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My Rickenbacker 4003 Neck Question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BassBeginer64, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. BassBeginer64

    BassBeginer64 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2018
    Riverside Ca
    Bought this 2015 Rickenbacker on a on line auction at a great price, but i think I know why, on the 12th - 16th fret is a line, looks like a crack but it is not seems more of a funky grain in the wood of a scratch maybe?
    I do not understand why when they lacquered the neck why did'nt they polished out this flaw, I wonder taking to a Luther they can pretty it up ? I might try some auto polish rubbing compound, see if it buffs out.
    1204181644 (002).
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Note to the Mods: This probably belongs in the Hardware section. But, I'll answer.

    You've kind of answered the question yourself. It's a shrinkage crack in the fingerboard wood, a common thing in a board like that with weaving grain. Not a structural problem, just cosmetic. Rickenbacker saw the problem during construction and filled the crack with something, some kind of glue or grain filler. And the bass may have been sold at some discount because of the flaw.

    Now, after some time has passed, the filler has shrunken down a little bit, leaving a shallow groove at the surface. And, someone has tried to buff it. The white line you see is buffing residue jammed down into that shallow groove.

    Again, unless you can see that the crack is really opening up (which I doubt), it's just cosmetic. If you want the white line to disappear, try wiping a little bit of something like Stew-Mac's Fingerboard oil on there. Some kind of a thin hardening sealant. That will soak into the white buffing compound residue, turning it amber color and hardening.

    A permanent repair would be to thoroughly clean the white goop out, fill the groove with CA glue, level sand it, and buff the fingerboard back up to a gloss. That's what a Luthier would do if you took it in to be really fixed.
    Gilmourisgod and BassBeginer64 like this.
  3. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    ^^^^^ What he said. I used the Stewmac FB oil my Ric clone build, nice stuff, and easy to use. Wipe on/wipe off, repeat until you are satisfied. Hope it works for you, but nothing to lose by trying. I might try to scrub the buffing compound out with a little Naptha and a soft toothbrush first, if that’s what the white crud is, might make it less visible without any further work. AFAIK, Ric coats the whole body and fingerboard with a UV catalyzed varnish in one shot, so nothing is going to “burn in” to that finish. The CA glue drop fill may be your best bet. Good luck, lovely bass. The new fingerboard wood looks great, but maybe less stable than the plainer Bubinga boards of yore.

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