Neck Set & Peg Bushings
In January of 2005 this great French copy of a Guarneri cello
came into our Mystic workshop for some setup work, namely a new nut, bridge,
soundpost and tailgut. Within a few
months of our setup, the owner noticed the tone diminishing and the string
heights getting higher and higher. The owner put the old bridge back on
and continued with lessons. The owners teacher, finally finding the ever
increasing string heights impossible to play, instructed her student to bring it
back to us so that we could re-carve the bridge. Putting the old bridge on
the cello we were absolute in our conviction that the cello would have never
left our workshop with such unplayable string heights. Just a few seconds
of investigation unveiled the culprit. The neck was pulling free from it's
mortise, and just 10 minutes of torque and alcohol got it to pull out
This neck joint has been a persistent problem over the years as
many different glues and shims are visible. The mortise will be cleaned to
bare wood and a chalk fit plug will be glued in place. A new mortise will
then be carved.
Although we recommended peg bushings in January due to the large
diameter of the peg holes (which can make tuning very difficult) the owner
elected not to bush it at that time due to budget (the instrument had just
undergone a one year restoration a year previous from another workshop).
Since the cello was back in the shop, the owner decided to go ahead with our
suggestion of bushings as the cello is VERY difficult to tune. The
existing ebony pegs will be trimmed down to the smallest diameter allowed by
standard peg shapers and refit into the newly pushed holes. Thinner pegs
will allow for easier tuning, and pegs that stay in tune!
Stay tuned (no pun intended!) as we have just begun this repair.
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