1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Making a Metal pickguard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bass-desires, Apr 28, 2009.


  1. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    I have wanted to make a custom pickguard for my thunderbird out of metal. But before pursuing this quest towards perfection, I wanted to ask advice on what would be the best metal used, and if I need to apply a finish of some kind to said metal. :bassist:

    The look I had in mind was not a bright steel, but maybe a duller look.

    There was a fella on here that did it out of a cookie sheet, but its way to bright for a vintage sunburst.

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. Toastfuzz

    Toastfuzz

    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Well steel is probably eventually gonna rust (galvanized can still rust on the cut edges), and stainless or aluminum are very bright. I think theres ways of darkening aluminum that would look cool, let me see if i can find an example.

    Yeah kinda like this, I dont know if its sanded aluminum or steel, but sanding would dull it while polishing brightens it.

    BIGsandedaluminum1.
     
  3. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    That's about what I'm looking for, looks like a pile of feathers haha which is perfect for the T-bird. I was hoping to the the T-Bird etched into the guard as well.

    The other thought would be, is there some kind of coating to prevent rusting that would adhere and last? But a semi-gloss type.

    BTW, how was that look above achieved?

    So would aluminum with a sealant work out well?
     
  4. Hi.

    I'd go with aluminium. A breeze to work with, inexpensive, and if thick enough, You can draw a clean edge to it.

    Google for DIY anodizing and you'll have hours on end of reading to do.

    The swirls like on the pic above are usually made with a drill and a disc or a wire brush, but freehand is also used for an artistic touch. Get some scrap pieces and start experimenting.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  5. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    ^ What he said

    Anodizing aluminum is the way to go.
     
  6. lhoward

    lhoward

    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    The last pickguard I made was out of brass that I got at a machine shop and cut out what I wanted. There's no reason you couldn't use stainless steel. There's a number of types available and its very maintenance free. I suggest you locate a machine shop in your area and talk with them about what you want for a final appearance and they can probably recommend a type to use and could also customize any swirling or specialized appearance/pattern you'd like.

    Lloyd Howard
     
  7. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
  8. lhoward

    lhoward

    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    Nice link.

    I live in a very rural area and its about 10 minutes to a local machine shop that I've done business with for over 20 years. I enjoy going there and chatting with the owner for a few minutes.
     
  9. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    You're nearly right but I think you will find that it's called Anodised Aluminium (that's alu-min-eeum) ;)

    I'm joking...that is by far the best metal to use, it's lightweight and can be anodised loads of different colours from a flat satin version of the natural aluminium through to wild purple's, reds and blue colours. The only barrier to the colours you could use is good taste
     
  10. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    What are these colours of which you speak? :ninja:
     
  11. ClaytonH

    ClaytonH

    Mar 10, 2009
    Hudson, OH
    How about a nice bronze?
    Bronze does not wheather do to it's chemical properties.
     
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Some bronzes may stay pretty unchanged, while others will gain a verdegris patina, like the Statue of Liberty.
     
  13. Punisher Bass

    Punisher Bass

    Dec 24, 2008
    St Louis MO
    From my personal experience making my own metal pickguard, I advise you to rethink it. It's a major pain and left me with more than a few gray hairs. :meh:
     
  14. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Silly tea-drinkers, don't you know the canadian spelling is the proper one?

    Its alumininium...

    :D
     
  15. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    i had fun with some diamond plate but you have to smooth the edges
     
  16. ClaytonH

    ClaytonH

    Mar 10, 2009
    Hudson, OH
    I thought it was made with copper.

    Or you can do what Jake Von Slatt did:
    http://steampunkworkshop.com/steampunk-strat.shtml
     
  17. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Pure copper is like a cab with a lisence plate that says fresh and has dice in the mirror.

    Bronze is any alloy of copper. The color varies with content.
     
  18. atheos

    atheos

    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Mind if I ask to share the rest of the story?
     

Share This Page