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View Full Version : Wood violin pegs.... Have you had them on a uke?



Doc_J
07-22-2012, 04:19 PM
Just got my first uke with real wooden violin pegs (4/4 size). Never tried these pegs before, but they work really well, as good as any regular friction tuner I have. Seems pretty easy to adjust and tune, and when you want to change strings, it's like have an eject button on each string.

Anyways the uke was made by a well respected luthier who knows how to properly install them. The uke is so light and simply made these pegs really made sense for the look and design.

I'm surprised more folks don't have these on ukes.

Has anyone else who owned a uke with wood violin pegs care to tell me how they hold up over time?

Here's some pics :
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40640&d=1343009135
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40642&d=1343009172
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40641&d=1343009155

peewee
07-22-2012, 04:27 PM
I have a couple of 1920s Martins with original wood pegs. They are probably good for another 150 years or so. Then I'll have to replace them.

I agree they are light easy and look great. Takes a little getting used to I guess.. but I love 'em.

adam2180
07-22-2012, 04:29 PM
I have used them many times, I really like them. A trick is to have enough string raps around the peg to go all the way down to the head-stock, that helps them stay in place and the down pressure keeps the strings in the nut properly.

ChrisRCovington
07-22-2012, 04:32 PM
I am working on fixing an old Kumalae style 2 that had violin peg tuners originally but were lost at some point. I got some nice 1/4 size rosewood pegs and they look very nice. When I get the top glued back on I'll see how they do. I think they'll be fine though, they seem nice and tight.

ChrisRCovington
07-22-2012, 04:34 PM
BTW who made the uke? It looks sweet, any more pictures?

Doc_J
07-22-2012, 04:40 PM
It was made by David Newton, and is really amazingly light and loud, build well, and great tone.
14-inch scale all mahogany.

Here is a pic from David's web site. ( I don't have as nice a one. :) )
40643

kvehe
07-22-2012, 04:51 PM
I have them on a Pete Howlett soprano, and am quite satisfied.

Kathryn

Manalishi
07-22-2012, 10:40 PM
I have them on my Rob Collins Soprano (Rob C on the forum)
and it's both the lightest uke I have ever held/played and the
nicest!

TheCraftedCow
07-23-2012, 08:47 PM
Wooden Violin Pegs? Perhaps one should go to the instrument from whence they came to see how they hold up on that instrument. First thing one notices are micro tuners on each string behind the bridge. They are not there just because it is closer, it is because it is a bear to tune precisely with the friction fit pegs. 2nd thing one notices are tools called pegbox reamers and peg shavers. Do violin players play more or less than ukulele players? Do they tune more or less often than ukulele players?
Do wooden pegs weigh less than friction tuners? Yes, they do. Geared tuners? All four wooden pegs weigh less than one geared tuner.

Here comes my dog in the fight..."PEGHEDS" I just measured a set today for a Martin 3K owner. They are the same 57mm in length;come with either a 3/4 or 4/4 sized grip and only weigh 1.15 ounces for the entire set of four. They came with a composit grip,ebony,rosewood or boxwood for those who want something special. They also come in different shapes also used on violins such as the heart; the classic guitar grip which looks more like a pick shape, or the stradivarius shape. If anyone wants a custom set of buttons, we can tell you the specifications needed, and they will be installed on your set(s) at no extra charge. PEGHEDS do not need replaced or treated with anything to make them operate smootly or to hold firmly.
www.pegheds.net

Liam Ryan
07-23-2012, 11:07 PM
How many violin pegs can you buy for the cost of a peghedz.

Ukeval
07-24-2012, 02:19 AM
Wooden Violin Pegs? Perhaps one should go to the instrument from whence they came to see how they hold up on that instrument. First thing one notices are micro tuners on each string behind the bridge. They are not there just because it is closer, it is because it is a bear to tune precisely with the friction fit pegs.
I have wooden pegs on my lute (15 pegs) and no micro tuners, and it is ok to tune it, so my vihuela (11 pegs) and romantic guitars and viola da gamba (6 each) and also a vintage uke. I'll have pegheds (strads with boxwood) on my next uke, so I can compare, but tuning with pegs is not a problem.

peewee
07-24-2012, 04:14 AM
Wooden Violin Pegs? Perhaps one should go to the instrument from whence they came to see how they hold up on that instrument. First thing one notices are micro tuners on each string behind the bridge. They are not there just because it is closer, it is because it is a bear to tune precisely with the friction fit pegs. 2nd thing one notices are tools called pegbox reamers and peg shavers. Do violin players play more or less than ukulele players? Do they tune more or less often than ukulele players?
Do wooden pegs weigh less than friction tuners? Yes, they do. Geared tuners? All four wooden pegs weigh less than one geared tuner.

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Nothing against pegheads, but a couple of points about violins: High end concert violins don't usually have microtuners, if they do it's on the E string (highest). Violin strings are under more tension than ukulele strings, and are therefore harder to tune, making the microtuner more useful in that application. Tuning a wood peg uke is not a big deal.

ChrisRCovington
07-24-2012, 06:37 AM
Doc_J That is one sweet looking ukulele. I bet it sounds great too. Thanks for sharing.

As for the fancy Peghead tuners they are nice I'm sure but sometimes people want authentic. I could have put Peghead or Grover on my Kumalae but I thought I should keep it as authentic as possible (I guess they did offer friction tuners as an option back in the day for the later Kumalae but mine never had it and never will as long as I own it). I think violin pegs offer a certain antique charm on an instrument and they seemed to hold up just fine for the short amount of time I had them on before I took the top off. Maybe if I had a new instrument built I would think about them but then I'd probably just go with friction tuners like Grover.

RyanMFT
07-24-2012, 06:53 AM
I have wood pegs on three of my ukuleles. They work great and I like them better than any other tuner. Pegheads are great, but to me they are like building a modern Model T. Looks the same on the outside but without the charm and simplicity of the original.

Like most discussions, this comes down to personal preference. I just like old things, always have. Therefore, I like the look and function of wood pegs and for a ukulele which originally had them, I don't want anything else on it. I like the idea of not having any metal on a wood ukulele, and the look of four carved wood tuners appeals to me.

A couple years ago I found a very early (1890's or so) ukulele which had the headstock holes reamed out and modern friction tuners installed. I spent a bunch of extra money to have the holes plugged then re-drilled, tapered, and wood pegs fit. For me, it was just a matter of bringing it back to it's original look and function. More recently I found a 20's/30's Kamaka pineapple which was sans tuners. The holes were tapered and originally had pegs....Kamaka told me they don't have a source to buy wood pegs, and that wood pegs don't work anyway so they just put in modern tuners. Thus, my ukulele did not go to Kamaka for repairs. You know what, it stays in tune extremely well and the wood pegs I had installed look beautiful!

Here's a picture of the early ukulele with the holes plugged and new pegs fit. The photo shows the plugs much more than one can see in person.
http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/zz199/RyanMFT_photos/IMG_7251.jpg

SailingUke
07-24-2012, 06:58 AM
While PegHeads are pricier, they offer very precise tuning and are much lighter than friction.
They have the cool retro look too. I have them on a few of my ukes.

BIGDB
07-24-2012, 07:14 AM
thats looks better than i thought it would

TheCraftedCow
07-24-2012, 09:29 PM
One should read the comments on Chuck's site www.pegheds.com to see what violin players have to say about PEGHEDS as opposed to wooden pegs. Compared to really fine violins, even an old 5kMartin is a cheap instrument. When a bow can sell for $40,000.00, $175.00 for a set of violin PEGHEDS is not expensive at all. The most expensive set of four tuners available for a ukulele are only $60.00.

RyanMFT
07-25-2012, 07:22 AM
I respect that everyone has his or her favorite....but I don't understand why this discussion changed from wood pegs to pegheads. I thought the OP asked about wood pegs and people's experience with those? The ease of using pegheads has been established over and over and over......can we have a discussion about wood pegs without turning it into "Pegheads are the best"?

peewee
07-25-2012, 08:22 AM
:agree:
and let's put it this way: If I were to have a custom soprano made, it would have wood pegs.

For Me:
Simple is better.
Traditional is sometimes better.
The hard way is often more gratifying. (and yes they are fussier than friction pegs)

Why hike up Mt Washington instead of driving?
Why sleep in a tent and not a Motel?
Why make your own yogurt/bread/cheese/beer/etc.?
Why ride a bike?
Why play ukulele instead of a CD?

Plus wood pegs make for a prettier headstock and a cleaner line.

I picked up a tube of peg dope at a violin shop (looks like brown mini-lipstick) and it helps with some of the pegs sometimes binding, especially when they aren't in frequent use. I doubt that would be as much of an issue on a newer instrument.

Liam Ryan
07-25-2012, 10:32 AM
I respect that everyone has his or her favorite....but I don't understand why this discussion changed from wood pegs to pegheads. I thought the OP asked about wood pegs and people's experience with those? The ease of using pegheads has been established over and over and over......can we have a discussion about wood pegs without turning it into "Pegheads are the best"?

I couldn't agree more. The thread had nothing to do with pegheds until they were driven in by someone trying to sell them.

The Big Kahuna
07-25-2012, 11:21 AM
Why hike up Mt Washington instead of driving?
Why sleep in a tent and not a Motel?
Why make your own yogurt/bread/cheese/beer/etc.?
Why ride a bike?
Why play ukulele instead of a CD?



Go on then. Why?

;)

RyanMFT
07-25-2012, 12:47 PM
Go on then. Why?

;)

To save enough money to buy pegheads?

peewee
07-25-2012, 12:57 PM
Go on then. Why?

;)


“Do anything, but let it produce joy.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Doc_J
07-26-2012, 02:04 AM
I have wood pegs on three of my ukuleles. They work great and I like them better than any other tuner. Pegheads are great, but to me they are like building a modern Model T. Looks the same on the outside but without the charm and simplicity of the original.

Like most discussions, this comes down to personal preference. I just like old things, always have. Therefore, I like the look and function of wood pegs and for a ukulele which originally had them, I don't want anything else on it. I like the idea of not having any metal on a wood ukulele, and the look of four carved wood tuners appeals to me.

A couple years ago I found a very early (1890's or so) ukulele which had the headstock holes reamed out and modern friction tuners installed. I spent a bunch of extra money to have the holes plugged then re-drilled, tapered, and wood pegs fit. For me, it was just a matter of bringing it back to it's original look and function. More recently I found a 20's/30's Kamaka pineapple which was sans tuners. The holes were tapered and originally had pegs....Kamaka told me they don't have a source to buy wood pegs, and that wood pegs don't work anyway so they just put in modern tuners. Thus, my ukulele did not go to Kamaka for repairs. You know what, it stays in tune extremely well and the wood pegs I had installed look beautiful!

Here's a picture of the early ukulele with the holes plugged and new pegs fit. The photo shows the plugs much more than one can see in person.
http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/zz199/RyanMFT_photos/IMG_7251.jpg

This is one time is was best not to have Kamaka restore it.
The luthier did very nice work. The pegs do look good on it.

I'd love to see more of that 1890's Kamaka.

RyanMFT
07-26-2012, 07:45 PM
This is one time is was best not to have Kamaka restore it.
The luthier did very nice work. The pegs do look good on it.

I'd love to see more of that 1890's Kamaka.

Above is a photo of my early mystery ukulele, not my Kamaka....sorry about that. I believe Kamaka didn't come into existence until 1916. No modifications were necessary to my Kamaka, new wood pegs fit right in. Here it is......
http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/zz199/RyanMFT_photos/IMG_3015.jpg

Pondoro
07-27-2012, 03:10 PM
I have home made wooden pegs on my cigar box uke. I love them.

One exception - If I take them out of my air conditioned house on a hot summer day they get out of tune and embarrass me in front of my friends. I mean they really embarrass me as in uke gets out of tune and I cannot get it back in tune. In the fall/winter/spring the uke can travel. But from now on it stays home on hot summer days.

Oh yeah, they were cheaper than pegheads, unless you count my labor. If you count my labor they cost a lot more than pegheads!

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w163/pondoro_bucket/Pegs2.jpg
http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w163/pondoro_bucket/headstock2.jpg

Pondoro
07-27-2012, 03:16 PM
Some day I buy an Ohana and remove the friction tuners and headstock decals and replace the tuners with ebony pegs. I will leave the Ohana stickers on the inside, I am not trying to counterfeit and antique uke, only to get the look.

Ukeval
07-28-2012, 12:22 AM
40832
40831
40830
Here are the ones on my vintage soprano...

Pondoro
07-28-2012, 02:30 AM
[QUOTE=Ukeval
Here are the ones on my vintage soprano...[/QUOTE]


Those are sweet!

Ernie
09-04-2012, 08:59 PM
I have a vintage Yamaha soprano, with wood pegs, and I LOVE 'em! The uke is beat to death, but it's light as a feather, and a joy to play, and the pegs hold tune like nobody's business!

E Ed /e/
04-24-2017, 11:47 AM
Not sure how long this was out there. But I just got a Model 150 Yamaha Uke while in LA! Which one do you have? Do enjoy it so far and learning about the tuners. (Model 150 60-63 from what I understand). Would love to converse more!

Ernie
04-24-2017, 09:49 PM
I don't know the model number of mine (I can't make it out on the label). I can take some pics, but as I said, it's got some mileage on it, and it shows. 8^)

Pete F
04-25-2017, 01:24 AM
I have them on an Argapa. They work ok on a tiny soprano and fit with the whole instrument in this case. A little bit of a pain to tune, but nothing too much out of the way. I would want them on anything bigger than the soprano though.

E Ed /e/
04-29-2017, 02:08 PM
Would love to see it! 50s or 60s vintage u think?

E Ed /e/
04-29-2017, 02:14 PM
I don't know the model number of mine (I can't make it out on the label). I can take some pics, but as I said, it's got some mileage on it, and it shows. 8^)

Would love to see it! 50s or 60s vintage u think?

Ukecaster
05-04-2017, 04:48 AM
......I picked up a tube of peg dope at a violin shop (looks like brown mini-lipstick) and it helps with some of the pegs sometimes binding, especially when they aren't in frequent use.

Peg dope? Wasn't she on that TV show Married With Children? :D

TopDog
05-04-2017, 06:58 AM
I have them on my Rob Collins luthier made soprano. I once
compared my ukulele with another RC built one, but the other
had geared tuners (at the owners request)and mine was a lot
lighter! Easy to tune,easy to maintain,I would not hesitate to
get a uke with them fitted,anytime!

Down Up Dick
05-04-2017, 10:25 AM
My old, old Ka-Lai Pineapple came with 'em. It was made in Hawaii and has a Pineapple on the front. My Mom let the kids play with it, and they lost one or two pegs.

When I got it again, I put regular uke tuners on it, but they never really worked well. A while back, I put violin pegs on it, mostly for looks, and it tuned and played okay. Now it stays on a bookshelf in my music room.

I don't play it any more. :old: