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Luthiery help with caved top requested - Legend A-Braced

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jstuller
Posted 2022-07-07 9:08 PM (#557454)
Subject: Luthiery help with caved top requested - Legend A-Braced


Joined:
July 2022
Posts: 13

Thank you for having this forum. I probably should have started here.

My brother gave me a 1651 Legend that has the top caved in; fretboard extension falls off. It has A-bracing. The Stereo pickup only worked on one channel.

I bought a Collector's Series Ovation new in the past, but my ex-wife got it in a divorce. Always wanted another Ovation... a Legend, so when David gave me this one, I took it. (My original was based on a Custom Balladeer)

The action is still great!

I play praise and worship in a couple church bands. My goal is to get it capable of using it in this capacity.

I watched a video on how to repair the top. The guy said it was caused of drying out.

I put it in a trash bag with a wet rag inside it for a couple weeks.

Took the electronics out of it, (available, if someone wants parts), and got a Fishman Power-tap sound hole pickup for it.

I installed a bridge doctor on the bridge. (doesn't do enough... don't want to push my luck with too much pressure).

The video showed gently stretching the top/bracing back into place and adding additional bracing over the original bracing to give it more strength. I did that.

Top started to cave in again when strings were re-applied

I had re-attached the aluminum braces inside with epoxy on my first repair with the bridge doctor. This time, I added some wood epoxy at the joint where the aluminum mesh is, but still caves in under standard tuning.

The finish is pretty good, not the standard cracking I normally see on old Ovations. It sounds pretty amazing unplugged, (and I have some really good guitars to compare it to).

Please direct me to insight.
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seesquare
Posted 2022-07-07 10:16 PM (#557455 - in reply to #557454)
Subject: Re: Luthiery help with caved top requested - Legend A-Braced


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3534

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Dunno, but you may need a neck reset. Sounds like you have done just about everything else. Hopefully, you get some input from Dan. He is our resident expert & troubleshooter.
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jstuller
Posted 2022-07-07 10:19 PM (#557456 - in reply to #557455)
Subject: Re: Luthiery help with caved top requested - Legend A-Braced


Joined:
July 2022
Posts: 13

Thank you for responding.

I hope to hear from Dan.

Joe
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jstuller
Posted 2022-07-08 6:00 PM (#557462 - in reply to #557454)
Subject: Re: Luthiery help with caved top requested - Legend A-Braced


Joined:
July 2022
Posts: 13

I should add that I gradually, over a week of applying pressure with a block on the back of the top braces, have gotten the top back into correct position before installing braces over the top of the original braces. After that, I put strings back on it. (And then it caved in again).

Here is what I am thinking.

The joint where the aluminum mesh is the weak spot.

I left on vacation this week, but before going, I put the top under reverse pressure to have it into correct position upon return. (flat --> slightly arched).

make small braces to go over the joint and glue into place. The problem is getting my hand in there to create/fit braces.

If it was not too difficult to remove the back, that would be much better. Anybody ever do it?

Any insight?? experience?
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jstuller
Posted 2022-07-08 6:01 PM (#557463 - in reply to #557454)
Subject: Re: Luthiery help with caved top requested - Legend A-Braced


Joined:
July 2022
Posts: 13

Additionally, I will apply more pressure to Bridge Doctor
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2022-07-18 11:24 AM (#557508 - in reply to #557454)
Subject: Re: Luthiery help with caved top requested - Legend A-Braced



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 737

Location: Muenster/Germany
I had the same problem with my parlor 12 string, has A-braces like a 6string which are a bit too weak. I first fixed the Aluminium parts using additional pressure from inside the body with some flexible polyurethane blocks and afterward I added 2 small braces(but I think for a 6 string these are not necessary). The top is not perfect but suitable since then and did not change until today.
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DanSavage
Posted 2022-07-21 1:23 PM (#557521 - in reply to #557462)
Subject: Re: Luthiery help with caved top requested - Legend A-Braced



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2299

Location: Lake Forest, CA
jstuller - 2022-07-08 4:00 PM

I should add that I gradually, over a week of applying pressure with a block on the back of the top braces, have gotten the top back into correct position before installing braces over the top of the original braces. After that, I put strings back on it. (And then it caved in again).

Here is what I am thinking.

The joint where the aluminum mesh is the weak spot.

I left on vacation this week, but before going, I put the top under reverse pressure to have it into correct position upon return. (flat --> slightly arched).

make small braces to go over the joint and glue into place. The problem is getting my hand in there to create/fit braces.

If it was not too difficult to remove the back, that would be much better. Anybody ever do it?

Any insight?? experience?


Yes, you are correct that the perforated aluminum reinforcement is the weak spot.

As long as the braces are securely glued to the top and the reinforcement is glued securely to the braces, this should not be a problem.

Did you confirm that the braces have not popped off the top and the reinforcement is secure?

You're better off gluing any loose braces than trying to get the top off the bowl. In order to do that you'd need to completely remove the body binding and possibly the purfling, then apply heat to soften the epoxy holding the top to the kerfing.

The fact that the top caved in after re-stringing the guitar sort of confirms to be that one or more braces have popped loose and need to be re-glued.

You didn't say so, but what weight of strings are you using? I personally never use anything heavier than extra light.
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