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Skewer broken inside hub
Through a non-profit bike group I work for I acquired a used 700c Mavic wheel with a Shimano 105 fixed-gear hub. It seems that a small part of the old quick release skewer rod is lodged inside the axle. What is a safe way to remove it, if it is at all possible? I attempted tapping a skewer rod against it with a hammer but with no luck. Besides this the hub and wheel are in excellent shape.
I could be wrong, but I don't think there is such a thing as a 105 fixed gear hub and I don't think Shimano makes track hubs with QR. But, maybe...? If it is a 105, maybe someone took an old hub for freewheel and put a fixed cog on it. This is not recommended.

If something is lodged inside the hollow part of the axle, I think the only way to get it out would be to put something down in to the hole and tap it out. You definitely want to support the end of the axle when you do the tapping so that the impact is not going into the bearing. In fact, if it's in there tight, probably best to take the axle out of the hub first. Try going the opposite direction if it won't go the first way.

I'd also want to take the axle out in order to see if it is bent at all. I'm not sure how a skewer would break and wedge itself in there that tight unless something pretty severe has happened. Riding with a bent axle could burn up a good hub pretty quickly because the bearing can't be adjusted properly.

Worst case, get a new axle.
I spent some time on it at my work to discover it was an extremely hard mat of dirt.

On another note since you brought it to my attention, the hub is an FH-5500 9sp hub converted into a fixed gear. It seems as though the previous owner ground down a cassette to make a spacer then fit on this 17t cog with a lockring. Should I proceed with using this wheel or look for a true fixed-gear wheel? Below are some pics.

Wow...that's ugly! Just kidding. A lot of people make single speeds out of cassette hubs though they usually just put a bunch of spacers in there instead of a mangled cassette. But no reason this shouldn't work fine.

Big note though. If you pedal this backwards, does the wheel rotate backwards or does the cog just spin? (Or, can you coast on this bike?)

If you can coast or pedal backwards without turning the rear wheel, you have a "single speed", not a "fixed gear". If so, great, no reason to change anything.

If somehow the last guy managed to lock this in so that if you pedal backwards, the wheel rotates backwards, then I'd be a little more cautious about it. It would probably be safe to ride if you have hand brakes as well. But I would never rely just on some kludged fix out of a cassette hub as my only braking system.
The last guy did make it "fixed" so no coasting. I do plan on having a front brake on it. This is my first venture into fixed gear cycling so I'm mostly just throwing it together with parts I can "scavenge" or get cheap. Building this bike has been free so far.
Hmmm. I wonder how the guy fixed the freehub body. Should be fine. But yeah, I wouldn't rely on it to be your only stopping system so definitely have a hand brake too. (I'm not a big fan of people riding without any handbrakes regardless, but that's another whole argument.) Carry on and post a picture once you get it all together.

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