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Author Topic: DIY belly fix on an ovation type guitar  (Read 8209 times)
rockstar_not
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« on: July 29, 2008, 08:09:08 PM »

My Applause (korean version of Ovation) has a bellied top - my fault.

I'm thinking of making a frankenstein type repair to it consisting of a couple of fender washers, and a turnbuckle.

Here's the proposed fix:

Tie the bridge to the back of the bowl using a turnbuckle (so I can adjust the tension.  I would drill a hole through the bowl in the back and the fender washer would provide the anchor on that side.

On the bridge side, drill either a central hole or a couple holes tied together with a bar across them.

There was a manufacturer that made something like this - I thought it was std equipment in Collings guitars, but I can't find any links nowadays.

My guitar is currently campfire status, so I don't care strongly if the experiment doesn't work.

What say all you Dr. Frankenstein luthiers out there?
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 08:42:18 PM »

What problems is the belly causing?

Is this what you're talking about? http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Bridges/JLD_Bridge_Doctor.html
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2008, 02:35:10 AM »

What problems is the belly causing?

Is this what you're talking about? http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Bridges/JLD_Bridge_Doctor.html

Yes - that's it.

The problem with the ovation/Applause, is that it can't mount to an endpin block since there isn't one.

That's why I'm thinking of trying the turnbuckle idea tied into the back.  Who knows, it might be completely crazy to try.

-Scott
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Danny
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2008, 03:15:06 AM »

  Even on a campfire git the less screws and washers the better. But an Applause is not worth much so a fender washer fix may be appropriate. I had one a long time ago. I bought a new one with another name on it and it had a  pick up, pre amp and equalizer. $75 I gave it to one of my grandsons.
        That stew mac fix looks good and I think you are right about Collings or someone using it from the start. It was said to have improved tone also. Let us know what you do.
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2008, 03:54:52 AM »


        That stew mac fix looks good and I think you are right about Collings or someone using it from the start. It was said to have improved tone also. Let us know what you do.


Breedlove does, I think it's a bad idea to anchor the top down.

Scott, You didn't say why you are fixing the bellying.
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Danny
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 04:30:52 AM »


Breedlove does, I think it's a bad idea to anchor the top down.

Scott, You didn't say why you are fixing the bellying.
 
           yes, it would be a bad idea to anchor it down; but sometimes you need something to hold the top up.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2008, 10:34:43 AM »


Breedlove does, I think it's a bad idea to anchor the top down.

Scott, You didn't say why you are fixing the bellying.

In the Nashville Tuning thread, I explained the bellied top - but I'll repeat it here.

I was young and uninformed and took the guitar on a camping trip in July.

Guitar was in my car in the July heat.

Bowl=fiberglass re-inforced plastic.

Top=spruce.

Heat+Bowl+Spruce=Spruce expands much more than bowl=spruce separates from bracing=belly

I'm not looking to make it have good tone - it never did before - but I would like to treat the high action if possible.
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2008, 03:03:33 PM »

I woudn't bother with the belly unless I were to fix the bracing too. I don't know how you'd reglue the bracing to the top, especially since it was probably made with tightbond.
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Danny
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2008, 03:15:04 PM »

I woudn't bother with the belly unless I were to fix the bracing too. I don't know how you'd reglue the bracing to the top, especially since it was probably made with tightbond.
                    Jeremy along this same line I need to stop my old Harmony Sovereign from sinking at the end of the fretboard into the sound hole. I've already had a neck reset and done too much to spend a lot more. I thought of making a neck block extension to hold it up. I have some mahogany that I could cut a arch in to limit the amount of wood used and I would hide glue it (unless I can get some fish glue )
                     I know it would reduce the sound level, but it is a Jumbo and I want to make it playable again "on the cheap"    What do ya think?
                                                       Apologies to you Scott, I thought that this was a good time to ask this. Danny
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2008, 03:37:22 PM »

                    Jeremy along this same line I need to stop my old Harmony Sovereign from sinking at the end of the fretboard into the sound hole. I've already had a neck reset and done too much to spend a lot more. I thought of making a neck block extension to hold it up. I have some mahogany that I could cut a arch in to limit the amount of wood used and I would hide glue it (unless I can get some fish glue )
                     I know it would reduce the sound level, but it is a Jumbo and I want to make it playable again "on the cheap"    What do ya think?
                                                       

It may work, the problems I could see happening are that this extension will have to have the gluing surface (extension to soundplate surface) on the same plane as the top of the neck block otherwise you will have a dip or a hump in the fretboard and upper bout. It also has to have enough gluing surface so it will hold to the top. So maybe it would be possible to jack up the upper bout till every thing is level then put in a block that fits both the surfaces you are gluing to.
However it's also possible the main cause of you problem is forward rotation of the neck block and adding an extension on the same plane as the top of the neck block wouldn't change anything.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2008, 04:18:15 PM »

I woudn't bother with the belly unless I were to fix the bracing too. I don't know how you'd reglue the bracing to the top, especially since it was probably made with tightbond.

Well, I haven't bothered for years.  I am in conversation with Dave at JLD and it looks like I might be able to use the JLD system if I glue an external end-pin type block on the outer bowl of the guitar.

In this case, it might end up like the JLD experimental braced guitar - where most of the traditional larger bracing on the top of the guitar is removed.  Link here:

http://www.jldguitar.net/experimental_guitar/expguit.html

So, I'll hijack my own thread - since there is some interest here by an actual guitar maker:

What equipment would I need to remove the top of my Applause?  As long as I'm messing around with it, why not go for the gold and do a proper repair.  The guitar was never worth much, but I did enjoy playing it as it has a strat-like neck width.  It was good for certain purposes - now it's been relegated to the kid's playroom!

Anyone performed Ovation/Applause repairs and know how the top is attached to the body?  Is this something that should be undertaken for a novice with no tools of his own, but a father with a fairly well-fitted woodworking shop (scroll saws, planer, joiner, lathe, clamps galore, etc.?)

-Scott
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2008, 04:30:41 PM »

   Sounds like fun to me, I enjoy trial and error as long as the risk is no big deal. Go for it. I've never popped a top on one, it may be a challenge.   Danny

  Thanks for the reply Jeremy and thanks for the link Scott, to JLD.
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el guitana
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2008, 04:35:11 PM »

That bridge doctor looks like hope for certain guitars - the pic tells a lot


This design by Jerry Hoffman (Boat Paddle Ukuleles) he admits to borrowing from the Breedlove idea. This sends the stabilizer to the neck block instead, which seems smarter to me. It allows light bracing and works well on my Tenor BP:



(His original design used the heel block) :

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rockstar_not
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2008, 04:55:27 PM »

The way that the JLD thing works is that it pushes against the tail-block, and uses the screw into the bridge as a sort of fulcrum point.  I don't see how that would work by going the other way to the neck block.

The rod you see going from under the bridge to the block has a threaded attachment and you tighten the threaded attachment which effectively lengthens that rod - this in turn, pulls the back side of the bridge towards the body - removing the belly from the top - or so the concept goes.

With my Applause/Ovation, I'll have to epoxy-in some kind of false tail block - a vertical surface, for that rod to push against.  Since it's a shallow bodied bowl, I'm thinking that will be quite difficult to make happen.  Perhaps I just need to take the top off the guitar and try a repail all on my own.

I do own a bottle of Gorilla glue after all!

I'll ask again - does anyone here know how to remove the top of an Applause?  Is there a kerf strip, or does the bowl have a lip that the top is glued to?  Probably time for some mirror action on the inside.
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2008, 06:46:55 PM »

Sorry, I don't know how to remove the top, but I did install a bridge doctor in my Sovereign.  It works great, flattened the belly and increased the resonance.  The action is still high due to the neck being bowed.  Still looking for a cheap fix for that...
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2008, 11:49:34 PM »

Sorry, I don't know how to remove the top, but I did install a bridge doctor in my Sovereign.  It works great, flattened the belly and increased the resonance.  The action is still high due to the neck being bowed.  Still looking for a cheap fix for that...
   Which one did you use?
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2008, 01:08:41 AM »

I'm not sure about removing the top on one of those. They might have used epoxy to attach it to the bowl and that would be a PITA. You could ask on the official lutheris forum.
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2008, 02:56:20 AM »

I'm not sure about removing the top on one of those. They might have used epoxy to attach it to the bowl and that would be a PITA. You could ask on the official lutheris forum.


Jeremy, where is that forum?
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2008, 02:57:42 AM »

http://www.luthiersforum.com/
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mika
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2008, 08:04:02 PM »

   Which one did you use?

I used the one with the screw.  Just like the one pictured here:

 
That bridge doctor looks like hope for certain guitars - the pic tells a lot




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