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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2022 8:32 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2021 9:45 pm
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First name: BOB
Last Name: HALPIN
City: Toronto
Zip/Postal Code: M2N1S1
Country: Canada
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Ok. I bought another broken Ova*ion to fix. It showed up on MaxSold - an auction web-site, just like the 1st one.

Despite your understandable distaste for these things, you all helped me a lot in that repair.

So here we go:

Attachment:
OvationTop.jpg

Attachment:
Ovation2Bridge.jpg


This was was at a party where someone mistook it for a chair cushion. So I'm told. Picking it up I was disappointed by the really plain fret markers (simple dots, not the diamonds on my previous one.) And the color is boring -I liked the dark sunburst of the prior one. Maybe I'll change that depending on how radical the fix becomes. But in spite of some deep wear in the fingerboard in the 1st 5 frets, the frets themselves are in pretty good shape.

First, I have to get the bridge off off without further damage to the top. And then what? Research shows me the bracing in these are pretty ... bad. So, to fix the top - and maybe improve the bracing, do I remove the top? (I know - most of you would just douse it in paint thinner and light a match. :-)) Or, maybe use some judicious steam and pressing to flatten the top and then TiteBond of HHG the bridge back on. (I used HHG one a Stella, so I know what timing fun that is.)

Or - maybe - (joking here) I remember my older brother making his own guitar speaker enclosures in the 60's. He used "fish glue" to attach the tolex. You could smell that stuff for blocks and and days. Arg!!!

Anyway, your help, tips, laughter, barbs, etc. are appreciated as always.

Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2022 2:30 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Let's see if Hesh here can do better... than I have in the past with these things.

Hey Bob since you already likely know that no commercial repair shop with any pending business to do would take this on unless they are a one-off for one reason or another. Or, in other words this one would have massive opportunity costs for a commercial shop since this will not be a simple, quick repair. By opportunity costs I mean our regular clients would be waiting and our services would not be available to them for a person week or so.

It's a retop meaning you have to remove the original top, accruements, etc. all with little or no damage and then build a new top. It's also an opportunity to use a solid top since this is plywood. I don't think anyone would cry too much if you deviated from the original design and improved things.

So every operation from neck angle setting to bracing to binding, bridge placement, bridge gluing, etc. will be involved in this one. Finishing will be required too. A commercial shop might be $2K give or take a thousand and most of us would not even seriously look at it because of the opportunity costs. But that aside.

Then there is one more issue and not an issue that even Ov*tion ever solved. The design is fatally flawed from a vintage guitar point of view. The disimilar materials expand and contract at different rates making these guitars generally fraught with more and more issues where the economics are not present to fix the issues as they age.

So good luck if I were to repair this it would be new top time and I would anticipate that getting the thing apart would be the worst part.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2022 9:24 am 
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Same recommendation as last time - drop an anvil on it.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2022 12:06 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Chris Pile wrote:
Same recommendation as last time - drop an anvil on it.


laughing6-hehe laughing6-hehe I was trying to be less judgmental and then you came along and said what I was thinking :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2022 5:18 pm 
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Koa
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That’s some pretty serious damage under the bridge. Agree you’ll have to retop it. While you’re at it you could consider replacing the bowl with real wood back and sides and then fabricating and installing a new neck.

The good news is once you’re done you’ll have a superb instrument!



These users thanked the author joshnothing for the post (total 3): Smylight (Thu Dec 29, 2022 9:11 pm) • Hesh (Thu Dec 29, 2022 2:48 am) • Chris Pile (Wed Dec 28, 2022 6:12 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2022 9:52 pm 
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Walnut
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First name: BOB
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Ok Ok. Ha Ha. Believe me - I get it. Folks, I'm not a luthier, and I totally understand your point of view on these abominations. That said, I appreciate any response I get. (Anvil, eh? I thought my paint-thinner and match idea would be a lot less strenuous... :-))

Anyway, I'm the kind of dangerous amateur that tries to fix anything broken. And I don't have a bad track-record with point-to-point amps and Hammonds/Leslies. And there's nothing to lose here.

So - I got the bridge off (steam form a clothes iron and careful poking with a razor-blade):

Attachment:
Ovation2BridgeOffSmall.jpg


Yuck. And I love the shiny patches of dried glue on the bottom of the bridge that stuck to nothing. Oh - and those screws. Total crap. And one broke off just trying to get the nut off.

My plan: Clean up the bottom of the bridge, use steam to flatten the top, patch-up the damage where the bridge goes, glue it back on - maybe with some screw/bolts and DECENT sized washers.) Then - if it doesn't fall apart and plays reasonably well, donate it to someone/somewhere that wants to learn guitar but can't afford one. (And it's bound to be a lot better than the 3/4 size classical toy guitar I learned on that I picked out of the trash somewhere)

So - no illusions here. It's an Ov*tion, and I'll try to make it playable. If I run into a real instrument that needs repair, I will definitely go to a pro.

Thanks all!


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1961 Strat, 60? Harmony BobKat, 1978 LP Deluxe, Squire Jaguar Bass, Harmony Stella acoustic, funky Greek-classical, 2 Yamaha Pacificas, Art & Lutherie Wild Cherry, Art & Lutherie Cedar w/Godin Electronics, 1963 Black-Face Twin, Garnet Mini-Bass, 1973 Ovation acoustic rescue, 1961 Hammond C3, 195? Leslie 22R, 1971 Hammond B3 (chop rescue), ???? Franken-Leslie 122, Korg Poly-Six (in surgery for battery leak), Epiphone LP Junior, two left feet, and an insatiable curiosity.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 12:07 am 
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Koa
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Sometimes a project is too expensive even if it was free...

I can't see any way around retopping this thing. I think there's no way the top can resist the string tension delivered through the bridge. I wouldn't even try.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 2:53 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Bob thanks for having a great sense of humor too. :)

I would not only retop but get rid of the bolts and such and you likely will dramatically improve the tone of the instrument with a solid wood top, less mass on the bridge, new bracing and a proper Lutherie glue except for where the top meets the rim you will likely have to use what Ov*tion used, ep*xy....

So with all this said thanks for saving or wanting to save a guitar even if it does not make sense to do so. Bet you never thought you would hear me say that.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 1:11 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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For a round back guitar, I'd go for the original; from 16 something. I have one started. I just need some more experience to jump in with both feet.

The Ovation was made to be plugged in. No plug on the Chechucci.

I get that you like to fix.

I like to make stuff I can't buy.

https://collections.mfa.org/objects/128 ... 7ca&idx=34

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 9:11 pm 
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Cocobolo
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joshnothing wrote:
That’s some pretty serious damage under the bridge. Agree you’ll have to retop it. While you’re at it you could consider replacing the bowl with real wood back and sides and then fabricating and installing a new neck.

The good news is once you’re done you’ll have a superb instrument!

Image


Pierre
Guitares Torvisse



These users thanked the author Smylight for the post: Hesh (Fri Dec 30, 2022 2:35 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2022 2:44 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Smylight wrote:
joshnothing wrote:
That’s some pretty serious damage under the bridge. Agree you’ll have to retop it. While you’re at it you could consider replacing the bowl with real wood back and sides and then fabricating and installing a new neck.

The good news is once you’re done you’ll have a superb instrument!

Image


Pierre
Guitares Torvisse


I met him ya know. :) I was on a plane to my work in Palo Alto back around 2000 from DTW. He sat next to me in first (I'm a window seat type of guy). Although I have sat next to famous folks lots of times on these flights I took every week for nearly 20 years Brent Spiner wanted to talk so we did for nearly five hours. Nice guy and he had lots of stories to tell about the fun.... they had on the set to Next Generation.... It sounds like it was a bit of an orgy.... :)

He was in the area for a family event for his friend Robert Picardo who is also a Star Trek star. I ended up sitting next to Picardo about a year later on the same flight. I have Picardo's signed pic that he made out to my Mom who at that time was having her 70th birthday and she was a huge Star Trek fan.

I have a great Tom Selleck story at an airport too and I also spent 45 minutes with the Dali Lama just him and I at SFO during a delayed flight. He's funny as hell when he is trying to be by the way, wonderful man.

This is one of the reasons I love being a Luthier in a busy shop I get to meet famous folks from time to time. Anyway I digress, sorry.

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post (total 2): Smylight (Fri Dec 30, 2022 4:46 pm) • Chris Pile (Fri Dec 30, 2022 7:50 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2022 10:37 am 
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Koa
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Life is improved with 'digressions'. A lot.

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These users thanked the author phavriluk for the post: Hesh (Fri Dec 30, 2022 12:28 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:04 pm 
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Weeeeeellllll now would be a good time to practice replacing a top . I strongly recommend a set of low cost seconds . Experience might be worth more than the guitar idunno

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