Removing Caspari Peg Bushings - Any advice?

Edited: April 1, 2018, 6:22 PM · So, I have a back-up 1960's Ernst Heinrich Roth viola that is heavy to hold up for pit shows, etc. I decided to get rid of the Caspari pegs, but those @#$% fiber bushings are glued in. Chuck Herin over at Pegheds recommends using a Dremel tool with a grout bit (small diamond tipped grinding bit) and the bushings aren't breaking apart when cut in half, so someone did an overly good job of gluing mine in.

Any suggestions or experience removing these things. I feel like an art restorer going layer-by layer so as not to damage the underlying wood.

(I'm hoping to use Chuck's custom Pegheds Caspari replacements so I don't have to remove more wood and go through a bushing procedure. Not that I can't, just that I would hate to remove more wood from the already over-sized holes. The lighter than Caspari Pegheds pegs should alleviate the pressure of standard pegs while letting me lighten up the tailpiece as well as the scroll.)

Replies (10)

March 30, 2018, 10:18 AM · For anything like that, I would take the viola to a good luthier and have them do it.
March 30, 2018, 12:55 PM · I use a junk reamer that is tired and won't be further ruined by phenolic.

March 30, 2018, 1:09 PM · Junk reamer, got one!
March 30, 2018, 1:52 PM · I'm with Mary, bring your viola to a luthier. Also, you have a Roth? Ernst Heinrich Roth instruments are pretty highly valued German violins. Is it a master, or was it made by one of his sons?
Edited: March 30, 2018, 2:12 PM · Carefully ream it out and they will come loose when you get them very thin. Careful not to wander off center. I soap the reamer to make it easier. Also, the bushing might just come loose from the twisting of the reamer and spin off on the reamer. Sadly it usually only happens to one side, not both. If you screw up just a little, a spiral bushing will save you in the end.
March 30, 2018, 2:53 PM · Thanks Duane, can do. Will line the opposite hole to avoid scraping inadvertentl.
Edited: March 30, 2018, 5:48 PM · I just posted a picture at the half-way point. I just read that they were using white glue to put these in?!? argh!
Taping the end of the reamer with gaffers tape lets me 1. stay centered, 2. protect the other hole, and 3. guage my depth and progress.
The thinnest conical diamond bit in a battery dremel tool is proving to be much less dangerous, more precise, and far safer than I had expected. I might even say almost surgical.

Edited: March 30, 2018, 5:47 PM · If the viola is heavy to hold up you might consider just taking off the entire scroll with your sawzall.

And by the way might as well just measure the remaining peg holes and order PegHeds for them. Actually just take your viola to Chuck Herin if you are within a few hours of Columbia because he installs them for free according to his website. You only pay for parts.

Edited: March 30, 2018, 5:56 PM · Paul, I was thinking of sending it to Chuck once prepped. Thanks for the confirmation.
Re: scroll, not yet a Lewis & Clarke fan ;-o.
Re: weight, everyone who has played it agrees it is HEAVY. My 1926 EH Roth is MUCHO less mass and I can play that one for days w/o a shoulder rest.
March 31, 2018, 7:15 AM · Finished hours ahead of plan! Thanks Duane and Chuck! Clean as a whistle. The glue came off cleanly with the diamond bit as I got down to the last micrometers of material. The holes are pristine as they were when originally drilled by German machinery half a century ago. All perfect clean cylinders at 10.00mm and 8.00mm. Now just have to place a a custom parts order with Pegheds. Looking forward to using it in the summer concerts!

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