Metal pickguards... what do I need to know?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by spudmunkey, May 30, 2019.

  1. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey Regular

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    Mar 7, 2010
    Near San Francisco
    I'm nowhere near starting to actually build my first guitar body (a baritone made from some reclaimed, old growth redwood from my home remodel) but I'm leaning towards something like the Fender Meteora shape.

    With that, I think a nice aesthetic compliment will be either a hot rolled steel (with its mill scale) or acid-etched aluminum pickguard.

    Is there anything I need to be aware of, plan for, or adjust when using a metal pickguard? Any thing I'd need to do differently compared to using standard pickguard plastic? Either in terms of grouding, potential issue with a magnetic material, shielding, or anything else you can think of?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Return of the Dread-I

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    Jan 29, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    The control plate on a J bass is metal so I imagine whatever you'd need to make one of those is the same for a guitar pickguard.

    Grounding and shielding may not be a big issue if the cavity is shielded with copper tape. And if the pots are touching that, and the shielding is also grounded, the pickguard coming into contact w the shielding should have you well grounded I think.
    spudmunkey likes this.
  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Aug 7, 2008
    Racine, WI
    I've made and installed metal guards and covers. There's really not much to it, just treat it like you would any guard. If it's going to be covering/holding electronic components, make sure it's shielded and/or appropriately. Both steel and aluminum can be used as shielding, so it would just be a matter of grounding. Again, I wouldn't bother if it's just decorative and not a functional element (LP pickguard vs. Strat pickguard).

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