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Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX

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Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Empty Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX

Post by Barry on Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:35 pm

I have been mulling over a potential additional repair to this guitar. Thinking 
(For those who are not familiar with the initial work done to date you can read the back history HERE)

Although the bridge repair and my 'bridge doctor' are working well there still remains the problem of the sound board bellying up. I was able to reduce but not eliminate it. And the action remains too high for comfortable playing.

What is required is a neck reset.
That is awkward enough on a top end Ovation, but it taxes creativity on these mid level builds.

To whit:

  • The top end models at least have some mechanical fasteners to work with.
    These do not. The neck is epoxied to the body! Beautifully straight and solid, but friggin' glued. In a non intuitive manner!
  • The neck is made of a solid composite plastic! No wood anywhere!


This means that a non traditional and creative approach needs to be taken. After a LONG search I found only one reference to correcting the neck angle, done by an experienced repairer.

The procedure will make those of faint heart gringe and perhaps faint! Yet it makes sense.
The gist of it relies on weights, heat and time. I'll save the details for later when/if I go ahead with this new adventure.

Once again, if there's interest I'll document the journey. Chores1

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Post by corsair on Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:01 pm

yeah, mate - let’s see it!!

This promises to be interesting!!

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Post by Barry on Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:50 pm

Still thinking and planning. It's gotta be done.
But it won't be pretty. Hairy & Wooly

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Post by challpa on Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:34 am

Yes Im keen to see what pain the Ovation can inflict upon you this time - I mean lets see how you go Barry - good Luck   Very Happy
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Post by Barry on Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:32 pm

Guitar "pain" is my middle name.
Serves me right for looking for a challenge, eh?

Trying to get a round back guitar to stay flat in order to work on it is like making love in a canoe, something we Canucks are supposed to be able to do innately.  Confused 2

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Empty I've hit (another) Pain Point

Post by Barry on Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:53 pm

When I said this would be like making love in a canoe, I did that activity a gross disservice.

I'd rather risk a dunking than try to get this ^&*%$# bowl back to stay put!! Head Bang 

The procedure for resetting the neck angle is rather straight forward.
Apply gentle heat to the plastic bowl area where the neck joins the body while the neck is under some downward pressure.

What should happen is the bowl softens and "bends" under the heat then takes on a new neck set when it cools thus lowering the string action.
It may take more than one attempt as there is a tendency for the neck to rise back up when the weight is removed.
Easy huh? Except the main problem is getting the guitar stable and level so I can perform the operation. Angry 2

So far I've been unsuccessful sitting it in a plastic drawer and strapping it down to the workbench. It slips right out.
The recommended method is to use one of those round wooden wreath molds from an arts and crafts store, wrap the edge in water pipe foam insulation and set the guitar into it, with some support under the neck above the joint.

I'm trying to resist having to go to the store and line up just to get this little item. But I may have no choice.
Unless the learned members can think of something?

Meantime I'm stalled out again. Cry Sad

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Post by corsair on Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:39 pm

Pool noodles are cheap but you will have to find some way of keeping the bowl steady...
... how about a large block of styrofoam from a whiteware retailer?
Thinking on here....

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Post by Westbone on Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:27 pm

How far can you tighten the truss rod before it strings out?
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Post by Barry on Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:13 pm

Thanks fellas.

corsair wrote:Pool noodles are cheap but you will have to find some way of keeping the bowl steady...
... how about a large block of styrofoam from a whiteware retailer?
Thinking on here....
Hmm...you might be on to something there John.

I can strap the guitar to the work bench OK using the strap clamp which will wrap around front to back. I did that already using the drawer attempt. But the problem is keeping the guitar from slipping and rolling out.

The noodles just might be enough to cradle the body tightly enough? Thinking


Westbone wrote:How far can you tighten the truss rod before it strings out?
I haven't pushed it Damian.
Right now the neck is dead straight.

I'm a bit leary of pushing it, given the "unusual" construction plus the fact that the neck is plastic.
I'll give it a try but it's a big gap to close eh? I'd hate to break something this late in the game.

It's a goofy guitar but even in this condition it's still kinda fun to play.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Post by ExFender on Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:00 am

You can try half-filled sandbags as a base, pressing the body into it (creating a cavity).  Strap the thing down and do your heaty-bendy.
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Post by Barry on Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:27 am

ExFender wrote:...try half-filled sandbags...
Thanks for the idea Pete.
That would probably work. Assuming I had sand. And bags.
Potentially gritty though, don't like the idea of that around a guitar.

Bean bags might be a better choice methinks. But I don't have those either and don't really want them hanging around afterwards.

I have been playing with sitting the bowl in a small pail and strapping everything down. It feels solid enough and so far it's looking like it may work. But that could change when I try to tie it down though. If it does, the neck is high enough to hang some weight.

If I can stop the damn thing from slipping I'm good to go. The neck has to be level before applying any weight or I risk twisting it.

On it goes. . .

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Guitar10
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Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Empty Preliminary Conditioning

Post by Barry on Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:54 pm

Remember when I said this would not be pretty?

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr26

The bucket is working...so far. But it took a hell of a lot of buggering around with the strap to find the sweet spot and get the guitar to settle.

From there, things got "creative". And a little weird.
I put a 5ilb (2.6 Kg) weight at approximately the bridge to help hold things down a bit more.

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr27

After levelling the guitar, I rigged a support with what I had available and positioned it as well as possible at the neck. Not easy because of course everything has a slope! The best I could manage was a wedge at an angle. I later adjusted it to offer a more solid connection.

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr28

The final touch was to suspend an 8lb (3.6Kg) weight from the head stock. I originally had it before the nut but there was surprisingly not a lot of movement so I decided to gamble and move it out further for more leverage. Fingers are well crossed at this point that something bad doesn't happen!
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr29

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr30

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr31

At least it's a beginning. And oh yeah, I did loosen the truss rod completely before starting. (there was very little movement left to tighten, so sorry Damian, that idea didn't pan out unfortunately)

I'm not too worried about the fret board lifting because...there isn't one! The neck is one solid piece. Of plastic!

Up next!
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr32

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Guitar10
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Post by corsair on Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:21 pm

This is just getting to the good bit!!

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Post by Barry on Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:29 pm

This is just getting to the good bit!!
For you perhaps!
I'm just hoping I don't burn the house down when I switch the heat gun on. Rolling Eyes

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Empty Bringing the Heat!

Post by Barry on Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:32 pm

It's been the better part of a week with the neck under load, and I'm getting some results with just that alone.
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr33

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr35

A straight edge now just "kisses" below the top edge of the bridge.
Before, it was closer to the soundboard!
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr34

The current "cold set" is unlikely to remain stable however, so it's time to get medieval on the plastic!
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr37

I fired up my new heat gun and set it on the lower of the two settings, 1000 watts (about 375°C), which is quite toasty!
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr36

I kept it moving, sweeping the area behind the neck joint all the way across, and going up the inside of the cutaway. All the time being careful not to hit the binding or the actual joint area.
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr38

The goal is to soften the bowl area (slightly) so that it will give a bit and allow the neck to relax and pick up a the new lower position.
I'm purposely staying away from the neck joint itself.

I do not want to loosen up any epoxy or other nasty stuff that might be holding things together.
Trying fix that would be a bloody nightmare! affraid

I'm leaving things to set for another day and like shampooing I'll heat and repeat!

_________________
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Post by ExFender on Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:10 pm

OOUUUU!  I would have suggested using the "fan" nozzle as the normal concentrates all the heat to a very narrow area.  However, with the fan nozzle attached, you wuoldn't have enough room to move around (the thing extends another 2 to 3 inches).

Like you say, slow and easy (and don't hiccup!).
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Post by Barry on Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:21 pm

Concentrated heat is what I was after.
I may try the fan nozzle on the next go 'round.

I was deliberately wanting to get the heat in specific spots rather sweep the general area which might spill over into the neck joint which I do not want.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Post by ExFender on Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:30 pm

I sort of wonder if the original owner might have left the guitar in a car on a HOT summer day, going by the issues you've encountered.  I've nearly jumped on a number of Celebrity offers over the past 2 years basing my interest on the Ovation name and the price, glad I didn't.  The sellers were likely selling for the very reasons you've encountered.
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Post by Barry on Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:56 pm

You know it's a bloody shame what's happened to the Ovation brand.

They still make some very beautiful (and expensive) guitars but somewhere along the way they started introducing "less expensive" versions of some of their more popular models in the guise of the Celebrity line. Fair enough Fender, Gibson, PRS all do it

Then Celebrities became popular and got more fancy (and more expensive), so they introduced an even cheaper line, Applause. Absolute rubbish. So poor they didn't even use the Ovation name on the head stock!

So then they split the Celebrity line into levels of quality with the top end being extremely well made using good materials and the absolute bottom (entry/budget) made with mass produced parts comprised mainly of plastic composites.

Mine is a CC model but there is a corresponding CS (Standard) version with a real wood neck and fret board plus better finish and inlays.

The bridge construction is problematic if it hasn't been attached properly as we've seen with this cheaper guitar, and it will lift up. But the top end models aren't any worse than any other guitar brand. I have a 1983 Collectors Edition since new and a 1990 Elite, both going strong!

So, Pete don't let my little escapade put you off Ovations. I bought this as a project to goof around with but I have 2 top models and they're rock solid and superb players. And even this silly little guitar does play very well.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Empty Neck Rest Part Deux!

Post by Barry on Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:09 pm

After what seems to be forever, using the weights and some heat, I only managed to move the neck a small amount, probably about .010" only:

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr40

And to get even that I heated it and got a little "medieval" on the neck. When I pushed on it I managed to get a resounding "crack", at which point I stopped for fear of breaking the neck joint completely!

Time for another approach.

I decided to reverse everything and try pushing from the opposite side:
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr45

Back to the heat gun, on the bowl only, trying again to avoid the neck joint.
The neck is raised for leverage and the plastic bowl was quite hot.
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr42

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr41

So far, hard to see, but this time it's with the strings on and up to pitch. Fingers crossed!
If it doesn't move I'll simply try again, and hope the plastic doesn't melt!!

Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Celebr43

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
Ovation Celebrity CC28 for Repair REDUX Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
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