1979 Rickenbacker 4001 rebuild - | P1 | P2 | P3

A sad story that will have a happy ending -

It started one afternoon when i received an email that began:
I bet you get a few emails that start ... "I bought this [insert type of guitar] on ebay from the US but, when it arrived [describe horror story]".

Yep i get enough of these but this one was really something out of the bag. This lovely old bass had been completely wrecked. My theory is that it was water damaged and began to delaminate showing cracks in the body. The owner has cracked the sads and either drove over it in a car or held it by the headstock and swung it hard into an armchair or couch causing the neck damage and the body to fully delaminate. There have been many theories put forward by various workshop visitors the most popular being: "Disgruntled woman attacks hapless players favourite bass"

The major damage is to the neck apart from the obvious warping of the timbers in the lower sections,
it is bent just above where the wings join the neck - The nut is roughly10mm lower than the last fret if you put a straight edge up the neck. The twin trussrods will be badly bent - parts of the neck have shattered rather than delaminated. The fibres in the bent section would have no rigidity even if they could be bent back into a straight line.

The wings and the hardware were in pretty good nick so we decided to use the good bits to make a playable bass. This requires a new build of the centre section, glue on the wings and bolt the old hardware down to it. The original center section is only good for providing a guide to the measurents for the rebuild.


Below are some detailed images of the damage to the neck

You can clearly see the bend in the neck - It's "rooted" is the only way i could describe this kind of damage.

After a few weeks to gestate my MOC I began to draw it up and build it in my mind. Once everything was straight in my head and the work area cleared of big projects, i began by slicing up some bits of wood. I chose a section of Sapele or African Mahogany as it is known for the outer laminations and a core of US Rock Maple. The original neck looks like maple outer and walnut core. The Sapele is unlike South American Mahogany as it is harder, denser and has a sharper tap tone. I feel it will contribute a good even tonal response for a bass.

A biflex truss rod will be used instead of twin single action rods used in the original neck. It will be stiffened with a pair of carbon fibre spars.

Here they are roughly cut and ready for final dimensioning. I bought the sapele 5 years ago and built #10 & 11 out of the same board. I was impressed with the tonal properties of it and thought that i would lay the rest away for something special. The maple has been in racks for years and has no notes as to its origin. I have built a couple of necks out of the same board and it was hard, stable and carved well.
Machined everything up nice and square.
Apllied some Titebond Original wood glue
Lined up the boards and put a few clamps on. Reckon it will be pretty well glued :)
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