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1967 Balladeer Rebuild...

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DanSavage
Posted 2015-06-06 4:45 PM (#511374 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Paul,

Yes, I would definitely recommend starting with as early of an O as possible to gain the benefit of the thinner, hand-laid bowl. If you can find a 60s O that has the molded fiberglass kerfing, that would be even better. IMO, the molded kerfing used on the 60s Os acts like the suspension ring used on the Adamii. I'm not sure when O went to the thick plastic kerfing, but both of my 1970s CL use them. As you know, my 1619 doesn't seem to suffer too much from this 'handicap.' I was surprised how much my 1619 sounded like 485.

Torrefied Adirondack spruce soundboards are available. I bought mine through Blues Creek Guitars, but they're out of stock right now.

RC Tonewood has some torrefied Adirondack spruce, (See: Torrefied Adirondack Red Spruce) as does Colonial Tonewoods. (See: Torrefied Adirondack Spruce Guitar Tops) Both are pretty pricey, but not as expensive as what I paid through Blues Creek Guitars.

Torrefied Adirondack braces might be a little more difficult to come by. Stewmac is the only supplier I've seen that offers torrefied brace wood, but that's Sitka. A lot of places sell Adirondack spruce brace stock, but none that I've seen sell torrefied Adirondack.

 

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clrules
Posted 2015-06-26 8:48 AM (#512940 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
September 2005
Posts: 107

Location: Birmingham, AL
Very intersting. I haven't been on here for quite awhile and then run up on this.Just curious I have a Balladeer #2486 which should be a 68 or so. My guitar has the caving top thing going on but is still very playable and the neck set is still good. If you wouldn't mind, as a future consideration, could you please send me a private message about the approximate cost to do this?
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-06-26 7:35 PM (#512960 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

If you recall from our last episode, Jay ordered two sets of torrefied Sitka spruce wood from Stewmac. When the order arrived, both sets were very nice looking, but they didn't match each other in grain or coloration. (batch 1)

So, we sent the least desirable set back to Stewmac and they sent out a replacement set once they came back into stock. (batch 2)

The batch 2 wood was still very nice, but alas, while a part of the grain was as tight as batch 1, it didn't have the silking or the coloration of batch 1.

After some consideration, Jay decided that we would make this a two-piece top using batch 1. As much as we wanted to duplicate the originality of the guitar, this was proving very difficult to do.

Here's batch 1. Notice the tight grain and beautiful silking.



Batch 1 behind the top template that gives a good idea how the guitar will look once it's complete.



Here's batch 2. Slightly looser grain and not as much silking.



Here's batch 2 behind the top template.

It's worth noting that both batches of wood have really nice tap tones and I'm going to keep batch 2 and use it on my 1978 1617. I'm going to buy some torrefied Sitka spruce uncut brace stock to duplicate the brace pattern on my 1976 1619 CL.

Here's a pic showing batch 1 and 2 behind the top template that shows the difference in coloration between the two. It's just different enough that the three-piece top would stand out for all the wrong reasons.

Just for the fun of it, I sprayed batch 1 with naptha to simulate what the wood will look like under the final finish, then compared it to the original top.

Now that this is settled, I'm going to get started on jointing the batch 1, then do some experimentation to taper the top just like was done on the original, which is no simple task.

Another area that needs development is the headstock markings. I found the font (Arabian Normal) online. I also found a company that supplies components that will allow me to create custom rub-down transfers using satin gold like what was used on the original guitar.

Here's a mock-up of the markings. Next-up is to make the rub-downs.

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jay
Posted 2015-06-26 8:34 PM (#512964 - in reply to #512960)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1229

Location: Texas

For some reason, Dan omitted my other request. When we failed to match three planks on the 2nd try with Stewmac, I asked him to go 

HERE

to see if he could find a blade we could use to recreate the three planks in the original top. It was just a couple hours drive for him.

For some reason we lost our connection and I guess his phone was on the blink for several days after that, because it appeared he couldnt hear it ring.

Anyway...this remains a project that continues to get better with each post...thanks again Dan!

 



Edited by jay 2015-06-26 8:36 PM
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arumako
Posted 2015-06-26 8:50 PM (#512965 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 877

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Geez...DanSavage...another exciting summer on the BFLG! Your resourcefulness and insights are always inspiring! Thanks for sharing!
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-06-26 9:19 PM (#512968 - in reply to #512964)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
amosmoses - 2015-06-26 6:34 PM

For some reason, Dan omitted my other request. When we failed to match three planks on the 2nd try with Stewmac, I asked him to go 

HERE

to see if he could find a blade we could use to recreate the three planks in the original top.



LOL!

If you notice, those are Sikorsky S-58 helicopters, not Kaman Huskies. Also, not a rotor blade in sight.

Edited by DanSavage 2015-06-26 9:31 PM
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marenostrum
Posted 2015-06-27 9:24 AM (#512976 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
August 2007
Posts: 1003

Location: Tuscany, Italy
very nice.....kudos to DAN...
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-06-28 4:58 PM (#513013 - in reply to #512976)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks, Ricardo.
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Nancy
Posted 2015-07-08 6:42 PM (#513260 - in reply to #511365)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
December 2014
Posts: 1713

Location: Frozen Tundra of Minnesota
As per your usual, VERY interesting, educational and inspiring Dr Savage!!!
When you let Paul play it, could you perhaps video it, so that we can all hear it with the torrified wood? I had read about that at Stewmac's, and am interested to see if the artificial aging makes the difference they say!

It is so interesting to follow along with your Projects!! Thank You so much for sharing!!!
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-07-09 1:35 PM (#513291 - in reply to #513260)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Hi Nancy,

Thanks for the kind words.

I'd be happy to video Paul playing it and post it on FB to share here.

Things are going a little slowly right now because of the irons I've got in the fire. I did get a chance to join the top wood.

Next task is to rout the rosette slot and sound hole and build the tooling to allow me to taper the thickness of the top wood.

Dan
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-08-01 10:20 AM (#513986 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

The stuff I needed to continue has arrived and work is continuing.

As you may recall, the top wood needs to be tapered. There are two ways to do this, well, three actually.

1) Use a jack plane and taper it by hand.
2) Use a power sander (orbital or belt) and taper it by hand.
3) Make a tapered fixture to hold the wood at the precise angle needed and run it through a thickness sander.

I don't relish choice #1 so, this method is out.

I have a orbital sander and tried tapering some scrap spruce. This is a long, laborious process, so this method is out, too.

Which brings us to choice #3. I had talked to the woodworking guy about the fixture previously and he made suggestions about the spacing and thickness of the wood used and we agreed that 1/4" birch ply spaced on 2" squares with a 1/4" birch ply top would probably be sufficient to hold the weight of the pressure rollers without distorting the top wood. In the end I decided to add a bottom layer of 1/4" ply to make the fixture very stiff. With a top layer alone, it might want to bend. Adding a bottom layer forms a cantilever beam.

Luckily, my laser-cutting guy is able to cut 1/4" birch ply. So, I was able to design the parts needed. Basically, the top wood will need to taper from 1/8" (.125") at the top by the neck to 3/32" (.094") down near the bottom of the lower bout. One of the nice things about CAD-designed laser-cut parts is that the measurements can be very precise.

At 2" centers, the size of the fixture requires 13 ribs and 11 spars. And, here they are.



Another requirement is that the fixture be very flat. If there's any cupping or curvature, it will transfer this warping to the top wood when it goes through the sander. So, my solution is to use the stone table tops from a couple of end tables that belonged to my wife's granddad. Not only are they very flat, but because they're heavy, they will clam the fixture with a very even pressure while the glue dries.

First, lay down the base and cover it with a piece of visqueen.



Lay down the bottom layer of wood. The maximum size of wood the laser cutter can handle is 12" x 48", so I had to make the top and bottom layers in two pieces. The brown lines are alignment marks I added and were etched by the laser.

Add beads of glue (Hysol 9462) where the ribs and spars will be.

Add the spars, and put a bead of glue on top.

Add the ribs and put a bead of glue on top of these, too.

Add the first half of the top layer.

Add the second layer and tape some visqueen on top of that to keep the glue from sticking to the stone.

Lastly, put the stone on top and let the glue dry.

I'll pull the fixture out later today.

In the meantime, I'm going to prepare the practice wood for jointing. One of the things the woodworking guy and I agreed on was that we should practice first before we run the real top wood through the sander. I also bought more practice wood to use to knock the rust from my rosette routing and sound hole cutting skills.

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DanSavage
Posted 2015-08-01 8:04 PM (#514013 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I've got the practice top wood jointed and I'm waiting for the glue to dry.

I've been wanting to try Old Brown Glue for a while now, so I decided the practice top wood joint would be a good place to try it. It's hide glue that's had urea added to it to extend the working time. You heat it up in a double-boiler just like regular hide glue to thin it down. So far, I like it.

I'll know tomorrow when I pull the top wood out of the go bar deck how strong the glue is.

After that, I'll take a couple of practice runs with the router and circle cutting tool and if everything works okay, I'll route the rosette groove and cut the sound hole on the practice wood and then again, on the torrefied top wood.



Edited by DanSavage 2015-08-01 8:05 PM
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clrules
Posted 2015-08-02 2:04 PM (#514040 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
September 2005
Posts: 107

Location: Birmingham, AL
Dan, you're an inspiration to all of the Bottom Feeders. I had shied away from repairing acoustics but your knowledge and mentoring has been excellent. The realization that Ovations are pretty durable also makes them somewhat easy to repair.

Edited by clrules 2015-08-02 2:05 PM
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SOBeach
Posted 2015-08-02 3:21 PM (#514044 - in reply to #512964)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
April 2010
Posts: 823

Location: sitting at my computer

amosmoses - .... I asked him to go 

HERE

heeheehee     ... but not a blade in sight!

 

Anyway...this remains a project that continues to get better with each post

+1    Keep on keepin' on Dan!

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moody, p.i.
Posted 2015-08-02 3:32 PM (#514045 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15308

Location: SoCal
We "trolls" like this thread......
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clrules
Posted 2015-08-03 5:08 AM (#514058 - in reply to #514045)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
September 2005
Posts: 107

Location: Birmingham, AL
immoody - 2015-08-02 3:32 PM

We "trolls" like this thread......


Yes, we do
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-08-03 9:37 AM (#514061 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Thanks, guys. I'm glad you enjoy me geeking out.

Thanks for the kind words, Paul. Yeah, once you realize that guitars are just bits and pieces of wood that have been glued and screwed together working on them becomes a lot less intimidating. I've been working on my own guitars since before I knew better. The knowledge gained building and repairing model airplanes transfers directly to building and repairing guitars, especially since the tools and materials are the same for both.

And, speaking of geeking out, back to the thread. I pulled the sanding fixture out from between the stones and added alignment strips. The woodworking guy suggested I add these so prevent the wood from slipping out of the fixture as it runs through the sander.

I also pulled the practice wood out of the go bar deck. Here it is sitting in the fixture. The Old Brown Glue seems to have worked pretty well.



And, here's the final wood sitting in the fixture.



The next job is to route the rosette groove and cut the sound hole. Once these are done on both the practice wood and the final wood, I'll take them in to get the taper sanded.



Edited by DanSavage 2015-08-03 9:38 AM
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seesquare
Posted 2015-08-03 6:35 PM (#514087 - in reply to #514061)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3163

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Uh, is the tapering going to throw off your rosette channel? It should be slightly thicker/deeper at the neck-end, versus the bridge-end, right? Now, who's being finicky, here?
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seesquare
Posted 2015-08-03 6:37 PM (#514088 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3163

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Actually, I'm just trying to pay attention.
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-08-03 9:45 PM (#514104 - in reply to #514087)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

seesquare - 2015-08-03 4:35 PM

Uh, is the tapering going to throw off your rosette channel? It should be slightly thicker/deeper at the neck-end, versus the bridge-end, right? Now, who's being finicky, here?


Thicker at the neck-end. Per Charlie's original patent (See: Guitar construction US 3474697 A):

The soundboard 16 is longitudinally tapered from a maximum thickness at its upper end to a minimum thickness at its lower end, as best shown in FIG. 2. For structural reasons it is desirable that the soundbox be of greatest strength in the region where the neck is joined thereto, and for this reason the soundboard is of greatest thickness in this upper region. The tapered configuration of the soundboard provides ample thickness in the region of the sound opening 18 and the bridge 28 while the decrease in thickness in the region of the lower bout 42 permits maximum excursion in the latter region. For added strength and durability it is desirable that the soundboard be further reinforced.


No, it won't throw off the rosette groove (channel) because the groove will be routed in the front of the top before tapering and the taper will be sanded on the back.

Measuring the top wood that came off Jay's guitar revealed that it is 1/8" at the top and 3/32" at the bottom. Paul confirmed this with his 1968 Balladeer.



Edited by DanSavage 2015-08-03 9:47 PM
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seesquare
Posted 2015-08-03 11:06 PM (#514109 - in reply to #514104)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3163

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
OK, then. That works. Thanks.
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-08-04 9:06 AM (#514115 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
I never noticed before, but if you look at the soundboard thickness in FIG. 2, you can see that it's tapered.

See: https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pages/US3474697-0.png
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seesquare
Posted 2015-08-04 4:18 PM (#514121 - in reply to #514115)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3163

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Well, I be jiggered; you're right! Thanks!
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-08-08 5:25 PM (#514188 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: RE: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I had a few free hours today, so I decided it was time to route the grooves and cut the sound holes into the practice top and the final torrefied top.

Before beginning, I cut the notches in the upper bout and fit the wood to the neck. I also decided to leave cutting the outline until after the wood is tapered.

I wasn't as rusty as I thought. I only needed four attempts on the extra practice wood I ordered. The final one turned out nearly perfect. I figured it was now or never, so I did the practice top first.

Here's the practice top, ready for the sander.

And, the torrefied top.

Here's the rosette in the torrefied top.

And, how it'll look on the guitar.

I'll call the woodworking shop first thing Monday morning and make an appointment to sand the tops.

Pics to follow. Just for the fun of it, I'll take some pics during the sanding process to share with everyone.

 

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clrules
Posted 2015-08-08 7:34 PM (#514190 - in reply to #494306)
Subject: Re: 1967 Balladeer Rebuild...


Joined:
September 2005
Posts: 107

Location: Birmingham, AL
Beautimus!!

Did you use the Old Brown Glue on both tops?

Edited by clrules 2015-08-08 7:38 PM
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