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your own pickguard!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gustav, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. gustav


    Mar 11, 2006
    Västerås, Sweden
    im thinking of making a new pickguard from scratch.
    has anybody done this? can you recommend me some material?

    and is there somethin important that i should have in mind? for an example that foil-thing that is on backside?

    thanks out!
  2. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    I've made a couple. You can get blank material from places like Stewmac and Grizzly. I'm not sure where you'd get it locally. The foil typically goes along with cavity shielding, and would be used to enclose the cavity.

    I make my templates out of plywood. Seems to work okay, so far.
  3. gustav


    Mar 11, 2006
    Västerås, Sweden
    okey! fun! can you show any pics? would be fun...

    well, grizzly isnt a common store in sweden. but.. is it like regular thin plastic or something you buy? is there a name on the material
  4. I'm looking for some 2mm plastic for pickguards to buy in bulk...because £8+ postage seems a little excessive for less than one square foot. So, let me know if you find anything, and I'll certainly let you know if I do!
  5. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    This is a huge PITA (and I'm not talking about bread) without a router - you didn't mention what tools you had :)

    I cut one from scratch for my Ibanez ATK, using a jigsaw for the rough work before I sanded the 45 degree bezel.

    The neck pocket was the hardest part to get right, I had to settle on a half mm too wide - it looks great from 2'away as the bass is black, but it would be more obvious on a contrasting colour.

    To get the final straight edge to the bezel I used a a sharp paint scraper, and was able to eyeball in when I was finished as the blank was three tier B-W-B. This part actually worked well, resulting in a smoother surface than the standard router leaves.

    The hassle is that even with the protective plastic on, I still scratched the blank while I was sanding it, necessitating a sand-out. For the time being I've left it at a satin finish, as it provides contrast to the gloss of the body, and would end up that way over time anyway :)
  6. gustav


    Mar 11, 2006
    Västerås, Sweden
    sure bacon jimbob!

    idoru: well, i have the regular stuff you can find in a handymans home.. but im not a handyman. before, i made a banana out of my p-bass guard.. i showed some photos here before.. and it was really easy to carw it and stuff with just a little knife and a file.
    your sounds cool... do you have any photos of it? and where did you get the plastic from?

    now, i felt like showing it.. this is my banan i did like 2 years ago

  7. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I also utilize a plywood template for the custom pickguards I make

    first you need to design it


    then trace the design onto a piece of plywood and carefully cut it out at the bandsaw


    after it's cut, you need to perfect the curves by sanding and filing. any small imperfection to the curve flow will immediately be visable when you cut the pickguard


    once it's all detailed, check the template for proper fit


    if everything is good, now you can double stick tape it to the pickguard material and router it out utilizing a pattern bit. this image shows a hand-held router, but it is significantly easier to do this job utilizing a router table. if this pickguard was to have a beveled edge, I would have followed this step with a chamfer bit adjusted to the proper cut height


    once the pickguard is cut, drill and countersink the mounting holes ... and voila! a new pickguard is born


    all the best,

  8. gustav


    Mar 11, 2006
    Västerås, Sweden
    thank you very much! that looks really great!

    but where do you get your pickguard material, and were do you buy it? costs?
  9. m2o03


    Feb 27, 2006
    I bet Lexan would work well as the pick guard material...do some research to see if you can get opaque colors unless 'clear' is your thing..
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto

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