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Thread: Vintage tuning pegs

  1. #1

    Default Vintage tuning pegs

    Hello, I just purchased a vintage harmony ukulele, and it came with wooden tuning pegs. I purchased it off ebay, so I was anxious about the true condition of the uke. It's in nice condition, but I noticed that when I turn the tuning pegs, two of them wont stay in place. I'll turn it to try to tune it, and it'll twist back really fast to where it was. Like a rubber band, almost. So I was wondering, if I bought newer tuners, would this solve the problem? Can you put metal tuners, such as these http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWNX:IT on a vintage ukulele? Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bonds Creek, WV
    Posts
    48

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    Yeah sounds like they are a bit worn out. As long as the shaft size (length and width) is correct you can probably put about any tuning key on it. I personally am not a fan of friction pegs. But if original equipment is friction pegs probably should stick with them. Just measure how thick your peg head is and the diameter of the peg hole. If the dimensions are correct for that friction peg then ya they will fit fine. My concern would be the quality of the friction pegs from ebay. Hope this helps

    - Dave

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks! Well, the pegs I have in there now are just plain ol wooden ones. But i've seen many harmony ukulele's of the same style with metal ones like this: http://i52.tinypic.com/2vryik0.jpg Sorry, I really don't know much about ukuleles and their functions. This is a gift for my boyfriend, ha.
    But in this picture you can see the ukulele I purchased. You can sort of see the wooden pegs i'm speaking of. http://i52.tinypic.com/2u5f4w8.jpg

  4. #4
    RyanMFT Guest

    Default

    Hold on, I wouldn't replace those wood pegs just yet. I have wood pegs on a couple of my ukulele's and I really like them. They are lighter than metal friction tuners and those vintage metal and plastic tuners on Harmony ukes are of marginal quality. It is also likely that you would have to do some drilling of the current holes to fit new friction pegs.

    First, have you tried pushing them into the head of the uke a bit? Wood pegs are tapered so if they are a bit loose usually all one has to do is hold the headstock with your fingers and push the peg up a little tighter with your thumb. Just a bit usually does it and then you are good to play your heart out....or it is ready for your boyfriend to play.

    The other thing is that a wood peg can get a little slick where it makes contact with the head of the uke, thus not creating enough friction to hold in place. If that is the case one can remove the peg, lightly sand the peg and even the hole where they make contact, and reinstall. Here is instructions on doing that. http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musi...Peg/index.html

    However, I bet if you push those pegs in a bit your problem will be solved (since you have two pegs that hold fine!) Let me know how it goes.

  5. #5
    RyanMFT Guest

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    By the way, what a great girlfriend! My wife bought me my first uke and now I am totally hooked!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanMFT View Post
    Hold on, I wouldn't replace those wood pegs just yet. First, have you tried pushing them into the head of the uke a bit? Wood pegs are tapered so if they are a bit loose usually all one has to do is hold the headstock with your fingers and push the peg up a little tighter with your thumb. Just a bit usually does it ....
    I second this suggestion. Unless the peghead is really hogged out (the holes no longer round or made considerably larger and no longer tapered) his method should work. I wouldn't go drilling for new tuners just yet. The uke looks to be in great shape judging from the picture. What a cool gift.

  7. #7

    Default

    Aw, thank you. He plays a ton of instruments and the ukulele is pretty much the only one he doesn't have, so I knew he'd love it! I will give the sanding a try, for sure. Sometimes if I push the pegs in while trying to tune it, they will stay, but other times they will slip. It's more of an annoyance than anything, I think. I just don't want him to try to tune it and think to himself "why would she have given me such an annoying instrument!" But then again, it is a vintage, so I guess upkeep comes with having something so old. I may go pick up some aquila strings today and give it a go! Thank you for your feedback!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    456

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    I agree w/the other suggestions: keep the orig. pegs if possible.

    If not, those eBay pegs work OK. I put a set of them on my soprano Eleuke pineapple and am satisfied with them. I wouldn't try them on a concert nor tenor (higher string tension).

  9. #9
    RyanMFT Guest

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    Also, as you see in that article, a little plain chalkboard chalk can help to create more friction. I tried it on one of my ukulele's and it worked great!

  10. #10

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    In the process of taking the strings off now, and two of the strings at the bottom are stuck in there. If i were to just cut the string and leave the tiny knot inside, do you think it would be an issue in the future? I've been pulling and pulling, even tried pliers, and they are stuck pretty good in there!

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