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1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...

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DanSavage
Posted 2016-12-29 10:58 AM (#531533)
Subject: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I found this sad guitar on Reverb.com. Everything seems to be in good shape except the top and bridge.


I'll be working on this guitar in tandem with my brother's 1528 Ultra.

This will be getting a torrefied Sitka spruce top and braces. I played this guitar before taking the neck and top off and it sounded pretty good. So, I'll probably be duplicating the K-brace pattern. It's like a simplified A-brace pattern.

From the looks of all the screws, I'd gather this guitar had a problem with a lifting bridge.

Neck is off.



As is the top.

I love the use of the wing-nuts. Hey! In an emergency, you use what you got!

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tpa
Posted 2016-12-29 2:46 PM (#531547 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...


Joined:
December 2004
Posts: 404

Location: Denmark
DanSavage - 2016-12-28 5:58 PM
... Everything seems to be in good shape except the top and bridge....
This might even be a more optimistic description than an honest seller could have given. Where most other see a show stopper and run away You see an opportunity

I don't really understand the screws, except for clamping while glue cures. I would not expect them to be of value when it comes to string pull and such.

Edited by tpa 2016-12-29 2:53 PM
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leonardmccoy
Posted 2016-12-29 3:39 PM (#531549 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
December 2015
Posts: 209

Location: Katmandu
Brutal, brutal wing-nuts...
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DanSavage
Posted 2016-12-30 9:51 AM (#531563 - in reply to #531547)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA
tpa - 2016-12-29 12:46 PM

DanSavage - 2016-12-28 5:58 PM
... Everything seems to be in good shape except the top and bridge....
This might even be a more optimistic description than an honest seller could have given. Where most other see a show stopper and run away You see an opportunity

I don't really understand the screws, except for clamping while glue cures. I would not expect them to be of value when it comes to string pull and such.


Thanks.

The weight of the screws do provide extra mass which really enhances the bass sustain. :D

Kidding aside, I do like how it sounds, so I'm going to be duplicating the brace pattern, but with a slight modification to the two main outside braces. I'm probably going to taper the cross-section to remove a little mass to improve the response, but keep the stiffness.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2016-12-30 10:36 PM (#531585 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 458

Location: Spin axis of a California map
I think I remember seeing that guitar for sale online and wondering, "Who in their right mind would buy this??" Well, now I know :-)

Come on, Dan. Ya just gotta leave the washers on the bridge.
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DanSavage
Posted 2016-12-31 11:39 AM (#531594 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA
No worries there. The bolts, wingnuts and washers are all staying with this top. Besides the holes, someone also shaved down the bridge, making it unusable for anything but storing screw hardware. :-D
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Cavalier
Posted 2017-01-01 2:04 PM (#531620 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...


Joined:
March 2013
Posts: 336

Location: undisclosed
Good donor guitar!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-10 1:33 PM (#531866 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Cleaned up the lining so the body is ready to have the top joined.

Next job is to start jointing the top and making the braces.

 



Edited by DanSavage 2017-01-10 1:34 PM
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-01-10 3:15 PM (#531873 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 70

Did you use the heat gun to clean the lining. It looks really clean and white.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-10 6:44 PM (#531882 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA
No. I tried, but the glue was pretty much heat-proof. Definitely an aerospace-grade epoxy, unlike the 1528. I had to do this one the old-fashioned way and plane and scrape it down to the old glue joint.

There are still some glue-globs that need to be ground down, but for the most part, this bowl is ready for the top.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-01-17 10:32 AM (#532052 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

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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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-15 6:54 PM (#532790 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Got the top outline rough cut, sound hole cut, bridge alignment pin holes drilled and braces glued.

I'll let this dry until tomorrow afternoon, then pull it out of the gobar deck and start working on the 1778T(orrefied)

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-02-25 12:35 PM (#532949 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Top is being glued.

Yes, that's the 1778T next to it.

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-03-05 6:47 PM (#533061 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I got to a stopping point because I didn't want to use the bankers box any more to route the binding/purfling channels.

It worked well in a pinch, but truth be told it's kind of a pain because it doesn't really hold the guitar securely.

So, I made a crude copy of a fixture used by the MS that I've seen in numerous factory tour videos. Theirs is a lot slicker as it uses vacuum to hold the bowl into place.

But, mine will work pretty well. It secures the bowl into place which will make working on these guitars a lot easier.



The vise is a drill-press vise clamped to the stack of plywood which is in turn, secured to the 3/4" plywood base.

The risers are adjustable, tilting furniture feet.

Here's the 1612 clamped into the fixture.



For guitars like this one which has the removable neck I'm using a 2x2 that I've installed IKEA furniture clamps. The IKEA cap screws go through the Ovation neck mounting holes to clamp the 2x2 to the bowl.

I originally made this to paint the bowls, but it also works great for this fixture. The 2x2 is clamped into the drill press vise.

The feet are adjusted as necessary so the bowl is evenly supported.

Now, routing the binding/purfling will be a lot easier. It will also make gluing the binding and purfling a lot easier, too.

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BCam
Posted 2017-03-05 9:01 PM (#533064 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 125

Nicely done, creative, simple and inexpensive. Good jigs make for good, accurate work.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-03-06 5:48 PM (#533080 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks, Bob.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-03-06 7:32 PM (#533083 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 458

Location: Spin axis of a California map
I fully agree. Nice jig. Some of the videos I watch of people working on guitars.. yikes! Knocking them around on a dirty workbench like they're mounting a tire or something. Glad they aren't mine.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-13 8:44 PM (#535147 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Back to work on this one.

I'd routed the purfling/binding grooves when I was working on all four guitars at once. (1117, 1528, this one, 1778(T)orrified). I'm glad I did because it made binding this guitar much easier.

Fitting the center seam of the purfling/binding.



Once the center seam is lined up with the center seam of the top, I use a few strips of tape to 'tack' the purfling/binding all the way up to the top of the body, then trim the excess.

I use an acid brush to spread the glue inside the grooves and between the layers of purfling/binding. I use an Xacto knife (LL) to trim the brush. (LR) The brush comes with long bristles, but the long bristles just drag across the glue instead of pushing it down into the joint where it needs to be. The shorter bristles make it easier to brush/push the glue between the layers. With this job, more glue is better.



Now, I start gluing the purfling and binding starting at the top and working my way to the bottom. I work a few inches at a time. In the pic below, I'm all done with the bass bout and ready to start gluing the treble bout.



Treble bout is done. Now, set the guitar aside for 12 hours to let the glue dry.

Glue is dry. Removed the tape to see the raw binding job.

Purfling/binding is scraped down. At this point, the top is ready for final bridge alignment check in preparation for masking and finishing.



Top is masked and ready for sealer/base coat of polyu.



Meanwhile, back to the neck. Old frets were removed, fret board leveled and new frets installed. I'll let the glue dry until tomorrow afternoon, then trim, dress, level and crown the frets.

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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-05-14 12:25 AM (#535149 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 458

Location: Spin axis of a California map
This is the part where I hope you will do some close up shots and detailed explanation since I still don't quite understand how the frets are trimmed so close, smooth and precisely flush with the edges of the fingerboard without disturbing or damaging the wood.
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arumako
Posted 2017-05-14 1:09 AM (#535151 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 642

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Kewl! Coming along nicely Dan. What kind of adhesive are you using for the binding and purfling - ZAP thin CA? I tried some Japanese acrylic binding glue and it just isn't working. The brass strip especially seems to make things tricky for my 1868! You make it look so easy!

By the way, is that wood purfling? Did you use any heat to pre-bend the binding and/or purfling?

Ooh, sorry. Don't mean to pester!

Edited by arumako 2017-05-14 1:14 AM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-14 4:27 PM (#535160 - in reply to #535149)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

Love O Fair - 2017-05-13 10:25 PM

This is the part where I hope you will do some close up shots and detailed explanation since I still don't quite understand how the frets are trimmed so close, smooth and precisely flush with the edges of the fingerboard without disturbing or damaging the wood.


Fretting tutorials are all over the interwebs. Here's one that FlySig did.

A beginners guide to re-fretting your guitar

Basically, you use fret trimmer and a file to get the fret close to the wood, but you have to use them with care so you don't damage the wood.

Dan

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-14 4:39 PM (#535161 - in reply to #535151)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA
arumako - 2017-05-13 11:09 PM

Kewl! Coming along nicely Dan. What kind of adhesive are you using for the binding and purfling - ZAP thin CA? I tried some Japanese acrylic binding glue and it just isn't working. The brass strip especially seems to make things tricky for my 1868! You make it look so easy!

By the way, is that wood purfling? Did you use any heat to pre-bend the binding and/or purfling?

Ooh, sorry. Don't mean to pester!


Not pestering at all.

I use IPS Weld-On 16 Acrylic glue for the BWB and purfling. Duco Cement works, too.

When I bound Daren's 1528, I had to use thin CA because the acrylic glue wouldn't grab onto the vinyl sheathing that carries the abalone. Once I got the BWB and abalone glued down, then I was able to use the acrylic glue to glue in the binding.

Yeah, brass would be a really difficult material to use for purfling. Acrylic glue won't work at all because it can't get a bite on the brass, even if you roughed it up with sandpaper. The problem is that the brass can't absorb the glue and the glue is too brittle. Even CA doesn't work well with brass. The only glue that would work would be something like Hysol.

Even if you do get the brass glued into place, sanding or scraping it down so it's level with the top is going to be a chore.

It's Stewmac BWB purfling. There's actually two strips: one, outer is BWB and the other, the inner, is BWBW. The white in the purfling is maple, the black is fiber, like a thick paper.

The trick with purfling and binding is to decide what pattern you want to use, then route the binding and purfling groove to match. Practice helps, too.

I route the binding groove first, then go back and route the purfling groove. I glue all three at the same time, working a few inches at a time. Nope, didn't pre-bend them at all. They're thin so they bend easy enough.
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arumako
Posted 2017-05-16 8:32 AM (#535202 - in reply to #535161)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 642

Location: Yokohama, Japan
DanSavage - 2017-05-14 6:39 AM

Not pestering at all.

I use IPS Weld-On 16 Acrylic glue for the BWB and purfling. Duco Cement works, too.

When I bound Daren's 1528, I had to use thin CA because the acrylic glue wouldn't grab onto the vinyl sheathing that carries the abalone. Once I got the BWB and abalone glued down, then I was able to use the acrylic glue to glue in the binding.

Yeah, brass would be a really difficult material to use for purfling. Acrylic glue won't work at all because it can't get a bite on the brass, even if you roughed it up with sandpaper. The problem is that the brass can't absorb the glue and the glue is too brittle. Even CA doesn't work well with brass. The only glue that would work would be something like Hysol.

Even if you do get the brass glued into place, sanding or scraping it down so it's level with the top is going to be a chore.

It's Stewmac BWB purfling. There's actually two strips: one, outer is BWB and the other, the inner, is BWBW. The white in the purfling is maple, the black is fiber, like a thick paper.

The trick with purfling and binding is to decide what pattern you want to use, then route the binding and purfling groove to match. Practice helps, too.

I route the binding groove first, then go back and route the purfling groove. I glue all three at the same time, working a few inches at a time. Nope, didn't pre-bend them at all. They're thin so they bend easy enough.

Thanks for the helpful and timely info Dan. I'm not real good with design, but I am really liking my 1868 brass/black/white/black/white binding sequence. I'm considering whether I should just measure the area where the existing binding channel is the widest and re-cut the whole binding channel to match, but I'm afraid at some edges I might compromise, sound board/bowl integrity. Have an urgent repair that popped in the other day, and I'm waiting for some stuff to move forward with the 1868, so I'll need to think things through very carefully from here.

In retrospect, I think I should have done my ebonizing of the sound board on my 1868 AFTER installing the binding. That would have made scraping and sanding the binding level to the sound board much easier. I have a nice sheet metal cutter that I tested on the brass binding and it cuts really straight but leaves a slight jagged edge. Hoping that installing it "cut-side-down" with some epoxy will keep it in place. I found a nice Japanese epoxy that furniture makers use when adhering wood and metal. Covering the sound board with masking tape and repeating the sanding and masking process all around the binding as I sand the brass and scrape the binding should keep things relatively in order. Process sequence flaws really make the work much less efficient and harder! Oh well, live and learn.

Of course, "process flaws" are something that do not exist in your projects, and I learn so much from every one of them. The binding on your 1612 is really nice. The simple aesthetics of the Balladeer really lend to a wonderful classic look. She's gonna be magnificent! Looking forward to following this to completion!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-16 11:44 PM (#535212 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: Re: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA
You're welcome.

Yes, you might want to consider making the binding groove as wide as the widest point, then selecting the purfling to match. That is, as long as you won't grind a hole in the top.

WRT the top finish, yep, you live and you learn.

For example, I used to apply shellac, at first, then polyurethane, to the top before gluing it down to the bowl. But, I found it made the finish uneven when I scraped down the binding/purfling. I did this to keep the glue from discoloring the wood. When I found the glue doesn't discolor the torrefied top, I stopped pre-finishing the top and now I glue the bare wood top.

Oh, yes. Process flaws do exist in my projects. I just don't post the pics. LOL!

Actually, I learned from building model airplanes to think through the entire assembly process so that I thoroughly understood it before starting the build. Another thing I do when I'm about to attempt a new technique is I'll do one or two test pieces to see what works and what doesn't. That way, by the time I do it on the guitar, I know I'll have a reasonably good chance of success.

Yeah, I put the first coat of clear on the guitar today. It's a really nice looking top. Lots of silking. Won't be too long.

Edited by DanSavage 2017-05-16 11:46 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-19 10:14 AM (#535231 - in reply to #531533)
Subject: RE: 1982 1612-4 Custom Balladeer...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1577

Location: Lake Forest, CA

I got the first couple of coats of clear on the top.

Here's a pic showing the coloration and grain of the top. Lots of silking and character.

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