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  #1  
Old 09-16-2017, 07:54 PM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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Default Savage Patch Ovation Parlor Guitar

I can't thank Dan Savage of the OFC enough. When the market crash finally caught up with my, some would say out of control, guitar trading habit, I thought my custom build days were over. I wasn't all that bummed out as I had amassed a very satisfying collection of O's, but I did regret that I never got to move on to the next project I had in line at the time. I had discussed it with John Budny at Ovation for years, but I wanted a Redwood parlor BAD!

Now, not only do I get the parlor, but it will be a nylon string, shiny bowl, wide-neck, SINKER redwood one as well! Honestly, I'm looking forward to following this build almost as much as I am to playing the final result!

Dan has started to keep a lower profile online, but he said he would post a build thread on the OFC, which just popped up today. Considering the popularity of the "RenOvation" thread in this section a while back, I thought it would be interesting if I copied his progress here. Here's a link to that old thread. It's a good read. New Larry Robinson Inlay

As this progresses, I'll have my own input, but I will put anything from Dan's thread in red quotes. He knows more about the nuts and bolts of Ovations than almost anyone I know.

I'll start the pictures and such in the next post, but for now I just want to say, "Thanks again Dan!"
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Well, it looks like one of those desiderata days.....

MY OVATIONS
Spruce: Patriot #76, 1768-7LTD, 1122, 6774, 1779 USA, 1657-Adi
Redwood: 2001-X, 1537-X, 1713-X, FD14-X
Koa: 2078LXF, 1768-X, 1997-X
12-string: 1755, 1615-X Walnut
Exotic tops: 1768-XWF (Bubinga), 1987-M (Mahogany), Adamas 1681-X (Q. Maple)
Others: MM-68-7LTD Mandolin, MM-868-X Mandocello

Last edited by patchmcg; 09-16-2017 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:00 PM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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"Patch approached me about using some components he has to build a custom Ovation Parlor guitar.

First, there's the bare bowl. More on this later."






"Then, I'm going to remove the neck from this junked 1624 and convert it to a bolt-on neck."



"It'll get a sinker redwood top. I strongly encouraged Patch to go with torrefied spruce, but he strongly resisted because he's a real fan of sinker redwood. Since it's his guitar I let him have his way."



"I managed to find some honest-to-goodness hen's teeth. A NIB set of Schaller 541 gold tuners. These must be the last NIB set of these tuners in the world.

And, the guitar will get an Optima preamp."




"We're still deciding on the bridge and rosette.

Back to the bowl.

Parlor bowls are all but unobtainable. Since this one is currently in perfect, unused condition, I'm going to splash a mold from the outside before I use it for Patch's guitar.

Also, it's going to be a shiny bowl. Probably the only shiny bowl Parlor in the world."
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Well, it looks like one of those desiderata days.....

MY OVATIONS
Spruce: Patriot #76, 1768-7LTD, 1122, 6774, 1779 USA, 1657-Adi
Redwood: 2001-X, 1537-X, 1713-X, FD14-X
Koa: 2078LXF, 1768-X, 1997-X
12-string: 1755, 1615-X Walnut
Exotic tops: 1768-XWF (Bubinga), 1987-M (Mahogany), Adamas 1681-X (Q. Maple)
Others: MM-68-7LTD Mandolin, MM-868-X Mandocello
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2017, 12:54 AM
TuckerRE TuckerRE is offline
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Indeed, Patch, the RenOvation remains in mint condition and Steve and I were just talking about you. Are you coming to the Woodstock show?
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Martins 00-21, D12-20, D-45S, 000-21 Custom, D-18S (Ditson Ltd Ed)...yada yada...
St. Kinnaird Koa, Af BW, Bubinga, Myrtle, Kauri [Robinson inlay], SR Parlor, RenOvation, Mango Xover
Santa Cruz Quilt Mah "The Tree" Ltd Ed VA and Padauk Custom F [Thanks Frank]
Collings SJ Braz/Ger, 000-42Koa, UC3 Killer Koa
Jeffrey Yong's Seismic 2011 Japan Earthquake Tribute and a Quilt Mah "The Tree" Olson
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2017, 01:26 AM
TuckerRE TuckerRE is offline
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Default Savage Patch Ovation Parlor Guitar

Thanks for the tribute to the RenOvation. Perhaps a couple highlights of it..





The re-top on the RenOvation was Port Orford Cedar.



And a look at my parlor with a sinker redwood top (I highly recommend, good call)



And sycamore sides and back



I will follow this one carefully, Patch. Very excited to watch!
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Martins 00-21, D12-20, D-45S, 000-21 Custom, D-18S (Ditson Ltd Ed)...yada yada...
St. Kinnaird Koa, Af BW, Bubinga, Myrtle, Kauri [Robinson inlay], SR Parlor, RenOvation, Mango Xover
Santa Cruz Quilt Mah "The Tree" Ltd Ed VA and Padauk Custom F [Thanks Frank]
Collings SJ Braz/Ger, 000-42Koa, UC3 Killer Koa
Jeffrey Yong's Seismic 2011 Japan Earthquake Tribute and a Quilt Mah "The Tree" Olson
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2017, 07:07 AM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuckerRE View Post
Indeed, Patch, the RenOvation remains in mint condition and Steve and I were just talking about you. Are you coming to the Woodstock show?
The Luthiers' Convention in October? I haven't looked that far ahead on my schedule. I can definitely make an effort though if I'm in town.

I've been there several times and it was worth it each trip. I posted a thread here years back about one of those visits, and I have two custom O's built with tops I found there, one with walnut and the other one figured mahogany.

If you are going to be there, I'm about a half-hour away. Tell me the RenO will be traveling with you.
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Well, it looks like one of those desiderata days.....

MY OVATIONS
Spruce: Patriot #76, 1768-7LTD, 1122, 6774, 1779 USA, 1657-Adi
Redwood: 2001-X, 1537-X, 1713-X, FD14-X
Koa: 2078LXF, 1768-X, 1997-X
12-string: 1755, 1615-X Walnut
Exotic tops: 1768-XWF (Bubinga), 1987-M (Mahogany), Adamas 1681-X (Q. Maple)
Others: MM-68-7LTD Mandolin, MM-868-X Mandocello
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2017, 09:57 AM
TuckerRE TuckerRE is offline
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When one is from Colorado, a 'half-hour away' is right next door! If I can swing it, I will be there!

Here's the poop (sorry, highly technical term) on it:

http://www.woodstockinvitational.com
__________________
Martins 00-21, D12-20, D-45S, 000-21 Custom, D-18S (Ditson Ltd Ed)...yada yada...
St. Kinnaird Koa, Af BW, Bubinga, Myrtle, Kauri [Robinson inlay], SR Parlor, RenOvation, Mango Xover
Santa Cruz Quilt Mah "The Tree" Ltd Ed VA and Padauk Custom F [Thanks Frank]
Collings SJ Braz/Ger, 000-42Koa, UC3 Killer Koa
Jeffrey Yong's Seismic 2011 Japan Earthquake Tribute and a Quilt Mah "The Tree" Olson
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2017, 10:52 AM
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This looks like it's going to be fun to watch. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:18 PM
Truckjohn Truckjohn is offline
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I love it! My first good guitar was an ovation.

I still have a dream/plan to pick up another beat up American made Balladeer and retop it. They are fantastic guitars.

Its pretty interesting how Takamine didn't really become a force in the Acoustic world until they teamed up with Kaman to get fantastic pickups and their designs sorted out to accomodate such (not to mention access to Kaman's gigantic distribution network..)... The rest is history and they are now probably the #1 stage guitar - having overtaken Ovation in the early 2,000's...
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:37 PM
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Hey Patch, this will be fun to watch!
Good to see ya posting, and congrats in advance!

Steve
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2017, 07:48 AM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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UPDATE FROM DAN
Obviously references are to other projects he's done for other OFC'ers

"Removed the neck from the 1624 yesterday."



"I cleaned off the excess epoxy from the dovetail area. The square piece of metal between the fretboard extension and the dovetail is the truss rod anchor."



"Interestingly, this is a dovetail (glue-on) neck on an SMC bowl meant for a K-Bar neck. The serial number dates the guitar to 1985/86. The neck looks to me like it was glued to the bowl at the factory.

Here's the 1624 bowl on top of the parlor bowl. From this shot you can get a good idea of how much black epoxy it took to set the dovetail neck into the bolt-on pcoket. As has been said before Ovation used whatever they had at hand to keep building guitars."




"Here's a close-up of the neck pocket in the body."







"Taking the neck off this guitar was interesting. I knew it was an SMC bowl and there was a single bolt hole on the inside. I figured the neck was a dovetail neck, but I wasn't sure what was lurking inside the pocket. And, to top it all off, the molded-in neck block is quite thick, so I wasn't really enamored with trying to cut the neck off the bowl."



"When I did the bowl bend on Jay's 485 I used my trusty heat gun. It worked, but didn't keep every part of the bowl an even temperature. For this, I decided to try IR lamps like the kind you buy in the hardware store to warm up the bathroom when taking a shower. They did work, but because they are only 125W each, it takes a while to heat the wood. These would work well to do a bowl bend because they do heat up large areas. In the end, I used my trusty heat gun.

The trick to removing the necks, or any part on an Ovation is you've got get the epoxy up to a temperature where it'll soften and turn rubbery. For the most part, room-temperature cure epoxy will start to soften at around 170-180 degrees.

For a glue joint like the bridge, you can heat up the part pretty quickly. But, with a deep joint like the neck, you need to heat soak the external areas and let the heat sink down deep enough so it'll soften the glue.

Once the glue gets soft enough, you just need to start moving the neck back and forth to break loose the glue."
__________________
Well, it looks like one of those desiderata days.....

MY OVATIONS
Spruce: Patriot #76, 1768-7LTD, 1122, 6774, 1779 USA, 1657-Adi
Redwood: 2001-X, 1537-X, 1713-X, FD14-X
Koa: 2078LXF, 1768-X, 1997-X
12-string: 1755, 1615-X Walnut
Exotic tops: 1768-XWF (Bubinga), 1987-M (Mahogany), Adamas 1681-X (Q. Maple)
Others: MM-68-7LTD Mandolin, MM-868-X Mandocello
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2017, 07:02 PM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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Apparently, the O'Parlor Project has more in common with it RenOvation cousin than I thought; including a tendency to migrate to the back-burner when life gets in the way. (As it has on both ends of the continent recently.) But after a couple of months, I can pass along some pretty substantial updates.

Before doing that though, I have to say that Dan operates at a levels well above my fighting weight. As he mentioned way back when, he is going to make a mold from the parlor bowl for a future project. But I have to admit, it doesn't take him long to lose me in what seems to be a much more diffiuclt process than it sounded at first.

What follows are his latest posts:

It's been a while since my last update, hasn't it? Two months to be exact.

The time has come to prepare the bowl for splashing a mold from it. Normally, a male plug would be made from wood, or some other material which could be attached to a parting plate. Since this is a finished piece there's no way to attach the bowl to the parting plate.

It's been a while since my last update, hasn't it? Two months to be exact.

The time has come to prepare the bowl for splashing a mold from it. Normally, a male plug would be made from wood, or some other material which could be attached to a parting plate. Since this is a finished piece there's no way to attach the bowl to the parting plate.

So, I'm going to cut an insert that can be temporarily attached to the inside of the bowl. The first step is to trace the outline of the bowl onto 3/4" MDF. I'm using MDF that has a plastic laminated surface which is smoother than bare wood.





Way back when I bought my 1619, TJR included a bare bowl in the deal. I figured that as long as I was going through the process to splash parlor bowl, it wouldn't be too much work to splash a mold off this bowl, as well.



Tracing the outline of the deep bowl.





The 3/4" MDF is really heavy, which would make the finished mold too cumbersome to work with. So, I decided to cut out the inside. The side benefit is that the bowls will eventually need to be separated from the inserts and the parting plates, so cutting out the center will give me something to grab onto when the time comes.

I taped a marker to a piece of scrap wood so I could draw parallel lines to the outline.



Both inserts are ready to cut.



Parlor insert is cut out and ready to attach to the bowl.

http://savagelight.com/ofc/patch/parlor/DSC08485.JPG

Insert is fitted to to the parlor bowl.



Insert is fitted to the deep bowl.



Parlor insert is temporarily attached to the parting plate with screws.



Because I want the insert to remain attached to the bowl, but not to the parting plate, I taped a layer of visqueen to the parting plate, then re-attached the insert. I did the same thing to the deep bowl.



I ran a large bead of silicone around the insert(s), then pushed the bowl(s) onto the insert(s) so the top(s) were flush with the parting plate(s), then thew a sandbag(s) onto the bowl(s) to hold them in place while the silicone dries. I'll let the silicone dry for 24 hours, then pull the bowl(s) off the parting plate(s).


__________________
Well, it looks like one of those desiderata days.....

MY OVATIONS
Spruce: Patriot #76, 1768-7LTD, 1122, 6774, 1779 USA, 1657-Adi
Redwood: 2001-X, 1537-X, 1713-X, FD14-X
Koa: 2078LXF, 1768-X, 1997-X
12-string: 1755, 1615-X Walnut
Exotic tops: 1768-XWF (Bubinga), 1987-M (Mahogany), Adamas 1681-X (Q. Maple)
Others: MM-68-7LTD Mandolin, MM-868-X Mandocello
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:10 PM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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I know I'm posting these at the same time, but about two weeks passed between Dan's last update and this one.


When we last met I had temporarily glued the bowls to the inserts. Now it's time to start prepping them for molding.

First step is to sand them in preparation for priming. As you can see, even though the parlor bowl looks smooth, it really has a fair amount of wrinkles that resulted from the compression molding of the SMC. Without preparation, these would have been transferred to the new molds.





The parlor bowl has been primed and sanded. It's ready for waxing and the mold release layer.



The deep bowl had a similar problem. The weave of the cloth needs to be filled to provide a smooth surface.



The deep bowl has also been primed and is ready for the waxing and applying the mold release layer.



The parlor bowl and deep bowls have had 3 layers of wax, then a layer of poly-vinyl alcohol (PVA) mold release. The basic idea is to prevent the molding epoxy from sticking to the molds. First the plug, in this case, the bowls are waxed. Then the PVA mold release is applied.

The wax keeps the PVA from sticking to the plug. The PVA keeps the epoxy from eating through the wax and bonding to the plug. The PVA is an interesting compound. When dry, it forms a barrier that the epoxy can't penetrate, but can be dissolved with plain water.

The surface of the PVA is a lot smoother than it looks in the photos below. Next job is to start laying up the molds.






I might add that when I first started making molds I would paint the plug with a hard finish like epoxy paint, then polish the plugs to a mirror finish. I waxed the plugs, but didn't use PVA, so the epoxy would eat right through the wax and bond to the paint. I had a problem with the molds sticking to the plugs. The only way to get the plug out of the mold was to destroy the plug.

When I started using PVA I discovered that the mirror finish on the plugs really didn't matter because the PVA was a new layer and that was the surface that was molded.

Now I just prime the plugs, then sand it smooth with up to 600-grit, then wax and spray the PVA. It's a lot easier and a lot less time-consuming.
__________________
Well, it looks like one of those desiderata days.....

MY OVATIONS
Spruce: Patriot #76, 1768-7LTD, 1122, 6774, 1779 USA, 1657-Adi
Redwood: 2001-X, 1537-X, 1713-X, FD14-X
Koa: 2078LXF, 1768-X, 1997-X
12-string: 1755, 1615-X Walnut
Exotic tops: 1768-XWF (Bubinga), 1987-M (Mahogany), Adamas 1681-X (Q. Maple)
Others: MM-68-7LTD Mandolin, MM-868-X Mandocello
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:28 AM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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Here's the latest update posted yesterday. Dan mentions that the parlor bowl is made of "unobtainium" (A cool word to be sure), and he is right. This may well be the last of those which were made way back in the 90's.

The molding process has begun. Because I'm using a different brand of epoxy than I normally use I decided to mold my deep bowl first. This way, if there's any problems Patch's parlor bowl is still safe. (Made from unobtainium)

First step is to apply the surface coat. This is similar to a gel coat, but with thickened epoxy instead of polyester resin.





I'm sure you've noticed the difference in color between the treble and bass bouts. I'd originally planned to add some yellow dry artist pigment to the surface coat so that I could see the difference between the white surface coat and the parting plate. But, because the PVA is tinted green, this is really unnecessary. Also the surface coat is really thick, so blending in the pigment was a royal pain in the butt.

Next, a fillet of surface coat is laid into the joint of between the bowl and the parting plate. This is done for two reasons. First, it adds strength to this area of the mold. Second, the cloth doesn't really want to conform to a sharp angle, so this helps prevent voids from forming during the lay-up.



First layer(s) of 5-oz. cloth are laid-up.



Final layer(s) of 17-oz. bias knitted cloth are on the plug. I'll let the epoxy cure for 24 hours, then I'll separate the plug and mold.


__________________
Well, it looks like one of those desiderata days.....

MY OVATIONS
Spruce: Patriot #76, 1768-7LTD, 1122, 6774, 1779 USA, 1657-Adi
Redwood: 2001-X, 1537-X, 1713-X, FD14-X
Koa: 2078LXF, 1768-X, 1997-X
12-string: 1755, 1615-X Walnut
Exotic tops: 1768-XWF (Bubinga), 1987-M (Mahogany), Adamas 1681-X (Q. Maple)
Others: MM-68-7LTD Mandolin, MM-868-X Mandocello
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:42 AM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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More from Dan last night:

And now, the moment of truth...

The first step to de-molding the plug is to use a couple of plastic wedges to walk around the periphery to break loose the parting plate.



Normally the next step would be to pour water in the gap to start dissolving the PVA. While looking into the gap between the mold and the parting plate I saw that the parting plate was loose from the mold, but that the bowl was still stuck to the inside of the mold.

And, success! After some careful use of the wedges working my way around the bowl and pouring water into the gap I was able to get the bowl out of the mold with no damage to either one. (Woo hoo!)

This is why I built the plug to be disassembled and with the hole in the insert. I've had too many plugs stuck inside the mold. I unscrewed the parting plate from the bowl/insert which gave me access to the bowl/insert. I had to pretty much destroy the MDC insert to separate it from the bowl. This would allow the bowl to flex enough for me to pour water down in the gap between the bowl and the mold.





There are a couple of very minor flaws in the mold where some un-cured (poorly mixed?) surface coat were applied, but for the most part, I'm very happy with how it turned out and it can be used to lay up my own bowls. I'll use my Dremel and cutoff wheel to trim the excess mold flange in the next few days.

This bowl is still very usable. I've on;y been saving it so I could splash a mold from it. Now that this is done and because this is a very high quality molded piece, I'll use this to build a guitar, probably an Elite with quintad braces and definitely a torrefied top.

Next job is to lay up a mold over Patch's parlor.




__________________
Well, it looks like one of those desiderata days.....

MY OVATIONS
Spruce: Patriot #76, 1768-7LTD, 1122, 6774, 1779 USA, 1657-Adi
Redwood: 2001-X, 1537-X, 1713-X, FD14-X
Koa: 2078LXF, 1768-X, 1997-X
12-string: 1755, 1615-X Walnut
Exotic tops: 1768-XWF (Bubinga), 1987-M (Mahogany), Adamas 1681-X (Q. Maple)
Others: MM-68-7LTD Mandolin, MM-868-X Mandocello
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  #15  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:04 PM
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Patch Rubin Patch Rubin is offline
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Interesting thread, but I'm really here to ask is your name really Patch? In my 45 years I've never met another.
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