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1978 1117-4 Legend...

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DanSavage
Posted 2016-12-30 10:30 AM (#531569)
Subject: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

After playing the 1717, Paul Moody really wanted his own torrefied Adi spruce, A-brace, Legend. He told me after playing the 1717 that he would keep an eye out for a hulk needing repair. I suggested that we didn't have to look for a broken-down guitar. We could always just re-top the Legend he already owns.

To the best of my recollection, and I'll let Paul correct me here if I get anything wrong, but he bought this guitar years ago, played it, put it away for a while, then pulled it out again and really didn't like how it sounded.

So, he sent the guitar back to the MS and had them re-build it with a hand-laid bowl, new Sitka spruce top and A-braces in place of the VT-10 or VT-11 braces. It also got a 5-point rosewood bridge.

So, Paul dropped off his guitar this past Tuesday. (12-27) Daren and I were already hard at work pulling the tops off the 1528 and the 1612, so we decided to add this guitar to the task list and get the top off it at the same time. (practice makes perfect!)

Here's a couple of pics showing how it looked before we got started. I'll be doing this guitar in tandem with the 1528 and 1612. Since a lot of the steps to do this job have already been detailed on previous threads, I'll just hit the highlights.

Hardware is off.



Binding is off.



Hot water on the fretboard extension. Rosette has been removed for re-use.



Top is off. This is the cleanest removal I've ever done.

 

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moody, p.i.
Posted 2016-12-30 10:43 AM (#531570 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15096

Location: SoCal
Dan, it's interesting to note that the braces aren't shaved in any way. Is this standard from what you've seen?
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DanSavage
Posted 2016-12-30 5:38 PM (#531582 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
It must be something in the photo because the braces look exactly like my 1617.

We got the rosewood 5-point bridge off the top today. It looks like we'll be able to re-use it. Not sure about the rosette. Whomever glued it on put the glue on in creative swirls. I'll post pics of it.
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DanSavage
Posted 2016-12-31 12:28 PM (#531598 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: RE: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Here's the pics of the removed bridge.

I still need to clean up the underside, but it came off pretty cleanly.

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moody, p.i.
Posted 2016-12-31 4:57 PM (#531605 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15096

Location: SoCal
I love the 5 point rosewood bridge.
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jay
Posted 2016-12-31 9:23 PM (#531608 - in reply to #531605)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1119

Location: Texas

Paul or Dan, was the 5 point leftover from the 40th RI's?

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Cavalier
Posted 2017-01-01 12:37 AM (#531610 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2013
Posts: 339

Location: undisclosed
II think things like this are best done to tops that are broken, then you are saving something no one would?could play.
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-01 12:59 AM (#531612 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15096

Location: SoCal
I think you use what's avaible to you and make the best decisions you can. And then not second guess others. By your standards, I never would have had a new body put on it years ago and would, still today, have the crappiest sounding Ovation in existence.
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Cavalier
Posted 2017-01-01 1:48 PM (#531619 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2013
Posts: 339

Location: undisclosed
Well there you go, the bird in hand approach works for you! For others I think economics are important. Donor guitar with broken top=small change $. Selling crappy sounding guitars should cover donor costs and materials, selling better sounding guitar with mothership body should cover all that plus some of the work. The advantage you'll have with what you and Dan are doing is a neck you are used to and the rest of us will also get a first hand account of the sound comparison. Don't get me wrong, doing things for science is appreciated but the upgrader on a budget can benefit from adding it all up.
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-01 9:07 PM (#531636 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15096

Location: SoCal
My days of spending money on guitars is past. I'm downsizing. Dan will tell you that I agonized a bit over the sacrafice of my Legend. But if it goes as expected, then I'll have a guitar that gets played a lot instead of one that gets played occasionally. Someday remind me to tell you the story about the 87C where the only original parts are the label and the tuning keys.....

Edited by moody, p.i. 2017-01-01 9:09 PM
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Old Man Arthur
Posted 2017-01-01 9:36 PM (#531637 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
September 2006
Posts: 9989

Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
Kinda like my Grandpa's hammer?
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-02 8:25 AM (#531641 - in reply to #531636)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
moody, p.i. - 2017-01-01 7:07 PM

My days of spending money on guitars is past. I'm downsizing. Dan will tell you that I agonized a bit over the sacrifice of my Legend. But if it goes as expected, then I'll have a guitar that gets played a lot instead of one that gets played occasionally. Someday remind me to tell you the story about the 87C where the only original parts are the label and the tuning keys.....


This would have been my point. At first, both of us were flip-flopping over whether to take apart a perfectly-good guitar. But, if by taking the top off the guitar and replacing it with another one that will inspire you to play it more, then there's nothing wrong with doing it, IMHO.

At the end of the day, these guitars, including your MS-rebuilt Legend, are just garden-variety Ovations. It would be a different matter if this were a true collectible, such as a guitar that Glen Campbell used weekly on his TV show, etc.





Edited by DanSavage 2017-01-02 8:29 AM
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Cavalier
Posted 2017-01-02 12:29 PM (#531648 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2013
Posts: 339

Location: undisclosed
Perhaps that is true for now but as supplies suffer attrition through the years the garden variety will become more collectible. As with cars etc.... everything has to get past the stage of when it is merely "used" to where it becomes a classic. It is in those times that the most loss happens. Ovations are interesting in that the bowls may keep going way down the road, perhaps the top will be considered a wear item? History may attach more value to those torrified Dan Savage rebuilds among the future Ovation cognoscenti as well. My point is that there are many hard to repair cracked or broken tops out there to use as retop candidates while these guitars are in their junkyard phase.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-03 8:17 AM (#531660 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Yes, I understood your point. I just happen to disagree with it.
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BCam
Posted 2017-01-03 9:05 AM (#531662 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 137

Plus, Dan and his brother are starting with a guitar that they know well and are unlikely to run into any unexpected problems.
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Cavalier
Posted 2017-01-03 12:34 PM (#531664 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2013
Posts: 339

Location: undisclosed
I'm as interested as the next guy in the direct comparison. The counterpoint is for those contemplating retops to look at all the angles. We also disagree about grain on braces but that's why we do our own things.

Cheers!
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-01-03 6:51 PM (#531672 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 478

Location: Spin axis of a California map
@Cavalier - "Ovation cognoscenti"

So that's what we are. Cool. Love it.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-17 10:34 AM (#532053 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: RE: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I was able to joint the top in preparation for joining and rough cut the braces.

I'm planning to join the tops for all four guitars at the same time so that I can take them down to the sanders and have them all thickness sanded together.

While each top is drying I'll be cutting out the braces.

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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-01-17 11:37 PM (#532086 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15096

Location: SoCal
And now we're getting into it! Oh boy.....
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-11 6:39 PM (#532728 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: RE: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I got the top(s) thickness sanded, joined and rough cut.



Drilled the locating holes for the bridge.



Cleaned all the old glue off the back of the bridge and fitted it to the top.



Cut out the sound hole.



Fitted the rosette.



Finished cutting the braces and marked the brace locations on the top. (Pay no attention to the Kaman-bar upper brace. I inadvertently included it in this pic) Original top is shown next to the new torrefied Adi spruce top.



Braces being glued. I'll glue the aluminum brace reinforcements tomorrow.


After that, I'll probably glue the top to the bowl so it doesn't warp while I build the 1528 top.

The idea is to get all four guitars ready to spray at the same time.

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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2017-02-11 7:21 PM (#532729 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 348

Location: moline,illinois
More cool pics Dan,I noticed how much darker the new top looks than the old,is that from the torrefaction process?
You talked about cupping and arching of tops in the "cracked top" thread,how do you create the bow/arch in the top when attaching it to the bowl?




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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-11 7:39 PM (#532731 - in reply to #532729)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
2wheeldrummer - 2017-02-11 5:21 PM

More cool pics Dan,I noticed how much darker the new top looks than the old,is that from the torrefaction process?
You talked about cupping and arching of tops in the "cracked top" thread,how do you create the bow/arch in the top when attaching it to the bowl?


Thanks, Kevin.

Yes, the torrefaction process darkens the wood. Or, how dark it gets depends on how long you leave the wood in the oven/autoclave. For example, Martin and Yamaha have developed the process where they get the acoustic properties they want without darkening the wood. In Martin's case, their VTS process targets a specific age of wood, say 70-80 years old, so it doesn't really darken the wood. Yamaha's ARE process is very similar to Martin's.

The boutique wood suppliers, from whom I get my wood, pretty much go for broke and as a result, the torrefied wood is more like 300+ years old when it comes out of the oven/autoclave, so it's noticeably darker in color.

Most guitar tops are built using a radius dish, which is ground to a radius of 28' or so. I build my tops on a flat surface because that's how Ovations are built. This allows me to use a flat 'plate' when gluing the top to the bowl.



Edited by DanSavage 2017-02-11 7:40 PM
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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2017-02-11 9:55 PM (#532733 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 348

Location: moline,illinois
WOW 300+ year old wood,have they done any tests against antique instruments to compare tonality or strength.
Do you have any plans to build a guitar,maybe your wooden roundback,using torrefied wood for all the parts?

I think I get the radiusing idea,you would create it when you attach the braces by having them curved slightly then using the dish to make the top conform to the curve,I learn more every time I read and research your posts someday I'll have to put it to practical use.


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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-12 4:11 PM (#532743 - in reply to #532733)
Subject: Re: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA
2wheeldrummer - 2017-02-11 7:55 PM

WOW 300+ year old wood,have they done any tests against antique instruments to compare tonality or strength.
Do you have any plans to build a guitar,maybe your wooden roundback,using torrefied wood for all the parts?

I think I get the radiusing idea,you would create it when you attach the braces by having them curved slightly then using the dish to make the top conform to the curve,I learn more every time I read and research your posts someday I'll have to put it to practical use.



Supposedly, Martin did microscopic analysis of wood from old guitars and tailored the torrefaction process to match so that they could get the sound of the old guitars. Or, at least that's what their marketing says.

I'm not planning to make a guitar with all torrefied wood mainly because there's no supplier of torrefied hard woods, such as mahogany, rosewood or maple. Ibanez does sell guitars with torrefied top and back, and they're actually pretty reasonably priced. (~$600)

Yes. The braces are shaped to match the 28' radius and when glued to the top inside the radius dish, the top is domed slightly. Ditto for the backs of most wood guitars.

Thanks.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-24 5:43 PM (#532938 - in reply to #531569)
Subject: RE: 1978 1117-4 Legend...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1611

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Top being glued to the bowl.

Yes, that's the 1528-4 top being glued at the same time. If I had more bench space I would have glued the other two tops at the same time.

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