Rick Aiello's         Dustpans & Stuff

Cast Steel Guitars
L&M Pickup
NIBro Magnets
Sand Casting
My Prewar Rickys
My Postwar Rickys
My Other Steels
My Bars
Ricky ID
Theory & tech
Vibrato Samples
Slant Bar Practice

PreWar Rickys




'34/35 Frypan


This A-22 is an interesting one ... The story goes that it was a test unit for the addition of the tone control in '35. A 2" hole was bored into the cast aluminum "pan" for easier access to its "inerds" ...   This has a "ground wire-less" set up ... only a lead wire went to the pots and jack .... No ground wire at all. One of the slug pole pieces was the dedicated ground ... grounding the bobbin to the mounting plate.   Jason Lollar had to rewind the bobbin ... its output was there but LACKING ... it's not lacking anymore !!!   This one has that yellowish lacquer finish .... it's missing in spots so it looks beat up ... but it's not. It was bought in a yard sale in Fullerton, CA ... close to the Rick factory ... in the early 70's. It sat in the guys closet for the next 30 yrs.



'37 A25


I finally found one ... a long scale (25.5") frypan.  Its "blonde" krinkle paint has discolored abit ... but she's in great shape.  Playin' this long rascal ...is a whole different ballgame. It sustains into "next year" ...



'35/'36 B6 


Meet "RickZilla" ...  The body & neck are from an Ebay auction of a "volume only", "players side" jack B6 ... there are no grooves in the bridge ... I LOVE that.   The plates are from another B6 ... they were rusty white ones.  The "3 on a strip" tuners are from another Ricky that could take "singles" in trade.   The mounting hardware/knobs came from a postwar Ricky Ebay auction ...  The Ricky logo is a sticker my buddy made me ...   Finally ... the most powerful horseshoe magnets to date ... A 830 gauss (mid-gap) H-Shoe ...... puts this steel in a category all its own.



'37 Bakelite


This is a patent pending B6 ... it got hurt bad at the jack ... but the repair was done well ... The Pickup had been rewound ... it had to be re-rewound again .  They also altered the positioning of the tone control ... away from the players side ... a bad aftermarket "patch job" ... but better from a players point of view.



'38 Bakelite


This B6 is probably the most "mint" steel I have. It NEVER leaves the museum.  It came with the original receipt from the Aloha Conservatory of Music in Detroit ... sold in 1938.



'40 Bakelite


This model is extremely important ... historically speaking. They are referred to by some as "Wartime" B6s and feature some of the first true modifications in design.   The magnets are still 1.5" and the strings still load "thru the body" .... but the neck design was changed ...  There is also a reported change in the bakelite composition to improve the brittle nature of this polymer ... possibly the second such change ???    The chrome plates were changed to white celluloid to conserve metal for the war ... Also in an effort to conserve for the war .... the thickness of the magnets was changed to 1/8" (as opposed to 5/32" in most prewar "shoes") .   This is actually not a substandard thing ... a better grade of cobalt steel was used ... and these magnets exhibit a greater flux density when charged.  This one also came with the original receipt ... from the same Conservatory as the '38 B6 ... How cool is that !!!   A couple of the celluloid plates were damaged ... so I replaced them all ... with metal ones from another B6.



'37 Silver Hawaiian


This was my very first guitar. I bought it from Ed's Guitars in Miami Fl. in the early 80's .  It is a patent pending version .... notice the chrome plated brass nut & bridge. These were switched to bakelite in the later models. The hollow, chrome plated brass body produces a wonderful "scooped" sound.



'39 Silver Hawaiian


Later model Silver ... notice the bakelite nut & bridge. The audience side tone/vol knobs have become the standard by this time ...   What can I say ... I like Silvers ... and this one is a beauty !!



'38 D14


An extremely rare double neck 7 string steel. These had bakelite necks and cast aluminum bodies .... kinda "half A-22" & "half-B6".  Identical to one I saw in a Rick catalog from 1938 ... It had terribly chewed up bridges (I hate files in the wrong hands) .... I fixed it with PC7 epoxy (good stuff) ...   You noticed I only have six strings on the necks ... my flatwounds were backordered when I took these photos.



'41 Model 59


The Model 59 was the "Original" student model steel guitar. They have the same 1.5" horseshoe magnets (painted, not chromed) as their siblings but utilized a non-adjustable (height) pickup unit. The cord was hard-wired onto the potentiometers ... no 1/4" jack.  They featured a variety of color schemes ... this one is a cool "black to white" sunburst body & magnets.  This particular steel was stuffed with the LA Times ... Oct. 27, 1941. Probably the last year they were ever produced ... this near mint condition beauty disputes the reports that the later Model 59s utilized adjustable pickups.   The Model 59 gave rise to the postwar Model NS after WWII.  Since the hard-wired cord was already replaced with a modern one ... I went ahead and installed a 1/4" input jack ...