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Mar 25, 2024 - 1:14:20 PM
2 posts since 2/27/2024

Hello,

I was recently given a 1970s epiphone, the banjo plays pretty good but the previous owner went a little gung ho drilling out the 5th string tuning peg hole. Ive seen other posts about re plugging the hole with a tapered dowel/wood shavings, and that is something I feel comfortable doing. Im hesitant though because peg hole is drilled all the way to the cavity that the truss rod sits in. I am worried about dripping any glue or adhesive into the cavity and effecting the truss rod. I will include some pictures, any help is appreciated!

Edited by - Jettpack1320 on 03/25/2024 13:20:25

Mar 25, 2024 - 1:21:16 PM
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101 posts since 5/18/2019

you could create a small plug of soft wax, bees wax or dental wax, and carefully press it into the bottom of the hole before doing the glue repair. Be careful not to get wax on the sides of the hole. If the hole has any grip left at all I use liquid hide glue to glue the tuner in. 

Edited by - Maurice McMurry on 03/25/2024 13:26:19

Mar 25, 2024 - 2:25:44 PM
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banjonz

New Zealand

12032 posts since 6/29/2003

The rod shouldn't move. It is anchored in the rim end and adjustable at the peghead end, so getting a bit of glue on it at the hole point won't affect anything.

Mar 25, 2024 - 2:38:02 PM
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15222 posts since 6/2/2008

When I took the friction tuner out of a 70s Ventura banjo (from Kasuga, same maker as the 70s Epiphones) I could see the truss rod! So I think that's an aspect of original manufacture, not the previous owner going to town. I could be wrong.

It doesn't take much glue to do the job. So I think maybe brush just the thinnest film of carpenter's wood glue (such as Elmer's or original Titebond) on the plug and inside wall of the hole. Yes, you'll get some squeeze out into the truss rod cavity, but I image not enough to interfere with operation.

Another option is instead of plugging the hole, you could line the sides with veneer and reduce the diameter by layers. This might allow you to minimize squeeze out in the bottom of the hole and even clean out any glue that gets there. We haven't seen the hole, of course, but it may not take too many layers of veneer to reduce the hole to a tight fit for the tuner.

Mar 25, 2024 - 3:00:20 PM
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Brett

USA

2633 posts since 11/29/2005

Many Banjo fifth string holes kiss the truss rod or come close. If your hole is a little oversized, you can cut a small strip of sandpaper. Dry fit it so everything’s going together and fitting all way down without any glue. At this stage you want a push fit and light but some pressure to pull sandpaper wrapped peg out. It can’t be loose enough to wobble without glue but also shouldn’t be too tight because you haven’t added glue yet, which is thick.
If you’re ok and your peg is seated to your liking and hole seems sufficiently filled with as much sandpaper as you have wrapped you can move to glueing. I like Titebond original wood glue. Take your little pearl peg off via small screw removal taking note of your little shim washers and where they go. Wrap glue soaked small sandpaper strip around your splined peg end, push peg in hole. Take deep well socket place over your fifth peg stem, so you’re only touching metal tuner case and give the deep well an extremely extremely light tap with plastic handle of a screwdriver and let cure 24 hrs. Put back on your washer shims and fake pearly button, and small screw.

Mar 25, 2024 - 3:07:58 PM
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Brett

USA

2633 posts since 11/29/2005

If they’re real wallowed, I’ve had to dowel and drill and ream the dowel with 5th peg reamer. Which is a regular peg reamer with the tip cut off. And then you have to touch up finish your dowel if tuner base doesn’t cover it all.
There’s not a lot of wood right in there, and I’ve even dressed down some splined peg bottom off via grinder before because I like a well seated 5th. I want it as tight to the wood as possible. I’ve also ground off many of the side locating metal tabs on fifths to get them to set in deeper. Don’t drive 5th in with more than light hand pressure, and if tap with plastic end of screwdriver isn’t necessary, by all means, don’t. It’s a weak spot and pegs are bad to crack the wood right there and run back towards the 3rd and 4th fret area on side. You will always see it when you look down to tune.

Mar 25, 2024 - 4:25:28 PM
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101 posts since 5/18/2019

If it is a double acting truss rod without a wrapper on the outside keeping glue off of it is a good idea. It is most likely a single steel compression rod and as banjonz points out getting glue on it will do no harm. If the tuner hole is severely wallowed out epoxy works but then you need a lot of heat if you ever need to get it out again. Hide glue is easly reversible with just a little heat.

Mar 25, 2024 - 5:15:36 PM
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13128 posts since 10/27/2006

I use LHG on all banjos that I set up for children and for solving problems like this. a little on the tuner pilot, set it in the hle and wipe off the excess with a damp rag or paper towel.

Liquid hide glue sticks well enough to metal but the bond breaks if tapped with a plastic hammer or wood block. 

The chances that a '70s Japanese banjo will have a double acting truss rod are none.

Mar 26, 2024 - 11:41:01 AM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

6284 posts since 10/12/2009

I "borrowed" these photos from the OP's homepage....this is what he's dealing with




Edited by - RioStat on 03/26/2024 11:44:31

Mar 26, 2024 - 4:58:15 PM

2 posts since 2/27/2024

Thanks @RioStat . Im new to the website and I am still figuring everything out.. Appreciate the help!

Mar 26, 2024 - 6:08:27 PM

2436 posts since 2/9/2007

I've seen big 5th-string peg holes like that on Japanese banjos. They pretty much need to be plugged and redrilled to fit anything other than the original peg.

Mar 26, 2024 - 8:14:24 PM

15222 posts since 6/2/2008

My line-with-veneer suggestion won't work here. That hole's not only big, but irregular. Dan says plug and redrill. Might have to be drilled first to one diameter so it can be plugged. 

Mar 27, 2024 - 5:39:21 AM
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Brett

USA

2633 posts since 11/29/2005

Easy and cheap and ugly....might be using a “kneadable” 2 part epoxy, like JB Weld Steel Stick or whatever it’s called. Clear plastic tube at auto parts stores or 2 different colors of play dough texture product. Knead them together very good, so all one consistent color, pack your hole. Insert tuner, clean off excess with razor blade and smooth it. If that doesn’t hold tuner on its own, at least it’ll make a nice mould you can glue the tuner in. Total cost, $10 for JB Weld product. Level of repair, easy. Will not disappear and will forever be able to be seen, does that bother you?
Wood repair. This is more work, higher level of skill, more time. Plug smallest hole with wooden peg to fit Middle deepest hole. Take dowel that fits largest exterior hole, drill a quarter inch hole dead center up about an inch, cut off with saw, and you have the beginnings of a wooden circle to fit around your original inner smaller vertical wood dowel. So, you’d have vertical dowel (furniture peg) glued into smallest hold in center first, and you’re “making” a wooden “washer” the size of your huge exterior hole. Once this is all fitted, glued, dried, you drill new hole, chase with 5th string peghole reamer, touch up wood, and some of this won’t be quite as conspicuous but still will be seen. Cost and time are more here as you’d have to buy 5th string peg reamer, some wood, glue, maybe drill bit and drill if you have none and can’t borrow.

Mar 27, 2024 - 2:19:07 PM

15222 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Brett

. . . drill new hole, chase with 5th string peghole reamer,  . . . Cost and time are more here as you’d have to buy 5th string peg reamer


T-handle reamer from Harbor Freight: $3.49.

Then cut it off at a point where it's smallest diameter is same as the bottom of the fifth string tuner shaft.

Disclosure: I bought one of those but still haven't cut it off because I'm not sure what to use.

Mar 27, 2024 - 3:59:36 PM

Brett

USA

2633 posts since 11/29/2005

Hi Ken. I bought t-handle reamer for fifth peg install, with tip already cut off, likely amazon or eBay , but might’ve been StewMac, I don’t recall. It’s been decades. I know they’re a lot higher but I also knew if I tried to cut one it would end up crooked and needing to grind flat, etc. I guess $20 likely get one already cut. Back to working on mowers......

Mar 27, 2024 - 6:35:05 PM

15222 posts since 6/2/2008

Try $51.21 from Stew-Mac.

I think I'll get around to trying to cut down the Harbor Freight reamer with a cut-off wheel in a Dremel.

Mar 28, 2024 - 9:01:55 AM
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Brett

USA

2633 posts since 11/29/2005

My gosh. For that kinda money, I’d break out a cut-off disc on a side grinder and cut off the tip of a cheap one. If I didn’t cut straight enough to please me, I’d sand it flat or grind it flat. I guess one could do it with a hacksaw I don’t know.
Specialty tools can be hard to swallow for a one time use. They’ve got a nice tool called a fret rocker, that’s more than I’d like to pay. So, I made my own from a piece of scrap door hinge.
But, if original poster has a dremel or side grinder with a cut off disc, they can be there in no time, and dress it flat however they chose. You do want it real flat on the end and not angled, your hole needs to be nice and flat for your tuner. Just for sport, next time I place an order, I’ll buy a cheap one and cut it off and have a spare. Mine is kinda duller as I’ve used it since the early 90s.

Mar 28, 2024 - 10:04:54 AM

636 posts since 11/2/2009

Maybe I missed it, but does your 5th string tuning peg have splines?

Edited by - gcpicken on 03/28/2024 10:05:19

Mar 28, 2024 - 10:16:16 AM

15222 posts since 6/2/2008

You can see them in one of the photos.

Mar 30, 2024 - 12:44:15 PM
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jwold

USA

1235 posts since 7/21/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Brett

. . . drill new hole, chase with 5th string peghole reamer,  . . . Cost and time are more here as you’d have to buy 5th string peg reamer


T-handle reamer from Harbor Freight: $3.49.

Then cut it off at a point where it's smallest diameter is same as the bottom of the fifth string tuner shaft.

Disclosure: I bought one of those but still haven't cut it off because I'm not sure what to use.


I used a dremel with one of the little metal cut off wheels.

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