Rickenbacher B6 re-wire/Bakelite drilling question

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Rickenbacher B6 re-wire/Bakelite drilling question

Postby (radioactive) » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:16 am

I spent a couple hours this morining rewiring the pre-war B6 Bakelite I posted a previous thread about. The link to the wiring diagram that Richard provided was most helpful. It was gratifying to button up the B6, plug it in and have it work properly after being decommisioned for 20 something years. I put a set of the pricey vintage oval nickle button Waverlys on the B6, they look great and have a nice smooth, but tight action, The posts fit perfectly, but I only was able to mount them with one screw apiece as the second one doesn't line up; it's off by a gnat's hair. I'm debating whether to leave them alone with one screw, or do some research on how to drill Bakelite. I understand the earlier formula is the brittle one compared to the "War" period models. I tried the vintage strip replacement set that Richard sent a link to in my previous post. I got a set from Don Young, when they first came out, and I suppose the Stew-Mac ones are the same, anyway the posts fit perfectly, but the four mounting screws don't align with the holes on the strip tuner. I ended up liking the nickle button look of the Waverlys.

The other comment I have is regarding the taper on the Tone control pot. Both Potentiometers look like they're period Allen Bradleys, with '36 manufacturer's date code, As i turn the control knob counter-clockwise to diminish Treble, it seems like it cuts off at the very end ot the taper. The Treble is definitely there, but I'm curious about the pot's taper. The re-wire diagrams call for a 250K and 500K pot; I used the original pots as my intention was to restore the instrument. Does anyone know if the old dried up original Capacitor has an affect on this, maybe it would improve with a new cap.

Anyway, Thanks for the help on the re-wire and tuners, If anyone can advise on drilling Bakelite so I can mount/thread the second tuner screws, I'd appreciate it.


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Re: Rickenbacher B6 re-wire/Bakelite drilling question

Postby (rshatz) » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:06 am

There are some people on the Steel Guitar Forum that have experience working with Bakelite.

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewforu ... fe9357a6d7

You'll need to register and make a $5 donation in order to post. But you might be able to find what you want using the search option.

Good luck.
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Re: Rickenbacher B6 re-wire/Bakelite drilling question

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:45 am

My own experience in drilling Bakelite may help here.

The usual cautions that you run into regarding drilling plastics (which are addressing making larger holes in sheet material), just don't apply when you're drilling holes this small in a piece of Bakelite this massive and thick.

If anyone tells you to drill a smaller pilot hole first (probably unnecessary when you're drilling a small hole for a screw!), ignore that advice. Pilot holes, followed by a bit the size of the hole you need to drill actually increase the chances of the tip of the flute grabbing the edge of the pilot hole and causing a crack or major chip.

You're going to be drilling some pretty small holes for those screws. The trick here is to use a fairly high speed; something like 1500 rpm or better. Hand drill motors run a lot lower, so I'd use a drill press. A 60° included angle bit would be nice, but probably not necessary with this small a hole. So, a standard wood drill bit and faster speed are the key to making clean holes. Do NOT use any sort of lubricant: drill the holes dry.

You can leave those Waverlys on there and use them to guide the drill, too.
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