How to Fit a Violin Peg

Written by bryan schatz
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How to Fit a Violin Peg
Fitting violin pegs takes patience. (violin image by Dmytro Korniyenko from Fotolia.com)

Violin pegs are inserted into the peg box at the top of the neck, just below the scroll of the violin. Fitting the tuning pegs is a process that requires both precision and patience in order to do the job properly. Having a well-fitted tuning peg will act as an extremely efficient device for tuning your violin; however, a peg that is fitted improperly will potentially cause enough damage to render your instrument useless. Each step in the process should be done slowly and with great care.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Tuning pegs
  • Peg shaper
  • Drill
  • Reamer
  • Vice
  • Sandpaper
  • Knife
  • Pencil
  • Saw

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Prepare the holes in the peg box using a reamer. Gently turn the reamer in the peg holes to shave away enough wood to expose a clean surface. Do not rush this step or use any more force than necessary when preparing the hole; otherwise, you risk creating misshapen holes or holes that are too big for the pegs.

  2. 2

    Score new pegs by securing them in a vice and scoring a line with a knife slightly below the decorative ring of the pegs. This will mark the pegs and allow the peg shaper to maintain a clean edge.

  3. 3

    Moisten the pegs slightly before inserting them into a peg shaper; this can help with the shaving cut. Insert the peg into the peg shaper and twist the peg several times. Check the fit of your peg in the peg holes often until you have shaved the perfect amount, allowing the pegs to slide in and extend at a correct distance from the peg box holes.

  4. 4

    Mark the pegs with a pencil to recognise which hole they fit with and also mark the peg on the back side of the scroll where they need to be cut and shortened to fit into the holes seamlessly. Secure the pegs in a vice and cut along the pencil mark. Do not cut too much; remember that it is easier to continue shaving more off until the fit is exact and it is impossible to make a peg fit that has been cut too short.

  5. 5

    Sand the peg smooth with fine sandpaper, again being sure not to sand too much in a way that changes the dimensions of the peg. Mark the correct positions on the pegs for string holes and use a drill to create the string holes for each peg.

  6. 6

    Apply beeswax to the tuning pegs for smooth rotation, and insert them into the peg holes to finish.

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