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1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...

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DanSavage
Posted 2015-11-29 8:58 PM (#518943)
Subject: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

And, so it begins... Again...

I bought this BFLG guitar last October. (2014)

At the time I didn't really have any plans for it other than to rebuild it and save another Ovation from the scrap heap. This baby has definitely seen some action.

The top was completely off the guitar and broken into several pieces. Luckily, it came with an intact bridge, still attached to the sound board. I'm not sure if I'll be using this one or not. I've got an ebony bridge that came with another BFLG gutiar I bought and I really like how the bridge matches the fret board.

The new top will be made from torrefied Sitka spruce for both the sound board and the brace stock.

The binding and purfling are intact, but these will be removed because it's easier to replace these than to try to fit the sound board into the place inside them. The only reason why I fit the sound board inside on my 1619 was because I wanted to save the original abalone purfling. BWB, etc., purfling --meh.

Even though the original had A-braces, I'm going to use the custom forward X-bracing I used on my 1619. I really like how it sounds and I want to compare it to a torrefied guitar of the same era that uses the same braces. I'm going to try to make this guitar as identically to that one as I can.

The head stock and neck are in pretty rough shape. These will probably need to be sanded down to bare wood and refinished. The front of the head stock is in good enough shape that I think I can preserve the original decal.

The back of the bowl is in pretty good shape, so there's nothing to do here.

The binding on the neck is missing, so this will need to be replaced. There's also some pretty serious finger grooves in the ebony. The frets will need to be removed to fix the fret board and put new binding in place. I will be using EVO gold frets.

I puy my 1619 brace pattern mock-up into place so I could check the neck angle --looks good. No need for a neck reset here.

First step is to remove all traces of the top from under the fret board.

Next, remove the binding and purfling and clean up the excess glue and wood.

 

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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2015-11-29 9:25 PM (#518944 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 498

Location: moline,illinois
Seeing you rebuild guitars is really cool and allows views of the inside that would not be possible in an intact guitar,so out of curiosity how is the neck attached I don't see any bolts so were these glued in?Good luck and we're all looking forward to your progress updates!
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-11-30 8:50 AM (#518957 - in reply to #518944)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Hi Kevin,

Yes. The necks were glued into the block using epoxy. I did think about using Ken's (arumako) technique for removing the neck and converting it to a bolt-on neck. Since the neck angle is acceptable, I decided to add the top with the neck in place.

Thanks!

Dan
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-07 9:12 AM (#519172 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

While I'm waiting for the tools to come in that I need to remove the frets and sand the fingerboard I decided to start working on the new top wood.

This top will be made from torrefied Sitka spruce with torrefied Sitka spruce braces. The braces will be glued to the top using Old Brown Glue. (hide glue)

Here are the braces, ripped to size and scallops cut and sanded. I am going to hold off tapering them until I get the top cut out and I know how much needs to be removed from the length.

The top has been jointed and is being glued together using OBG. I'll pull it out of the go bar deck tonight.



Edited by DanSavage 2015-12-07 9:13 AM
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-16 12:09 AM (#519397 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Top wood is jointed, rough cut, thickness sanded and the sound hole is cut out and fitted to the bowl.

I've decided to revert this guitar from a 1617 to a 1117, meaning it'll be an acoustic-only instead of an acoustic-electric. I've got an ebony bridge that came with another project guitar I acquired that I'll be using on this guitar instead of the bridge that was mounted to the soundboard. I like how the bridge matches the fretboard. I'll be using a bone bridge saddle and nut on this guitar.

I'm going to use the same custom forward X-brace pattern on this guitar that I used on my 1619. Brace locations are traced onto the back of the sound board.

Braces have been fitted into place. Next step is to taper the braces. Once they're tapered, I'll be ready to glue the braces to the sound board.

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DetlefMichel
Posted 2015-12-16 4:04 AM (#519405 - in reply to #519397)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 597

Location: Muenster/Germany
And again your work is really stunning. But did you ever consider to re-build an A-bracing? For me only these guitars have the real Ovation sound. The x-braced guitars sound like Martin (never mind Martin guitars, I have a lovely D 45, but I love my old custom legends as well-because of their mellow sound).
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BanjoJ
Posted 2015-12-16 4:12 AM (#519406 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
September 2012
Posts: 783

Location: Thredbo, NSW, Australia
Lovely work Dan, and thanks again for going to so much trouble documenting it for us.
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arumako
Posted 2015-12-16 9:57 AM (#519415 - in reply to #519397)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 877

Location: Yokohama, Japan
DanSavage - 2015-12-15 2:09 PM

I've decided to revert this guitar from a 1617 to a 1117, meaning it'll be an acoustic-only instead of an acoustic-electric.

Another great project DanSavage! Looking forward to following your progress and learning a bunch more from you. Thanks again for sharing! I was wondering why you decided to turn this one into an acoustic only 1117-4?
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-16 10:10 AM (#519416 - in reply to #519405)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
DetlefMichel - 2015-12-16 2:04 AM

And again your work is really stunning. But did you ever consider to re-build an A-bracing? For me only these guitars have the real Ovation sound. The x-braced guitars sound like Martin (never mind Martin guitars, I have a lovely D 45, but I love my old custom legends as well-because of their mellow sound).


Thanks! I'm one of the few Ovation owners who's not really a fan of the A-brace pattern. They have a balanced sound which does sound nice. But, I prefer the brighter sound of X-braced guitars. The forward X-brace I'm using sounds similar to an Ovation LX brace guitar.
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-16 10:12 AM (#519417 - in reply to #519406)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
BanjoJ - 2015-12-16 2:12 AM

Lovely work Dan, and thanks again for going to so much trouble documenting it for us.


Thanks, Paul. I probably won't go into all the details of the build because much of it will be similar to previous threads. But, I will highlight areas which I haven't done before, such as replacing the missing binding around the neck.
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-16 10:23 AM (#519419 - in reply to #519415)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
arumako - 2015-12-16 7:57 AM
Another great project DanSavage! Looking forward to following your progress and learning a bunch more from you. Thanks again for sharing! I was wondering why you decided to turn this one into an acoustic only 1117-4?


Thanks, Ken.

My original plan was to make it into an A/E with an OP-Pro like I did with the 1619. I was reading a recent post by Old Man Arthur about how when you plug an acoustic into the amp, you're not really hearing the acoustic. What you're hearing is the pickup.

Since the top on this guitar is torrefied, none of the great sound it makes would come through the pickup. If you watch all of the online videos of torrefied guitars, none are amplified. They're all being played into a mic of some sort.

Plus, I've already got a bunch of A/E Ovation guitars I could plug into an amp, so I really don't need another one, especially since the torrefied sound can only really be heard naturally. If I do decide to give this guitar the ability to plug in, I could always install a thin-line bridge pickup system.

I've been thinking about scratch-building a wood-backed Ovation-clone and I'd rather save the money for that project instead of amplifying this guitar.
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arumako
Posted 2015-12-16 5:49 PM (#519451 - in reply to #519419)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 877

Location: Yokohama, Japan

DanSavage - 2015-12-16 12:23 AM

I've been thinking about scratch-building a wood-backed Ovation-clone and I'd rather save the money for that project instead of amplifying this guitar.


Now, that would be something to behold! I'm sure you've already seen this on FB, but I was just astonished by this...

WoodbackO

Ovation has verified the material as "wood" on their FB page in the comments under this photo! No response on "what kind of wood" yet though. Just some really cool creative stuff happening at the new O! I'm pretty sure a wood backed O will sound incredibly spectacular...like a woodback O with a torrefied top? Yikes...Pretty soon, you're going to have to start your own brand, Dan!

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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-16 11:10 PM (#519473 - in reply to #519451)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

arumako - 2015-12-16 3:49 PM

WoodbackO

Ovation has verified the material as "wood" on their FB page in the comments under this photo! No response on "what kind of wood" yet though. Just some really cool creative stuff happening at the new O! I'm pretty sure a wood backed O will sound incredibly spectacular...like a woodback O with a torrefied top? Yikes...Pretty soon, you're going to have to start your own brand, Dan!

WRT my own brand, we'll have to see how the first one turns out.

I just noticed something interesting in that photo Ovation posted. They put the strap button inside the cut-away where I suggested. Kewl!

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arumako
Posted 2015-12-17 3:12 AM (#519481 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 877

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Whoa! I missed that one. "Kewl" is right. I really love the creative R&D spirit that DW is bringing to Ovation! Looking forward to following your progress again!
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-18 12:10 AM (#519505 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I tapered the braces.



And, cut the notches in the X-braces for the reinforcement strip.

I'll glue the braces to the top tomorrow night.

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T.R.
Posted 2015-12-18 1:30 AM (#519506 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
May 2015
Posts: 186

Location: Glendora, CA
Simply amazing and inspiring Dan.
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-19 9:45 AM (#519550 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Thanks, Tennessee.

I glued the braces down last night. I'll pull them out tonight and verify the neck angle.

Assuming the neck angle is good, the next steps are to pull the remaining frets and start sanding the neck. First to be sanded will be the fret board to remove the fingernail grooves and then, clean up the fret slots.

After that, it'll be time to sand the finish off the back of the neck and head. Once all the finish is off, I'll put new binding on the sides of the fret board.



Edited by DanSavage 2015-12-19 9:47 AM
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-21 9:39 AM (#519601 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Pulled the sound board up from the go bar deck. Checked the neck angle. Everything looks good.

Removed the remaining frets from the fingerboard. Cleaned the glue from the fret slots and rough sanded with 80-grit to 10" radius using my *new* Stewmac 8" Radius Block. All the fingernail grooves are gone.

Before:

After:

Sanded the fingerboard with progressively finer grades of sandpaper. I stopped at 800-grit. There's a few chip-outs, but I can live with these. They look a lot worse in the photo than they do in person and will be even less visible once I oil the fingerboard after the guitar is finished.



Looking down along the length of the fingerboard reveals a glossy surface.

Next job is to sand the finish off the back of the neck and head stock and sand the front of the head stock to flatten it. Once that's done, I'll add the binding back to the sides of the fingerboard and shape them down to match the neck profile.

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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2015-12-21 10:44 AM (#519603 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 498

Location: moline,illinois
Nice shiny fretboard there,when you were sanding did you just avoid the inlays or put something on them to protect them from scratches.
As always very cool to see your work!!
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-21 11:46 AM (#519608 - in reply to #518943)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks!

Nope. Sanded right over them, starting with 80-grit and ending with 800-grit. This is how inlays are done. They usually stand slightly proud of the surrounding wood when they're first inlaid and are sanded flush.

When I first started sanding with the 80-grit, the inlays dulled down, naturally. But, as I got to the higher grits their luster and depth came back so they're looking real purty again.

Edited by DanSavage 2015-12-21 11:47 AM
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-21 11:51 AM (#519610 - in reply to #519405)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
DetlefMichel - 2015-12-16 2:04 AM

And again your work is really stunning. But did you ever consider to re-build an A-bracing? For me only these guitars have the real Ovation sound. The x-braced guitars sound like Martin (never mind Martin guitars, I have a lovely D 45, but I love my old custom legends as well-because of their mellow sound).


I've been thinking about this and I think it would be interesting to some day re-do a Legend or Custom Legend with torrefied Sitka spruce top and A-braces just to see how a 75-100 year-old Ovation A-brace guitar would sound.

Edited by DanSavage 2015-12-21 11:52 AM
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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2015-12-21 4:38 PM (#519633 - in reply to #519608)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 498

Location: moline,illinois
DanSavage - 2015-12-21 11:46 AM

Thanks!

Nope. Sanded right over them, starting with 80-grit and ending with 800-grit. This is how inlays are done. They usually stand slightly proud of the surrounding wood when they're first inlaid and are sanded flush.

When I first started sanding with the 80-grit, the inlays dulled down, naturally. But, as I got to the higher grits their luster and depth came back so they're looking real purty again.


So I have a couple Custom Legends where the abalone inlays appear to have dulled out over time(someone suggested to me UV fading) would it be possible to sand these progressively to bring back there luster?
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BanjoJ
Posted 2015-12-21 6:08 PM (#519637 - in reply to #519601)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
September 2012
Posts: 783

Location: Thredbo, NSW, Australia
DanSavage - 2015-12-22 2:39 AM
Cleaned the glue from the fret slots and rough sanded with 80-grit to 10" radius using my *new* Stewmac 8" Radius Block.

Am I missing something here? How do you get a 10" radius with an 8" radius block?
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-21 7:56 PM (#519645 - in reply to #519633)
Subject: Re: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
2wheeldrummer - 2015-12-21 2:38 PM
So I have a couple Custom Legends where the abalone inlays appear to have dulled out over time(someone suggested to me UV fading) would it be possible to sand these progressively to bring back there luster?


Unless you want to remove all the frets, then replace them, I would use something like 0000 steel wool to polish the abalone inlays.

I was able to start with 80-grit and work my way up to 800-grit only because the frets didn't get in the way. And, the only reason I did that was because of the fingernail divots. Had the fingerboard and frets been in better shape I would have left them alone.
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DanSavage
Posted 2015-12-21 7:58 PM (#519646 - in reply to #519637)
Subject: RE: 1978 1617 Legend Rebuild...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2023

Location: Lake Forest, CA
BanjoJ - 2015-12-21 4:08 PM

Am I missing something here? How do you get a 10" radius with an 8" radius block?


Careful sanding? LOL!

The sanding blocks are 8" long and are available in a variety of radii ranging from 7.25" up to 20".
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