I'd go with the stable repair you've done and pass on the finish work. You seem to already know that touch-up work on an Ovation is a hellish nightmare.
If you choose to proceed, make sure the customer is aware of your hourly rate and include your research time & failed attempts in your final bill. He's probably looking at several hundred $$$ in hourly charges for what nowadays is basically a $400 undesirable guitar on the used market.
You may also wish to comfort him bu stating (factually) that 90% of Ovations have 1 to 5 cracks in their tops. I've always suspected their poorly designed cases for this fact.
Best of luck Jeff (:
Paul, I had always thought that the reasons for all the cracks in Ovations tops was because the plastic bodies can't breath like wood, so the top IS the only thing that 'can' move. So the top is between a rock and a hard place. What do you think?
Great observation Kerry! I hadn't considered that distinct possibility.
That could be one of the elements in Ovation's perfect storm of issues that makes all of us go "fizzle frakin howza whatza drat darn it?" like Ralphie's dad in "A Christmas Story".
As a note, I have an Korean built transparent red Ovation Celebrity w/hard plastic case in VG+ condition for sale for $200+ shipping. It's one of the Ovations with Adamas style soundholes in the top. It belongs to an old friend of mine. It's only issue is a non functional bridge piezo and a very well done concealment of a top crack right where the soundhole would be, My buddy repro'd the design of the soundholes' applique and glued it over the crack. From two feet away, it looks like it came from the factory that way!.
I adjusted the nut and gave it a fret dress. My friend is finding it difficult to find someone willing to deal with Kaman for a replacement pickup system, myself included. Access to the inards are through a removable round plate on its back. I'm simply through with tearing up my arms in order to do the pup system swap & interior work. He asked me to get rid if it for him. A wise move from my perspective.
Have a good 'un (-:
Cellosolve will have NO effect at all on catalyzed polymer, and neither will any other of our usual solvents. As a rule, catalyzed finishes have a permanent change in their chemical makeup when they harden, and are no longer soluble in much of anything. So, any finish touchup has to proceed along the lines of a cyanoacrylate fill that will stick to the finish, but not become "one" with it.
WIth practice, such a fill can be quite effective, but it takes some time to get the process down, and, like any other touchup, it takes time to do, too.
Keith Partridge would be mad at you, Hugh... ;)
Throw the thing into a dumpster! I have 3 Ovations that have the tops distroyed that need to go there. The tunners are great tho.
I use CA one for these repairs. Not perfect, but a pretty decent result, and customers are happy. I warn them that these finishes can't be repaired, and that I can only make it a little better than an obvious crack.