Making Pickguards....

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by f'nar f'nar, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. Ok, I was just pondering buying a couple of sheets of pickguard material and having a fiddle about with designing a pickguard for my warwick streamer. I probably wont use it, but i was in photoshop and gave my bass what looked like a '73 tele bass pickguard and it looked pretty wicked.

    I have two questions:

    1. How would I go about this?


    2. Has anyone seen this done before? If so, do you have any pics? for ideas.
  2. The procedure is to fashion a template of the shape of your pickguard from MDF so that you can mount your material to it and rout off the excess with a pattern bit. Once your shape is cut, you would bevel the edges with a bearing guided beveling bit. Remove the form from the template, drill your holes and install! That's all there is to it!

    Oh yeah - the router will run upwards of $100, the 2 bits in the $50 range, and it will take about 3 hours start to finish.

    And NO, there isn't a better way to do it. You either bite the bullet and spend the dough or spend more time and trouble doing it a more difficult way.

    Good Luck
  3. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I made a 5-ply birch guard with a dremel and patience. The edges aren't as smooth as a factory fit, but it's more than adequate compared to the SX guard it replaced. Trace the outline of the old onto the new, and cut to taste. I changed the shape for dramatic effect and it worked out pretty well.

    Why use the MDF, assuming you're just making one pickguard in that shape for now? Isn't it more work to carve the mdf to perfect shape and then route the guard than it is to just forego the MDF and cut out the right pattern on the pickguard?
  4. 1) If you screw up, start again....MDF is cheap compared to pickguard material.

    2) Once made, you now can make MANY...imagine having a different pickguard for your bass for every occasion. Loyal fans will think that you are rich and bring a different bass to each show.

    Besides...A pick guard a day keeps the G.A.S. at bay
  5. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    This was on eBay recently. Crazy Germans. :p

  6. no no...that's just not right...what's up with that little bit of body showing between the neck and the pickguard?

    Reason 3 for making an MDF template....FIT
  7. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    It does look odd, but that's because the fingerboard slopes down. I can't see a way around having it like that.
  8. the neck on the NTs slope down a bit. at the end. not much yhou can do about it *shrugs*
  9. nah...i still think that the guard could have been cut closer to the end of the fretboard. there's like a 1/4" gap there.

    also, it would have looked MUCH better if the knobs weren't over the guard and the guard just came straight across in front of the bridge pick up (sort of a half guard sorta thing).
  10. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    I made a pickguard for an Epiphone SG Special using a RotoZip tool and the cover from an EH BassBalls box. I just drew a pattern on a sheet of paper, double checked the measurements, triple checked the measurements and started cutting. It turned out way cool, IMO, and only took about thirty minutes.
  11. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    It's painted, but it's still raised.
  12. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I've made 3 pickguards, one by "eyeballin" it with a dremel tool, and two by making a pattern and cutting using a router. It's hard to do a good job, and If I made 10 more I might be decent at it. The guard will only be as good as the edges of your pattern, and it has better be beyond what you think is perfect.