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Oct 30, 2020 - 3:55:27 PM

bellf

Australia

308 posts since 7/13/2014

I have had some trouble with the 5th string peg slipping when I tune up. I have noticed that the peg has a small fin on the shaft and have heard that these can cause splitting in the neck, so I am reluctant to simply push the peg in harder.

Any suggestions?

Can I buy a 5th string peg with no fin? (It’s not clear from my searches which models - if any - have no fin.)

My banjo is a Recording King RK36.

Oct 30, 2020 - 4:41:02 PM
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rbfour5

USA

1065 posts since 11/9/2010

The higher "fin" is to help prevent the peg from rotating. I position the peg in the hole where I want the post oriented; slightly press the peg in, enough that the taller fin marks its position in the hole; use a three corner file and cut a groove for that fin; press your tuner in and start picking.

Oct 30, 2020 - 5:19:04 PM
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13475 posts since 10/30/2008

Is the peg body itself slipping in the hole in the neck?

More likely is that the little screw on the end of the tuner button needs to be tightened a bit to stop slipping of the peg SHAFT.

If the 5th string peg is really loose in the hole in the neck, rather than "slipping" or rotating, it's much more likely to simply fall out.

Is your peg a friction type or geared type? That also helps pinpoint the solution.

The "fin" on many 5th string pegs is VERY common, and the hole is usually made to accomodate it. You don't want to pound that peg in with a mallet. THAT might crack the neck. A REALLY firm push with your hands should seat the thing well enough to forget it.

Oct 30, 2020 - 7:47:37 PM
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38 posts since 8/20/2019

I’ve had a similar problem this week. I bought a used Recording King (but a much cheaper model, an RKOH-06) last weekend and I also have had troubles with the 5th string peg. When I took off the old rusty strings, the peg fell out. I read to just press the peg into place, that it should be held by the wood. That didn’t work. I read that I should put a dot of Elmer’s glue just to hold the peg in place. Didn’t seem to work either. I also can’t get it to stay at the correct angle (tilted away from the pot just a bit), but the peg is staying in place once I put string tension on it, even if the peg is tilted a bit TOWARD the pot.

By the way, I’ve been eyeing a used RK36. I have a nice open back - a Pisgah Wonder - but lately I’m wanting the upper frets and not the scoop. The RK35 and 36 seem to be great bang for the buck. Even this used RK is sounding and playing pretty nicely, though I did change out the bridge and tailpiece (and adjusted the relief and tightened the head).

Oct 30, 2020 - 7:59:36 PM

bellf

Australia

308 posts since 7/13/2014

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

Is the peg body itself slipping in the hole in the neck?

More likely is that the little screw on the end of the tuner button needs to be tightened a bit to stop slipping of the peg SHAFT.

If the 5th string peg is really loose in the hole in the neck, rather than "slipping" or rotating, it's much more likely to simply fall out.

Is your peg a friction type or geared type? That also helps pinpoint the solution.

The "fin" on many 5th string pegs is VERY common, and the hole is usually made to accomodate it. You don't want to pound that peg in with a mallet. THAT might crack the neck. A REALLY firm push with your hands should seat the thing well enough to forget it.


Hi Dick,

Thanks for your feedback. To answer your questions:

The peg itself is definitely rotating in the hole -- it's not just a matter of tightening the little screw.

It's a gotoh peg, so not a friction peg.

Here's how the situation came about. During my last string change, the fifth string peg fell out of the hole. I pushed it back in, and strung it up. That's when I noticed I couldn't get it tuned up high enough. I was in a bit of a hurry to do some playing so I spiked the string at the ninth fret and it held ok at a G there. It wasn't till later that I noticed what was going on.

Oct 30, 2020 - 8:08:02 PM
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13475 posts since 10/30/2008

The usual fix for the peg turning in the hole is to take a toothpick or two and break them into lengths that just fit in the hole. Then press the peg back into the hole, which is now tightened up by the toothpicks. Some folks add a drop of glue; many do not put in any glue cause it makes it hard to pull the peg out in future.

Oct 31, 2020 - 5:04:31 AM
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13270 posts since 6/29/2005

The little fin is there to stop it from rotating—I wish they all had that feature, but they don't, and the fact that your peg has one means it's a higher quality one.   If the hole in the neck was reamed properly, you can make a little notch with a #11 X-acto knife and that will solve the problem perfectly, and the fins are oriented in such a way so that the notch won't cause the neck to split.

Some people misguidedly grind off the fin—if you do that, then you have to put a drop of super glue or Titebond on the shank of the peg to stop it from rotating.

Oct 31, 2020 - 6:23:05 AM

7877 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

The usual fix for the peg turning in the hole is to take a toothpick or two and break them into lengths that just fit in the hole. Then press the peg back into the hole, which is now tightened up by the toothpicks. Some folks add a drop of glue; many do not put in any glue cause it makes it hard to pull the peg out in future.


If you do this, use flat toothpicks, not the round kind.

Oct 31, 2020 - 8:25:47 AM

176 posts since 11/13/2018

The peg never actually fell out on my RK36 but I could tell it wasn't a stable fit. To me, it wasn't inset into the neck deep enough. Looked like the hole wasn't inset deep enough from the factory and they just shoved the peg in there with a bunch glue and called it good.

I ended up having to dig out all that old hardened glue, ream the hole a little more and file a recess for that fin to "key into". You have to be careful to match the taper of the hole to the taper of the peg body for the concept of a taper fit to work properly. After I got that, I put a little Titebond on it and slipped it, placed a towel over my palm to protect me and pressed/squeezed the neck/peg by hand to seat it for a tight fit.

Let it set overnight. The peg ended up being recessed in the neck another 1/32". Haven't had any problems with it since.

Nov 1, 2020 - 5:46:36 AM

3923 posts since 10/13/2005
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Yep, use the fin to mark the cut. I actually use a plain pocket knife to slice the fin cut into the neck, wobbling it side to side where the fin is most wide. The pocket knife is really good to cut the slice to match the dimensions of the fin. If the peg hole is too big I put some wood glue around the peg gears and wrap a piece of brown shopping bag paper around it, the paper is also wood after all, then carefully shove the peg into the peg hole. Haven't had any failures yet but ask me again in another 80 years.... banjered

Nov 18, 2020 - 5:02:14 AM

Helix

USA

13095 posts since 8/30/2006

bellf  You probably have a Gotoh 5th tuner. Bart Reiter publishes that he sands those fins away, and so do I. cheaper ones don't have the internal quality, but you are allowed to use them because there ain't no law.  These are spec banjos, they are subject to production vs. quality control.  GOLD Tone and RK are pretty playable out of the box, they need fine tuning as you can see. 

Cleaning finger oils off with lighter fluid, Naphtha is a great assembly technique, nickel and chrome don't always allow glue to enter the surface.

Do NOT use super glue, but jeweler's glue is allowed because there ain't no law. 160 F. makes all the glues let go.

Once when I was a younger person, I changed strings, my nut fell off, the 5th tuner fell out and the tailpiece did, too.

Vibrating instruments need preventive maintenance. In Germany, I found my tailpiece nut was almost going to get lost, I tightened it just before I played. Keep after things.

Good work. Great thread, it shows divergence in proper solutions. Myself, I try to leave as much wood as possible, it sounds better than metal or all metal banjos.

Edited by - Helix on 11/18/2020 05:06:56

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