1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TB Android app is working, you may need to uninstall/reinstall. The iPhone app is now updated and should work after you upgrade. TalkBass is responsive to any screen size, so we recommend using your mobile browser for full functionality.

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Restoration of a broken Rickenbacker

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bass Kahuna, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I had a nice 4001 years ago that was stolen, and I've always wanted another one. I found this beat and broken Ricky about 3 years ago and have been working on it on and off since then. It was missing some parts, had a pickguard that had been cut out of some type of plastic with a utility knife, the neck was broken, the truss rods were bent at the headstock and stripped as well, and the original "Mapleglo" had been rattled canned over with black Krylon.

    Once I realized I was going to have to remove the fingerboard and original truss rods, I decided to do a complete customization of it as well.

    Here is a pic or two of it in the condition I received it in:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I cleaned up the glue in the crack from someone else trying to fix it (which obviously didn't take...), and glued and clamped it to get it stable so I could work on it.

    [​IMG]

    I planed off the original fingerboard, removed the two original truss rods:

    [​IMG]

    ....
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I then filled the original truss rod slots with two purpleheart strips:

    [​IMG]

    Hand planed that all down level when dried, and glued on a 1/8" thick piece of wenge to add depth and stiffness back into the neck, routed it for a new dual action truss rod, and glued down a stabilized flamed maple fingerboard (courtesy of Larry at Gallery Hardwoods, of course!). I also removed 1/4" from the top of the body, and glued on a raspberry dyed maple burl topset and headstock overlay from Gallery Hardwoods as well:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ....
  3. bassteban

    bassteban

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is going to be sweet.
  4. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Next was all new binding and a new inlay design I had been playing with. The long pieces are cut from leftover pieces of the raspberry dyed maple burl topset, and then at the ends are 1/4" black mother of pearl dots, except at the 12th fret where they are white mother of pearl dots:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I know that Ricky's don't have binding on the headstock from the factory, but I think they should!

    [​IMG]

    Also, Ricky's are something like a 33 1/2" scale, but the new fingerboard I slotted to a standard 34" scale. To compensate, I moved it up the headstock about 3/32 or so", which also gave me just a bit of a overhang (around 1/8" or so...) of the fingerboard at the body. No biggie.

    [​IMG]

    I routed the inlays right through the sides of the new fingerboard binding about 1/8" deep. This way, the end of the inlay also acts as the side dot reference.

    [​IMG]

    .....
  5. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Here the inlays are all scrapped down flush, and the fingerboard is ready for frets:

    [​IMG]

    Frets are in, all sanded down and the oil is going on. I decided to put a few coats of oil on it first, as I really like the way the oil brings out the character of the wood and gives it a nice, mellow "glow". After the oil dried up it was off to the finishing shop for a few thin coats of nitro.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  6. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Wizardry! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Likes Received:
    16
    And a subscription is added!
  7. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    And it came back from the finishing shop yesterday with nice, fresh gloss nitro on it, so I built it up right away!

    The bridge is a gold hipshot model A in solid brass, Q-parts gold knobs with red pearl tops, Gotoh gold machines with Hipshot D-Tuner on the E string, slipstone nut, old 70's DiMarzio humbucking bass pickups, wired in standard "Ric-O-Sound" mono/stereo outputs. The only original parts I kept were the "Rickenbacker" truss rod cover nameplate, and the Stereo "Ric-O-Sound" output jack plate. I made a stabilized splated curly rock maple control cavity cover for it as well.

    It sounds great, plays great (if I can do one thing right, it is a GOOD setup!...), and I am extremely happy with it!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    ......
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Likes Received:
    9
    It's cool but why even using the dead rick as a platform ?
    It would have been much easier and less time consuming to start from scratch, no ?
  9. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Okay, just a few more of the finished "FrankenBacker"!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There were a few "goofs" along the way. I decided to plug and redrill the tuners holes just a bit further in from the side of the headstock. This, along with moving the end of the fingerboard (and the 1/8" thick piece of wenge under the fingerboard) up the headstock a bit caused the E string tuner to be in the way of the truss rod cover... so I had to file a thin concave section in it to go around the tuner. Hey, at this point, that small modification to the truss rod cover seems miniscule, right?

    I can't decide between calling it the "Frankenbacker" or, with all the figured wood and gold hardware, maybe "PimpenBacker"?....
  10. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hey Jazz Ad,

    It might have been easier, but then it wouldn't have had the heart and soul of a 70's Ricky then, eh?

    Also, I really love to bring instruments back from the scrap heap. I've done it many times in the past, my first one is an early 60's Gretsch Corvette guitar that I did back in the late 70's (I still have it, btw...). I have several more in progress right now as well.

    My original intent when I bought it was to repair the neck and simply tune it up and play it... but when I got it and saw how bad off it was... time to strap it down on the table, attach the anodes to it, crank it up into the lightening storm, and with my best Gene Wilder accent, scream "Give my creation life....! :)
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    4
    Impressive in every respect!!!!!!!! A testament to skill and patience.

    Wow, simply wow!
  12. pkr2

    pkr2

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    0
    Outstanding.

    I suggest that you call it "Phoenix". It was truly resurrected and arose from the scrap bin.

    Besides, both your labor and its pedigree deserve a dignified name. :)
  13. robert43

    robert43

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi 1 st of all I must say what a exllent job you have done .
    The 2 nd thing I have to ask ( new to bass / guitars & know stuff all about Ricks ) why is the e tunner diffrent & whats the idea of it I presume all Ricks have them ( I am talking about the leaver the screw etc ) thanks
  14. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2001
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    WOW!!! That looks freaking awesome!!!!!!!
  15. deelybopper

    deelybopper

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Likes Received:
    0
    thats the prettiest thing I've ever seen

    keep up the good work
  16. tomersg

    tomersg

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    this is one of the most beautiful basses i ever saw. congratulations!!
  17. Twnty1inRF

    Twnty1inRF

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    An outstanding and extremely professional job. Congrats!!!:bassist:
  18. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hi Robert43,

    The E tuner is a Hipshot "D-tuner". What it does is allow you to drop the E down to a D (or lower if desired) by flipping the lever, and then back to an E by flipping it back. Very handy.

    And no, Rickenbackers do not come with these, they are an aftermarket item that must be purchased and installed seperately. All of the hardware and electronics are new and non-factory original. I guess at this point all that is left that is original is the neck wood and body wood.

    You can find out more about them on the Hipshot site at:

    Hipshot Bass Extenders

    Thanks all, greatly appreciated!

    :^)~
  19. robert43

    robert43

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for that link . I have learnt some thing today :hyper:
  20. incubus2432

    incubus2432

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent work on a beautiful truly custom Ric! I like the "goofs" as well....they just adds to the uniqueness.

    I vote for "Pimpinbacker" BTW.

Share This Page