Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

IconProjects, musings about guitar builds, guitar repairs, vintage tube amplifiers, old radios, travel, home renovation, and other stuff.

Removing Ovation Guitar Neck for Reset

There are two bolts that hold the neck to the body on the Ovation.  This is the lower one.  I suppose I could have put my mirror into the guitar to get both bolts in the picture, but I was lazy.  Plus, I really don't need the mirror to see where the bolts are.

We just take the bolts out with a socket.  I think it was a 3/8 inch socket, but I can't recall exactly.

Here are the bolts.  Complete with lockwashers.

As I mentioned in the first part of this project, the neck was partially glued on to the body as part of a previous repair.

I got under the fingerboard extension with one of my palette knives and didn't find much glue there.

Then I put some gentle but firm, judicious pressure on the neck and - crack - the neck popped off.  The 'crack' was from the glue giving way.  I was thinking about putting some steam into the bolt holes if needed, but the neck popped off with just a bit of pressure.

The now-separated neck and body.

Other than the bowl back, it looks pretty much like most any other acoustic guitar neck joint.  (Plus the bolts of course).

A lot of repair people refuse to work on Ovations.  Send your broken Ovations to me instead.

 The whole time I was taking the neck off, I kept thinking back to the owner saying a previous repair person had glued the neck on.  I didn't see any obvious damage that would have caused them to do that.  The neck joint is in good shape, the bolts are fine, and the whole thing came apart with no problems.

But now I see the issue.  At the bottom of the neck joint, see the cracked plastic and the glue on top of it.  It looks like the plastic running across the bottom of the joint on the outside broke off.  The repair person decided to just use epoxy to fill the gap.  Unfortunately, there was still a small gap when the neck was back on the body.

And for some reason, they also used glue along the edge of the slot where the block under the fingerboard extension slides into the guitar.

I'm going to clean up all the epoxy, measure for the neck reset, and then see how big the gap is.

I use my trusty Black and Decker Sure Steam iron along with a damp towel to get some wet heat on the glue.

When it's softened, I just scrape it off with a chisel.

In this case, the epoxy just started to crack when it was heated.  It came off in chips.

Next up:  doing the math for the next reset.


Post a Comment 12 comments:

  • Russell Brennan said...
    May 27, 2013 at 1:40 PM
    Cool, do you know if the celebrity guitars have bolt on necks as well? And did you publish a follow up to this somewhere?
  • Yr Fthfl Blggr said...
    May 27, 2013 at 8:20 PM
    All Ovations are bolt on. I did a lot more with this guitar - if you click "Newer Post" down below (just above the "Subscribe to..." button, you'll be able to go to each post after this one.
  • Anonymous said...
    November 18, 2014 at 11:13 AM
    I have a Celebrity with no bolts
  • Paul Race said...
    May 20, 2015 at 2:44 PM
    I have been going back and forth between my pro Ovations and my decent, but not professional 6-string banjos. For some reason 6-string banjo makers equip even their "mid-priced" banjos with crap necks. I was wondering if it would be possible to put an Ovation neck on a banjo body. But it would have to be an actual Ovation neck, not an applause or
    Celebrity. Ideal, of course would be a LongNeck, since they have the same scale length as a banjo. Does anything like that ever come across your path? Thanks.
  • Yr Fthfl Blggr said...
    June 1, 2015 at 3:55 PM
    Hi Paul -

    I have not seen just a neck like that. Have you tried someone like Kevin Enoch for a neck? He may sell them.
  • Pete Hill said...
    March 6, 2016 at 10:39 PM
    Hi - I need a neck reset and tweak on a Pacemaker 12 string. You make it look not that difficult. Advice?
  • Pete Hill said...
    March 6, 2016 at 10:39 PM
    Hi - I need a neck reset and tweak on a Pacemaker 12 string. You make it look not that difficult. Advice?
  • Pete Hill said...
    March 6, 2016 at 10:56 PM
    Looked inside - no bolts visible. Base of Neck is not visible - appears to be part of the plastic bowl.
  • Anonymous said...
    April 22, 2016 at 4:45 PM
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  • Unknown said...
    May 25, 2017 at 10:03 AM
    I have one of those doubleneck guitars and I would love to swap the configuration around so that the twelve string is on the bottom and the six is on the top.

    Would you know if the twelve and six would be made the same in so much as would I be able to swap them or would their construction and attachment be any different?

    Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!
  • Yr Fthfl Blggr said...
    May 26, 2017 at 9:54 AM
    It might be possible, you'd have to check:

    - Do both necks bolt on to the body?
    - And most critical: are the measurements of the necks at the heel end the same? I would think the 12-string neck/heel are bigger.
    - If the first two check out, the next question is the saddles. Are they the same width, or is there a big difference? If they are the same, or if the difference isn't that great, it might still work.

    IF they are the same, and they both attach the same way, it's probably possible. The Ovations I've seen have a molded "V" shape on the bowl that the neck heel fits into. So if the widths of the heels isn't the same, then you'll have problems trying to swap them.

    Hope this helps.
  • Dean Winchester said...
    October 28, 2017 at 3:52 AM
    I've got one and want to do the same thing. Did you have any luck? Any tips or advice?

Post a Comment