Relicing a Pickguard? How to...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by JoeB63, Jun 5, 2006.


  1. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    How does one go about relicing a new white Strat pickguard?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Trademark1

    Trademark1 Member

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    I don't know how to do it, but I'm curious to hear the responses too.
     
  3. MEL_P

    MEL_P Member

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    Hey,
    If you smoke a lot, then don't smoke that thing down to the filter and don't throw it away. If you now have 3-5 cigarettte stubs, put them in some kind of jar together with moldy black tea (and if you've got more stubs you can try it with (black) coffee, but you should use real coffe, not your American puddle water :D :Devil :p , so better if you use tea...).
    The next step is to sand the Pickguard so that the produced "drink" will cling to the Pickguard and to let it react with the Pickguard. Now you should have a model to see where you need more (knobs) or less (under the strings and where the Pick touches the Pickguard) of our delicious drink which is BTW more aromatic than American coffee:D, OK, enough of that!:angel
    You could also watch yourself where you touch the Pickguarfd with your fingers, where your Pick usually touches the Pickguard etc.

    Best Regards,
    Mel
     
  4. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    rought it up with some light sandpaper...just light enough to get the shine off. you can use some shoe polish after that if you like, wipe it on, and wipe it off right away, leaving the guard sorta dirty looking, then spray a couple thin, light coats of tinted nitro over it. then just wet sand it and buff it to a nice shine.
     
  5. mojo69

    mojo69 Member

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    you could lend it to someone who plays the guitar a lot and they could "age" it for you. also you can buy old pickguards that have a worn look to them that were previously used by guitar players in bars and other smokey
    environments. i have aged a few of my guitars in this manner with good
    results.
     
  6. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    Thanks dudes! I'nm replacing a tortoise pickguard on a Relic Strat and I figure that the brand new white guard on the highly relic'ed body will look strange. Otherwise, I would just let it relic itself naturally.
     
  7. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    First, get the mint green, and relic that instead. Try taking some ScotchBrite (lightly abrasive) and sand with that, in the direction your pick would be hitting it. Then, maybe a little of that tea, or some shoe polish to dirty it up some, or just rub it with your hand every time you think about it, and the oils will soon start to get in there :)
     
  8. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    Like new white shoes with your favorit pair of jeans?
     
  9. Mullet Kingdom

    Mullet Kingdom Senior Member

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    This is a bit of an odd subject for me because I don't "relic" my stuff other than by-way-of the abuse it endures from gigging etc -- but I can lend a few suggestions you may consider trying.

    I wouldn't recommend using sand paper on a pick guard because there's a good chance it's just going to make your pickguard look like ****. Instead you might try #000 or #0000 steel wool. It'll knock down the shine without putting grooves in the PCV. Save this step until after you've dyed/stained it so that it looks a bit more natural and so the color isn't totally uniform.

    To darken the color, submerse the pickguard in warm or hot water (not too hot). A lasagna pan should work, if it's big enough, or you can use the kitchen sink. You want the water warm enough to make tea with. Then put a few tea bags in the water to darken it a bit. I'd suggest green tea so it's not too dark.

    Obviously this is going to be a process of trial and error -- so with that in mind -- you may want to experiment first with pickup covers, knobs or a rear access plate before doing it with a pickguard.

    Barring that, you can always use the tried and true method of playing the guitar-in-question in smoke filled bar rooms while sweating all over it night after night. ;)
     
  10. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    If you use steel wool, do it BEFORE you mount the pups to the guard! The metal shavings on your pole pieces will be there for a long time of you don't. That is why I said ScotchBrite instead. Similar abrasive qualities, and no steel.
    It would seem that doing at least some of this with the thing mounted would be proper, so you can relic only the spots that are accessible to normal playing. Otherwise, you'll have to guess where it would have been roughed up.
     
  11. RL in Fla

    RL in Fla Member

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    RE: steel wool .
    Go to a boat supply place ( West Marine , etc . ) and get some bronze wool .
    It's not magnetic and it doesn't rust away , and lasts about 10 times longer than steel wool .

    Ditto the synthetic pads (what Mullet said about no sandpaper ) .

    Local guitar guru uses Old English Scratch Cover polish .
     
  12. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    Exactly.

    I didn't buy a mint green one because the guitar is blond - and I don't think the mint green quite goes with that.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  13. Vince

    Vince Member

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    I could tell you, but then I'd have to.... oh never mind.
     
  14. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    If you don't tell me.... well nevermind.


    (I know where you live).
     
  15. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Supporting Member

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    Bingo...that's what I did for a white tele guard. I used a light steel wool to take the initial shine off, then kiwi brown, lightly. If you get too much and it gets too dark, a little bleach will strip it and you start again. The final coat of lacquer pulled it all together (I used a cheap craft store spray lacquer, $5 can at Michael's Craft Store).
     

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