I'm looking to replace a set of tuning pegs (see picture). What might my options be? The peghead holes are roughly 9/16 inch. The specs for Grover Champions say they are designed for 11/16, but if the shaft size is at all similar, then I don't see why they wouldn't work. 

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Grover Champions are listed to fit peghead thickness from 1/2" to 11/16" thick...and will fit in 11/32" diameter holes...which I think is a minimum.

They should work for your banjo assuming you meant your peghead is 9/16" thick. If you actually have 9/16" diameter holes in your peghead, the Grover's might not work...and you might have to plug/redrill your peghead.

Well now I'm confused.

I meant to say that the pegholes are 9/32 inch, not 9/16. And the Grover's are asking for 11/32. So that's 2/32 (or 1/16) too small IF that is the actual shaft diameter. Or perhaps they just say 11/32 because it's a standard size of peghole. 

I'm not set on the Grover's in particular, I just don't want to deal with enlarging the pegholes that are there. The current tuners still work up to a point, but I can't get them up to C tuning without further tightening the screws, and they already look like they are sinking into the wood. 

What is wrong with the pegs you have?

Hi Joel. They still work somewhat okay, but I am worried about them sinking into the wood (one in particularly sits visibly lower than the others in the headstock). I can get the banjo up to maybe eAEG#B, but getting it up to C would necessitate getting them even tighter than they already are. If there is a viable replacement peg out there (aesthetics don't matter, just compatibility), I would rather just spend the money than risk causing damage.

Joel Hooks said:

What is wrong with the pegs you have?

Or I could try adding leather washers? I've read about that being done, but have never seen an example.

What strings are you using and what make of banjo?  

It's (as far as I am aware) one of the cheaper Rettburg & Lange models from the aughts. I have nylgut classics on there right now. 

Joel Hooks said:

What strings are you using and what make of banjo?  

I took one of the tuning machines to the hardware store and picked up a bunch of whatever washers looked potentially useful. I tried out various configurations and settled on the following:

1. Small washer between the screw head and knob replaced with lock nut of equivalent size

2. Two 1/4" interior diameter washers added topside; a fiber one against the wood, and a steel one above that. 

It's not the most elegant solution, but it's a big improvement in terms of getting the strings up to pitch and holding them there. The idea is to more evenly distribute pressure around each peghole. I tried using the steel alone (could see that it wanted to sink into the wood) and the fiber alone (better for the wood and has more friction, but not stiff enough) and wound up combining the two. 

Interestingly, the wood on sides of the peghead has circular impressions around the pegholes where there were must have once been washers or ferrules of some sort. No idea if those relate to some other set of tuning machines/pegs the instrument might have had in the past. Those impressions were what I aimed for in terms of washer size. 


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