Anyone make an ebony pickguard for a Precision bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bigmikebass, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. I have a parts bass with an ebony neck and fingerboard. I would love to have an ebony pickguard as well. Or, if I could just land the right Spitfire tort guard? I am sold on the Jazz knobs in advance. Thanks friends!
    Mike 061B66B3-18CC-48DB-8607-B9408E54EA4A.jpeg
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  2. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles
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  3. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
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  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I made an ebony pickguard for a P-bass for a customer....about 25 years ago. It certainly can be done, on custom order. And it isn't going to be cheap. Many Luthiers could make it for you.

    If I remember right, the one I made was on an aluminum plate backing, so it had a fine silver pin stripe around the edge. Another alternate backing material is 1/16" black Garolite sheet. Slice some ebony up into thin sheet strips, epoxy them to the Garolite, and sand them flat. Coat it with a hardening oil finish. That's the best way to make it. But it takes some labor.
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  5. I've never seen an ebony neck, is it much heavier than maple?
  6. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles
  7. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Ebony is heavier.

    Loosely and generically speaking, ebony is around about 50% to 100% heavier than maple, but that's highly dependent on the densities specific to the pieces of each wood being compared; there's quite a bit of variation.

    Wood Density Chart

    Good thing this bass has a bridge position J pickup for some counter-weight? ;)
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
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  8. Hey guys the bass weighs 9.6lbs. It is heavier than maple, but since it’s a jazz neck it has less mass and is actually manageable. Feels nice too as it’s unfinished.

    The jazz pickup is disconnected, but definitely thought it would balance better with it in there. It hangs flat on a thin strap, and behaves with a thicker one.

    All in all, it is a nice solid sounding bass- not loud unplugged, but resonant.
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  9. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Wide straps definitely help. Ultralight tuning machines are good. Ebony pickguards are next level though.

    BTW, stacked pot, concentric tone and volume PJ control opportunity?

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  10. Have hip shot ultralights on there with a matching ultralight extender. I actually pulled the jazz out of the circuit and put in a push pull tone pot with a .047/.1 tone cap function. I only really used the jazz pickup as a thumb-rest.
  11. On the subject of Wenge- I think it would look close- but wanted the smooth (less porous) look/feel of ebony.
  12. Thanks, and yes I know ebony is heavier but wondered in pounds and ounces how much additional weight it adds to this bass. But as the bass is still only 9.6lbs it's manageable. I'd definitely get the J pup back into operation though; a good PJ is an amazingly flexible bass.
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  13. The more I look at the gloss black pickguard the more I like it. I think that a satin finish ebony might be less attractive and unless it matches the fingerboard exactly could look "wrong". Other things against it could be the risk of cracking around screw holes and the high initial cost of manufacture. The white layer in the black guard does frame the guard nicely too IMO. As before, I'd spend the money on getting the J in circuit.
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  14. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles

    That's where, "that's highly dependent on the densities specific to the pieces of each wood being compared; there's quite a bit of variation" gets to your question, in a pointed way.

    Understanding that reality, what specific piece of maple or maple neck are you asking the OP to compare their ebony neck to say how much heavier? Setting aside what do with such a super specific hypothetical answer.

    Think about it.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  15. Thanks again. Mike indirectly answered my query by confirming his bass was still within the typical weight range of P basses. If the bass weighed 12lbs+ that would've indicated to me that the ebony neck was possibly much heavier than a typical maple neck.
  16. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles

    Okay. Sorry, the body on Mike's bass looks to be most likely alder, not maple, and my British English to American English is deficient, so I didn't understand that you were simply asking for the overall weight of Mike's bass, not broader underlying concerns, including potential dive due to weight of an ebony neck vs a more typical maple neck.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
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  17. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    The padauk one would be killer on that bass - especially with the Jazz knobs.
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  18. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    Get a no ply black guard and hit with scotch brite.

    Find something already dark in wood then stain & seal.
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  19. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Search it on etsy
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  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Why not ivory? They'd get along fine.