Another week has gone by, and I am back working on the banjo. I have decided to finish up the peg blanks first. I just basically take my shoe rasp and cut the shafts down to size, making them round and tapered by sight. I have clamped the blank into my little metal-working vise to hold it upright while I do this.
The cherry is really soft compared to the maple, and the rasp cuts quickly.
In the photo above, the shaft is very nearly round. You may also notice that I have moved the peg to my bench vise. It has a better grip on the peg. Below is the first blank completely rounded using the rasp. It is sitting next to one of the prototype pegs that I made before to show that the shaft is larger than the finished size.
Not bad for just eyeballing it. To get it a little more round, I wrapped it in some 80 grit sandpaper and twisted it back and forth a few times.
Here it is sanded round.
That is looking pretty good. I suspect that I could make these entirely by hand, if I had to, and still make them work. I guess that they did do it all by hand in the old days. But I have left the shaft a bit large anyway, and I will finish them up with my peg shaver since that will be more precise.
OK. Repeat the exercise four more times, and here are the pegs.
Now for the buttons. I cut the square corners off of the buttons using my coping saw.
Then I rounded the corners off with my rasp. I used the round side of the rasp to put an indentation into the button across it. Then I used my hook knife to make a bowl shape in the button for comfort and looks. This makes a rather nice button shape, even if I do say so myself.
Here is a photo of the peg blanks after I got done shaping the buttons. You cannot see the curvature of the buttons in the photo, so I have provided a 3-D image of them as well. To see the image in 3-D, click on the 3-D link, below the image.
That is it for the peg blanks. When I install them into the peghead, I will do the final shaping of the shafts using my peg shaver and fit each one to its permanent home in a particular peg hole. I will do that work after the neck has been sanded and finished.
I spent two hours making the blanks. That seems like a long time just to make a few blanks, but then I could be using these pegs for years, so maybe it isn't so bad after all.