Pegs, geared pegs, fine tuners ...

Steel strings need fine tuners.   And (it turns out) low-pitch steel strings, like Hardanger fiddle understrings, especially need fine tuners.

So, from the beginning, I have used geared pegs ("Perfection Pegs") on my instruments, for the understrings.   With various combinations of ordinary pegs, geared pegs, and fine tuners in the tailpiece, for the playing strings.

I designed special fine tuners for the playing strings.  Ultralight - high-strength aluminum alloy with minimized body.  I made some of these by hand, and then had a bunch made for me by a machine shop.  Recently, I realized that these could be adapted for the understrings too.  The result is a fiddle with ultra-light fine tuners in the tailpiece, for both the understrings and the playing strings.

My instrument number 25 is set up this way, as well as the Erik Johnsen Helland 18xx I recently put back together.

I think this arrangement works extremely well.   Let me put it this way:

You sit down with a group.  You all begin by tuning.   You, with these fine tuners on your instrument, are perfectly in tune in a minute.  Ten minutes later, the rest of the group are still out of tune, but have given up.

Here are a few pictures.   Click on the picture to see an enlargement.

Screws not installed.