my first build: Rick 330-6

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Dimitree, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Dimitree

    Dimitree TDPRI Member

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    hello everyone,
    I already built a Jazzmaster and a Jazz Bass but not from scratch, I only assembled and painted them.
    This will be my first build from scratch.
    Obviously it will be full of mistakes and not done properly..so please don't bang on me :D I'm just learning, I don't care if the guitar won't be playable at all or won't sound/look good.

    I choosed a Rickenbacker 330 because I fell in love with one in Azureglo finish that they don't make anymore, so I said, why not try to build it.

    Specs will be as close as I can to the vintage 330 (maple body and neck, 21 frets, 10" radius, gibson scale, carved body with glued back, set neck).

    So I started from some good picture on the internet of a vintage 330, and using Adobe Illustrator I drawn my own template.

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    I manufactured the template of the body with a laser cutter using 6mm plywood.

    Then I got some pieces of hard maple, actually 6 pieces because I couldn't find large pieces here in Italy, so I had to use 2 layers consisting of 3 pieces each.
    I know, maybe too many pieces, but again, I'm learning and don't pretend it to sound good, and by the way, the second layer will be carved for the most part except for the sides.

    after some hours of planing the pieces, I glued them using Titebond, it came up perfectly, way beyond my expectations


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    here the first mistake happened: after planing, the blank became narrower then the template maximum width, so I had to shorten the template by splitting it in half, removing 5mm at the center and then glueing it back.

    then I used my cheap bandsaw (9" or 8" I think) to rough shape the body, even this part came up way better than what I thought (since this is the first time I used those tools).


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    next steps will be:

    1) smoothing the body outline using the router and sandpaper
    2) carving the neck mortise and the body cavities using a drill press and the router

    but for that I will need to wait for the weekend :)
     
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  2. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    what an adventurous project! I will be following your progress. It looks like you have knowledge and skills enough to make this guitar.
     
  3. Splodgeness

    Splodgeness TDPRI Member

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    Great project!!....... I just finished this one :)

    upload_2019-7-10_20-47-52.jpeg
     
  4. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    Looking forward to seeing the progress on this one. Very cool idea! :cool:
     
  5. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    I just finished my first complete build. Enjoy the process. Think things through properly. There's enough advice on this forum and Youtube to sort out any challenge.
    Don't skimp or take short cuts
    The reward is great.
     
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  6. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I like the idea! Go for itm it's looking good already.

    I love the looks of a Rick, it will be one of my builds in 2020 or 2021 or so. I now need to look up azureglo....

    Cheers,

    Alberto
     
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  7. Dimitree

    Dimitree TDPRI Member

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    thanks for the support guys!
    I finished the body outline, I made some mistakes with the router due to my inexperience, but at the end I fixed everything, and now it looks fine enough for my tastes.

    [​IMG]

    the biggest mistake was problably moving the router away from the body while it was still powering off, so I got a huge tear out that I then fixed by using Titebond+scrap maple+maple dust. Since the guitar will be finished in solid color, I really don't care about it.

    [​IMG]

    In the meanwhile I started to build neck blank. Like on the original Ricks, the neck will be composed by 3 glued pieces. Rickenbacker usually employes two maple pieces and one walnut piece in the center, but since I couldn't find any good walnut blank, I just used three maple pieces.

    [​IMG]

    now I'm waiting for the my new drill press and a 6mm router bit for the truss rod channel
     
  8. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    what an ambitious first build. good for you. looks like yer doin' it... look fwd to your progress.
     
  9. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, this is looking great. I’ll be following.
     
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  10. Jerry_Mountains

    Jerry_Mountains Tele-Meister

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    Nice! Rics have a great inner engineering design, if you need some measures or something I have a 360 just PM me.
     
  11. DrThompson

    DrThompson TDPRI Member

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    Nice build! Been thinking about this for years now..

    How are you going to finish this? Regular nitro? Since you’re doing a build, you probably know they are using a UV cured lacquer that creates a crazy hard glass-like skin of incredible gloss all over the guitar. I‘m amazed by the finish every time i pick up my mapleglo 1993plus...
     
  12. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    This looks like it will be awesome. I've loved the looks of those Rickenbackers since George and Gerry, and other British Invaders......I just never liked the skinny, wimpy necks they all seem to have. Maybe what I need to do is have one built, only with a massive, fat neck.....;)
     
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  13. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually the necks Rickenbacker is making are all made out of maple, even the darker wood is maple. (Around the 7 minute mark if you don't want to watch the whole thing) but they do have some walnut models they were pushing a while ago.

    Looks like a fun build. I'll be watching this one!

    Edit: though I'm sure it's likely in the past they used walnut or something else. My '74 4001 bass has a strip of shedua running down the center of the whole thing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  14. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    Good to see more Rick projects, especially for first builds, even I managed a 1993 style 12 string first build, been messing building DIY bridges for that recently but time has been tight!

    Rick semi builds are not that much harder than maybe building a Tele from scratch, they are a simple enough design once you understand how they are constructed. First body for me was fine, but I ruined my first neck, the 2nd was OK though.

    I've rebuilt one the cheap Rick ripoff bridges, new bolts & saddles, just need to carve the string slots, I've got some U bar aluminium so will be building a 12 slot adjustable saddle version next.

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    Here's where I'm at

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    Sorry about the thread interruption!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  15. Dimitree

    Dimitree TDPRI Member

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    I don't like hard glass-like finish, I think I will finish it using regular nitro as I did on my other guitars. I like azureglo (non metallic) finish. Also, I don't think I will finish the fretboard.

    in the past two weekends I tried to do some more work.
    I almost finished the body: routed the holes on the front (I had a tearout on the sound hole that I'm currently fixing) and carved the cavities and the mortise. As you can see I've made many mistakes with the router, but I don't care since that part will be covered with the back.
    Now what I need to do is carving the ramp from the top (I'm building a router jig to help me with that task) and remove more wood on the rear-center, and then do some clean-up.
    I also started the neck: first I shaped the back outline of the neck using the bandsaw, then using a japanese saw I cut the headstock angle on the front. With a 6mm router bit I routed the truss rod channel, and it fits perfectly (maybe too much, I think it needs to move a bit, in case I want to remove it once the fretboard is glued).
    Using the drill press and the router I shaped the tenon and then the taper of the neck.
    Next I will need to shape the headstock, attach the fretboard and shape the back of the neck (I think I'll go with C shape).
    About the fretboard, I cheated and bought a pre-radiused and pre-slotted Bubinga fretboard.
    But I think I will buy another one since I don't like the color (it's too dark), so I think I will get a Padouk one.
    I'm really happy with the results so far, but I guess this was the easy part :)

    [​IMG]

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  16. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    Truss rod adjustment is usually at the headstock / tuner end of the neck, under the cover, you could leave it at the end as now just remove the pickup when you want to adjust the neck.

    Great progess so far, well done!
     
  17. Dimitree

    Dimitree TDPRI Member

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    thank you!
    I'll keep the adjustment on the end of the neck (not on the headstock), since this way I don't have to remove much wood on the headstock angle, keeping it sturdier.. Also this way should make easier to replace the truss rod, you can simply remove it from the end of the neck
     
  18. Dimitree

    Dimitree TDPRI Member

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    did some progress during the weekend:

    - cleaned the headstock angle and cutted the shape using a template I did
    - routed the neck taper
    - finished (almost) the tenon and mortise joint
    - started to carve the ramp on the body

    the headstock was simple enough and it went good. Only mistake I've made, while sanding I removed too much material on the spot where the nut should sit, and now that spot is angled as the headstock and not flat, so now I think I have to put some wood back in there.
    Another mistake is the trussrod channel, it's not deep and large enough so I need to route it a little bit more in order to let the trussrod slide from the end of the neck (in case I need to remove it).
    I also decided to use a Padouk fingerboard instead of the pre-made Bubinga that I got, so I ordered a blank and a radius block to begin with.. Next I will buy a fret saw.

    The hardest part so far was the carving of the ramp on the body.
    To start, I made an angled jig and routed the majority of the wood, what I need now is to carve the rest using chisels and rasps I think..
    I made some mistakes here too, but nothing to worry about, I can fix that

    The joint between neck and body is pretty tight, and I didn't clean the back of the neck jet since I'm waiting for the pickups in order to determine if the neck height is correct. If not, I'll need to lift it up, hence I left a conservative amount of wood on the rear of the tenon.

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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Just a couple of comments. While putting the adjuster at the head does weaken it, that doesn't guarantee that you won't break it if you drop it - particularly with a sawn neck. I happen like adjusters in the body of an acoustic but don't like the hassle of taking a neck off or the p/u out to adjust it on an electric. I like to adjust relief with string tension on and that means I want access.

    With the small allen adjuster you can make the route about the same size as the channel itself and it won't weaken it much. If you put a head plate on that will further strengthen the transition.

    Nuts can be put on the angled part of the head altho that is a real hassle to make one. You could also shift your fretboard a hair towards the bridge since you haven't located the bridge yet. Keep the neck flat up to the nut.

    The truss rod should go it from the top of the neck before the f/b is glued on. Many have little bumps the lock them into the slot. You don't want it to rattle and there is almost no reason you will ever replace a double acting rod.

    As far as setting the neck angle and overstand, make sure you have the actual bridge you will be using. You normally have lots of latitude with pickups but the angle with respect to the bridge is critical.

    Otherwise, nice build.
     
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  20. jadedsoul

    jadedsoul Tele-Holic

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    your heel is gona need some serious cutting back to get it looking correct... not a bad job. i hope your top and back are thick enough or it will sound like a banjo if not correct thickness. just trying to warn you. mine took me 2 years to build... strange place to put the truss rod. is that a 2 way truss ? hope you got the correct height for your fingerboard aswell... i got mine spot on thanks to Doc arnquist. he gave me a lot of the correct measurements. and some rick owners on here to. i got lots of help from guys on here with pickup making. i made a winder. guys sent me magnets and all sorts. great gang of lads on here as you may see. Mine before paint and when finished. your always gona see the truss rod hiding behind the pup. i would really flip it before your done.. all the work your gona have to do just to move the rod is not worth it. better to be at headstock then just lift your cover of and turn it. where u have it now will be a major ball ache to get your neck right. remember i recommended that :) if you get the banjo sound due to top and back not being thick enough let us know and ill tell you an easy fix so you will not have to remove or mess with the guitar. im sure it will be ok though.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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