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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by 73Custom, Dec 19, 2009.
My kit arrived!!
Have you put it together yet?
What's on my "bench?"
This pickguard once I work up the nerve to remove the original black boring one on my 12 string. I will need to finish sizing it once the original is removed. I've read about the methods and watched a few tutorials and think I can do this easily enough.
I'm sorting through parts.
and apparently my phone likes to rotate pics 90deg....
Mine does too, I end up editing the photo on my phone before I post them
there is a husk i posted here on ebay...they are very attractive to me but i hope i get beat out of it, i have other projects that need attention
Well, the boring black pickguard is off. Hair dryer, floss and patience. Not a scratch in the finish after cleaning up with naphtha. All but no "tan" in the finish, just a faint line where the finish cured around the pickguard. So if the fit is not perfect in the shadow of the old pickguard, it will be all but invisible. Now to size the replacement around the sound hole rosette. The new pickguard just resting on the squeaky clean top.
The pickguard is ready. Came up with a slick way of sanding a reasonably near perfect circle. Bought a roll of tape I needed for other things. Damn, the radius was a bit too small. Should have taken the original pickguard with me.
So I added some masking tape I had lying around until it was built up to very close to the proper size - that took 0.11" of masking tape. Added the sandpaper to get it perfect. That is the built up roll below. I used the old pickguard as the radius template. The floss method did not destroy it.
It seems to line up with and match the same rosette ring just like the original pickguard very well. Tomorrow it goes on.
Sorry ... this is a little wordy ...
Finished. I'm quite happy with my effort, even though it was not perfect. I missed the alignment with the rosette ring by a tiny bit. You really have to look right at it to notice. It is barely visible at arms length. It is visible in the full size image below. Oh well. It really is close.
Also ... the fit into the previous pickguard footprint is off far more than I imagined. A bit too short. Once again, you have to look right at it while reflecting a light source off of it to see the finish shrink line. It is invisible in the image. Good thing the "tan" is all but non-existent.
What I learned:
I'd have done much better by shaping the rosette ring radius first, then the rest. I'd likely have nailed the footprint match. The pickguard was slightly oversized and too long to even fit prior to shaping.
I used the "hinge" method of aligning prior to the stick. A couple of pieces of tape on the pickguard held the pickguard in place just below the bridge while I removed the first half of the backing after lining everything up.
I'd use a separate piece non-stick adhesive backing of some sort after removing the first half of the backing to allow for a fine adjustment prior to allowing it to stick in its final place. Turns out the hinge was not quite precise enough.
At that point there was no turning back even though, I did not press the pickguard point in place. It stuck. I was hesitant (or not prepared) to try to realign. I saw how small the error was and said, fvck it.
What the image cannot show , is the depth and texture the pickguard has. It looks like a very thin piece of candy, poured into a mold with thin tapered edges. I did a nice job adding a bevel, then highly polished it. The original black pickguard was as flat as a piece of plate glass. Boring.
Boring no more, now eye candy! Click to go full size:
No can see ...
flickr "This photo is no longer available"
Thanks for the interest.
I thought that might happen to some early on. I tweaked the image after posting then removed and replaced using the same link. Flickr has a feature just for that. The image in place should work now.
I know my minor overly wordy accomplishment pales in comparison and seems a bit silly to those of you who build beautiful guitars form scratch. Your work is astounding - I'll never get to that level.
Thought this might be helpful to the few casual tinkerers here who might want to replace a pickguard on an acoustic themselves.
Looks good. Don't sell yourself short. Changing the diameter of that hole and then getting it in the right spot shows an attention to detail that would serve you well building guitars. It's all about the details. Good job.
Still working on this one...
Just started applying finish to the neck...satin wipe-on poly. Should only be a few more weeks till this one's finished. Not sure if I'm going to gloss up the lacquer. A satin finish would look nice too.
Hey, i'd glagly watch it too. Would you mind posting a link? Thanks
Looks good from here, nice job.
The tutorials? I'd post them, they are really not needed as none of them used dental floss. Just do a simple web search for removing acoustics pickguards for ideas. Chance are good you'll find the same ones I looked at. Most used a smooth knife of sorts for prying loose and one was simply pulled off by hand. Both of those methods have potential to do damage. Floss is all but idiot proof.
I used a compact hair dryer to add heat in sections. I have one of those non-contact infrared thermometer guns with a laser to show how hot the pickguard was getting. I found 130 F to 140 F degrees was about perfect. From what I gathered, anything much over 140 F could be harmful.
Start at the tip just below the fretboard with two strands of waxed floss (just a single strand breaks too easily) and gently saw away. I put loops in the ends of the floss and used two small wrenches to grab onto for the sawing. Changed to new floss a few times - seemed like a good idea.
Naphtha is next. Do not use paper towels as they will scratch the finish. Had an old 100% cotton t-shirt, cut into roughly 8" x 8" squares. Pour naphtha into the mini rags until wet, but far from dripping. Gently rub and pick up the adhesive, switching to fresh areas on the rag or new rags until the adhesive is gone. That was the least pleasant part of the whole process.
I stuffed another old t-shirt into the sound hole in the event I was less than neat with the naphtha. I was also super careful to keep the naphtha away from the bridge.
Thanks! I like it a lot. Where I got the pickguard: http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not-wood/pickguard-material/tor-tis-pickguards Even though I bought one for my model of guitar, it needed a lot of sizing. You can get it in sheet stock as well.
Higher quality image. Click for 4776 x 3372. You can sort of see the poured candy effect: