Invasive neck reset

Setup, repair and restoration of Rickenbacker Instruments

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82360
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Invasive neck reset

Post by 82360 »

I may have ended up with a more compromised 360/12 than I originally thought...
It's a '66 with a poorly (but stably) repaired headstock break...I think cleaning it up and redoing some stuff will make it look fine and be just as stable.
The issue now, which I didn't realize when I first got it is that it's going to need a neck reset sooner than I expected.
Since it's already a cosmetically and structurally compromised guitar, should it be possible for a good luthier without tons of Ric experience to treat it more like a standard acoustic neck reset by drilling some small holes (possibly covered by the neck pickup) or in the back and injecting steam?
Taking into account what a non-issue mid 60's 360/12 costs, I have a small amount in it...some repairs to make it more playable would make it a guitar I'd keep and use, but knowing it will never be a clean vintage guitar.
It does sound and look great...
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collin
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Re: Invasive neck reset

Post by collin »

No matter how much of a project it is, don’t take it to a tech who isn’t willing to learn the right way to reset a Rickenbacker neck.

Don’t use steam (I’ve tried it with mixed results and it can easily mess up your finish and add unnecessary moisture to the guitar).

And don’t ever buy it when somebody tells you the back needs to come off for a neck reset (total nonsense, it does not).

The tried and true method of removing a Rickenbacker neck involves a pair of infrared heat lamps on either side of the neck tenon (8-9” from the surface) for about 45 minutes, then pull the neck out.

As of late, I’ve been using a jig that Dale Fortune designed which uses the existing screw holes for the bridge base and bridge pickup, and slowly drives the neck out of the tenon by putting pressure on the fretboard/neck end. Works like a charm.
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collin
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Re: Invasive neck reset

Post by collin »

With full credit to Dale Fortune for designing it, this neck removal jig is a game-changer. It screws into the existing holes for the bridge and bridge pickups, and allows you to basically drive the neck out very slowly by putting pressure on the end of the neck after heating the tenon area with heat lamps for 45 minutes or so.

Neck comes out clean, with the body generally intact. Sometimes minor seam separation that is easily remedied by injecting thinned glue and clamping up the body sides.

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jdogric12
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Re: Invasive neck reset

Post by jdogric12 »

Dumb question, but what do you do about the finish breaking where the separation occurs? Do you razor blade it first so there is a clean break?
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collin
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Re: Invasive neck reset

Post by collin »

jdogric12 wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 4:58 pm Dumb question, but what do you do about the finish breaking where the separation occurs? Do you razor blade it first so there is a clean break?
You mean at the neck and body joint?

Often on vintage Ricks, there is already a gap there, but I'll usually score the finish carefully with an Xacto knife to avoid chipping when it separates.
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jdogric12
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Re: Invasive neck reset

Post by jdogric12 »

collin wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 5:27 pm
jdogric12 wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 4:58 pm Dumb question, but what do you do about the finish breaking where the separation occurs? Do you razor blade it first so there is a clean break?
You mean at the neck and body joint?

Often on vintage Ricks, there is already a gap there, but I'll usually score the finish carefully with an Xacto knife to avoid chipping when it separates.
Yep - cool, thanks. I have an instrument that could use this. I may get brave and try it at some point. Could the Dale machine™ be recreated and assembled with readily available parts? In other words could I make one of these myself with a simple trip to the local hardware store?
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collin
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Re: Invasive neck reset

Post by collin »

jdogric12 wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 9:06 am
collin wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 5:27 pm
jdogric12 wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 4:58 pm Dumb question, but what do you do about the finish breaking where the separation occurs? Do you razor blade it first so there is a clean break?
You mean at the neck and body joint?

Often on vintage Ricks, there is already a gap there, but I'll usually score the finish carefully with an Xacto knife to avoid chipping when it separates.
Yep - cool, thanks. I have an instrument that could use this. I may get brave and try it at some point. Could the Dale machine™ be recreated and assembled with readily available parts? In other words could I make one of these myself with a simple trip to the local hardware store?
Yes, it's all pretty standard stuff (though not many hardware stores sell 1/4" thick aluminum plates).

That said, I learned long ago to never make just one of something. So I have surplus parts to assemble at least one of these tools, if you'd rather just buy one ready to go.
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