INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Straightening a tuning peg (kunti)


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Straightening a tuning peg (kunti) May 06, 2004 11:15 a.m.

I have a very old Sitar with one warped (rosewood) Tarafdar tuning peg. Since the Sitar is very old I would prefer to not add a brand new peg as a replacement and would prefer to straighten the old peg.

Would anyone have any advice on straightening my old peg?


Re:Straightening a tuning peg (kunti) May 06, 2004 08:36 p.m.

Dave, you could try steaming the wood, etc....I'm sure there are a few people at Martin that could point you in the right direction. If you file it straight you may not have enough wood to grip on both the holes which is very important. If it's very old, I may have an identical replacement for you, you would just have to file to the particular shape of your peg hole...
Re:Straightening a tuning peg (kunti) May 07, 2004 08:35 a.m.

Thanks for the info, I may take you up on your offer of a matching peg. I talked to one of the guys in our repair dept yesterday about the peg.

Typically Martin (and probably other guitar builders) heat rosewood to around 400 degrees for bending. The side wood on a guitar is about 1/16 of an inch thick and will bend easily at this temp. Our repair guy though was sure that a Sitar peg (about 3/8 to a 1/4" thick) would be easily bent back into shape.

Since the peg is bent, I suppose I don't have much to lose by trying


Re:Straightening a tuning peg (kunti) May 07, 2004 08:39 a.m.

Whoops, that was supposed to say "not be easily bent"


Re:Straightening a tuning peg (kunti) May 08, 2004 08:33 a.m.

Hi. To get that peg back in line, do the following- soak the bare wood stem ( and only the bare wood stem) in room temp. water for a few hours then set the peg between two bricks or anything that gets it in a horizontal position and off the deck, tabletop, whatever. Set this peg so that the stem is arched up and will stay up. A 1" 'C'clamp gently set onto the stem close to the handle where any clamp mark can be lightly sanded off will aid the cause. If the stain/varnish comes down along the stem from the handle as I expect your vintage peg is so done, you will have to be a little extra careful here. Now tie a cord (shoelace or similar) to the middle of the stem length and attach a weight (not too heavy) to the other end of the cord. Free swinging weight so it of course puts the pressure on the peg stem. Give it a while and watch the wood get back to original alignement. Check the progress periodically so that you don't go too far the other way. I've done this job quite a few times with great success. Avoid any type of heat drying (hairdryers, etc) , it will really mess up your pag handles finish. The water soaking will swell the wood. If it was loose before, that problem may now be gone. Anyway, when the peg is back where you want it, sand the bare stem a little to fit both peg holes on the neck. Note: Thank you for taking the time, interest and passion in taking care of that sitar. Best wishes to you. Tony Karasek
Re:Straightening a tuning peg (kunti) May 10, 2004 01:52 p.m.

Thanks for the advice, I understood exactly what you were instructing and yes it sounds like it will work.

I had talked to repair people at Martin about correcting the peg warp and they agreed that allowing the peg to dry without any heat is the way to go.

Much Thanks,

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