Yesterday morning I tuned my violin at home in advance of playing in our church service. The temperature at home was approx 72-73 degrees F. The temperature in the church was cooler, perhaps by some five to ten degrees.
The violin was out of its case for about two hours in the cooler air. The peg on the E string slipped and had to be retuned.
Could exposure to the cooler temperature in the church for two hours have caused the wooden peg to contract and slip? I’ve never had it happen before and am trying to figure out the cause.
Absolutely. Humidity and temperature affect the wood, causing it to contract or expand. It’s not an unusual occurrence for a peg to slip or a violin need to be retuned under the conditions you described. Unless something else happened to your violin that was disconcerting, I wouldn’t be concerned.
I think humidity has more to do with it than temperature. My pegs always slip when we turn the heat on and it gets dry in the house.
Slipping pegs can never be fixed, the ONLY solution is to have expensive mechanical pegs installed and super glued in so they can NEVER EVER slip or come out.
Reductions in temperature and humidity tend to cause the diameter of a peg to shrink and the diameter of a peg hole to expand. Combined with the higher tension of an E string, it is not unusual to have the peg slip a bit if it was tuned in a hotter or more humid environment.
Carmen, Lyndon is either being snarky or he's had some kind of earth-splitting epiphany about gear pegs.
Thanks all for the replies. I’m disregarding Lyndon’s superglue fix.
I've never heard of anyone gluing their mechanical pegs. The threads are more than enough security.
The manufacturer of one brand recommends super gluing them in place, that alone should tell you what genius' design these pegs.
It's true that the manufacturer's DIY instructions call for adhesive. And probably people follow those instructions all the time. But luthiers can fit them without adhesive, and if you want to be absolutely sure, contact the manufacture and ask for instructions that don't involve adhesive. Wittner FineTune Pegs do not require adhesive.
I am not as dogmatic as some, but agree with the view that geared pegs should be more of a niche product for those few who may actually need them due to physical issues/disadvantages. Most violins can be properly fitted with good quality pegs, which can often even look "better", in addition to working perfectly.
I have a set of "those pegs" that suggest adhesive on the threads during installation. I chose to carefully fit without adhesive. Three years of use including regular "cross tuning". No issues, no slipping, No problems.
My "physical issue" is that I don't want to open my violin case and discover that one of my pegs has slipped, and I don't want to use fine-tuners at all, and I want tuning to be easy and accurate, and I don't want to use peg dope or other stuff.
"The manufacturer of one brand recommends super gluing them in place, that alone should tell you what genius' design these pegs."
so you're pro super gluing pegs???
I don't consider the gluing of specified portion of geared pegs to be harmful, if it's done right.
So there you have it, its alright, go ahead and super glue your pegs because David says so!!
Interesting question. Last night was rehearsal for the youngest orchestra in the program where my wife and I volunteer. Here in NJ the temperatures outside were in the low single digits and I'm the designated tuner for the young musician's instruments. Some of the instruments spent the day in the parent's car because that is where they put it on rehearsal days. More than a few instruments had all pegs go loose. They had to be tightened and tuned, some of them had the strings come off the peg (I'm so glad I have a small set or pointy tweezers that allow me to get in a 1/4 size peg box and re-insert the strings. Of course, almost all of the instruments went out of tune once or twice during rehearsal.
@Lyndon "The manufacturer of one brand recommends super gluing them in place"
Thanks again for all replies. I’m not inclined to want to use any type of glue on the pegs. What I will do going forward is to minimize the time the violin is out of its case...particularly if a temperature or humidity difference is noticeable from where I came from.
Chuck Herrin, pegheads, calls for a drop of polyurethane glue, but he has also been quoted as recommending super glue
I think that the Knilling I bought asked for a drop of polyurethane in the union with the wood. So I did and later I was able to remove them without fuss, and without damage to either the wood or the peg.
"Lyndon, could you post a quote from that manufacturer's manual or other instructions where he specifically recommends 'super glue', please?"
I consider this to be similar to using "Loctite" on metal threaded fasteners. It doesn't prevent them from being removed, but reduces the chances of them coming loose accidentally.
The very first thing it says inside Chuck Herin's installation instruction pamphlet is "Professional installation required."
In my youth I had two devices for pegs:chalk and soap.
Alain, ditto. Also how you wind the string on the peg affects stability, as close to the peg wall as possible without touching it.
After alternative early experiences with superglue I have learned to buy the brands that come with a brush that allows me to apply it carefully and sparingly. Gorilla brand of superglue "Brush and Nozzle" covers all options and is good stuff! I have never found a superglue bond to be difficult to break - the stuff is super because it is super-fast!
Amateurs using super glue on their violins, what's wrong with this picture!!!
You know, Lyndon, a lot of your posts seem to be rather unprofessional... I don't think that's very good for business.
I wouldn't say Lyndon is unprofessional. Sometimes he can become strident in his exasperation. He is a purist and it's good to have purists around. They help you define the borders of sanity. I think he's right about amateurs putting super glue on their violins. On the other hand he would likely say that professional luthiers should not be doing so either.