Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Repairing a 1970's Ovation

I don't really like doing repairs, too much stress working on someone else's instrument. However when I got asked about this one I thought it would be a good challenge. That and well I really could not make it any worse....

The serial number says this is about a 1973 Ovation Classical and as you can see it had a hard knock and some VERY bad repair attempts (multiple).. The deal was the owner simply wanted a playable instrument, cosmetics were less important as the guitar overall is pretty beat up..

Step one was get rid of the wood screws!!!!!!!! Then clean up as much of the old glue as possible and try and get the parts to fit back together. This was the hardest part of this and I was worried I would not get the pieces back in any form that would be stable enough for the next steps.. Eventually got there and the two pieces were joined with medium CA glue..

Next route out as much of the damage back into good wood as possible and add in new Mahogany splines..

Then these shims could be carved to match the neck. White is an epoxy putty used to fill some gaps where things were solid  and I did not want to route out larger pieces of the neck, it goes on dark but unfortunately dries almost white.. errr..

Then trying to add some colour to match the original and add some finish. Ovations finish is THICK so it was a bit challenging to get a good "seam" between the repair and the original but by using some UV Cure finish I got an OK result.

 Because of the condition of the guitar and time/cost considerations I did not do things like try and maintain the full neck center stripe. I prioritized playability over cosmetics..

Here is the finished result with a new truss rod cover (old one was broken/missing) and all strung up back in one piece again..

I should also give credit to where I got the idea for this repair method..

It came from a Canadian Luthier Ted Woodford He's got a pretty good youtube channel and I really like his repair thought process..

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