Richie Dotson

11000 Long Branch Drive

Chesterfield, Virginia 23932


Authorized Dealer for:

Huber Banjos, Parts and Accessories

Keith Tuners ... the finest.

Richmond, Virginia Banjo


banjo Repair

Guitar Repair

Mandolin Repair

Richie Dotson

Acoustic Box

Richmond, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

Midlothian, Virginia

Chesterfield, Virginia

***These pages are for information only.  If you choose to follow any of the steps contained within this site, you do so at your own risk. ***


Skype Lessons

Watch the most comprehensive J.D. Crowe Interview ever filmed.  Click here to see 31 minutes of Music History!

Mobile Repair & Setup Calendar
New Banjo Railroad Spike Capo Video
New Changing a Skin Banjo Head Video
New Making a New Bone Nut Video

New Changing A Bridge-Setting Intonation Video

E-Mail Me by Clicking Here

Pre War Style Pips (5th string nuts)
Banjo Repair Page
Free Banjo Lessons and Tablature New
Free Mandolin Lessons and Tablature New
Free Guitar Lessons and Tablature New
Guitar Repair Page
Mandolin Repair Page
The Bella Voce Project
Changing Strings on an Autoharp
Pre War Gibson Banjo Testing
My Thoughts on Tone Rings
Pearl Inlay design and work
Repair Shop Prices
Resonator Ping Test
About Me
Humor ... The Twisted Side of Me
Download Free Banjo Ring Tones
Why I prefer to ship using U.P.S.
Luthier and other Links


My Site is Made possible in part by:

Jim Mills Banjo Inc.

Amelia Family Campground

Lawson Entertainment

Cabin Fever Pickin Party

Authentic Guitars


1992 - 2015 Richie Dotson. All photographs, graphics, text and information contained within is owned by Richie Dotson. Website designed, written, photographed and maintained by Richie Dotson.  All rights reserved.

Hit Counter

Banjo Lessons

Banjo Repair

Guitar Repair

Mandolin Repair

Richie Dotson

Acoustic Box

Richmond, Virginia


Replacing a Friction 5th String Tuner on a Banjo with a Geared Peg

The geared 5th string tuner was the greatest thing to happen to the 5-string banjo since Earl Scruggs.  Many modern imported banjos still use these, though.  For a total savings of only around $6.00 per banjo for the importer, I still marvel at why the things are still being made!

The shafts of these tuners are often narrow and rarely tapered.  Some friction tuners that came on better banjos had a set screw on one side of the shaft and you can't simply pull them out, but on this one we are safe to do just that.  Without assistance from a tool, this one pulls right out.  See the video to the right for a different type of removal and installation.

Here is my YouTube video that shows how I replaced a Grover friction peg with a geared machine.

You can see that the new, geared tuner isn't going to fit the existing hole and must be reamed.  The shaft on the new tuner is tapered as well and you must have a tapered reamer of the correct size to do this job.  I made this one from an existing reamer, but they are available through luthier supply companies.

MVC-529S.JPG (31019 bytes) MVC-530S.JPG (34463 bytes) MVC-531S.JPG (27898 bytes) MVC-533S.JPG (30656 bytes)

The reamer is matched perfectly, but the hole left by the original tuner is too small to allow the reamer we need for the final fit to get started.  Drilling the hole with the proper size twist drill bit would work, but I have a set of reamers of lots of different sizes so I gently enlarge the hole with one that will allow me to get started.  The tape that is on the reamer stays on this reamer because I use it for a stop when setting tuning machines on new banjos I build and it has nothing to do with the job at hand.  I ream the old hole only enough to get the proper reamer started.  Pay close attention while shaping the hole if you try this yourself.  The taper should allow you to tap the unit in and get a tight wedge fit without glue, but not so tight to split the neck.  This is where experience helps.

MVC-532S.JPG (26182 bytes) MVC-534S.JPG (42974 bytes) MVC-535S.JPG (37584 bytes)

Instead of finishing this series here, I suggest that you read my series on removing a stubborn 5th string peg for the rest of the information necessary to complete this task by clicking Here.