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Oval to D hole

My old oval hole beach guitar is actually amazingly...made from solid wood. The neck has been reshaped a bit so it suits my hand.

In looking atnthe construction I hink one of the main reasons it doesnt speak that well ($150 used) is the top and back braces are more like structural timbers. In order to get in there and resape them I would need to carefully open the hole to D hole sides.

Any thoughts as to what factors to consider to changing hole from oval to D??
The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed


  • noodlenotnoodlenot ✭✭✭
    Posts: 388
    sorry, i´m not understanding you too well. language barrier?

    you want to reshape some braces on your oval hole? was your guitar glued up with animal glue? if so you could try removing the back with some steam. i´ve done that once and it wasn´t the hassle i thought it would be.
  • No Not hide glue. Most likely urea formaldehyde
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • noodlenotnoodlenot ✭✭✭
    Posts: 388
    ok. never mind what i said, i just remembered it was before i put the bindings on...
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,757
    I u r really careful and have a very thin japanese back saw, you can saw the back off just next to the binding. the bummer is that you will have to sand the surfaces a bit to glue it back on and the guitar will be just a bit thinner. Also, i'm not sure what you do if the heel of the neck goes all the way to the back. Maybe just saw thru that too.
  • Yikes. :shock: saw the back off.....its rosewood solid by the look of the grain inside and out...not Brazilian

    ...I have devised a way to sand down the braces to a parabolic shape.....just need more room than an oval hole.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Archtop EddyArchtop Eddy Manitou Springs, ColoradoModerator
    Posts: 589
    Not quite sure what your bracing situation is but perhaps a smaller D-hole like on some Favino's might work? Just a thought... It would be interesting if some our other luthier friends like Bob, Craig, et al., might give us their thoughts about converting an oval hole to a D hole. Personally, I never thought about it but it's an interesting topic/idea and I'd be curious about their views. AE
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,757
    Hi Jay,

    Maybe I wasn't clear, saw thru the sides just next to the binding with a very thin kerf saw like a Japanese back saw.

    You don't destroy the back you just remove it, sand the saw cut smooth and glue it back in place. The sides will end up narrower by the thickness of the saw kerf plus the sanding.

    Of course, you would need a bunch of clamps to glue the back on but those are easy to make out of round wood rod (like 2" diameter) and long 1/4" screws/washers/wing nuts.

    Sounds a bit scarey and I have not done it myself but I know a repair guy that has. I'll ask him about it.
  • Thanks Bones....I do understand.....thats a lot of very precise sawing :shock: :lol:
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • noodlenotnoodlenot ✭✭✭
    Posts: 388
    a marking gauge like one of these : would help. then you could deepen the mark with a scalpel and saw afterwards. tedious but doable.

    you can also fit one of these: ... fling+Tool into your dremel and try your luck...
    anyway, sorry for going back at back removal. i´d also like to hear the pros opinion on routing a new d-hole on your guitar, sounds dangerous! BTW, is the top around the sound hole flat or radiused?

  • For me to make a template and rout the d-hole would be a breeze. Mask both sides of top to prevent blowouts and use my dremel with 1/8 cutter to rout hole. I would probanly have to fake the trimming around the hole as there is some shape to the top and would just be waaay easier :oops:

    Shape the edge of the hole refinish and away to the races on the braces. Just not sure how to size the hole. The braces look to be pretty well placed to allow the D hole ......

    hopefully someone knowledgeable will jump in here ...HOPE .....HOPE :D
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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