Where to get " Bulk " pickguard material?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by larryelwood, Jan 7, 2013.


  1. larryelwood

    larryelwood Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hi all,

    Does anybody know where to get sheets of bulk pickguard material cheap? .. enough for dozens or a couple hundred pickguards? Various color schemes etc..

    B/w/B
    w/b/w
    T/w/b/w

    and so on..


    Thanks!!
  2. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Northern CA.
    I'm guessing you mean direct from manufacturer. Not sure about that, but if you haven't checked out WD, they sell large sheets. Maybe cheap enough to get you started until you can track down a manufacturer and strike a deal directly.

    http://www.wdmusic.com/pickguard_material.html
  3. larryelwood

    larryelwood Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    Yes. I was thinking the manufacturer level. But this is a good start! Thanks a bunch!
  4. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Northern CA.
    No sweat. If I do run across a manufacturer, will definitely pass it along.
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  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Fillmore, CA
    Disclosures:
    Professional Luthier
    As far as I know, WD is the only real source of bulk vinyl pickguard material here in the US. All of the usual guitar parts suppliers who sell the smaller blanks or custom pickguards, get the material from WD. I believe that WD has the material made up in custom order batches by some plastics manufacturer here in the US. But it would be pointless to try to approach them, because they would only do a huge order. The vinyl pickguard material used on guitars is a custom material that isn't really used in any other industry. There just isn't that much demand for it.

    I'm sure that if you searched overseas, you could find a supplier in China or Indonesia. It would be cheap, but you'd have to buy a large quantity, like a container load. The problem is that the shipping cost is higher than the material cost.

    I make my own pickguards for my basses, which are larger than the normal small sheets that most places sell. So, I buy the 2' x 4' sheets from WD. They are a good company, and a reliable supplier.

    If anyone knows of another source for bulk sheets, speak up. But I've done some searching and haven't found any.
  7. larryelwood

    larryelwood Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    Bruce,

    Thanks so much!
  8. abemo

    abemo

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Location:
    Arvada, co
    Beats me. I gave up and started using balsa wood with shielding tape.
  9. Handyman

    Handyman

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
  10. larryelwood

    larryelwood Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
  11. JustDavid

    JustDavid

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    I've wondered if a sign engraving shop would be a cheap source. I've not seen tort but I've seen a lot of W/B/W & B/W/B signs & name tags that look suspiciously like pickguard material.

    Any experience out there on this?
  12. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Fillmore, CA
    Disclosures:
    Professional Luthier
    I'm pretty sure that GuitarFetish gets their material from WD, but they might have an overseas source. Now, if you get set up with WD as a manufacturer/retailer, you can buy their material in quantity at about 60% of the retail price (as on their web site). But WD requires real paperwork showing that you are actually qualified. They don't just give the wholesale price to anyone who asks. GuitarFetish probably buys theirs from WD at the same wholesale prices as everyone else, but they mark it up less to their retail price.

    You can buy engraver's stock (the laminated material that engraving shops use) from sources such as New Hermes. But it's not the same material that instrument pickguards are normally made from. It's harder, the white layers are thinner, and some of it very brittle. It's also much more expensive, like 4 times the price. I bought some specialty metallic engraver's stock from New Hermes to use on some custom pickguards, and I didn't really like it.
  13. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    Downstate CA
    I would double check with them to make sure the tort isn't that hideous printed type. Lord, those are ugly.
  14. larryelwood

    larryelwood Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    Agreed on the printed tort.

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