Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Creating a pickguard


I spent the better part of today fabricating a pick guard from plexiglas. Yup, made it myself. I was wondering how i could get a pickguard with out paying 28$ (im cheep). And to refinish it I had to recoat it with somthing that wouldn't chip or scratch. My first two ideas were the same coating I was planning to do for the guitar, or perhaps an automotive finish. I was figuring I probly could make a pickguard out of some thin wood, then it hit me.

I had some 1/8" plexiglas sitting in the garage. Perfect thickness! This is where art beats sound. Ah well. I'm going to reverse paint the spider and then the black bg on the back of pickguard. When viewed from the front, the paint is safely hidden behind 1/8" plexiglas and can not be chipped! Now i might still have to coat the plexiglas to make it harder to scratch... but that getting ahead of myself.

It took me about 3 hours to build the first prototype and test different methods of cutting/drilling plexiglas. The last hour was spent building the final version. All thats left is to cut the holes out for the pickups and toggle. I would like to point out that all the screw holes are slighly countersunk. If you don't do that, when you screw in the screws it'll crack the pickguard (somthing that had happend to the old one). Depends on the screws if you have to do that or not.

Somethings i've learned is to cut at a moderate pace with a skill saw. 1Too slow and the plastic reforms behind the blade, too fast and it chips the plastic. 2: A very fine toothed blade must be used. 3: Operate the drill at medium fast speeds and ever so slighly have it touch the plastic. it took me anywhere from 5 seconds to nearly a minute to drill thru 1/8". Also piliot drill with a very small drill bit, 2mm or so should do it.

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