I have been doing instrument repairs, setups, re-fretting, restoration for 5 years now. However I shy away from neck resets. I even bought 2 $5 guitars to practice...couldn't find the dovetail via the removed fret. I now have an Ovation Celebrity in the shop...initially thought it might be a bolt on neck...Nope. Any tips on removing this one?

The neck has been somewhat broke loose as you can see from the heel of the neck and where the fretboard meets the neck. I can get about 3/8" of a pallet knife in there.  The strings are almost 1/2" above the 14th fret.

Jerry Ryan

Inland NE

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Pardon me please for my sense of humor.... ;)

There is no guarantee that it's a serviceable dovetail either.  It may very well be a dowelled joint and if this is the case removal, cleanly without cutting the neck off on the bandsaw, is not always an option.

But most of all though the trouble with using this Ovation as a "mule" to learn neck resets is that Ovation did use copious amounts of gooey epoxy that will not release as easily as hot hide or modern white or yellow glues that are serviceable meaning will release with heat and moisture.

If your objective is to learn neck resets old, ebay Harmonys with proper dovetails are far better mules and the glues that they used were serviceable as well.  Neck resets also have a learning curve once the neck is off of refitting the neck with the appropriate neck angle and getting the cosmetics down too making the repair invisible.  My own opinion is that you will have far greater success starting off with a guitar that was originally intended to be serviceable and constructed in such a manner so that one may successfully reset the neck.

Thanks. Appreciate the insight and will find another mule for the bench1

Since this is a buddy's Ovation....I will find a way to improve it. Thanks for the tip on construction....what a cheap way to build a guitar....


Read this discussion to get the skinny on the forum's general feelings about Ovation Roundbacks.

Paul's post says it all for this Forum. Sorry Jerry! Do you have any other projects that we might be interested in seeing /something you need help with Jerry?

Jerry- I've had plenty of experience with the Celebrity series necks popping loose. Ovation imports use a dovetail that is glued into the mortise with epoxy mixed with a silica powder to thicken the glue. However, on occasion too much silica is used and the epoxy does not stick to the dovetail. Often these guitars come with a gig bag and get banged around and the joint gets "shocked" knocking the dovetail loose from the body. The fretboard extension is glued with standard two part epoxy and is glued directly to the tops finish coat. As a pre-caution, I score the top finish around the fretboard to prevent the finish from lifting when the fretboard is released. Next, I insert a thinned spatula under the binding and work my way around the fretboard. There is a large rout under the fretboard for the truss rod access- the fretboard is only glued around the perimeter. The neck should fall right off at this point. Hope this info helps.

That was my suspicion re. the construction. My guess is that you are right by the way the neck set has released apx. 1/32 of an inch and the fretboard is 90% intact. Thank you!

I am not a Gibson & Martin luthier...yet. I consider each customer as someone deserving something more than a 'junk it' response!

Jerry Ryan

Go ahead and give it a try Jerry of corse after talking to the customer first you never know you may get to like the Ovations.Bill............

What started me in this 5 yrs ago was an Ovation std. body with a destroyed top. I made a new one following a Martin soundboard bracing design.


Jerry- looks great! I love the herringbone trim.


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