Styrene Pickguard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by E_strat, Nov 25, 2012.


  1. E_strat

    E_strat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Has anyone here ever made a pickguard out of a sheet of styrene or another type of conventional plastic that can be bought at a hobby/DIY store?
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    In my estimation, styrene is the least durable plastic I can think of that is commonly used in consumer products. It seems to me it is highly susceptible to uv and many weak solvents. It seems quite soft and easy to mark so a polished appearance is nearly impossible; it will dull quickly. It also age yellows rapidly. But there is no reason you can't make a pg from it. Acrylic is just a better choice. Or you could kick it old school and get some thick paper fiber board and finish it with old time nitro for that 50's Fender thing.
  3. grisezd

    grisezd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've used clear plexiglass that I had lying around on my last two home builds. It's not fun to work with as it is easy to crack, but once you've got the hang of it it works well. You can then paint the back side to get a super-deep gloss look from the front that you can't scratch up. Or, you can stick whatever to the back side (pictures, foil tape, etc). I've used aluminum tape on the last two with good results.
  4. T-Bird

    T-Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Finland (Northern Europe)
    Hi.

    I haven't used styrene, and I probably wouldn't either, just like 96tbird said it's less than practical for that application.

    I once made a PG out of a colored lp, but that was on an acoustic guitar, so nothing to drill or attach onto it.

    While experimenting can be very rewarding, the commonly used cheap pg materials are the best, IMHO.
    Unless You can/want cut one out of metal or CF that is.

    Regards
    Sam
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  6. E_strat

    E_strat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    I think my goal was to have an alternative to drilling new holes in my bass for a new pickguard, and it would be matte black so no worries about anything gloss. I know you can custom order pickguards but I kinda just wanted to make my own.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Yah, no you've got me thinking; i picture white styrene sheet was what you meant. For matte black, you might look for some black fiberboard like used in matte making in picture framing. Then hit it with krylon matte clear coat for paper. it and knock the shine off with scotchbrite pads. Original Leo Fender style. Hmmmm. My Squier CV butterscotch blonde 50'$ P is begging for it.
  8. T-Bird

    T-Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Finland (Northern Europe)
    Hi.

    Most places at least used to carry PG blanks of an appropriate size for all the regular shapes, I'd guess they still do.

    If the styrene one would be strictly a cosmetical PG without anything to attach into or supported by it, then it might work.

    Making a PG takes quite a bit of Your time, so using a material that have the possibility of breaking down, isn't what I'd do.

    Styrene sheets are relatively cheap though, so nothing prevents You from trying.

    Regards
    Sam
  9. Batmensch

    Batmensch Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chester, Pa.,USA
    IMO, Styrene is much too soft to stand up to the kind of abuse it would get in this application. Kinda one of the reasons it's used in plastic model kits, it's soft enough to easily modify and shape, yet sturdy enough to be fairly stable. But that's primarily for models that will basically just sit there to be looked at, it wouldn't be sturdy enough in this case.
  10. E_strat

    E_strat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Ah ok. Thanks for the pointers everyone. My dad and I ended up talking about possibly making one out of wood (he's had wood working experience, not like it would be too hard anyway).
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    If we are talking a Fender type bass, there are very cheap pre shaped pg's in eBay. You may need to file the neck and pickup cuts a bit and drill new screw holes in the bass body but its easy. I wouldn't do it to a real Anerican Fender though.
  12. E_strat

    E_strat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Well what I'm working with is a Douglas Lacerta jazz bass fretless, so I guess I don't have anything to worry about haha.

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