Music – Custom Made Pickguards –
Review. - 12/08/2014
that most guitars, basses or other stringed instruments all
have is a pickguard. With time and use these can deteriorate, get marked
or one might simply want to change the look of one’s instrument.
this can sometimes be difficult, as even within the same models
and manufacturers the layout and shape can vary. This is particularly
true for import instruments where the pattern followed by
the pickguard might not be the same as for its original counterpart.
found this out myself when working on several guitars recently.
One of them is an early 90s Squier
made in Korea Stratocaster, who’s pickguard had a piece chipped
off one of the corners. I purchased several different “standard”
guards only to find out none of them would fit correctly.
get round this problem one needs a custom made pickguard.
WD Music have been in the business of making custom
made pickguards for many years I
actually visited their headquarters back in 2013 and saw for
myself the impressive array of pickguard
templates they hold, for almost any guitar you can think of.
Also if they don’t hold the template they can reproduce your
particular design from scratch from a tracing which
the customer can provide.
test this service out the Gear-Review team sent WD Music
tracings of three required pickguards.
One for the aforementioned Squier Strat, another for a Surf
Green Telecaster I had built of out different parts and a
third for another Fender Japan Telecaster which had a horrible
thick matt black pickguard. The pickguards were traced carefully with a sharp pencil. I followed
the contours as closely as possible to ensure a perfect fit.
Also all the screw holes, pickup holes etc... Where traced.
Further I was making a slight change to the Telecaster guard;
the neck pickup mounting holes were not needed on the new
one so I made sure to omit these. The same would apply to
any other changes required.
later the pickguards arrived. With
the Strat all the pickups, knobs etc... Have to be transplanted
from the old guard to the new one, its worthwhile labelling
the pickups, knobs etc... So you can ensure they are in the
same position on the new one.
Telecaster was easier. If you are careful and the neck has
no overhang simple remove one guard and install the new one
which is what I did without even removing the strings. In
my case I had already screwed the neck pickup directly to
the body so it was a straight swap.
third one needed a bit of work. The original item was made
form a very thick plastic and the new one is a bevelled three
ply. Some light sanding was required around the neck pocket
area to ensure a perfect fit.
An easy way to spruce up, or repair an instrument with little effort.
By Ernest H Slade