Finding pegs with the correct size shaft seems to be impossible today. They've added 1/16 of an inch or more to the minimum size diameter available. For a wooden instrument, this is not much of a problem. For the Dixie, it's a problem that will definitely require careful consideration.
- Do I want to modify an antique instrument?
- Do I have access to a drill press and carbide drill bits?
- Will the "standard" peg diameter change again?
- What if I eventually find some original diameter replacement pegs?
According to an email I received from Joe at Elderly Instruments (elderly.com), "the closest tuners we have [for a Dixie banjolele] are stock # UP26. The shaft is slightly larger, so you will need to enlarge the hole in the peghead from 0.15" to 0.19". That is from 5/32" to 3/16" approximately. I hope this helps." It did help -- especially the exact measurements. I bought a set of the UP26 pegs ($8.95 at the time). I have yet to use them. I keep hanging onto hope that I'll find some that are the correct size.
|UP26 Peg from Elderly Instruments|
- The part of the shaft (on the left) that goes into the button, is square. This is a good design -- much better than having two sides square and two rounded off.
- The metal rings next to the shaft are (from the top) top and bottom view of what comes with the peg, and a finish washer which did not come with the peg.
- The bottom of the ring that comes with the peg is made to fit countersunk into the instrument. This would work easily with a wooden banjolele. For the Dixie, you'd have to have a matching countersink hole drilled. Otherwise, this part would sit up on the Dixie and look sorta strange. Wish I could show you on a Dixie, but I haven't enlarged a hole to see this peg in place. The bottom ring is a #6 Finish Washer (available at a hardware store). I would use it in the place of the ring that came with this peg so I don't have to drill a countersink hole. Besides, what if the peg designs change and a different (or no) countersink hole is required?
- The plastic rings are top and bottom view. This is what causes friction between the peg and the peg head. It is obviously made for a wooden instrument. The side that goes toward the instrument has raised lines which would keep it from slipping on wood. The other side is a bowl that the button fits into. It may be possible to use this piece, even though it is redundant for a Dixie, since the Dixie has the metal "bowl" built in. Using the plastic on top of the metal might look funny, but you'd have plastic against plastic for friction as opposed to having a plastic button against a metal bowl (and possible faster wear).
- The screw has one of the heads that will allow either a flat head or a Phillips screwdriver. I always use a Phillips screw/screw driver as they are much less likely to mess the head up.
Here are the pegs from the original "Red" model and the "Black" model, side by side:
I had to replace the screws on the peg type on the left. They were flat head and totally impossible to tighten. I found Phillips head type and added a lock washer sandwiched between two flat washers to keep it rock steady on the tuning.
You may notice that the top of the shaft (with the hole for the string), is longer on the metal friction peg.
|The all plastic button/friction model taken apart.|
The shaft on this peg has two flat and two rounded sides. You can "sort of" see it in the photo below. From the screw hole end it would look like (_) (you can provide the straight line connecting the top of the parentheses :-)
|The plastic/metal button peg.|
Here's a closeup of the metal friction piece above. It has a slot where the button fits:
|The button "nestles" in the slot you see.|
So, my experience has been three different pegs on three different Dixie's.
I'd be interested to hear what type pegs you have. Photos would be great. Maybe we'll get to the bottom of which pegs are truly the original. As I type this, our fourth (and possibly final) Dixie is in transit. It looks to be in very good shape. Maybe it has a fourth type of peg? We'll see.