Well, the tiple turned out really well, my wife's aunt and cousin were very happy with it. Now I have a new task.


My wife's grandmother bought a Kel Kroyden KK-11 tenor banjo in the mid to late 30s, with the idea that she and some friends would start a combo and meet boys that way. They never really learned to play, and the banjo has really not been played more than a few hours since being purchased - that's right, a few HOURS since the 30s. It is in truly sweet condition - it still has the original nut, with the blue overspray on the edges from being painted. It was slightly repaired 15 years ago, has a newer Remo head and a new Grover bridge. The fretboard is unworn, the original Grover pancake tuners are in almost flawless condition, it's simply gorgeous. I'm aware that there are some similarities between these banjos and the Mastertone series.


The major problem is that the armrest is missing, and the flange has been broken out where it was. The broken pieces for the flange are all present, and all the plating is beautiful still, but the hole is mighty unattractive. Also, it appears that it may have had a cover on the tailpiece that is now missing, and the original screw that held the back to the pot may have been replaced, judging by some pictures I saw.


I want to restore this thing to beautiful like-new condition. I'm not concerned about original parts, since this won't be sold and will stay in the family. I do want to be accurate though, as accurate as possible. So, where do I go to get these parts, such as the armrest? Should I get a new flange or try to have the broken one repaired? And are there any parts that I should get a few of and hold to the side in case they do wear out? (I'm thinking of getting a spare set of tuner buttons, for instance - the original ivoroid ones are in great shape, but who knows what will happen over the next - what, 70 years?)


I'm not doing this right away, but I do want to collect the information and keep my eyes open for parts over the next year or so.


As always, thanks!

Tags: Kel, Kroydon, armrest, banjo, broken, flange, missing, tenor

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The armrest would have been the same as the regular rest used on other Gibsons at the time, and still in production today.

Can you explain what you mean by "the flange has been broken out where it was. The broken pieces for the flange are all present, and all the plating is beautiful still, but the hole is mighty unattractive?" What flange? What hole is mighty unattractive? It'd be great if you posted some photos.
And, of course, I left the banjo at my in-law's house, and didn't take pictures. But in the BEAUTIFUL picture you posted, there is some chromed metal flange behind the left-side (as we see it) arm of the stand. Parts of the edge are busted out. I'll try to get my in-law's to take some pictures of the piece. I do know that there are replacement screws holding on the back, and I would like to find the ones in the picture, whatever those are.

I also find the "Remo Weatherking" head offensive - it just doesn't look right. I know there are many nice options without a logo out there - thoughts?

Thanks again! I'll try to get some pictures.

OK, I now believe you do mean the resonator flange:

There are several styles, and they're normally nickel plated. Shouldn't be too hard to scare up just the right iteration. Stew-Mac, Elderly, 1st Quality, et al. But be clear about whether you need one-piece, two-piece, etc. This is a one-piece, above.

It would originally have had a calfskin head, of course. Remo didn't start marketing plastic heads until 1957 or so.
Paul, you are incredibly generous with your time and information. Thank you. And thanks Greg, yes, I'm sure it's pot metal, and I can't imagine that it's worth re-welding, polishing, and re-plating.
You can forget about repairing the resonator flange, by the way. I bet the original Zamac ("pot-metal") flange has crystallized and will continue to crumble. A standard 11" Gibson one-piece flange like Paul pictured should fit fine.
You'll find no-logo calfskin at stewmac for example, and a source of information on how-to install it at the same place.


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