Cut / Grind to modify a pickguard ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by d l x r e v e r b, Feb 12, 2008.


  1. d l x r e v e r b

    d l x r e v e r b Member

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    Hello,

    Is it okay to try cutting / grinding a pickguard modification ?

    If yes, what is the best tool for removing excess material from a 3 ply material pickguard ?

    I recently bought it from the internet as a replacement on my Fender Precision bass but, after arrival, needs modifying to fit the bass. The screw holes line up okay but the open for the pickups is not big enough, needing about an additional eighth of an inch removed from around one side of the perimeter to fit down onto the pickups.

    How to proceed ? I really like the color and would like to use it.

    Thanks
     
  2. syxxstring

    syxxstring Member

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    My recomendations.
    1. Tape off the area's around where you work. Including the area to trim.
    2. Mark out your cuts on the tape, score the line with an exacto or razor blade and remove the tape from the area your trimming.
    3. Remove the area carefully. I like to use one of my dremels, but they are either a massive tool or destruction or your best friend. You could use a cheap coping saw or the like. This really depends on the tools you have handy.
     
  3. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    Guitar techs have templates and routers to do this flawlessly. Consider taking it to your person, if only to ensure that you don't ruin the one you have. If your local tech charges you more than $15 or $20 to widen that opening, he's a gouger.

    Hey syxxstring, you seem to be advocating "freehanding" the modification. What about at least taping down a little scrap of hardwood as a guide before doing each edge? That whizzing Dremel can really do damage, as mentioned. I'd suggest placing the guide a hair inside of where you want the opening to be, then you can sand it perfect. Still, that's a sub-optimal way. The best way is to have the proper template and the proper depth-controlled router-bit. Am I wrong, guys?
     
  4. syxxstring

    syxxstring Member

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    Good idea Noah. Anything you can do to keep the dremel from becoming and instrument of death. Maybe clamp a metal ruler or something to keep a straight edge.
     
  5. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    If your're changing the outside profile of the pickguard and you need the newly cut edge to be beveled, then the job really must be done with a router and template. However if you're cutting a square edge for a pickup rout, then any tool will do. Good ideas posted above already, but I would add that you can use a jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade (like one for cutting thin metal). Cut from the back so that any tearout/fuzz from the bit is on the back and not the front (you'll sand it off anyway) and so that you don't scratch the face side of the pickguard with your jigsaw base.
     
  6. SPSurgeon

    SPSurgeon Member

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    Use the Dremel, just put in a fine sanding bit and go slow. Check the fit many times...
     

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