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New J Bass Pickguard - Need to trim at the control plate

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by SlapHappy99, May 31, 2018.

  1. SlapHappy99


    Dec 27, 2010
    NY Metro
    I have a nice new pearl pickguard that fits my Squire VM Jazz except where it meets the metal control plate. The pickguard is about 1/8 inch too big there.


    In the past I've tried a Dremel on pickguards and mostly got a lot of melting and made a mess, so I'd like to avoid that method. I've heard that files work well. This particular area should be easy because I don't have to follow or create a bevel there, I just need to lop off 1/8 in. However, I'm concerned that 1/8 in might be too much to file. I have a power jig saw, but I'm not sure any of the blades would cut plastic without the dreaded melting.

    Any suggestions?


    P.S. I tried to loosen the control plate and scootch it over a bit, but there's not enough clearance.
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    By hand:
    1. Scribe line to finished dimension.
    2. Place pickguard in vise with working edge very close to the jaw.
    3. Use an aggressive file or rasp.
    4. Follow with fine file.
    5. Razor blade scraper to smooth and finish the edge.
    Note: When using file or rasp push (or pull) in one direction only. Do not drag the file back through the work.

    By hand V2:
    1. As above.
    2. As above.
    3. Use razor saw to cut the pickguard to the line.
    4. As above.
    5. As above.
    Note: Draw or scribe a line on the pickguard before doing any work whether rasp, file, or saw.

    By machine:
    1. As above.
    2. Cut near line on band saw
    3. File to finish, leave fine line.
    4. Razor blade scraper.
    By machine V2:
    1. Create template using new pickguard.
    2. Modify as desired.
    3. Fasten pickguard to template with double stick tape.
    4. Run the assembly against forty five degree piloted router bit in router table.
    5. Finish with razor blade scraper.
    Note: Razor blade scraper is created by running the edge of a new single edge blade against a very hard object. Cast iron vise usually works. Carbide rod is better. The idea is to turn a small hook on the edge of the blade. It can be drawn along the edge of the pickguard to shave off very thin layers of material. Done right, it will look like factory, only better.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  3. SlapHappy99


    Dec 27, 2010
    NY Metro
    Thanks @202dy for the detailed response!
  4. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Uhhh. You could always move the control plate back a bit. Unscrew the control plate before you put the new guard on, and see how far off the holes for the control plate are. I'm betting you won't have to change a thing if you install the pick guard that way judging from your picture.

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