2008 620 backbow/twist

Setup, repair and restoration of Rickenbacker Instruments

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maxwell
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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

Post by maxwell »

That's a tough call to make... waiting three years for the repair work to begin. I think it would be OK (ethically) to put yourself on the list, and then take yourself off if/when you do get the guitar repaired by someone else. There's a good chance you will not find anyone else you feel comfortable working on your guitar. With that long of a list I'm sure he gets lots of guys who end up going elsewhere for repairs.

I had been thinking about you mentioning the possibility of the (large) inlay (fret marker) where you said you suspected an elevation. Some factory working could have just flexed (bent) the inlay in to make it fit rather than take the time to sand an edge down further... who knows? But--and I have absolutely no experience in this, since my Ricks are all without neck binding--you could pull back the binding where the inlay is, and if you see a small space under the inlay, slip a small thin knife blade in the and pop it off; if there's a space, it probably is not glued in all that well. Then you can clean of any old glue from the inlay and fretboard, and check for passive fit, carefully & incrementally sand the edge that doesn't fit. Use relatively fine grit sandpaper, drawing that inlay edge across the sandpaper as it sits on a flat and solid surface. If the inlay is permanently bent/warped (lay it on a table and examine closely) you'll have to stack a lot of weight on top of it for... (I don't know)... say, a couple of months(?) before you start adjusting the inlay.

I opted not to mention this before, since if you dismantle things too much, then your repair person may not be able to readily discern what the true problem is; sort of like contaminating a crime scene.

But, honestly, Kinkade sounds like your man. Ricks are a unique animal. (How many luthiers know and have the fretboard finish [varnish?] that should be used?) Unsuccessful repairs have been done by well-intentioned (but not experienced Rick) luthiers. Do Brits know what FUBAR means? Good luck going forward.
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jps
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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

Post by jps »

maxwell wrote: Wed May 01, 2024 1:45 pm I had been thinking about you mentioning the possibility of the (large) inlay (fret marker) where you said you suspected an elevation. Some factory working could have just flexed (bent) the inlay in to make it fit rather than take the time to sand an edge down further... who knows?
IIRC, the inlays are inserted into the fingerboard somewhat proud (they are a bit thicker than the wood),then the whole fingerboard is sanded down to make everything flush.
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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

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maxwell wrote: Wed May 01, 2024 1:45 pm That's a tough call to make... waiting three years for the repair work to begin. I think it would be OK (ethically) to put yourself on the list, and then take yourself off if/when you do get the guitar repaired by someone else. There's a good chance you will not find anyone else you feel comfortable working on your guitar. With that long of a list I'm sure he gets lots of guys who end up going elsewhere for repairs.

I had been thinking about you mentioning the possibility of the (large) inlay (fret marker) where you said you suspected an elevation. Some factory working could have just flexed (bent) the inlay in to make it fit rather than take the time to sand an edge down further... who knows? But--and I have absolutely no experience in this, since my Ricks are all without neck binding--you could pull back the binding where the inlay is, and if you see a small space under the inlay, slip a small thin knife blade in the and pop it off; if there's a space, it probably is not glued in all that well. Then you can clean of any old glue from the inlay and fretboard, and check for passive fit, carefully & incrementally sand the edge that doesn't fit. Use relatively fine grit sandpaper, drawing that inlay edge across the sandpaper as it sits on a flat and solid surface. If the inlay is permanently bent/warped (lay it on a table and examine closely) you'll have to stack a lot of weight on top of it for... (I don't know)... say, a couple of months(?) before you start adjusting the inlay.

I opted not to mention this before, since if you dismantle things too much, then your repair person may not be able to readily discern what the true problem is; sort of like contaminating a crime scene.

But, honestly, Kinkade sounds like your man. Ricks are a unique animal. (How many luthiers know and have the fretboard finish [varnish?] that should be used?) Unsuccessful repairs have been done by well-intentioned (but not experienced Rick) luthiers. Do Brits know what FUBAR means? Good luck going forward.
Thank you for your advice - think I'll be giving Kinkade a call again to put me on the list as soon as I can. I'm comfortable with him doing this kind of work, but other luthiers nearby are sort of an unknown quantity.

As a side note:

A new issue has reared it's ugly head: I have tried to set the guitar up as best as possible using only the treble side truss rod, to try to work against the direction of the twist... but now the treble side rod is protruding about half a mm further out at the headstock end than the bass side rod, as if to suggest that the wood is compressing into the channel at the heel. Is this something that has happened because engaging only one rod is a bad thing to do, or is it possible that there was always some weakness here all along which could be what has caused the neck to twist in this direction in the first place? And, more importantly, is it something that needs more urgent attention?
"Say what you wish in abuse of me, for my silence towards the idiot is indeed an answer. I am not at a loss for a response but rather, it does not befit the lion to answer the dogs." - Imam al-Shafi'i

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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

Post by maxwell »

A few years ago, John Hall of RIC noted that this compression of wood does occur and suggested that applying some super glue to the shelf-like area where the washers sit would prevent any further intrusion; it soaks into the wood at that contact point (where the washers sit) and hardens the wood. I think it's a good thing to do if you ever remove the truss rods for any reason. I first did this on my Rose Morris 1996 and evened the lengths of truss rods at the neck by custom fitting a washer (or two?) on the affected side at the heal of the neck. You've read my struggle doing this on my 325... I got careless and sloppy, and it took a lot of work to get rid of that excess glue that got on the sides of the truss rod hole. So, yes, do this (glue) if you're up to it, or just let Kincade address it later (assuming you're going to put the guitar aside). If you do it, water-thin cyanoacrylate would probably be best. Next best would be a new, fresh bottle of glue that hasn't yet thickened from air exposure; would still be freshly, relatively thin. If I were to do this over, I'd carefully drip small amounts (drops) onto & around the washer bearing surface, let it soak in for 20 seconds or so, and then use Q-Tips (cotton swabs) to remove any excess from the "shelf" and the inside diameter of the small hole where the truss rod goes through. When this glue is used in this fashion (not gluing surfaces together), it can take a while to thoroughly dry/harden -- I'd let it sit overnight before reassembling the truss rods.

You've probably noted my feeling about correcting a twist via truss rod adjustment: don't waste your time. Anyway, there may not really be a twist. I thought for sure that the 325 I was buying had a twist, based on the face of the headstock vs. the face of the guitar body; not parallel. I posted photos of three or four different Ricks here all with a view of the headstock face vs. the body face, and while (to me it did seem odd, somewhat twisted) everyone here said it's OK, not really twisted. I do believe that the necks are manufactured this way. Anyway, don't be concerned about any twist, real or imagined. Yes, it's difficult to let this go, but you have to, or you'll go nuts.

So, yes, that wood compression is a real thing, and is unlikely to simply be due to truss rod adjustment. (I suppose there's a slight chance it could be... maybe.) The "test" / confirmation: Was the twist eliminated or significantly reduced after this adjustment? If not, then it's wood compression.

Someone else chime in!
maxwell
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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

Post by maxwell »

jps wrote: Wed May 01, 2024 7:39 pm
maxwell wrote: Wed May 01, 2024 1:45 pm I had been thinking about you mentioning the possibility of the (large) inlay (fret marker) where you said you suspected an elevation. Some factory working could have just flexed (bent) the inlay in to make it fit rather than take the time to sand an edge down further... who knows?
IIRC, the inlays are inserted into the fingerboard somewhat proud (they are a bit thicker than the wood),then the whole fingerboard is sanded down to make everything flush.
Yes, that would eliminate the inlay from being the source/cause of any perceived or actual "rise" in that area of the neck. The entire through-and-through section of the neck would have to have been affected post-production. I can't imagine how that would occur short of stepping on it.... The theoretical notion that a "too tight" fitting inlay(s) could inhibit/prevent forward bowing/increasing relief adjustment still exists; I have no idea. I'm looking forward to learning the definitive diagnosis and cure.
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Blomp
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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

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maxwell wrote: Tue May 07, 2024 9:31 am A few years ago, John Hall of RIC noted that this compression of wood does occur and suggested that applying some super glue to the shelf-like area where the washers sit would prevent any further intrusion; it soaks into the wood at that contact point (where the washers sit) and hardens the wood. I think it's a good thing to do if you ever remove the truss rods for any reason. I first did this on my Rose Morris 1996 and evened the lengths of truss rods at the neck by custom fitting a washer (or two?) on the affected side at the heal of the neck. You've read my struggle doing this on my 325... I got careless and sloppy, and it took a lot of work to get rid of that excess glue that got on the sides of the truss rod hole. So, yes, do this (glue) if you're up to it, or just let Kincade address it later (assuming you're going to put the guitar aside). If you do it, water-thin cyanoacrylate would probably be best. Next best would be a new, fresh bottle of glue that hasn't yet thickened from air exposure; would still be freshly, relatively thin. If I were to do this over, I'd carefully drip small amounts (drops) onto & around the washer bearing surface, let it soak in for 20 seconds or so, and then use Q-Tips (cotton swabs) to remove any excess from the "shelf" and the inside diameter of the small hole where the truss rod goes through. When this glue is used in this fashion (not gluing surfaces together), it can take a while to thoroughly dry/harden -- I'd let it sit overnight before reassembling the truss rods.

You've probably noted my feeling about correcting a twist via truss rod adjustment: don't waste your time. Anyway, there may not really be a twist. I thought for sure that the 325 I was buying had a twist, based on the face of the headstock vs. the face of the guitar body; not parallel. I posted photos of three or four different Ricks here all with a view of the headstock face vs. the body face, and while (to me it did seem odd, somewhat twisted) everyone here said it's OK, not really twisted. I do believe that the necks are manufactured this way. Anyway, don't be concerned about any twist, real or imagined. Yes, it's difficult to let this go, but you have to, or you'll go nuts.

So, yes, that wood compression is a real thing, and is unlikely to simply be due to truss rod adjustment. (I suppose there's a slight chance it could be... maybe.) The "test" / confirmation: Was the twist eliminated or significantly reduced after this adjustment? If not, then it's wood compression.

Someone else chime in!
Thanks for the advice regarding the wood compression - so long as it's not something that's going to be harmful to leave unchecked I'm going to leave it alone until then.

While I don't think my opinion on the subject is that well informed - I'm of the belief that having off-centred reinforcement from a truss rod will slightly affect relief on one side more than the other, but the extent of it is probably fairly negligible. I'm not under any illusion that this will 'correct' any of the issues with my guitar since there are irregularities that suggest a warp rather than a twist. But since the bass side is more affected, if I can temporarily alleviate the symptoms of the twist as best I can to make the guitar as playable as I can expect it to be, I figured this would be the way to go.

In any case - where I am with it now is, I've got the neck set to a kind of equalibrium where it feels pretty good to play, though the buzzing is not within the realm of what I'd consider 'acceptable' on the lower frets, getting a bit more acceptable as I move along from the bass to treble strings. in the "cowboy chord" region if i'm playing with a bit of distortion it's got a kinda punky, grungey character to it that I'm happy to just tolerate as a 'quirk' of the guitar for now, because until I can get this corrected, I think this is as good as it's gonna get! I probably won't be using it for anything professional for a while, but at least I can have some fun with it! :lol:
"Say what you wish in abuse of me, for my silence towards the idiot is indeed an answer. I am not at a loss for a response but rather, it does not befit the lion to answer the dogs." - Imam al-Shafi'i

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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

Post by maxwell »

At this point I think your opinion is very well informed. You've done a lot, learned a lot from this experience.

I went back and re-read your initial post -- something I should have done a couple of times earlier. I apologize for getting off tangent, and out in the weeds somewhat.

As a last resort, if the guitar were mine.... I'd add a little super glue to the nut slots (say, with a toothpick or something else small) at the two bass strings in order to slightly raise the strings a little. (If you need to clean/adjust the slots after doing this, you could use pieces of old string as files since they are wound and rough, sort of like files.) I'd use a fret rocker (a credit card would do) and see if there is a relatively high fret, maybe one of the first three frets. That's all I have. (I think I mentioned this before, but now I mention it again only as a possible temporary workaround until Kinkade is able to work on the guitar.) But that's me, not able to leave well-enough alone....
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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

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maxwell wrote: Tue May 07, 2024 9:26 pm At this point I think your opinion is very well informed. You've done a lot, learned a lot from this experience.

I went back and re-read your initial post -- something I should have done a couple of times earlier. I apologize for getting off tangent, and out in the weeds somewhat.

As a last resort, if the guitar were mine.... I'd add a little super glue to the nut slots (say, with a toothpick or something else small) at the two bass strings in order to slightly raise the strings a little. (If you need to clean/adjust the slots after doing this, you could use pieces of old string as files since they are wound and rough, sort of like files.) I'd use a fret rocker (a credit card would do) and see if there is a relatively high fret, maybe one of the first three frets. That's all I have. (I think I mentioned this before, but now I mention it again only as a possible temporary workaround until Kinkade is able to work on the guitar.) But that's me, not able to leave well-enough alone....
No worries, your posts (including the tangents) have been very helpful and informative :D

The E and A strings were actually sitting high in the nut slots when I increased the string gauge, and it did prevent the open string from buzzing, but it didn't solve any issue with the fretted notes, it just made those strings harder to play. When I check with a fret rocker, I get some rocking on all frets in the problem area. Kinkade actually also suggested trying this as a temporary measure, so it's probably worth looking into.

I have also been thinking 'i wonder if heat treatment will solve it' since I've seen that John Hall has also recommended this to people, but my guess is that this is only a viable solution when you've got a neck that's stuck in a more consistent bow or twist and you need to "reset" it to a more neutral position - the issue with mine is it's seemingly twisted around a particular spot causing an irregularity in the fretboard surface.
"Say what you wish in abuse of me, for my silence towards the idiot is indeed an answer. I am not at a loss for a response but rather, it does not befit the lion to answer the dogs." - Imam al-Shafi'i

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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

Post by maxwell »

Back when I first discovered the twist in my neck and started looking for solutions, I was very keen on heat treatment as a cure. It was the first repair suggestion I found as I sought a repair; it's obvious, right? I looked and looked for one of those electric neck heating devices that are no longer manufactured but could not find any. I was going to make a jig mounted on a platform, activate clamps, and put the jig with guitar in the trunk of my car, which gets extremely hot during the summer where I live. But I figured that unfocused heat would screw up my neck joint, softening the glue and consequently forcing me to get a neck reset. I did exhaustively search for information and reports/results of neck heat treatment for "repairing" twists. Some reports of success, but some reports of eventual relapse/failure.

My heat-treating treatise (an opinion piece):

Unless a guitar has been severely abused, you can assume that any twisting, or as in your case (more of a) (local) deformation, then the cause of that would have been due to the bad luck of having a piece of wood with some inherent potential stresses remaining (not cured long enough?) within the wood/wood fibers. If the guitar is old enough, then you might (safely) assume that the potential energy of the inherent defect has spent itself, via kinetic energy, resulting in the defect/deformation. Treating with heat and physically reversing the movement that occurred during and at the end of that distortion: What are you really doing/accomplishing by doing this? Pretty much re-introducing the wood/wood fiber malformation(s) that led to the distortion in the first place. I liken this phenomenon to re-winding a spent watch spring: introducing the potential unwinding force that is ready to be released again and cause a re-deformation. If the guitar is kept in a consistent and favorable ambient environment (temperature, humidity; i.e., a "closet queen"), then the likelihood of a relapse might be negligent or minimal. But this is not a real-world situation; cyclic, never-ending small changes in temperature and humidity will slowly but eventually allow/facilitate a return to the shape the neck naturally wants to return to: What turned me off to seeking a heat treatment solution were the anecdotal reports that heat correction eventually failed. So, the sound solution would be to address the defect/deformation as it is without re-introducing any detrimental potential forces/energy: Plane the fretboard, eliminating the defect entirely, not hiding it away for another day.

While I've read of heat-treatment failures for a deformed neck, I have never read of any failures (return of the defect) of a neck that was planed, etc. What's Kinkade's opinion? I imagine the heat treatment is faster and less expensive, but is it the repair of choice? How would he address this problem if it were in one of his personal guitars that he intended to keep?

My neck has a generalized, longitudinal axial twist affecting the entire length of the neck (although a couple of guys suggested that the twist wasn't really there after viewing photos). There was no back bow issue. I just decided to ignore/accept it, as it had no true impact on set up and playability. (I had to replace the spring on the Accent vibrato to make it playable. Nut slot depth fine tuning and a new (Mastery) bridge made it pretty nice.)

So, this again is just my two cents (pence?).
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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

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Just been on the phone to Kinkade to put myself on the list, and had a very informative chat about the possible causes and the best solutions and, in short, his opinion is that leveling the board is the best way to proceed.

Regarding heat treatment... He said that usually wood eventually returns to whatever 'shape' it's naturally going to take over time anyway, so heat treatment is a bit hit and miss, and is better suited to straightening out things like old Hofners with no truss rod.

I guess (and this is just my musings now), it stands to reason then, that if the neck was warped by heat in the first place as I suspected, it may very well have returned to it's proper alignment by the time I'm at the top of Kinkade's list! And in that case, I might want the thing refretted by then anyway, because if the neck does re-align itself over time the guitar is gonna end up being my #1 for pretty much all 6 string duties.
"Say what you wish in abuse of me, for my silence towards the idiot is indeed an answer. I am not at a loss for a response but rather, it does not befit the lion to answer the dogs." - Imam al-Shafi'i

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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

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Don't know how to edit my last post so I'll just post again to add this:

It takes me a while to process a lot of information and Kinkade is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to guitar building, wood properties etc.

One important bit of info stood out to me once I'd been able to process it properly: He told me that in his experience when a neck warps in the way I've described it's usually because the direction of the grain changes, 'as if it's turning a corner', i think were the words he said. He told me to check the guitar if the grain is visible through the finish and said "i expect you'll see something like that". I didn't have the guitar to hand but I said "actually now you mention it, I think that's exactly what it's doing, though i've not looked at it with the deliberate intent to observe the grain direction. I'll have a look when I get the chance."

sure enough - Yep. the grain direction curves around about 30 degrees to the right when viewing the neck from the back, at the exact point where the warp occurs causing the apparent elevation in the fretboard which is making the open string/'cowboy chord' region troublesome.

This guy must really know his stuff if he's able to diagnose a problem like that correctly over the phone :lol:
"Say what you wish in abuse of me, for my silence towards the idiot is indeed an answer. I am not at a loss for a response but rather, it does not befit the lion to answer the dogs." - Imam al-Shafi'i

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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

Post by maxwell »

This is really interesting information. Yes, Kinkade is very sharp. Thanks for sharing.

BTW, posts on this website can be edited for an only short time… a few hours maybe? The small edit icon at the top right of the message window then disappears. (The edit icon is the first one, looks like a pencil; must be signed in to see this.)
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Re: 2008 620 backbow/twist

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I'm not giving up on this 620, but I have got myself another 620 to keep me distracted while I wait for kinkade to get around to fixing this one :lol:
"Say what you wish in abuse of me, for my silence towards the idiot is indeed an answer. I am not at a loss for a response but rather, it does not befit the lion to answer the dogs." - Imam al-Shafi'i

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