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Just a simple question here.  I've got a fairly old banjo in and at first I thought the shaft on this friction peg was broken.  Once I re-assembled it, it seems fine, but I can't see how it stays in place.  Once I string it up does the string tension simply keep it from walking out?  It's not loose and turns smoothly.  I'll also be removing this spike and repairing the damage left behind, as we can see it was put in wrong in every way possible.  

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Brian, that doesn't look like a 5th string peg to me. It looks like an standard old friction peg that someone stripped the top from then drilled for a string. Notice that the end of it is round and probably tapped for a screw. I think you need a new peg.

I really like the design of the inlays next to the spike. Cool.

I think you're right, this is probably in order...

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Banjo_tuners/Friction_5th_String...

Wonder what i'm going to go through trying to get the insert out.  When i'm back at the shop i'll take another look at it, if it's threaded i'll get something screwed in there so I have some leverage to get it out.

Friction tuners are balky and difficult to work with when they are working perfectly, and get worse with age. A geared 5th tuner is really a treat, and worth the expense. 

That spike - oh my goodness.

That peg - very odd.
I dont do much with banjos, but that peg looks weird to me too. I'd be interested to see what the hole looks like. Might give some indications as to what the idear behind the existing peg was, as well as how to approach a remedy.

100+  year old Fairbanks with dyed fingerboard, yes?

Nothing odd here - it looks like a cool old timer, to me!

The friction fifth is indeed, broken . The peened-over end of the ware brass shaft has pulled through the washer at the other end of the tapered section that holds the peg in the neck.  That "insert" is a tapered press-fit in the neck, so you can probably snag it by the hole with a wood screw driven in carefully, and pull the entire thing out carefully with a bit of prying leverage.

Brian,  when you get the insert out for the peg, I'd love to see a picture of what it all looks like.

John Henry was a spike drivin' man.........

Here's what the fifth peg looks like:


These old friction fifths work better than any new friction tuners, take a smaller hole, and have a more trim appearance, so we try to preserve them whenever we can.   When you reassemble it, be sure to put just a bit of grease on all the parts except the taper that actually holds in the wood.  Counterintuitive as it may be, the grease improves all the working characteristics. Oh, and lube the threads of the screw, too.

Thanks for the picture Frank. I've never seen one like this. It looks like it would work pretty well. 

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