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Pick guard routing help

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by shadowtippy, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. It has been said that there are no stupid questions, but this might prove that to be wrong.
    What is the best tool for routing a pick guard? Is a dremel tool a good choice, or will it burn the guard? Should I make it a more time consuming job by using an x-acto knife? Would something else be a better choice?
    I will make a template first, then practice on some scraps before I attempt the "final" piece. Any advice is appreciated.
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    I make a template out of wood, taking the time to sand it until it is as close to perfect as I can get it. Then I use double stick tape to stick the pick guard material to the template. The top of the template is applied to the matte side of the guard material, so the side with the protective plastic is facing up. Then I cut around the pick guard material on my band saw, not getting to close to the template. Next I use a flush trim bit in my router table and flush cut the pick guard material to the template, then I go around it again with a 45 degree chamfer bit.

    Note, I do not cut a neck pocket cut away or pickup routs in my pick guard template. I install the pick guard on to the body and use a flush trim bit (bearing on the bottom facing down) and use the actual neck pocket to guide the bit. This insures a perfect fit. As for the pickup routs, I will usually do the pick guard and body routs at the same time, or if the body is already routed, I use the same process as the neck pocket
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  4. Thank you. I'll name my first rebuild after you (if it turns out good). That method should work better than my original plan.
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    What was your original plan
  6. Using a dremel tool with a cut-off
    wheel for most of the cuts and
    a file and sand paper for finishing.

  7. This sounds good... Unless you have a CNC router...

  8. This would be OK... On a Wishbass....

    PS - I own a Wishbass, not makin fun, just sayin...
  9. The pick guard is for a rebuild I will be starting soon. The bass is a $30. pos I picked up recently. The neck is good, the body is in almost decent condition. The electronics need replacing and I want to set it up
    With a split coil, P style. If it turns out good, I will post before and after pics in the bass section.
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Yeah I have tried that before, it doesn't work. Pick guard material isn't that easy to work with. Even with my method, you will still have to take a hard block and some sand paper along the edges to clean it up.

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