Rickenbacker 660 - Tom Petty tribute build

pshupe

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I have done a few Rickenbacker type guitars in the last few years. I build a 330 style for myself as a full build and a couple of kit guitars for a few people in a similar style. The last kit I did was for a 12 string and I wanted to build a 12 string for myself. I started this right after Tom Petty passed away and then it got put on hold for the Archey build.

I built a couple necks when I built the 12 string kit for another build so I will utilize that for the neck. This means it will not be a traditional 660 as they were neck through. This one will be a set neck more like a 330.

I downloaded some plans and some research pictures. I started from scratch right within Fusion 360 using the pictures as a reference.
outline.JPG


Just drew an outline around the picture and extruded it to make the body. I checked dimensions with some plans and I was off to the races.

Here are the beginnings of my Fusion 360 model -
Fusion_01.JPG


and the construction drawings from this model -
Fusion_02.JPG


This will be quite simple as everything is very flat. No curves or carves. Nice and simple. The way I like it.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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A little bit more development of the model. I added a couple more tabs for the control cover. Using a wood cover I like to have lots of screws holding it down. I've added wiring channels and holes in the top for the magnets of the pups to be recessed slightly. I'm going with a one piece walnut body with a book matched maple cap.
Capture.JPG

and updated drawing -
Capture2.JPG

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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I had a visit from a good friend that I have known since highschool and her 7 yr old son. I was resigned to not doing any wood working with the visit but the boy seemed really interested in my CNC machine. I asked him if he wanted to make a guitar body and he was very keen.

So I found a nice piece of walnut for the body and we dimensioned it and put it in the CNC machine and cut the body. I was surprised that it kept his attention for the whole thing.

So here's the body blank in the machine -
body02.jpg


I cut the back cavity cover route and cavity route and then flipped it over and did the front. I cut the body down 7/8" so I left about 1/4" all the way around so I didn't cut into my spoil board. I also cut it out on my cheapo little bandsaw.
body01.jpg


then on to the sander -
body03.jpg


then over tot he router table to flush trim -
body04.jpg


I have a nice big spiral carbine flush trim bit but I was lazy and just used the bit that was in there, which worked fine.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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So on to the top. This will be a pretty thin top, about 1/4" top. I thought I'd just book match a nice piece of flame maple. A friend gave me a small pile of eastern maple from his discard pile. Thanks Tom! I picked one with some character and re-sawed it.
top_04.jpg

resawed, planed, and thickness sanded and then glued up. thickness sanded again.
top_01.jpg


Here it is out of the thickness sander with a little bit of naptha. I like the flame and mineral streaks with this top.
top_03.jpg

CNC'd from the back so I could put locating holes in for some hardwood dowels. I've never done this for a personal project but have done it for a friend. I have never glued up before but thought it would probably be the best idea because I routed the pup recess before it was glued up. I wanted to make sure it was in the exact location to line up with the wiring channel.
top_05.jpg


I'll glue in the locating dowels and then test fit and glue on the top.

Cheers Peter.
 

geoffstgermaine

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Great work! I’m enjoying seeing your workflow with the CNC. Thanks for sharing!
 

pshupe

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Thanks Geoff. CNC is great for repeat-ability. Unfortunately I never do the same guitar twice! LOL It's a lot of modeling and creating tool paths but that's fun as well.

So time to get all the clamps out and get the top glued on.
mock-up04.jpg


took off the clamps and the edge is pretty good. I'll be putting on body binding so it doesn't have to be exact as I will route a ledge using the body as the template.
mockup02.jpg

So I built a Rick style for a guy from one of the forums a while back. It was like a vintage double bound 360 with a Rose Morris f hole like the export models from the late 60's. It was also a 12 string so I made up two necks just incase I screwed one up. Fortunately the test neck was fine and I can use it for this build.

I'll post some of the old pics to show the neck process. Both of these necks were 3 piece laminates with ears glued on. Typical Rickenbacker style with maple and walnut for the laminates.

Roger and I did lots of CAD work on this other build. Here is a pic of the neck all worked out in CAD.
Capture2.JPG

ripped up some maple and walnut and cut to basic length.
IMG_3361.JPG

The thickness sander comes in really handy when you are working to fine tolerances. The middle section is supposed to be 41/64"
IMG_3360.JPG


back in the clamps -
IMG_3372.JPG

onto my bandsaw head stock angle jig. It's a very shallow head stock angle on these guitars. It's about 5 degrees. I find that too shallow and the gibby's too steep.
headstock_angle_jig.jpg


Into the CNC machine to cut the truss road route, truss rod access and reinforcing routes. Here are the two necks. Roger's neck has the one carbon fibre rod and mine has two. I thought it may prove a good idea for the carbon reinforcing on these 12 string builds because of the extra 6 strings pulling on the neck.
IMG_3802.JPG


Cheers Peter.
 

Spotcheck Billy

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Peter, seems like I joined the MLP zoo about the time you were working on building your 1st Ric. Clean work, as always, and I am enjoying your new build.
 

pshupe

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Thanks Billy. That seems like a long time ago now. I think my first guitar build ever was 2012, so probably less than a year before that first Rick build.

Back on the necks - here is the routing of all the cavities in the necks finished up.
necks w reinf.jpg

cut out on the band saw for the profile
necks01.jpg

I keep the head stock and the heel uncut for now because I want the cut to be parallel to the fret board plane.
then I can just use the table saw and bandsaw to finish up the shape.
necks02.jpg

trim up the heel on the bandsaw
necks03.jpg

then glue on some ears and plane the head stock face and then thickness the head stock on the bandsaw again.
necks04.jpg


IMG_3922.JPG


I mocked up a head stock and worked out all the tuner locations prior and I used that for a template as well as cut a neck taper template.

HS mockup front -
test_HS2.jpg


and back -
test_HS.jpg


I really like this crazy design as it keeps the head stock only just slightly larger than a 6 string head stock.

cut the head stock and neck taper from the templates -
necks05.jpg


The neck with the blue truss rod is Roger's neck and the other is for this build.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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Oh forgot to add the cad details that I worked out before going to wood. This again shows how crazy these head stocks were. I think Rickenbacker makes short shaft keywinds and long shaft keywinds. The long ones go through the regular way as the headstock is thicker than a normal 6 string. I assume because of string tension. Or is it the other way around so there is enough wood between the edge and the outer face of the octave string channel?? Guess I'll have to look that up again before mounting.

Plan view -
12 string_headstock.JPG


3d view front -
HS-2.JPG


3d view back -
HS-6.JPG


Cheers Peter.
 

strömsborg

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I have long been thinking of doing a blue Rick 620, I think it's a design marvel, but it seems to be ridiculously expensive just to assemble the hardware if you are in Europe. ~$1200 by my estimation. $1200 will get you a used complete 620 guitar...
 

pshupe

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I have long been thinking of doing a blue Rick 620, I think it's a design marvel, but it seems to be ridiculously expensive just to assemble the hardware if you are in Europe. ~$1200 by my estimation. $1200 will get you a used complete 620 guitar...

Yeah and nowadays you can't even get some of the parts. I bought all Rickenbacker parts for my 360 6 string build and they were about US$800 and that was about 4 or 5 years ago.
Here is a pic of that guitar -
360_full_fin.JPG

The nice thing is that at least the wood is really inexpensive in my area. I have a lot of both maple and black walnut. I've been trying to source 12 string parts for my 660 but the usual places seem to be out of most of the Rickenbacker stuff. Winfield vintage and pick of the Ricks are all missing most of the parts. I wanted to buy all the parts at one place because shipping can be pricey to Canada. I'm sure that it's much more to Europe.

Cheers Peter.
 

strömsborg

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If I were to order from the UK, the cheaper hi-gain pickups $244, the R tailpiece with bracket $338, double truss rod $122.
Just stupid.

Nice guitar by the way. I love early The Who and that looks like something Pete would have been happy to smash to bits.
 
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pshupe

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Actually it is sometimes easier just going to the local guitar shop and order right from Rickenbacker. I just ordered some high output pups for Can$99 each and a 12 string bridge assembly for Can$150. That is a little bit cheaper than the US$ price for me to order online and then there are no shipping charges and no duty.

I can get the 12 string trapeze tailpiece and bracket on Reverb for Can$150 including shipping. I might look at something else for that. That seems a little pricey for a tailpiece and bracket. I might try Allparts.

Cheers Peter.
 

strömsborg

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Did you finish this one?
I'm on the fence between six och twelve strings. Will a twelve string be neck heavy?
 

pshupe

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No, I didn’t. I did order a bunch of components but got side tracked on other projects. I’m sure the 12 string will be neck heavy. Not sure when I’ll get back to it.

Cheers Peter.
 

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