1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Exceptional restoration is in the details

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Re: 1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Postby (4000) » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:16 am

blackrock wrote:Thought I'd throw mine into the mix with any others which appear. I've made this template up using my Fireglo '75 4000's pickguard and turned it into a jpg to attach it to the post (original is an Illustrator vector).

I've just stuck on a couple of dimensions as a guide to check if printed. If you want other dimensions put on or whatever, just let me know.


Thanks, much appreciated for the drawing. I realize this is an old thread, but that drawing might help getting me on the way to a new pickguard. Will post back how well it matsches minie (which is broken so I could use a new one).

Was wondering though if a newly made could be made to look aged/worn... escpecially with this bright white design Rick uses, a newly made would look from a later century... :shock: :?

Thanks!
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Re: 1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Postby (donhank) » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:11 pm

When I needed a new pickguard for my '72 MG 4000, I also thought the standard "bright white" looked out of place. Tony Dudzik at Pickguardian made a clear plexi guard with white back paint and rounded-over edge bevel. After a couple of years, the paint around the mounting holes now has little spider-web like cracking. Oh well.
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edge bevel.jpg
pickguard.jpg
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Re: 1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:55 pm

Rickenbacker did use bright white at times for pickguard, and to me it always looked too contrasty and plasticky, even though it was plastic, of course!

The correct white acrylic to use is called "sign white". It's manufactured to diffuse back lighting in fluorescent-lit acrylic tablet or monument signs, and is just translucent enough to have a bit of depth. The effect is subtle but easily recognizable.
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Re: 1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Postby (jps) » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:40 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:Rickenbacker did use bright white at times for pickguard, and to me it always looked too contrasty and plasticky, even though it was plastic, of course!

The correct white acrylic to use is called "sign white". It's manufactured to diffuse back lighting in fluorescent-lit acrylic tablet or monument signs, and is just translucent enough to have a bit of depth. The effect is subtle but easily recognizable.

Anybody still have one of these (or, even remembers what they were!)?

Macbeth Light Table.jpg
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Re: 1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Postby (aceonbass) » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:17 pm

donhank wrote: After a couple of years, the paint around the mounting holes now has little spider-web like cracking. Oh well.


Those cracks aren't in the paint. The cracks are in the acrylic, which unfortunately happens to clear acrylic a lot. Over tightening the pickguard screws too much just makes it worse.
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Re: 1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Postby (4000) » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:50 am

Thanks Don for adding thoise nice pics!

aceonbass wrote:
donhank wrote: After a couple of years, the paint around the mounting holes now has little spider-web like cracking. Oh well.


Those cracks aren't in the paint. The cracks are in the acrylic, which unfortunately happens to clear acrylic a lot. Over tightening the pickguard screws too much just makes it worse.


Must admit that the reason I'm looking for a new pickguard is that I managed to crack the original white one by (carefully-yet-apparantly-still-too-hard) pressing on other kind of knobs on the pots :roll: :shock: The only brand I know of that uses 'plastic' that breaks as easy, but OK, it adds to the idiosyncracity :lol:

Have a good weekend
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Re: 1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:36 pm

Where to start...

Press-on knobs aren't sized to press onto non-knurled pot shafts. By pressing too hard, you caused the unsupported acrylic to crack, as you know. Smooth .250" pot shafts--as Ricks almost invariably use--use set screw type knobs. End of that discussion. Can't blame the plastic

Acrylic cracks easily only in some alternate universe. It's actually the best choice possible for a plastic pickguard. Styrene and ABS are both way too soft and besides discoloring over time, will pick-scratch the first time a pick touches them. Nitrate- based plastics oxidize, and, especially over time if kept in a case, release nitric acid fumes which corrode the metal parts of a guitar. This is most obvious in the case of 1940s and 1950s Gretsches. Butyrate guards curl--look at a '60s Gibson SG. Ever seen a curly Rick guard?

How about showing me a Rickenbacker with a discolored guard? White acrylic does not turn yellow, and all but the deepest scratches will buff out on a wheel or by hand. I just finished buffing some 51-year-old Rickenbacker guards and they look like new!

One more caveat--NEVER clean a Rick pickguard with denatured alcohol or any product that contains it! It attacks acrylic and causes the microcracks around edges and drilled holes to spread immediately.

Don't say I didn't warn you!
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Re: 1973 Rickenbacker 4000 pickguard

Postby (4000) » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:53 pm

Hello,

I fully agree, don't put knobs on wrong shafts, but the pots were replaced as well, the correct type for those knobs. Still a stupid move from me back then though, but not for that mismatched reason.

I'll admit some other rough surgery was/had to be done on that bass, but hey, it needed it - this bass survived a fair dose of smoke & heat (shop fire), bought it ages ago at a 'damaged goods outlet'. So it's a player-bass, not one to display on Sundays.
The Rick next to it (probably a 4001 or 4003) had less luck, cracks in the neck, so I went for the 4000 (but in hindsight I should have bought the '1 or '3 as well, if only for the parts...)

I see the benefit of non-aging parts, but also the potential consequence that over time, the right combination can turn into a mismatched couple. But of course, YMMV.


Have a good weekend all and enjoy those Ricks. I'm happy this brand exists, playing them gives a feeling imho that no other brand can.
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