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Adamas II 1581 Rebuild

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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-22 4:37 PM (#549891)
Subject: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Greetings! I was blessed to pick up a wrecked 1581 for a mere $80 from a friend. Bowl was smashed by an irate wife. I have removed the neck and electronics. The headstock is missing an ear, and a chip missing on the other one. I have started reconditioning the fretboard for some significant divots, and it is cleaning up nicely. The rest of the neck itself looks well cared for. Electronics are tested and working.

I have started my bowl rebuild, and am planning on making my own shiny bowl. There was too much damage on the outside of the bowl to make a factory finish restoration attempt impractical, at least for someone at my level.

But I am calling this my Phoenix project because it was so badly damaged.

Dan Savage has been kind enough to offer some advice along the way. It was fun to watch him rebuild Harry Chapin's 1613 after I sent it to him. Jen was thrilled to get it back, and I was thrilled to have been part of restoring a piece of music history.

It is going to be fun to see this Phoenix fly again!
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DanSavage
Posted 2019-09-22 5:46 PM (#549892 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2027

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Hi Steve,

To post photos, and I recommend you post photos along the way, click on the advanced reply button. At the bottom of that screen is a checkbox labeled, "Attach a photo or file after posting"

Click this checkbox and you'll be able to upload a photo to your photo album.

I upload my photos to my web server, and then hot-link to them in the Rich Text Editor screen.

Dan

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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-22 7:13 PM (#549893 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: RE: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Here is some of the worst damage, but there are lots of smaller dings as well.



(Bowl 1_01.jpg)



(Bowl 2.jpg)



(Bowl 3.jpg)



(Ring 1.jpg)



(Missing ear.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Bowl 1_01.jpg (86KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Bowl 2.jpg (64KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Bowl 3.jpg (64KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Ring 1.jpg (58KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Missing ear.jpg (98KB - 0 downloads)
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-22 7:42 PM (#549894 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
The thing that blows me away, is how really tough these bowls actually are. Even with all the cracks as bad as they appear in the pics, as I tried to pull the sections apart to line up edges, the bowl would hardly give at all, and there was no additional cracking. I could hardly move them to get the edges to overlap properly. Leaves me wondering if the gal who smashed it up hurt her herself in the process!

I don't know if she knocked the ear off or not. But I am grateful none of the tuners were damaged.

Edited by Oldvation Guy 2019-09-22 7:46 PM
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arumako
Posted 2019-09-22 10:53 PM (#549895 - in reply to #549894)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 878

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Hi Oldvation Guy! Wow, you've got your work cut out for you there... Of course, you have DanSavage "the Man" and all the wisdom of the OFC at your finger tips - can't go wrong! The bowl looks bad, but it is an FR composite, and can definitely be rebuilt. Interestingly enough, once the top and kerfing (suspension ring) are off, the bowl itself is pretty flexible. Have you taken a pic of the top? If I remember correctly, I think I read in another thread that the suspension ring is resin based as well. If the top is in decent shape, with some time and care, that Adamas could sing again. Plus, all the TLC will bind your heart to the instrument, and make it all the more satisfying! I look forward to following your journey. Good luck!

Edited by arumako 2019-09-22 10:57 PM
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-23 7:09 PM (#549901 - in reply to #549895)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Sorry, Arumako, the top was totally gone. The only evidence it even had a top is the epoxy around the suspension ring. I will have to get that off so I don't have to thin the top around the edge more than necessary to get it to fit. I want a wood top, rather than CF, so to make it work I will apply thin fiberglass cloth and resin on the underside of the top for about an inch around the outside of the top.

Edited by Oldvation Guy 2019-09-23 7:10 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2019-09-24 1:12 AM (#549902 - in reply to #549901)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2027

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Oldvation Guy - 2019-09-23 5:09 PM

I want a wood top, rather than CF, so to make it work I will apply thin fiberglass cloth and resin on the underside of the top for about an inch around the outside of the top.


What's your reasoning behind this?

By this, I mean, what are you attempting to accomplish with glassing the underside of the wood top?
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jay
Posted 2019-09-24 9:42 AM (#549903 - in reply to #549901)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
January 2009
Posts: 1230

Location: Texas

Man! If this guitar can be salvaged...any O has a chance. Thanks for taking on this project and sharing it with us. I have a couple of questions.

"fretboard for some significant divots"

Can those grooves in the fretboard actually be repaired? If so, how do you plan to approach that issue?

" I will apply thin fiberglass cloth and resin on the underside of the top for about an inch"

Would that have an adverse effect on the tonality of the top?

thanks...and good luck!

jay

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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-24 9:56 AM (#549904 - in reply to #549902)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Dan, There is limited space on top of the suspension ring for a wood top to be exposed above the decorative edge. By thinning the outside of the top for about an inch of the width of the underside, then putting a very thin later of fiberglass, or even carbon fiber, I can lower the overall profile of the top without losing strength where the top will need it.
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-24 10:02 AM (#549905 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
For anyone interested, there was so much crush damage separating the fiberglass between the inner and outer surfaces of the bowl, I decided I needed to use something other than epoxy or resin which might not be thin enough to wick into the fiberglass. I decided to experiment on a couple of spots with CA glue. It worked perfectly. The fiberglass soaked it up like a sponge, and then hardened like stone. I just had to keep the edges lined up to avoid misshaping the outer surface of the bowl.

I went back after 24 hours and tried to break the edges apart and could not do so. The fibers on each side locked together beyond what I had hoped. I will still back up the major cracks with fiberglass. But I have no qualms about the bowl being weak, or heavier because of the extensive repairs.
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-24 10:09 AM (#549906 - in reply to #549903)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Jay, I have already removed the divots from the fretboard. They look worse in the pic than they actually were for depth.

The added stiffness due to the fiberglass layer underneath, will not significantly stiffen the top beyond what traditional kerfing would do, where there would be no flex at all. In fact, it should be less stiff, since it will be on the suspension ring.


At least in theory...
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DanSavage
Posted 2019-09-24 10:26 AM (#549907 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: RE: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2027

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Here's a cross-section of the suspension ring and CF top.



If I understand correctly, the recess on the suspension ring would cause the outer face of the top to sit proud? How deep is the recess?

Normally, Ovation wood tops are tapered from top to bottom. I sand mine down to .110" at the upper bout down to .100" for the lower. When I built Jonmark's Parlor I had to forgo the taper and sanded it down to .095" because the neck was set too close to the neck block.

I checked on Ovation Tribute and from the Adamas History Booklet, I found that the thickness of the Adamas top is .045". (two .005" layers of CF sandwiching a .035" birch veneer layer)

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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-24 11:18 AM (#549908 - in reply to #549907)
Subject: RE: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Excellent! Thanks for the information. I have an old guitar top I am going to take a chunk from to experiment with. If push comes to shove, I figure I could taper the top edge of the top a bit to make it less of an issue. I have a digital mic I can use to check it.

I love having the cross section for reference! I will probably have to go with CF backing to keep it thin enough.

BTW, the ring is broken in four or five places. I have a daughter who is a sculptor in grad school who has told me how to make a mould to repair the damaged trim, or I might just do it freehand.

Do you have any suggestions for removing the epoxy from the suspension ring, or do I just take it off with an Exacto knife?

Thanks, Dan.

Edited by Oldvation Guy 2019-09-24 11:37 AM
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DanSavage
Posted 2019-09-24 12:11 PM (#549909 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: RE: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2027

Location: Lake Forest, CA

The epoxy can be removed using heat or by manually scraping it off. I've done it both ways.

The problem with the heat is you run the risk of softening the epoxy holding the suspension ring into place. OTOH, I have successfully used heat many times to remove the excess epoxy from the tops of linings on other Ovation guitars without loosening the lining joint.

To 'focus' the heat so it only hits the area I want I use a modeling heat gun that has a flat nozzle. (See: Top Flite Heat Gun)

For the manual scraping method, I use an Xacto chisel.



To keep a reinforcement layer thin, you'll want to squeeze the excess resin out of the cloth. (FG or CF) This can be done with a vacuum bag set up, a piece of visqueen or even a pane of glass. I used the visqueen method when molding the patch for my first 1619. (See: 1619-4 Rebuild...)

Personally I would use FG cloth as it's cheaper than CF and accepts resin more readily. The weight of the cloth you use will be determined by how thick you want the reinforcement layer to be.




Edited by DanSavage 2019-09-24 12:16 PM
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Love O Fair
Posted 2019-09-24 11:06 PM (#549913 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1153

Location: What week?
As it's going with the Black Pearl, and now this, you could sell tickets to the BFLG these days! And really, who would have ever thought there could come a silver lining to the antics of an irate wife? Great stuff all around. Thanks for sharing, guys!
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-25 9:02 AM (#549916 - in reply to #549913)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Love, O Fair, I agree! I LOVE to repair almost anything, but especially badly damaged and abused Ovations. I call them RenOvations. This is by far the worst one I have ever tackled, but I am really excited by how I see the bowl repairs proceeding. This is going to be a GREAT guitar once again.

As far as being bashed up, this is the ONLY way I could ever have afforded to get an Adamas of the caliber of this guitar.

Having Dan's experience is a huge help too. When I saw what he was able to do with Harry Chapin's wrecked 1613, and his Black Pearl project, it really stoked my repair fires.

Pretty pumped about what I will end up with. But patience is needed. I have several projects going simultaneously, including working full time, plus writing a book. Lots on the plate these days for an old man.

Edited by Oldvation Guy 2019-09-25 9:33 AM
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-09-26 1:18 PM (#549928 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Dan, I am nowhere near being ready to buy a top, but what will be my best bet for finding a torrified Adi top? I have seen everything from expensive to dirt cheap. Also, where do I source parts like the molleys, bridge, epaulets (if I decide to use them)? Still wrestling with pickup options, but I will definitely be reusing the preamp and battery box.
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DanSavage
Posted 2019-09-26 4:54 PM (#549929 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: RE: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2027

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Steve,

There aren't too many choices out there for torrefied Adi tops.

I've bought torrefied Sitka spruce tops from Stewmac and had reasonably good luck. They are now selling torrefied Adi, both old growth and new growth. They're pretty pricey, however. I tried buying an old growth torrefied Adi top, but the grain was really crooked and uneven. And, quite expensive, too as I bought the AAA stuff. I tried exchanging it for another and gave them details about what I was looking for, but that top went back too. After that I just got a refund.

I have not seen Stewmac's new growth torrefied Adi tops, but those are pretty pricey, too. The problem with ordering tone wood from Stewmac is you're buying it sight-unseen, so there's no telling what you're going to get.

Most of the tops I've used came from either Colonial Tonewoods, now out of business, or from RC Tonewoods. Both are reasonably priced and decent quality. The selection at RC Tonewoods right now is okay. They also sell torrefied Englemann and Sitka. These are the guys I used for Jen's guitar and my parlor. The nice thing about these guys is they post photos of the wood, so you know what you're getting.

Also, RC Tonewoods sells uncut torrefied Adi brace stock. Stewmac only sells torrefied Sitka brace stock.

There's another place that sells torrefied Adi called Wood To Works. I haven't used them, but they look like they have a decent selection and are reasonably priced. (See: Wood To Works) WTW also sells torrefied Adi brace stock, but it's a little more expensive than RC Tonewoods.

For the parts like mollies, bridge, epaulets, contact the factory. If you're going to use the thin-line bridge, you'll definitely want to use the OEM bridge because the slot is angled back a few degrees. This combined with a compensated saddle fixes the intonation problem inherent in all Ovations, including, Adamas.



Edited by DanSavage 2019-09-26 4:57 PM
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-10-06 9:49 AM (#550013 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: RE: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Sorry for the delay. It really is hard for me to carve out big chunks of time to work on this.

I have been grabbing a few moments most days to work on small sections. Here are some pics of the individual dings and cracks.

In the top pic you can see the individual fibers of the very thin fiberglass layer between the inner and outer layers of the bowl. In some spots I have to actually chip off the outer or inner surface to be sure the CA glue saturates the glass layer. Resin would not have been thin enough to soak in far enough.

In some places the fractures and surface angles were so complex I had to just do the best I could and plan to rework those places later. The suspension ring was damaged in four places, and didn't line up perfectly because of that. I will adjust them now that the glue has fully set, which for me means overnight. One whole section of the SR lip is completely missing.

The fretboard is really looking nice, and the trilliums are blooming! They really pop now that I have done my preliminary work on the fretboard. I will dress the frets later. I might have to replace a couple. We'll see.

One change of plans is that I will be putting a CF top back on it. I am getting one from Thomas Damon, complete with the bracing installed which will dramatically speed up the rebuild process. But I will have to modify it for my cutaway bowl as it is a non-cutaway top.

Edited by Oldvation Guy 2019-10-06 10:15 AM




(IMG_1422_01.jpg)



(IMG_1424.jpg)



(IMG_1427.jpg)



(IMG_1428.jpg)



(IMG_1430.jpg)



(IMG_1431.jpg)



(IMG_1435.jpg)



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Attachments IMG_1422_01.jpg (68KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1424.jpg (97KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1427.jpg (76KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1428.jpg (79KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1430.jpg (81KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1431.jpg (90KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1435.jpg (76KB - 0 downloads)
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-10-06 10:10 AM (#550014 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: RE: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Here is the top and bracing I will be installing.



(Top_01.jpg)



(Bracing_01.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Top_01.jpg (70KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Bracing_01.jpg (68KB - 0 downloads)
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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2019-10-06 1:37 PM (#550016 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2008
Posts: 1413

Location: Indy
Excellent. Good to see you're going with a CF top. Only fitting.
Know you said you're not a fan but this might change your mind.
Carry on.
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2wheeldrummer
Posted 2019-10-06 8:25 PM (#550018 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
February 2014
Posts: 498

Location: moline,illinois
Cool you got the Carbon Fiber top you do realize this is for a dreadnaught 1687/1681 and your mounting it to to a cutaway bowl for a 1581 so your bracing and soundholes are different from a cutaway top-hopefully you can modify it to work .. ..good luck



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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-10-06 9:41 PM (#550019 - in reply to #550018)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Yes, 2wheeldrummer, I took a pic of a cutaway top and printed that, and then flipped it horizontally and printed that as well. Then I overlapped the images, and to my dismay saw there was no way to preserve the holes on the cutaway side. My plan is to make that side of the top distinctively my own design. I will just need to come up with adequate hole area to keep the resonance the same. I will adjust the bracing as needed. I am pretty confident I can make it work.

I picked red to go with the Phoenix theme. I don't care for the way Ovation did the pick guard section of the top, so my plan is to convert that upper quarter to a modified pick guard area down to roughly halfway down the right side. The pick guard color will match what I am going to use for the bowl color, and then I am hoping to have a Phoenix bird on the pick guard area.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2019-10-06 10:35 PM (#550021 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 1153

Location: What week?
The plot continues to thicken. Why is the term "mad scientist" going through my mind right now? Definitely not the first time I've thought that on this forum.. but this one is going to be very interesting
(to say the least).





Edited by Love O Fair 2019-10-06 10:42 PM
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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2019-10-08 11:32 AM (#550045 - in reply to #549891)
Subject: Re: Adamas II 1581 Rebuild


Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 32

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
Many thanks to Al for supplying the manhole cover, and a new rosewood Ovation bridge! I was originally going to go with an Ovation thin slot ebony bridge if I could find one, when it suddenly dawned on me. The carbon fiber top is already going to sound bright without emphasizing that even more. So, the rosewood and wide Ovation pickup may soften that a bit.

More thoughts of the mad scientist...The bridge is going to be a focal point of the Phoenix theme. I will either hand carve wings into the bridge, or use other thin pieces of wood to create the wings of the Phoenix. Then I will add a tail below, and head above the bridge. Can't wait!
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