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Dec 6, 2021 - 10:51:10 PM
1 posts since 12/6/2021

Hello! I’m hoping to convert my RK-R35 to an open back and am curious how to go about doing away with the flange.

It’s a one piece flange and I’ve seen past posts recommending Bill Rickard‘s flange ring. I can’t find where these are sold. Is this still an option, and if not, how else would folks recommend replacing the flange for an open back conversion?

Dec 6, 2021 - 11:04:23 PM

2125 posts since 2/4/2013

Seems rather a lot of effort to turn a very good resonator banjo into an ok brash open back.

Dec 7, 2021 - 1:43:31 AM

171 posts since 12/7/2007

When I looked for Mr. Rickard’s flange ring, it appeared to be out of production. If your hooks have enough thread to accommodate, might you substitute a tube ring, as used in a tube and plate, two piece flange assembly, for your one piece flange?

Dec 7, 2021 - 3:06:20 AM

190 posts since 8/31/2006

Have you considered just simply removing the resonator?

I did that with an epiphone and it works just fine.

Dec 7, 2021 - 3:29:09 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15036 posts since 8/30/2006

The one piece flange rim is different than a tube and plate rim
The OP rim needs a 1/8" ledge to hold the flange so it gets cut down to 10-3/4"
The TPF rim doesn't get cut, it's a straight sided rim

Foam pipe insulation is split on one side, so it fits right over the solid flange with the resonator off.

A well kept secret is that flanges can be cut on the bandsaw, the Lead in the pot metal lubricates the cut.
I've done this 3 times, it drops the weight of the banjo and still allows attachment of standard resonator hdw or magnets.

Mr. Rickard DID sell steel short shouldered flanges, I've used 5 of them, BUT they are either plasma cut or water jet, they have a big 10-3/4" piece of mild steel as scrap, so perhaps that's why he stopped supplying them

That's why the tubes are the neatest way to do this in my opinion because the steel tubes are just as strong and much lighter weight.
So one can make open backs with no holes in the rim. Ta Da.

Here's a photo of Rickard's flange and then a tube open back.


Dec 7, 2021 - 4:43:05 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1392 posts since 10/15/2019

I don't think this is really possible.

I guess what you are saying is you want a flathead tone ring open back. A cost effective way is to find a used Recording King R30 (it's a tube and plate design) and the resonator and flange can be removed with the tools you probably have in your case. I have one, but it's not for sale.

Next best option might be a 70's Gibson RB-250??  Others would know the details on these better than I.   A Deering Sierra can come in an open back configuration right out of the box but now you are talking $$.  Or a Deering Clawgrass for $$$$.


Edited by - Eric A on 12/07/2021 04:49:03

Dec 7, 2021 - 7:57:53 AM
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Players Union Member

TLG

USA

1618 posts since 10/11/2004

I bought a cheaper RK flange & cut it down leaving the hook holes & filed & smoothed off rough edges, very similar to Rickards plate.
Tom

Dec 7, 2021 - 8:40:33 AM

2589 posts since 6/19/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TLG

I bought a cheaper RK flange & cut it down leaving the hook holes & filed & smoothed off rough edges, very similar to Rickards plate.
Tom


This sounds like a good idea.

Dec 7, 2021 - 9:03 AM

5799 posts since 12/20/2005

That’s gonna take one helluva hacksaw ??

Dec 7, 2021 - 9:08:46 AM

2125 posts since 2/4/2013

Seems like even more effort to turn a decent resonator banjo into a brash open back. There's not many Recording Kings about so there's good potential for a decent price. Then buy a reasonable open back.

Edited by - GrahamHawker on 12/07/2021 09:09:02

Dec 7, 2021 - 10:07:23 AM
Players Union Member

TLG

USA

1618 posts since 10/11/2004

RK flanges are pot metal, regular hacksaw will will work. A little time , a little cash
Yea, lot of work for that banjo

Dec 7, 2021 - 10:22 AM

7 posts since 11/20/2021

Hey Tommy,
Where did you get the RK flange? Is there a ready source for these?
How much work do you reckon it is to do this?
Would love to try one....

Dec 7, 2021 - 11:17:02 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15036 posts since 8/30/2006

Call The Music Link/Recording King. 

It isn't much work at all if you have a band saw, then a Dremel can smooth things out.  Cabinet shops have band saws, take your banjo along and play for them

I come home with cherry ends at 2" x 12" x 24", too short for a neck, just right for a rim. 

Edited by - Helix on 12/07/2021 11:21:17

Dec 7, 2021 - 12:57:07 PM

11933 posts since 10/27/2006

This is the RK flange. MAP $89.95 + shipping

PB-650 Recording King Banjo One-Piece Flange

Good luck finding a dealer with one in stock. They've been back ordered at TheMusicLink for awhile.

Dec 7, 2021 - 2:33:37 PM
Players Union Member

TLG

USA

1618 posts since 10/11/2004

GoldTone has flanges,,,,,, listed, if they have any in house, you'll need to call them to find out

Dec 8, 2021 - 6:04:46 AM

bill t

USA

269 posts since 12/14/2012

You could try Elderly Instruments for the Recording King flange. They list it on their website
and it doesn't say "sold out". If they've got one, I think the shipping would be free.

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