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Ultra 1527 Prototyping guitar

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Oldvation Guy
Posted 2020-09-06 10:01 AM (#552810)
Subject: Ultra 1527 Prototyping guitar

May 2011
Posts: 81

Location: Ozark, Arkansa
As I had indicated on the neck removal thread, this is the thread I wanted to start on the ongoing project to build a prototyping guitar.

To carry over some info, I bought a 1527 Ultra in Dallas a couple of years ago, with a great neck and body, but a top that was shot, and missing the Ovation wide pickup. But the last two didn't matter, because my goal was to convert it into an experimental Ovation that would allow me to test top, bracing, bridge, and kerfing designs that have been brewing in my brain for a while.

So, after successfully having converted the neck to bolt-on from glued-in, I went the next steps of adding a Cherub preamp, a sound port, and repairing some issues with the bowl.

Instead of gluing tops to the bowl, the temporary tops will be screwed down, as you can see this piece of HPL in the pic. That is not one of the tops (although I will experiment with an HPL top later on). It is actually the template for drilling holes in future tops. I added small blocks in the bowl with metal inserts to facilitate the screws. I am not done with the block shaping yet, so I will add some pics of those later on.

But, this weekend I did something I have been itching to do for a long time, glue up my own top.

I guess most all of us have heard of Bob Taylor's pallet guitars, but if not... Bob (owner of Taylor Guitars) was sick and tired of all the talk about the need for exotic woods to build guitars, so he decided he would build one out of a shipping pallet. He did, and while not the equivalent of a $5000 Taylor, it still sounded great. He sold it, and made more. Now they are a hot item for collectors.

Well, I thought, if Taylor can build guitars out of shipping pallets, I ought to be able to create a top from lumberyard materials. So...

I have been going to the local lumberyard looking at quartersawn boards for weeks, and finally found one worthy of this experiment. I got a 1x12" 14' plank that had relatively tight grain, which I think is spruce. It had some knots, but plenty of clear board as well. being dimensionally 3/4" allowed me to cut 1x4" smaller planks, which I stood on edge on my table saw, and cut into 3/8" planks. After squaring the edges I glued them into this top blank using four planks. I used the worst of the thinned planks to make the first one. I will make more later on. This first top cost me about $5 to make.

The true test came after it was dry, and to my delight, I discovered it has some really nice tap-tone! It is .344" thick, but this is not just presanding thickness. I have already sanded it quite a bit. But I will explain the thickness in a future post. The backside is what has the outline on it, so no, it isn't a lefty.

What a riot!

Edited by Oldvation Guy 2020-09-06 10:24 AM




Attachments IMG_1798.jpg (85KB - 3 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1795.jpg (49KB - 2 downloads)
Attachments IMG_1796.jpg (54KB - 0 downloads)
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Love O Fair
Posted 2020-09-06 2:27 PM (#552814 - in reply to #552810)
Subject: Re: Ultra 1527 Prototyping guitar

February 2016
Posts: 1400

Location: What week?
This is gonna be fun.
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Posted 2020-09-16 9:29 AM (#552866 - in reply to #552810)
Subject: Re: Ultra 1527 Prototyping guitar

May 2011
Posts: 661

Location: Muenster/Germany
I love the steampunk look of the temporary top, maybe you could use a cast iron bridge;-)
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