Early Guitars and Vihuela

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Hi all,

I would like to know what are you using for tuning pegs, to make it smooth, without sliping.

I am using a recipe someonte told me: 1 part of bee wax + 1 part of calcium carbonate (basically chalk).  Seems to me it is good to violin, but not working perfect with guitars.

Does anyone have a homemade recipe?

Thank you all, Rodrigo

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The popular lipstick-type one by W.E. Hill works great on my renaissance guitar, but I would think the best one would vary accoding to the combinations of the wood materials of the pegs and the head.  My renaissance guitar has ebony pegs and cherry head.

Hi Akira, thanks for your answer. 

I'd really like a recipe to make my own grease. I have tried it again and now I put some powder graphite. Now it is working very well. I am working with more calcium carbonate and a bit of graphite. 

I will wait some weather changes to see how it will behave.

Thanks, Rodrigo

Hi, Rodrigo,

I would fear that the graphite might wear the peg or the peghole. Graphite (pencil) works nicely when applied on the nut to reduce the friction, but I would doubt if the method applies to the pegs and the peg holes.

Also, I've heard that some kind of mineral contained in ebony wears the peghole.

Please beware of ordinary chalk, which can lead to peg wear.  For the past forty years I have used a combination of dry , hard soap (saved from cheaper hotels - better hotels have more expensive, softer soap!) and talcum powder. (My current tin has been in use for more than thirty-five years.)  I believe that the substance sold as French Chalk is also a kind of talc.

The soap will promote slip, the talc will promote stick.  It should be easy, using the soap, to see how well the peg fits, or not.  Use the soap first, then apply a dusting of talc, and try the peg.  Add a little more soap or talc until the peg works as you wish.

Or just buy a stick of peg paste - there are a lot of different makes which will feel slightly different, so you may want to experiment.  But they are not very expensive and one will last at least half a lifetime.


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