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Glue Used for Fitting Neck to Body?

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leonardmccoy
Posted 2017-09-10 4:25 PM (#537368)
Subject: Glue Used for Fitting Neck to Body?



Joined:
December 2015
Posts: 209

Location: Katmandu

I'm considering a neck reset on my 1990 Ovation Legend L717 (it's got the fretboard drop-off), so I was wondering what kind of glue the factory used to attach the fretboard onto the body?

From Youtube videos featuring Ovation neck resets it seems like some nasty stuff such as epoxy or some form of CA, definitely not hide glue. Can anybody confirm or deny this?

I'm concerned a neck reset would do more harm than good, especially if performed by a luthier not overly familiar with Ovation. Around where I live Ovation experts are pretty scarce; I have to lecture local luthiers each time not to file down the saddle and the like...



Edited by leonardmccoy 2017-09-10 4:42 PM
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Old Man Arthur
Posted 2017-09-10 5:24 PM (#537369 - in reply to #537368)
Subject: Re: Glue Used for Fitting Neck to Body?



Joined:
September 2006
Posts: 9937

Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
Uh... that neck joint in the photo is a Bolt-on. (or it should be)
I am guessing that is not your guitar.

I have never glued a neck, so I will wait for wiser folks to answer.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-11 10:19 AM (#537371 - in reply to #537368)
Subject: Re: Glue Used for Fitting Neck to Body?



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Generally speaking, the factory used epoxy for most of the glue joints, including the fretboard extension.

It can be removed with a heat gun. Once the epoxy reaches about 180 degrees it will soften and become rubbery. At this point it can be scraped off with little to no damage to the underlying surface.

Neck resets are only necessary when the action cannot be lowered be removing all the shims.

The fretboard drop-off is a by-product of the design of the Ovation guitar, itself. It's even discussed in one of the sales brochures.

If anything a neck reset will make the drop-off worse.

Is the L717 shown in the photo the guitar needing the neck reset?
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leonardmccoy
Posted 2017-09-11 1:08 PM (#537380 - in reply to #537368)
Subject: Re: Glue Used for Fitting Neck to Body?



Joined:
December 2015
Posts: 209

Location: Katmandu

Thanks for the valuable information.

The guitar needing the neck reset is not the guitar in the photo, but my lefty L717 Legend, also a bolt-on, which has the drop off starting at the 16th fret.

I have her in for a fretboard job currently. If anything like a neck reset were to be tried, my local luthier proposed, he would shim the area under the dropped-off fretboard piece so as make it straight again. In that sense it wouldn't be a regular neck reset which would entail correcting the neck angle to the body. In order to install the shimmed piece of wood he would still have to remove the neck from the body, though.

Do you still remember which brochure it was that marketed the fretboard drop-off as a feature? It seems the fretboard drop-off is a by-product of not strengthening the area underneath fretboard end enough. I would still not trade this A-braced Legend for any (potentially more structurally sound) X-braced guitar.

Since the action is still fine, and I still have two shims to go if I remember correctly which should be enough for the fretjob, it's probably not worth the risk then.



Edited by leonardmccoy 2017-09-11 1:20 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-11 4:52 PM (#537385 - in reply to #537368)
Subject: RE: Glue Used for Fitting Neck to Body?



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

My mistake. It wasn't the sales brochure, but the owner's manual that mentions the drop-off.

Actually, the drop-off is a by-product of how Ovation guitars are constructed, specifically the top.

On other 'flat-top' guitars, the top is actually not flat. It has a built-in slight radius. When the neck is mated to the body, the angle of the radius is very close to the neck angle needed to provide the proper action at the bridge. Because of this, there is no drop-off.

But, Ovation guitars are different. They are a true flat-top guitar in that the top has no radius. But, the neck still needs to be angled to allow proper bridge action.

It's the difference in neck angle vs. flat top that causes the drop-off.

If this were my guitar and the action is fine, which it sounds like it is, and if the drop-off were the only problem, I'd leave well enough alone.

Ovation Acoustic Owner's Manual (1970s)

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leonardmccoy
Posted 2017-09-12 12:08 PM (#537394 - in reply to #537368)
Subject: Re: Glue Used for Fitting Neck to Body?



Joined:
December 2015
Posts: 209

Location: Katmandu

Thanks for your feedback and resourcefulness. The construction angle is super interesting to me. I'm surprised Ovation went the route of a perfectly flat top and even accounted for it in some way.

I have informed my luthier accordingly and leave the neck alone for now until I'm running out of shims.

I'm also still contemplating getting one of those new 2017 Glen Campbell signature guitars later this year.



Edited by leonardmccoy 2017-09-12 12:10 PM
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