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Pick Guard fab advice - bevel edges

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chinjazz, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    Hi folks,

    I've been doing a few finishing touches on my bass build and started making a pick guard (using some Stu Mac PG stuff).

    I found cutting it is quite easy. With a jig saw.

    The part that I'm stuck on is beveling the edges nicely.

    I have a i sort of prefer the size and handiness of using my Dremel.

    I tried with a chamfer bit and a cutting tool and ti was at best wonky and jagged.
    Just not an accurate thing. I simply grid a few straight edges as practice and it sucked.

    Using these:

    Cutting tool

    Chamfer bit

    Think I would do better getting a Dremel router table? It seems like a logical next approach.

    Router table

    Certainly cheap enough to get one.


    Oh, also, got any recommendations on bevel sinking the screw holes? Which bit to get?

  2. Jay Jillard

    Jay Jillard Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2014
    Brampton Ontario Canada
    Owner/Luthier, Jillard Guitars
    if you are just doing one pickgaurd, use a razor blade or scraper, if you are doing multiple, use a chamfer bit and a routertable & template. =]
    chinjazz likes this.
  3. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    Thanks Jay!

    This is a one time custom deal for me. Is there any benefit for burnishing the edge of the blade?
    Found this link even though it's not for a thicker pick guard like mine:


    BTW, I really like the finish on that Les Paul on your Avatar!
    Jay Jillard likes this.
  4. mgalat


    Dec 5, 2011
    I just fab'd a pickguard for a bass mod. The only way I saw to do a consistent beveled edge was to make an MDF template and use a router. Scraping/Routing by hand will lead to inconsistencies in the beveled line and it probably won't look like you want it to.

    For sinking the screw holes, I just used a drill bit and drill press. Drill the hole for the screw. Then find a bit that is the same size as your screw head. Adjust your drill press so that the tip of the bit *just* goes down into the pickguard. Do one hole first and see how your screw sits in the bevel. Adjust your depth/bit size accordingly.
  5. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    FYI: This post veers into another un-asked area....

    I tooled around with the razor blade on this already in progress PG yesterday. I liked how easy it was to get the edge decent. Originally this bass had only 1 MM style pickup in it, then because I like a rounder tone, I routed space for the front pick up. So long story short, I was able to route the front pick guard hole with a dremel. It being so delicate and playable material I was weary of taking my big router to it. I have a plexi, or clear front PU template, then took a cutting bit, and made it long enough in the post so that there was no cutting teeth in the clear area of the template. Then just took my time running it around. Basically worked like a charm for routing.

    I did run the razor around the edges to my satisfaction. Not perfect, but good enough. Mgalat: I will go that route if I need to do repeatable work as it's quicker and accurate.

    Thanks! - here it is:

    Jay Jillard likes this.
  6. mgalat


    Dec 5, 2011
    Great job with the razor. I would say that is completely satisfactory. The pickguard I was making was large (think Marcus Miller) so I was against trying to razor the entire thing.
  7. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    Thanks!!! Yeah, a pick guard with long straight lines would be a challenge to make even with a razor for me :)

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