Rickenbacker 325-Inspired Build

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by aeleus, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement. This will by my first go with paint on a guitar, so I'll be doing a lot of testing before I put the final finish on. I'll post my progress as soon as I have something to show.
     
  2. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    I finally have some progress to show. I've spent the last few weeks researching and experimenting with methods of painting a guitar. My previous experience has been limited to a variety of clear and tinted finishes over natural wood.

    The first step was to fill the grain on the plywood back and the small gaps where the neck joins the body. I used Timber Mate for that. The maple body and neck did not require grain fill.

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    Taped off the areas that wouldn't get primed or painted. I used 1/4" vinyl tape for the fine line between the fretboard and painted neck and regular masking tape everywhere else.

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    First coat of primer on the back:

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    First coat of primer on the body. You can see where I sanded to get the surface as smooth as possible:

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    Here a few shots of the painting process. I sprayed two coats and lightly wet-sanded after each to get a smooth surface ready for clear coats.

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    After wet-sanding:

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    After the clear coats:

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    I finally settled on this recipe:

    Dupli-Color Sandable Primer (spray can) for all maple areas (everything but the plywood back)

    Dupli-Color High-Build Primer (spray can) for birch plywood back (to further fill and smooth what the grain filler may have missed)

    Paint with Dupli-Color Paint Shop Finish System - Jet Black
    2 coats - wet sand after each


    Clear coat
    EM6000 Production Lacquer
    5 coats
    Light sand with 1500
    5 coats
    Light sand with 1500
    5 coats
    Let cure for 15 days
    I used the Preval vFan sprayer for this. I found the cans of air that came with it to be worse than useless. They were difficult to use and froze up after just a minute or two. I could probably get better with practice, but I wasn't keen on buying several cans each time I sprayed a guitar. Instead, I decided to try the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C9VPR1K/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"]Preval-branded compressor[/ame]. This made the spray process so much easier. Once I figured out the right combination of pressure and dilution (1/4 acetone with the paint at ~30psi, undiluted lacquer at ~15psi), it was a pleasure to use.

    This spray setup can't match the output of a "proper" spray setup. The large spray pattern is only 3 inches. It takes some patience to spray a whole guitar. But, you can get down to 1/16" for fine details if you need it. I will only be spraying a handful of guitars every year anyway.

    I'm looking forward to final sanding, buffing, and final assembly once I get back from the holiday break.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  3. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Very nice! First time reading through this thread. I'm wondering about the neck angle (if there is one) or will the TOM style bridge be tall enough for everything to fall into place?
     
  4. ltdave32

    ltdave32 Member

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    Excellent work!

    I built a '58 325 replica in the traditional form.

    Very clever what you did with the neck tenon there.
     
  5. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Hey Dave,

    The neck angle on these is 0 degrees. The key measurement is the height of the fret board relative to the flat body. The bridge and the pickups allow for some adjustment up and down, but only so much. I measured everything and picked a fret board height roughly in the middle of all that.

    I'll likely string it up this weekend and see if it all worked out. :ohno:
     
  6. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Thanks. It's likely way over-engineered, but I'll never doubt if I made it strong enough. :)

    Got any pics of the '58 you built?
     
  7. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    I see, thanks. I don't think you'll have any problem with the neck joint, you have several points of contact in the joint itself and the back caps it all off.

    Can't wait to see it with strings! Very nice build!
     
  8. ltdave32

    ltdave32 Member

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    Sure..


    [​IMG]

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  9. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Very nice! I should have recognized your ID. Yours was one of only a couple of build threads I found of a 325 before I started mine. Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration!
     
  10. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    I finally got around to taking some proper pictures of the finished product.

    Here it is:

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    Nikwiat, SG John, ltdave32 and 3 others like this.
  11. Zach.H

    Zach.H New Member

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    Nice build! What's the deal with the 5 pots?
     
  12. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Thanks!

    Normally, the small, 5th knob is referred to as the "blend" knob. It is "used to adjust the volume of the bass pickup in relation to a preselected treble pickup lead volume setting" or "as an equalization control between bass and treble". See here for more info.

    I chose a popular mod and wired it so the 5th knob is strictly a volume control for the middle pickup. No matter what position the pickup switch is in, I can dial in as much or as little of the middle pickup as I want.

    The large knobs are volume and tone for the bridge and neck pickups - like a Gibson. The pickup switch works like a Gibson as well: bridge, bridge+neck, neck.

    With the pickup switch in the middle position, I can use the volume knobs like faders controlling each pickup independently. Unlike a Gibson, setting a volume to 0 only cuts out that one pickup - not the whole guitar.
     
  13. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Wow! That turned out killer! How do you like it? Does it play well?
    Sounds like a very thought out wiring design, perfect.

    One question: When will you be starting the 12 string sister instrument? :lol:
     
  14. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Thanks! I'm very happy with the looks. I'm still fine-tuning it, put it does play very well - if very different from what I'm used to with Fenders and Gibsons. Similar to the original, it's a shorter scale (21.4" for this one). That takes some getting used to, but it suits my two boys. They're 12 and 9.

    The tone is all it's own. It's easy to get that early British-invasion sound using a Vox amp model. I particularly like going for early Who/Townsend.

    It makes for a nice change of pace.

    As for the 12-string version, I have a few other styles to try before I get around to that one. :hmm:
     
  15. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Very cool, those short scales are definately in their own little world. I have a pretty good story about trying to intonate a 12 string Ric short scale, but that's not for this thread.
    Glad you like it, you could also string it up with .011's or even .012's to get away from the floppy string syndrome.
     
  16. Murkar

    Murkar Well-Known Member

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    This is definitely one of the coolest builds I've seen in a long time!
     
    aeleus likes this.
  17. benjamin

    benjamin New Member

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    would you do one for me or sell me the rick 325v58 you have made already?
     
  18. benjamin

    benjamin New Member

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    beautiful guitar, would you do one for me or sell me what you have there on the pics?
     
  19. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    I've been building over 35 years, and I can freely say that I am MOST IMPRESSED. Very well done, sir!
     
  20. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe New Member

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    That is a beautiful guitar man! Top notch!
     

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