Holes in new pickguard too big

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Sooner Boomer, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. Sooner Boomer

    Sooner Boomer

    Feb 11, 2020
    I just bought a new black pickguard to replace the white on on my black HB PB-20. All the control/jack holes are too big. I *could* just put a washer on each side and crank down on the nuts that hold the pots in place, but the bodys are zinc or alum., and I'm concerned about stripping them out. My latest idea is to find a piece of wire as close to the proper size to fill the gap, and make a ring (might have to use some glue). Still might have to use a washer on each side, but there's not as much need to tighten the nuts down so the controls don't shift Any other ideas?
  2. Sonicblaze

    Sonicblaze Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 11, 2016
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Don't suppose you have a 3d printer or know someone who does? I'd 3d print a flat piece, with a raised circle to fill the existing hole, and glue it to the back/in-place; then drill out the proper size from the filled hole.
  3. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Or, depending on how ambitious you are, you could replace the pots with larger ones. :thumbsup:
  4. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    Have you mentioned this problem to the supplier?

    If you go with the 3D printer approach you don't need to drill the holes, just print them in the part. Well, you'll need to clean them out with a drill unless your printer is a lot cleaner than any I've met, but no need to print it solid and then drill it.

    You might also be able to buy bushings, if you can find them in the combination of ID/OD and thickness/length that suits your needs.
  5. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    Rubber O-rings.
    The right size would compress, fill the gap, ...and act like a lockwasher.... no glue.
    A good HW store has a bunch of different sizes.
  6. I’ve used sections of copper tubing, if you can find the right ID/OD. It can be a little tricky to cut that short but very careful use of the sander can be your friend.
  7. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I'm curious: What size are the holes in the pickguard? Are they something larger than 3/8"? Almost all pots and jacks used in instruments these days are 3/8" dia. I don't understand why anyone would supply a pickguard with control holes larger than 3/8".

    Or, are the pots you are using smaller than 3/8"? Where did they come from?
  8. Sooner Boomer

    Sooner Boomer

    Feb 11, 2020
    OK. FINE! You made me actually break out the calipers, drag out the guitars, and pull off the knobs. The pots in the bass now, are 24mm (body dia.) Alphas or CTS. They fit the original Harley Benton pickguard with no trouble. The threaded shaft dia. is 0.25 . The shaft dia. on my Squire bass is 0.25 . The shaft dia. on my Ibanez Strat-ish is 0.25 . The holes in the new pickguard are 0.375 . Almost all of the shafts in my "pile 'o pots" are 0.25 . The pickguard was only $20, so I'm not really upset, but this is something to remember in the future. The replacement pickguard wasn't supposed to be a drop-in replacement. New screw holes will likely have to be drilled in the body, and fitting around the pickups is expected. Lesson learned.
  9. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    i sense confusion in the force. shaft diameter, whether 6mm or 1/4" isn't relevant unless one is discussing knobs. i highly doubt that HB used pots with odd-ball threaded barrel diameters on a metric-spec instrument. the pots are likely "metric -mini" Alpha pots or equiv. with a short barrel length for a top loading pg at this instruments price point. those are threaded M8 x .75. in imperial, this puts the threaded barrel diameter at a nominal .310/.314 diameter which is an acceptable mate for a .375 hole.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  10. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yes, there's still some confusion here. The shafts of the pots are 0.25", as I would expect. But the threaded collar of the housing of the pot (which the shaft comes out of) is 0.375" (3/8). The threaded collar is what fits up through the pickguard, and you put a washer and nut on the front side.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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