Ricky finish checks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Spoonbender, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Spoonbender


    Dec 12, 2015
    I’m refinishing a dumpster 1974 Rickenbacker 4001. I don’t want it to look like a 2020 glossy wall hanger, so a very light relic finish. My question: do old Rick finishes check? Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it.
  2. PaulBoyer

    PaulBoyer Commercial User

    Jan 27, 2012
    I've seen some old ones that were stored neglectfully and "check," likely due to (really) high humidity (or flooding) allowing the wood to swell; the clear finish didn't have the flexibility and would yield to the expansion.
    digmeout and eddybuzzard like this.
  3. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    I have a '72 4001, and a '72 Fender Jazz. Both of them went to the same gigs, in a VW van (no heat in back) in upstate NY winters. The Jazz is checked to the point that the finish is simply flaking off. The Rick shows some hints it might check a bit in another 40 years.

    A big sign of aging on the older Ricks is that the clearcoat darkens. My Fireglo is trending towards a Burgundy burst, and the binding looks a little yellow, with some lighter areas showing wear.

    What color are you thinking of? Be sure to take before and after pictures!
    Tbone76, Dabndug, Spectrum and 2 others like this.
  4. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    They claim their proprietary finish has longevity: Factory Finish Dept

    Here, apparently George Costanza is applying a clear to a fireglo finish:
  5. Spoonbender


    Dec 12, 2015
    Thanks guys! As you can see from my profile pic, it was pretty mutilated by the previous owner. All the hardware was missing, cracked neck, bad frets. So far it's stripped, neck repaired (truss rods good) New checkerboard binding! I'm going to do it blue boy with a hint of amber to "green it up".

    I just don't want it to look like I just bought it at Guitar Center. It's 50 years old and I think it should look like it. I like fading and finish checking, but I seriously can't find ANY pics of Ricks with finish checking! upload_2020-11-25_10-40-21.png
  6. Spoonbender


    Dec 12, 2015
    50 years of abuse... Chris 78.jpg upload_2020-11-25_10-52-31.png
    Pauly 4001 and Blackhawks55 like this.
  7. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    New checkerboard binding!? Where did you get it? Inquiring minds want to know... :D
  8. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    If you want to be period-correct, you probably mean AzureGlo, not Blue Boy.

    Both of those are opaque solid paint finishes. If you like blue and don't insist on having it look like an aged original finish, what do you think of blue burst? It's transparent and would reveal the "skunk stripe" lamination, a distinguishing feature of the 4001 in that period. If you want to be authentic to the 70s finishes and would consider something not blue, BurgundyGlo is also transparent (and I think there was a lot of variation in the exact hue).

    Do you have @PaulBoyer's book? Lots of good vintage 4001 information and finish pictures in there!
  9. Spoonbender


    Dec 12, 2015
    It was a nightmare to find and really pricey. Some guy in England. I'll see if I can dig it up. I had no idea checkerboard was 2 layers!
    Tbone76, WillyWonka and Beej like this.
  10. Spoonbender


    Dec 12, 2015
    I have a 1973 Porsche 911RS. I agonized over what factory color to paint it. My body guy asked me what color I liked. I said 1975 Dodge pickup. He said "shag the trainspotters, it's your car." Never regretted it.

    I'm thinking maybe a super thin coat of blue boy so I see the stripe. I'm 60. I'll be dead before I sell it. LOL. Did a little hunting and found out RIC used FullerPlast!! Small wonder they don't check!

    I'll check out Paul's book! Thanks!!
  11. Spoonbender


    Dec 12, 2015
    I called him, Beej. All gone. I was the last to order it, back in 2016. Sorry.
    Beej likes this.
  12. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    MJT does nice relic' work.

    God's Favorite Bass likes this.
  13. Londo Molari

    Londo Molari

    Jan 1, 2014
    2 blocks east of Mars
    Decendant from the Clovis culture. "Emitting that wonderful bass effect since 1970".
    I've got a '71 4001, it was gigged hard for over 25 years. The only flaws in the finish today are the ones that I inflicted upon it.
  14. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    Oil Oil Oil Oil Oil. That top looks nice in natural. The inlays and FB already look aged so I think your good to go. You could also acid etch the hardware.
    Ostie likes this.
  15. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Man with that natural look I would had just cleaned it up and maybe a light stain or even walnut stain and then satin sealed it. That IMHO would look killer.
    But that is just me.
    LowActionHero and Ostie like this.
  16. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Thanks for checking, I'm not surprised!
  17. Spoonbender


    Dec 12, 2015
    Thanks guys. I DO like the grain on this one, but I fell in love with blue boy. I wonder if I could do it with enough translucency to have the grain and skunk stripe show through?
    LowActionHero and eddybuzzard like this.
  18. telecopy


    Dec 6, 2009
    I bet he brushes that belly against wet finish sometimes..
    Microbass likes this.
  19. BassJuju


    Jul 9, 2016
    Here’s one...

    910DB58F-6568-41D9-8C2E-2F837E130EA2.jpeg A2EE14E7-8777-4A29-8207-F7FFFA581C25.jpeg 9F2BC74E-27F8-4BCE-8B77-4ACA6FF103B2.jpeg 0A5384BD-CCB8-4F3A-8BF5-B2D44CA998EE.jpeg