How does one make their own pickguard?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by beyondcosmos, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. beyondcosmos

    beyondcosmos SS.org Regular

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    I've been thinking of making a customized pickguard for one of my RG1527s and have no idea where to start. Can anyone offer advice?

    Once down I'll likely make other components as well (trem back plate, truss rod cover, etc).
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    buy some plastic or acrylic on ebay, tape a template or the original pickguard to it with doublesided tape, cut the plastic and voila.
     
  3. beyondcosmos

    beyondcosmos SS.org Regular

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    That's a good starting point, I just have one detail I should've put in the original post.
    I'm thinking of putting artwork on it, like from a famous album or movie, instead of just the typical colors and patterns.
     
  4. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Manufacture your sheet first then cut as before.

    You can probably use printable iron-on graphics to do the image transfer. Then maybe float some epoxy resin over the top.

    Better yet experiment with clear acrylic and transferring the image to the underside of the material so you've got the whole clear pickguard protecting it.
     
  5. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I trace the shape onto whatever I'm cutting and then use a chamfer bit with a 45 degree angle to it to cut the guard out. I've used a hand router before, but I like using my drill press more. You can get them for Dremel tools too. Gives it that sloped edge that softens the transition between guard and the top of the body.

    I'd get whatever you want printed up professionally on heavy photo stock with as high definition of a printer as possible and then glue it with a UV stable epoxy to a clear acrylic material, cut into whatever shape you want.
     
  6. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Separating the pickguard and the print seems like a good choice, whether you put the print underneath or on top. Simply because it allows you to fuck up a few pickguards before you get it right :lol: My experience cutting pickguards with hand tools is that it's a bitch... the material is so soft that the slightest change in pressure or shake of the hand can remove a lot of material. Cutting a perimeter a few milimeters outside the edge you want and then using a sharp blade to scrape the pickguard into shape is the best method I've found, with the least potential to create jagged edges. For me, it's a few hours of work and chances are the first or second pickguard you make won't turn out that great. If you CAN start off with a factory cut pickguard and modify it I would highly recommend it.

    Never done it with a drill press as Max suggested but I can definitely see how that would make things a lot easier.
     
  7. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    To cut it for sure use another pickguard/template and a ball bearing template bit on a router.
     
  8. J_Mac

    J_Mac SS.org Regular

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  9. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Cut it out from cereal box cardboard, and then send it to Terrapin or Pickguardian to have them replicate it. :)
     
  10. beyondcosmos

    beyondcosmos SS.org Regular

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    This is a wealth of information that I'm really looking forward to utilizing. Thanks, everyone.
     
  11. hazimwood

    hazimwood SS.org Regular

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    IMG_20180925_091051_057.jpg IMG_20180722_165734_059_resized.jpg IMG_20180925_091051_057.jpg I had mine Laser cut on a GlowForge that a friend of mine owns. Most professional DIY way of doing it as far as end result goes. I used tracing paper to make the design and then we scanned it and put it through Adobe Illustrator. Then we made changes as necessary till we got it right. Hardest part is designing the exact position of the potentiometer holes and the 5-way switch...it has to be exact. We made a lot of paper-only versions before we decided on a nice piece of Walnut veneer for the final cut.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    J_Mac likes this.

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