More Sarod tuning...peg modifications this time

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aparajit
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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:11 am

More Sarod tuning...peg modifications this time

Post by aparajit » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:07 pm

Would like to know what others are finding regarding their sarod pegs. Almost all sarods that I have seen have their pegs shaped by hand and eye...like a pencil. The result is a peg that has ridges that grab on to the sides of the peg hole and not the entire surface area. The use of chalk supposedly allows for greater friction but also causes the pegs to stick and not turn easily while tuning. To compound the problem, the pegs want to stick only in certain positions and not others so you have to press them into the hole as you tune.

Here is what I have done as a modification. I turned my own pegs on a lathe (cocobolo wood...but subsequently replaced due to weight). Once the pegs were rough turned with the ball part completely finished by burnishing (ie no finish...just hold by cloth and generate heat and the wood oils cause the polishing/burning), I used a cello reamer and shaper set. The shaper is like a very large pencil sharpener. The reamer is a conical single or double fluted cutter. The reamer goes into the hole and you keep turning till the hole is no longer cylindrical but conical. The peg goes into the shaper and you sharpen the peg until its sides are smooth. You get a perfect match on the sides and great contact. You then use peg dope (violinists use these on their pegs...do not confuse with the bow resin). The reamer shaper is usually a matched set that is calibrated at the factory.

The sequence is critical because if your ream and shape too much you will have a large hole and a thin peg and no contact or end up with the pegs too close to the neck. Here is how you do it:

Ream the hole out. It is critical that you stop soon. If you get to the fat part of the reamer (or start out with holes that are too large), the holes will be too big.
Make sure the peg has a good length and thickness
Shape the peg and keep test fitting until you get desired distance of ball part from neck.
Each hole and peg are matched and should not be mixed at later dates.

Liberally coat the peg surface with peg dope and then turn it inside the hole. Do this several times until you have good friction but no stickiness.

The tuning method is different once you have this done than with the regular pegs. It requires cross-graining the peg dope as you tune. This is done by always first loosening the peg as you pull on the peg away from the hole and then tightening it as you push it in to get to the required note. This causes the peg to automatically lock. I can come back to a sarod after weeks and still find it in 99 percent tuned state. If you overtighten the string and then reduce down to the note, the peg will not hold the note. This is because the graining on the surface of the peg dope is in the direction of loosening and the string is also constantly trying to loosen the peg so the two directions match and peg will eventually loosen. In the previous mechanism, the grain is in the direction of tightening and then stopped at the appropriate note. The string is trying to loosen but the peg grain wants to tighten and thus the peg stays locked.

manirban73
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 5:37 pm

Re: More Sarod tuning...peg modifications this time

Post by manirban73 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:22 pm

So, Apuda.. this is an interesting geometry problem - but I have a question - how are you reaming a conical shape into the hole of the neck that the peg will fit into? This is a basic geometry problem, right.... you are trying to increase the surface area of the interference fit between the conical shape of the peg to the *basically* cylindrical shape of the reamed hole in the neck of the instrument. Theoretically, without any eccentricity of either the peg or the hole, there should be one line of contact around the circumference of the peg as it mates with the outer edge of the cylindrical hole (of the neck of the sarod). This singular line of contact will increase to a surface area if and only if the cylindrical shape of the hole of instrument starts to change shape to a cone at the appropriate angle to match that of the peg.

Or is the peg dope acting as a 'filler' to make up for the space between?

Wish I could draw a picture here....

Hope all is well.... will talk to you soon...

aparajit
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:11 am

Re: More Sarod tuning...peg modifications this time

Post by aparajit » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:47 am

The reamer is a conical fluted cutter. When you use it, you are removing the previous cylindrical shape and imparting a conical shape to the holes...thus the far hole will be smaller than the near hole if that makes any sense. The angle is very small.

The shaper also imparts a conical shape to the peg itself like a pencil. Again the angle is very small and precisely matches the angle of the cutter.

BTW...did you know that Shourie is in the US and will be performing in Cincinnati on September 20. He has been in NY for over a year!!!

dhoom
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Re: More Sarod tuning...peg modifications this time

Post by dhoom » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:45 am

Absolutely no hard feelings at this end either. Most people on these forums are mature people with good taste in music and in spite of the occasional abrasiveness, we're all here for a common set of causes. :-) Thanks for the compliement. Glad you enjoyed the sarod.


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Last edited by dhoom on Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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David Russell Watson
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Re: More Sarod tuning...peg modifications this time

Post by David Russell Watson » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:29 pm

dhoom wrote:Absolutely no hard feelings at this end either. Most people on these forums are mature people with good taste in music and in spite of the occasional abrasiveness, we're all here for a common set of causes. :-) Thanks for the compliement. Glad you enjoyed the sarod.
Spambot :lol:

coyootie
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Re: More Sarod tuning...peg modifications this time

Post by coyootie » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:42 pm

Correctly fit pegs work perfectly well, and have been used in many instruments for centuries. It all boils down to the reamer and shaper being nicely matched/calibrated.
A ridiculous % of all the instruments I've owned,played, and repaired from India have poorly fit pegs.It is not rocket science to fit pegs properly.The most important factor is the thick side of the shank fits flush and the thin end just touches the sides of the hole. you can determine this simply: the large part of the shank will have a conspicuously higher shine from the contact with the hole, and the smaller one is significantly duller.
Choice of wood is also important. Hard species of rosewood have been preferred in many places, as well as fruitwoods, boxwood etc. My choice has always been rosewood over anything else .Ebony is actually a bad idea-it has a lot of silica in the sap and grind/reams out the bushings.
I'm glad you have successfully re-pegged your sarod. Workable pegs make playing an instrument miraculously nicer.
One other factor that helps sitars/tanpuras/sarods stay tuned is the peg winding. On all the main playing strings, the windings should end close to the neck. If the windings are farther away, they can cause some bend in the peg in extreme cases. Because of the workings of taraf pegs, the windings tend to naturally end up underneath the mogras, which is where you want them. There is a super easy way to attach the strings around the pegs that the most excellent Tony showed me years ago and it is the only way I string all my Indian instruments since, works beautifully. Maybe he can post a simple pic?
Also, I obtained a "seem taab" gadget recently from Iran( via Turkey on eBay). This is a nifty thing for making string loops which could be used for for sitar and sarod tarafs. It's very fast and makes neat and orderly loops.
the devil is in the details!

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