Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece
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Author:  JohnHall [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

telemaster wrote:
My plan is to fill in the slots with weld, which you would not want to do if it had already been plated, and mill the new solid piece so that the faces are all nice and even.

Welding zinc . . . I'd sure like to hear more about that experience. And plating a weld (or Dura Fix "weld") . . . I really want to see the results of that.

You might find that machining various slots and undercuts might be all that's necessary to do what you want.

Author:  telemaster [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Thank you Mr Hall for weighing in on my idea. I did not know that the tailpiece base metal was zinc. Thank you for that information. I obviously need an education on the subject of welding. I hope my welder can suggest a suitable solution. I don't know if I can achieve the desired result of reducing the string "trace" to 2.0 inches to match the bridge by just machining the "hooks" and even if I could I also would like to "capture" the ball ends in a hole not a slot. Perhaps a block shaped like the end of the harp could be predrilled to the desired pattern and welded in place of the hooks. This might minimize the amount of welding (or perhaps brazing???)necessary. The hooks would of course have to be machined off first. I will have to look into welding zinc, and the pitfalls that might present. Is there a metallurgical formula for the alloy you use on these that might prove helpful to whatever welder I find, and more importantly, would you be willing to share/divulge such information. I don't know about zinc but I do know it can be lethal to weld anything that is galvanized if one is not very careful. What precautions need be taken? If you could advise me of any safety concerns I would be very grateful. The welding would all be on the bottom of the tail piece so would not show if there was a problem with consistency of the look of the chrome. I do worry that the heat required might warp this already too expensive part

Author:  JohnHall [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

It's often said you can't weld zinc but apparently that's not entirely true:


http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/co ... inc-Alloys

Of course, you could machine a new "swoosh" from brass with any string attachment design you prefer, then machine the zinc part to interface with that, i.e. with some T-slots or something.

Still, it seems like a lot of work for what some people wouldn't consider to be a problem.

Author:  telemaster [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

11-E6E7956C-542181-960.jpg [8.36 KiB]
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Thanx again for your input and expertise. I am afraid I only revealed my ignorance of the subject of welding. I had heard that welding some materials could be problematic or toxic (galvanized metal for example) but did not even know the tailpiece was Zinc. Thank you also for that information as well as the two links you provided. I will echo what others have said about you, it is a wonderful thing to get such feedback from a company official at all, let alone someone so high up the corporate ladder as yourself. I'm reminded of the closing scenes of the old movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy" where Cagney as Cohan says "Where else could a song and dance man like me come in and talk things over with the head man" (please pardon me if I didn't get that quote exactly right).
I realize that this is not a stock installation and that this tailpiece was never intended to be used on this model of guitar but it just looks so cool. Too bad it presents the trace issue. You can see in the pix that the bridge and tailpiece will be very close together, less than an inch and a half on the high side and two and a quarter on the bass side. With them that close I worry that the strings will jump out of their slots due to the added lateral forces. I don't really want to cut the slots deeper if I can avoid it since I have the guitar set up nearly perfectly at the moment. Therefore I theorised that modifying the tailpiece would be the easier route. Again I will say that this has been a labor of love re-building this guitar to better than original spec (2003 w/ 12saddle bridge and toaster tops) for this year and model (opinions will vary on that last point). I have wanted this exact model and exact finish for over 40 years and having the ability to add this small "custom" touch without bastardizing the guitar with non RIC parts satisfies some twisted part of my psyche.
Looking for a solution for the spread reminded me of a previous thread I read on stringing difficulty involving the 12 string "R" tailpiece. You'll notice I have had to punt and install a trapeze style on my guitar to allow me to play it while I line up a "proper" "R" tailpiece. So I don't even know if I would have a problem with the claw design compared with the solid block which has been drilled to capture the ball ends, but it seemed like a good idea on the face of it to solve this issue at the same time I solve the trace issue.
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Author:  iiipopes [ Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Do not dispair! If it doesn't work out, I'm sure Jingle Jangle will be happy to relieve your frustration and put it on another custom Jazzbo, if he ever makes another one!

Author:  telemaster [ Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Yeah, but what if I bugger it up, trying to modify it. Gonna have to exercize extreme caution/restraint in my approach to this task.

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