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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:54 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
Posts: 756
Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Ovations are not too popular around here, but every once in a while one shows up. The week before I was forced to close for C-19, I had no less than 3 to evaluate!

The third one through was quite unlike any guitar I’d ever seen, with a strange headstock and a black-painted ALUMINUM fingerboard! The fingerboard was slightly wider than the neck itself and during my short inspection, I didn’t identify a truss rod adjuster, just two neck attachment bolts (I think).

Someone had played the heck out of this guitar and the frets were thoroughly munched (and aluminum showing where the black paint was worn off). Looks like they had been leveled at some point, but no crowning. The fellow asked me how much to refret? I hedged, quoting my usual rate as a starting point, if it was possible at all, and a likely up charge for difficulty.

Anyone ever managed a refret on such a beast? How?

PS: I frightened all three Ovations out of the shop with my estimates!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
Is it an Applause (black plastic peghead overlay), or an Ovation?

No matter…. I used to sell those way back in the late 70's. In fact, sold an Applause to my brother. He finally wore the frets down to nothing, and it played and sounded horrible. You couldn't bend strings on it at all. Near as I can tell - impossible to fix. The fingerboard on the Applause was cast integrally with the neck. It had 2 stripes down the back of the neck - filled with brown foam which eventually chipped out. You didn't dare play it in the sun because it wouldn't stay in tune. The aluminum was kind of gummy as I remember. Not one of Kaman's great ideas.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: fumblefinger (Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:51 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:10 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 2731
Location: Magnolia DE
First name: Brian
Last Name: Howard
City: Magnolia
State: Delaware
Zip/Postal Code: 19962
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
Those frets are cast as part of the fretboard itself. I have leveled and re-crowned a few over the years but a re-fret is a non starter. Might be able to replace the finger board but the instrument isn't really worth the expense and effort.

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You never know what you are capable of until you actually try.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:37 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4622
Location: Virginia
Nothin' but a canoe paddle at that point.



These users thanked the author jfmckenna for the post: Hesh (Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:44 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:58 pm 
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I always thought a pair of those might make interesting speaker boxes for the shop.

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http://jameswattsguitars.com


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:48 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
Posts: 756
Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Really quite an unusual critter — certainly new to me. Thanks for all the comments!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:58 pm
Posts: 1241
First name: Ed
Last Name: Minch
City: Chestertown
State: MD
Zip/Postal Code: 21620
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
My 83 year old uncle bought this soprano banjo uke in 1950 - his first of now many. It came with colored strings and "easy instructions" but it took with him. Nylon strings so no fret wear to speak of. He passed it on to because I always have admired it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 4324
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
One of my nephews has one of those.

From the age when American industry said "We can make any dang thing, just because we want to!".

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