1959 FIREGLO 345 CAPRI RESTORATION
This was a comprehensive restoration of a well-used early Capri. Following a full strip of the original nitrocellulose finish, the original, very worn, padauk fretboard, was replaced with a new one in the same species. The new fretboard was radiused and then united to the original neck and body. The body was refinished in a very orangey, period-correct nitrocellulose, color, sanded, and buffed to a very high gloss. Electro String Corporation, Rickenbacker's original company name, used nitrocellulose through much of 1959, before switching to a catalyzing furniture finish generically termed "conversion varnish".
This instrument had a one-piece 3/16" thick ash plywood back, which was in generally good condition. The figured maple neck outer laminations are typical of early Capris, and add a lot of visual interest to these guitars. Note the truss rod pockets under the nameplate, which were done in these early days using shallow overlapping 3/4" Forstner bit cavities--another typical feature of this vintage.
Note also that this is a single truss rod instrument. Double truss rods came into use with the Capri's metamorphosis into the second version of the semi-hollow "large body" 300 series, two years later, in 1961. This guitar was a "standard" 330 model, hence it had no binding and a single-level gold pick guard, which was screwed to the body using thin rubber grommets to space it away from the surface. The pickup magnet clearance slots were also done with overlapping Forstner bit holes. There are relief holes for the pickup corner screws as well. These early Capris have a number of small details that were eliminated or resolved before 1961, when the new body shape was introduced.