Pin doesn't hold firmly-slips loose after tuning

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    peter-smith on #214630

    I have a problem tuning one string on my harp. I believe its due to the pin not staying or remaining in place immediately after I tune the string. It appears to somewhat slowly recede or slip back slightly – just enough to make the note tune almost a whole half-tone flat.
    I’ve never encountered this problem before and would appreciate any technical advice or direction if possible.

    charles-nix on #214631

    Can you give some details about the harp? Different makes use different pins. Would hate to give advice about a tapered pin if you had threaded pins.

    If a photo is easy, one straight on looking at the pin end, and one looking down the plane of strings might help also–but if that’s not easy we can start with the harp details.

    Charles Nix

    hearpe on #214692

    I ended up with that “scamac” harp, after I finally got a refund-
    among the list of things wrong with it is that a full 10 PINS (!) would not hold either any tension or stay in tune.

    So- although I’ve paid it little attention- I figured I could at least try some things on the harp- what the heck, right?
    I still haven’t gotten the harp up to full tune- it has straight pings – strings on one side, tuning square on the other-

    I have gotten some result simply by removing pins and getting the inside wood wet- to expand it. You can get the water inside by wetting the pin itself and lightly moving it back and forth- not reaming obviously.
    Beyond that I’ve also mixed a very weak solution of wood glue and water- and the wood glue penetrates the inner grain- Pins OUT of course as it dries a night or so. And these techniques have given me much improvement- though I havent had time to restring and see just how much tension it holds-

    There is also a product for violins – called peg drops (and largely vilified by those luthiers as any kind of real lasting solution) But it is said to help with peg slippage- so you maybe want to look into that- it may be my next step if the watered wood glue solution doesn’t pan out. This harp would need a total rebuild- there are two long NAILS sticking into the sound box, driven through the soundboard and outer reinforcement, but then literally into NOTHING as a means to join the pillar at the bottom- no block or base of any kind! So at this point I’ve just been playing around with it, dealing with the most obvious problems.

    Hope this helps- but yeah-these are cheap straight pins through holes drilled too large, and not threaded in any way- I can’t speak for threading.

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