Could peg compound sometimes not be enough?
I recently replaced my strings, and lubed each peg with Hill compound. One by one, I applied the compound, inserted the peg, turned it to distribute and installed the string. When I tried tuning, I found that although the peg turned smoothly, it failed to hold. I had to push in each peg more than I expected. This now left the pegs difficult to turn.
Should I use more compound? Would bar soap or graphite help?
Sometimes there's no alternative but to have your luthier refit the pegs. If they're low quality pegs to begin with, the only alternative might be to replace them.
hill compound will make pegs slip, you need a gripping compound like chalk.
Among the unstated things.
You've probably over-done the application of the Hill lube. I travelled that particular road many years ago!
Thanks to all who replied. I will try cleaning the pegs and peg holes. As to Andrew’s questions: the pegs had turned smoothly and held until a short while ago, thus the presumed need for compound at this time.
Maestronet discussion of peg compound (very long):
Jerry, there is a relevant question that seems to have been overlooked. Do you use strings that need tuning from the pegs - such as gut or low-tension synthetics? If so, then serious attention to the pegs is required. If, on the other hand, all the strings are steel or high tension synthetics then all the tuning is done using the microtuners, the pegs are in tight and rarely need to be turned except when strings are replaced. This would seem to be an obvious solution for pegs at the lower end of the price scale.
Would not the ideal peg lubricant have thixotropic properties? Specifically, does the Hill compound have those properties which only manifest when it is applied in a particular manner and not to excess?
An amateur cellist friend told me to buy peg compound as it has "stiction". My teacher said, "no, just use graphite". My understanding is that you jam the pegs in and graphite lubricates them.
The main danger of ill-fitting pegs is that you are tempted to force them in too hard, which can break the wall of the peg-box, an expensive repair. The proper tools for that are a matched pair of reamer and peg shaver that looks like a big pencil sharpener. That's a a job for a real Luthier.
Trevor, I am using my first set of Eudoxas. They have been on my violin for only about 2 weeks and I have contended with the tuning they require. They have become more stable, but I must use the pegs.
Welcome to the wonderful world of gut string playing! Off course you must use the pegs to tune - with gut strings you should get rid of the fine tuners.
On one of my violins, I use Oliv G,D,and A (I use goldbrokat E string). The peg compound certainly helps a lot when tuning. I love the sound complexity of the strings, but they do require constant tuning more than your average synthetic strings.
I overdid the graphite- just pencil lead- a few weeks ago with a new violin, although it worked just fine on the main squeeze before that when the pegs were frozen- don't get to it much over the summer, the strings needed changing badly I found out when comparing with new ones, so don't be shy. Maybe there's a case against 4 fine tuners here- the pegs aren't getting turned much at all sometimes.
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