Heel Repairs

This is the heel of an Ovation. Well, it was anyway. A bit of a tumble had left the neck dangling from the strings while the heel portion remained solidly bolted into the neck-block.

Strong bolts, at least.

This is a pretty straightforward repair. Plenty of glueing surface should make for a strong joint and the break along the grain is extremely clean and easy to reassemble.

That said, I'm playing it carefully on this one. I've seen a number of Ovations break in this location so I've decided to strengthen this joint when it's glued up.

First, though, it's necessary to glue it. The only difficult part of this repair is ensuring a good clamping pressure while the glue cures. The ovation heel is angled which makes it a little more challenging to clamp it down.  As luck would have it, my previous experience with Ovation neck-heel breaks has left me with a custom-made clamping caul for just such an occasion.

Pop a fingerboard caul underneath, glue it up and I'm ready to clamp away. The clean break nicely aligns itself and doesn't require any lateral clamping to stop it slipping about.

After the glue dries properly, I'll reinforce this break a little by drilling a narrow hole—from the inside of the heel either side of the tenon—deep enough to go through the repair into 'good' wood. I'll epoxy a couple of thin steel shafts into the holes to provide extra strength to the repair. The shafts are pretty small and thin but they're strong. They should help make sure this neck never breaks in this spot again.

A bit of a finish touch up and this Ovation lives to fight again.