Pickguard mod (pickguard + fabric + glue == win)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by crazybutable, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. crazybutable


    Oct 29, 2009
    I got a used SX P/J on craig's list recently. The bass I was jonesing for in my head had more of a yellow cream color, with a white pickguard and a rosewood neck. But the P/J I actually found for sale had a light white/cream color, with a black pickguard and a maple neck.

    Well, the maple neck is growing on me. But the black pickguard HAD to go.

    Originally I thought of replacing it with tortoise shell, but the more I thought about it, the more that reminded me of my friend Ian's Lakland (This is Ian, not me):


    The Lakland is nice, but I wanted something different:




    It's fabric glued on to the original pickguard. My first idea was for red plaid fabric. Came home and told the wife about my crazy plan, but as we went through all of the fabric we had, we discovered that she already took the best red plaid flannel and made cloth diapers out of it. I was going to shelve the project for later, but luckily she found this bandanna fabric and asked if it would work.

    Hell yes!

    I took the pickguard off the bass, and she cut out the fabric in the right shape. Then she hemmed the edge (by hand!) to keep it from fraying (I did a smidge of this but she did most of it.)

    For the edge around the pickup she remembered hearing something about clear nail polish to keep fabric from fraying, so she gave it a shot. Seems to work, but that part of the pickguard doesn't get much wear.

    Putting the pickguard cover back on was a little harder because the screws didn't cut through the fabric like I was expecting. Once I had the pickguard in place I didn't know where the screw holes were any more either (and my 3 year old ran off with one of the screws.)

    It's glued on with Modge Podge, which is a pretty weak glue, and it's already starting to separate a bit on the top of the right horn edge, although I think I did most of that while trying to get the screw hole fitted.

    So, yeah, it's only fabric and it doesn't have anything protecting it from sweat stains or spilled coffee or anything like that. It's ok because I'm still learning and with two kids under the age of 5, I'm not actually playing it much. If I was gigging with this I don't think it would last long.

    If it starts looking crappy it could always be ripped off and replaced with something else. The whole project only took 3 or 4 hours start to finish.
  2. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I like it! Didn't think I would, but thats great!
  3. andysick

    andysick Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Annapolis Valley, NS
    Very cool!
    If you rest your thumb over the P pickup, wouldn't that spot wear through the fabric pretty quick. Shot of nail polish in that area perhaps?
  4. jeremyr


    Sep 4, 2006
    Maywood, IL
    how does it feel? I would imagine you'd have to get use to that feel under your hand.

    I love the look!!!! I would however put a layer of clear coat on the pickguard
  5. crazybutable


    Oct 29, 2009
    It just feels like fabric. Soft and smooth.

    We tested acrylic sealer on a tiny scrap, but we live in an apartment so we have no way of spraying large amounts of it without choking on the fumes (too cold outside for spraying on the balcony.) Acrylic sealer feels a lot rougher under finger.
  6. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Awesome! :)
  7. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Looks great! I'm always into unique projects like this one. Nice job!
  8. JulienJeff


    Mar 1, 2009
    That looks awesome !
  9. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I LIKE it! However, I agree that it needs a thick clear coat.

    Think about the clear plastic stuff that is used for decoupage, where you put pictures and other objects under a thick clear coat. I believe that it comes in a can and is poured on. That could work for you.
  10. You could get a thin piece of clear plastic (laminate?) and cut the pickguard shape, and lay it over top. No chemicals, just longer pickguard screws.
  11. TMBTC


    Oct 18, 2009
    cool look
  12. Neato. If it falls apart, I suggest: buy a clear guard and glue the fabric to the underside.
  13. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Cool. I'll be on the lookout for some paisley material so I can give this a try.
  14. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    very cool
  15. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Hancock, MI
    Welcome to the club!

    My wife did all of the work on the pickguard; the rest of the bass was a team effort. Glued on with spray adhesive, and she super glued ribbon around the edge (took her something like an hour and a half)

  16. THand


    Jun 9, 2008
    That's pretty wicked.

    I've thought about doing this before, but I can't settled on a pattern...or which bass would get the make over!
  17. tobin999


    Aug 19, 2009
    is that ian from down and above?

    p.s. i want his basses and rig
  18. crazybutable


    Oct 29, 2009
    That is Ian from Down and Above. He's also the bassist for Lorie Line. He's an awesome bass player. (And the man can press a mean F9.)

    (Sorry, that's a bit of an inside joke, he does some sound work for the company I work for, and F9 is the key that starts the recording.)
  19. Justin89


    Jul 6, 2008
    the dirty
    is that a table cloth
  20. IbanezATK


    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    Cool stuff guys!