHeds planetary gear pegs require that you push in gently on the peg as you tune up. Before doing any surgery, I recommend you tune down about a whole step, then tune back up again, pushing in VERY GENTLY (more gently than you would with friction pegs) while you tune back up. Wittner FineTune pegs operate differently and do not need any pushing-in.

If your gear pegs came with a set of instructions, or if there is one available online for the type of pegs you have, I suggest you read it. Like any type of technology it can offer a vast improvement but you do need to know how to use it.

By the way I think Andrew and Edward are describing the same issue. I have three instruments with gear pegs and I have never had this problem. Not all gear pegs are threaded where they meet the pegbox. Your starting point is to find out what kind you have.

I think all three major companies now sell individual replacements.

Edited: March 31, 2018, 7:46 AM · Actually the issue I’m talking about ia a poor installation in which the wood has stripped leaving you with two choices- 1. fix the hole, 2. get a wider diameter peg. I believe they come in 7.8, 8.0, 8.3, 8.5, and 9.0 mm measured inside the peg hole at the widest point.
March 23, 2018, 10:26 PM · A lot of people seem to be under the delusion that these mechanical pegs will never break and will never need to be replaced, so they can be permanently superglued into the pegbox, never to be removed even when they break.
March 24, 2018, 5:14 AM · Lyndon I respect your opinion, and I agree that one should not assume that gear pegs are perfect or permanent. But my luthier tells me that he's always been able to remove a gear peg when necessary to do other work, without damage to the peg box. He did say it's not always easy. That's why even though gear pegs may come with DIY instructions I prefer to have my installations done by a pro.
Edited: March 24, 2018, 7:16 AM · Oh, I’m not under that delusion. I have had a couple so far that were grindy in the gears and finicky to fine tune. I’m just sayin’ that in normal problem solving, you rule out all other possibilities and don’t assume just one thing is the reason without exploring the others. Basic principle in scientific methodology.

What I am saying is see what you can figure out yourself before going and spending money on parts and services.

Is the slip in the gearing, or between the housing and the wood?
Just grab the tapered metal peg housing (not the knob) and see if it spins in the peg hole.

March 24, 2018, 7:17 AM · I've installed both the planetary (perfection) and in-peg (Wittner) geared systems. I prefer the Wittner because they fit without any adhesive and do not thread the peg hole to stay in place. The Wittner Finetune pegs can then be popped out easily if you want to go back to traditional friction pegs.
March 24, 2018, 7:17 AM · I used superglue on all my pegs of that type because of Herrin's instructions (if I recall correctly). Superglue cleans up pretty well. In my experience superglues are super-fast, but not super-lasting. Whatever you do don't use regular Gorilla Glue.
March 24, 2018, 3:57 PM · So you've essentially destroyed your violin with super glue!!
March 24, 2018, 7:22 PM · Chuck Herin does not have downloadable instructions on his web site. However I found the instructions for Perfection (knilling) pegs which are basically the same:

Step 10: Apply small amount of polyurethane glue (such as Selleys Urethane Bond) to the thread. Use enough only to fill the thread. Urethane is the only type of glue we recommend be used. It has several properties that suit this application. Urethane glue provides a strong bond between wood and aluminum, expands on curing, and will soften with heat to enable the removal of a peg, should this be necessary.

"Gorilla Glue" is a urethane adhesive. "Super Glue" usually refers to a cyanoacrylate adhesive. Therefore Knilling's instructions tend to oppose what Andrew is recommending.

March 25, 2018, 4:43 AM · ...if I'm allowed a comment on geared pegs...I've only tried them once. didn't like them because the turning radius was too wide. brought the A in with my fork, and then to tune in 5th's, I kept going over it and under it, over it and under get the idea.

all this talk about super glue gives me the willies.

geared pegs, no thank you.

Edited: March 25, 2018, 5:20 AM · Same with me, Dave & Lyndon. But still, those who decided to join the geared&glued-peg-fraction for whatever the reason, shouldn't we just leave them alone with their specific discussion?

I don't think that one ruines even a decent violin with glued-in geared pegs, even if one had to drill them out to remove them again. How many old violins are there with brushed peg holes, which (in old violins) only means that they were used a lot and well looked after, but which is not regarded as a factor reducing the instrument's value. I even seen copyists who built new fiddles with rebushed peg holes if the original model has such. Like it or not - I don't, actually, but who cares...

Edited: March 25, 2018, 3:00 PM · Dave wrote, "I kept going over it and under it, over it and under get the idea."

Yes, I do. Like any new thing, you have to learn how to use it. I tune deliberately well under, then draw up very gradually while pushing in gently. It took me a few times to get use to it, but I'll never go back to friction pegs.

March 26, 2018, 5:29 AM · For the record, I should perhaps have been a bit clearer: The peg itself isn't slipping -- I could fix that -- but the internal gears aren't holding. I don't think anyone is suggesting that I Super Glue the gears.
March 26, 2018, 7:31 AM · John, have you mentioned which brand of peg it is yet?
Edited: March 26, 2018, 3:36 PM · Coming back to your thread and participating in it actually helps. Otherwise it tends to wander away from its original theme. Look up "random walk" and you'll get the picture.

It's quite possible one of your pegs needs replaced. With my first set of gear pegs (Knillings, in my daughter's violin), I called the luthier to see if it was ready and he said, "No, I had to send one of the pegs back." Because it was slipping. So I too am curious to learn the brand of your pegs.

March 26, 2018, 5:05 PM · I'd have to check with the luthier who installed them to be sure, but I believe they are Perfection pegs. (Sorry not to have been more involved in the discussion earlier but had some computer issues.) I'll probably just end up taking the instrument back to the luthier if the problem persists since in all likelihood I think it will need to be replaced anyway. Maybe he won't even charge me (but I doubt I'll be that lucky).
March 26, 2018, 5:32 PM · "..if I'm allowed a comment on geared pegs...I've only tried them once. didn't like them because the turning radius was too wide. brought the A in with my fork, and then to tune in 5th's, I kept going over it and under it, over it and under get the idea.
all this talk about super glue gives me the willies.

geared pegs, no thank you."

More likely the nut and/or the grooves at the bridge are rough or not properly lubricated.That will cause jumping as you describe. The Wittners are smooth, the PegHeds slightly less so.

The only problems that I have has were with the PegHeds/Knilling, and much more so with the Knilling versions. The problems are: 1-you install the peg on the wrong side. It will slip. 2-You used the head of the peg to twist the peg into the pegbox-slightly torques the gear and it will then slip. I have installed more than 100 sets of each, on violins, violas, celli, as well as ukes, banjos, and here shortly, a gadulka.

Edited: March 26, 2018, 6:40 PM · You've got to be some kind of dolt to install them on the wrong side. They come in a box where each one is marked as to the string it's for. (Unless you or your luthier is buying cheap knockoffs on eBay.)

I agree with Duane about the "jumping." What I notice, especially with my viola, which has Wittner Finetune pegs, is that if I start turning the peg down very slowly at the start, the pitch may not change at all, and then it will suddenly adjust. From there everything is fine. It's not a mystery -- just static friction at the nut. A pro violinist told me you should loosen your strings one by one and re-lube your nut and bridge grooves every couple of weeks. I don't do that.

Edited: March 26, 2018, 6:48 PM · I'm OK with the geared pegs. The sky isn't falling. High-level professional colleagues who have installed many more of them than I have, have had no problem removing them if/when they needed to.
Edited: March 26, 2018, 7:43 PM · @duane lasley: my nuts are just fine, thank you (on both my fiddles that is). I wasn't talking about 'jumping'. As stated in my post..."I don't like them because the turning radius is too wide". I don't have time to wait that long to tune to pitch.

my bad tho...I should have said "I tried them once on a fiddle that I didn't own"

March 27, 2018, 10:30 AM · May I suggest loktite rather than glue? It is made to hold parts together UNTIL you want to remove them. It is made to resist vibration. There are different types for different jobs. None are for plastic to wood joining specifically, but the blue kind might work and unlike superglue, do no permanent harm.
March 30, 2018, 8:38 PM · Loctite is a brand name. They make several different kinds of adhesives. Can you be more specific?
Edited: March 31, 2018, 7:56 AM · Scott, I’ve noticed some loctite type adhesives seem to be poor emulsions with a very separable solvent. I would have concerns about that solvent penetrating and persisting in the wood fibers away from the bond.
This might be because loctites are generally designed (imho) to creep (like capillary action) into the metal threads and self-spread.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Yamaha YEV Series Violin
Yamaha YEV Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Metzler Violin Shop

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pluhar Violins

Potter Violins

Pro-Am Strings Ltd

Violin Lab

Violin Pros

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop