A sitar tuning peg or “kunti” works on the basis of friction. The peg is conically ground and is clamped into a conical hole. After some time, the surfaces will wear out and the peg will go deeper and deeper into the hole. Eventually it comes out deeper and deeper on the other side.
Usually the sitar pegs are made of a hard wood (ebony or rosewood or sheesham) and thus the hole in the neck, which is made of a softer wood (tun or teak), will wear out.
Time to mount new pegs that are a bit thicker. But actually there is nothing wrong with the original tuning pegs. A solution is to provide the holes with a new layer: the kunti bushing.
For this you can use sandpaper of a good quality. The back side, which is made of strong paper, can serve as a layer of wood while the rough sanding side provides an excellent adhesion inside the hole.
It is a matter of cutting out a well-fitting piece of sandpaper and gluing it properly into the hole. Make sure that the sandpaper fits perfectly and does not overlap. Also make sure that no glue gets between the kunti and the bushing. The glue should only be sitting between the rough sandpaper-side and the hole in the neck.
You can use the peg itself to fit the sandpaper in the hole and as a clamp to keep the sandpaper in place while drying.
When everything is dry, you can cut away the excess piece of sandpaper with a sharp chisel.
In this way, the original pegs can continue to be used.
Keep in mind that this bushing will have to be replaced after a while. The paper will wear out faster than the wood of the neck. It is best to look out for professional quality sandpaper. Then you will be at ease for a long time!
Old Naskar so called “teak sitar…??” turns out to be a regular tun sitar. This sitar has been repaired from a loose joint and twisted neck. Also the tabli has been lowered and the neck has been finished in an open pore look with 6 layers of Danish oil. Almost full restoration… see pics after:
This sitar which belongs to my friend Chico has a problem: the neck has bended too much. The playing string is tilted 14mm above the last pardas’ surface. The neck came up 5mm at the tar daan position. See the photo (left) with the red line. (click on the photo to enlarge)
To fix this problem, the sitars neck has to be opened and glued again. The result is yet to be seen on the photo (right) with the green line. (click on the photo to enlarge)
You can see more photos about this surgery on a new page added to the repairs chapter.
Where will it end ??? “We need a sitar … a double neck actually … with humbucking pickups … and a Floyd Rose bridge … and it all has to function properly. We need some mock-up renderings by tomorrow and the finished product completed in the next couple of weeks” This is the phone call that David Hill received some months ago from the production company of Mike Myers’ new movie “Love Guru”.
Read the rest of the story and see some unique photos about the making of this extravagant sitar by David Hill & Brady Milloy at the “12 fret” website …