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Cutting a pick guard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by FunkySpoo, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    So what tool do you use to cut a pick guard so it has that nice bevel?
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Firstly, cut the pickguard with whatever works best for you (scroll saw, jigsaw, bandsaw, whatever). Then use a router with a bevelling bit to put the right amount of bevel on it. Steware MacDonald (www.stewmac.com) sells one.

  3. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Cool thanks
  4. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    To expand on my previous post, I believe that the router pickguard bevelling bit that StewMac sells would actually require that you have a wooden template to which you would put the pickguard material blank on top of, and then the bearing guide of the router bit rides on the template.

    I just checked their site and the page for this router bit also has a diagram on it of just this operation. The URL is:


  5. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Thanks again. Very helpful
  6. ThunderPig

    ThunderPig Guest

    Dec 15, 2002
    Oakland California
    To add to what Bass Kahuna posted:

    I use a laminate trimmer (small, high-speed router)mounted upside down, shaper style, with just the pilot bearing and the amount of chamfer protruding through the table. With some of the wilder shapes and pointier points, it's often easier and safer to move the workpiece around the cutter, than move the cutter around the workpiece. This can take a bit of getting used to, so practice on some scraps first. Not only do I do this for the chamfer edge, but in most cases, I'll work out the exact shape of the pickguard in 3/16 or 1/4 plexiglass as a pattern (including all the screw holes). Then I'll fretsaw or bandsaw the workpiece about 1/16 oversize and use a flush cutting pattern bit in the trimmer and use that to get the finished shape. Then change to the chamfer bit and do the chamfer. A good thing about doing it this way is, should you ruin the workpiece for whatever reason, you still have the pattern and it's a piece of cake to make another one. Good luck and be very careful when using routers. T-Pig.
  7. Gander


    Jun 5, 2002
    Hi, Rick, I use a laminate beveling bit and my Porter Cable router to bevel the outside of mine (23 degree bevel, I think). Works great and available most everywhere. Be sure and wear eye and hearing protection when you use power tools.
  8. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    You guys rock. thanks alot
  9. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    This will work great. you can use a belt sander, a planner, or a dremmiel tool to get into tight spots also.
  10. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I posted this question on another thread, but this is already an established thread, so I'll have it a go here.

    If you have a multi speed router, which speed do you use for cutting pickguard material? High or low? I have a 1 3/4 HP router with a table.

    I have a template ready to go, and the rough cut of the pickguard is done, but I need this last piece of advice before I go to work.
  11. You are likely cutting with a 2 blade bit so nearly any router speed will work well. With such a large bit and so much space between the cutters, heating isn't an issue. The plastics that are used in pg's are tough but fairly soft when a router is put to it.

    I'd use whatever is comfortable for the method of patterning and cutting you've chosen.
  12. alaskabass


    Dec 31, 2001
    After routing or as an economical alternative you may want to consider using a:

    Mill b*stard file (handi-file)

    Sanding block

    Cabinet scraper