Ovation Guitar Repair London


This Ovation LX was in serious trouble when its bridge lifted off.

It is only a couple of years old and was shipped over from Germany. It had had intensive repair in the past and the bridge had been refitted (twice) by guitar techs in Germany.


Normally when gluing a bridge in place, bridge clamps are used.
The bridge clamps reach into the guitar’s sound-hole and firmly locate on the internal bridge plate

Example

Since the Ovation LX does not have a sound-hole in the traditional sense, a different gluing method must be used.


It was decided that the bridge should be glued back in place using very strong wood glue and also bolted down through its wings. This would ensure that the wings of the bridge are tightly clamped whilst the glue was drying. The heads of the bolts would be covered with 6mm Mother of Pearl dot inlays to disguise their heads (a common solution).

When gluing a bridge to its soundboard appropriate down-baring from the clamps to the bridge is vital if it is to remain permanently stuck. I suspect that this was not the case with the past two attempts.
I decided to use a purpose made bar clamp. This clamp is used to “sandwich” the bridge, soundboard and back together. Care must be taken that the soundboard and the back of the guitar is not deformed in any way when using his clamp. To eliminate this, dowel posts were made and used to support and oppose the downward baring of the bar clamp on the soundboard and distortional forces on the back.
Also just as added insurance a cam clamp was used. The pre-amp of an Ovation is set into its side. This entire system was removed thus creating an opening in the side where the cam clamp can be inserted and used to reach the bridge and bridge-plate.

The soundboard and bridge were cleaned up. On the underside of the bridge ply-wood patches were inlayed to stiffen up this area and prevent the bolts from pulling through the bottom of the bridge.

The glue was applied and left to set for 12 hours.


The Bar and Cam Clamp in use

Dowel Posts for support

Bolts through the Bridge Plate viewed from the inside

Portal on the back

The guitar was strung up with 12 – 54 strings and tested for several days.


More about bridges here


Guitar Repair Specialist for Martin, Gibson, Fender, Guild, Takamine, Yamaha, Ovation and Adamas Guitars

Over three decades I have specialised  in repairing Martin, Gibson, Fender, Guild, Takamine, Yamaha, Ovation and Adamas guitars.

Repairs vary from basic set up work to full blown renovation and rebuilds.
The most extreme repair I have undertaken was taken into the workshop about 8 years ago; a woman had bought a Yamaha acoustic guitar for her husband from her local music shop and 2 years or so later he was sadly killed in a car crash. The guitar was also in the car at the time of the accident and was badly damaged in the resulting fire. The widow wanted the guitar restored as a memorial to her late husband but alas the only thing salvageable was the guitar’s bridge. I was commissioned to build an exact replica of his guitar using the old bridge.

Contact me if your guitar is in need of TLC and talk through the possibilities.