Ovation is an American guitar manufacturer that specialises in high-quality acoustic instruments. The Ovation CSD225, sometimes abbreviated to CSD2, is a double-necked electric acoustic guitar. The bottom neck has six strings and the top neck has twelve. It is a premium quality guitar with a spruce soundboard. When a soundboard warps, it looses its shape. Mild warping is a natural effect of the maturing wood, but exposure to extremes in temperature or dampness can cause the neck to warp severely. In such cases the guitar loses its shape and the soundboard begins to pull other parts of the guitar apart.
Perform a visual inspection to locate the areas that are most affected. Hold the guitar horizontally and look across the soundboard.
Fit the string winder over each machine head and turn the handle to release the string tension. The Ovation CSD2 has two set saddles. Pry the saddle away from the soundboard using a flat head screwdriver and palette knife. Take your time over this and persevere, it will come away but it may be a protracted procedure. Once you've removed the saddle, set it to one side. If the spruce soundboard is extremely warped, there may be a small gap between the saddle and soundboard that will enable you to get the screwdriver underneath.
Tie a flashlight to a piece of string. Put the guitar on a stand and lower the flashlight into the sound hole. Turn off the lights and closely examine the area where the saddle was. Light will shine brighter through thinner parts of the wood. The soundboard should be consistent, but warped soundboards will thin. Mark warped areas in chalk. Turn on your clothes iron.
Place an old cloth over the guitar and gently run the iron along the edge of the guitar to melt the adhesive that holds the bindings in place. Then use a flat head screwdriver to pry the bindings away from the soundboard. Once they are all away, carefully lift the soundboard away from the guitar and place it to one side. Leave the side panel bindings in place.
Bend the soundboard using a combination of heat and tension. Heat bending equipment is expensive, but you can achieve similar results using a pair of clamps and a clothes iron. Place the sheet over the entire soundboard and carefully run the iron over it. Use a low heat and no steam. Once the soundboard is evenly heated all over, it is ready to be bent back into shape. Place it between two bench clamps and gradually tighten them. As the wood cools it will contract, the clamps will gently pull it back into shape. Leave the guitar over night so it has time to return to the correct shape.
Replace saddles with new ones and attach new bindings. Glue the existing bindings on the side panels. Set the soundboard onto the bindings, allow that glue to set then replace the bindings you removed with new ones.
Always leave your guitar in a dry place. Never leave it near to a radiator or window, where changes in temperature will cause the wood to warp. Make sure that the bench clamps are set to the right height in advance of heating the board. You could loose valuable heat while adjusting them.
Never apply heat directly to the wood. This can cause further damage.
Tips and warnings
- Always leave your guitar in a dry place. Never leave it near to a radiator or window, where changes in temperature will cause the wood to warp.
- Make sure that the bench clamps are set to the right height in advance of heating the board. You could loose valuable heat while adjusting them.
- Never apply heat directly to the wood. This can cause further damage.