What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
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What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

Okay guys and grrlz, i need some builder advice. I'm delving into the world of guitar body building. I've got my router, jig saw, templates etc. I've done some practice and I'm ready for my 1st few "good" bodies. I am doing a custom telecaster with a HH strat pickguard but since the horn on a tele is wider than a strat I'm gonna cut a custom pickguard with a wider horn.

My question is: what is the best way to cut 3 ply plastic? flush router bit? V router bit? I know some people use a Dremel, which I also have..

I plan on cutting a fiberboard template, guessing that would be the way to go so... just need some advice on the topic. Thanks !
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 09:38 PM
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

i use 2 sided tape to template.
then cout out close to template with bandsaw.

then use a drill bit to get most the material off the pickups etc.

then on my router table use a flush cut bottom bearing bit with the template on the table.

after all is routed i use a bearing guided 45degree chamfer bit (im sure i spelled that wrong) on the edges to get the angle on the edges.

if you dont have a router table GET ONE. it helps with patterning so much.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

Thanks AF.. that is just what I needed to hear. I did make myself a router table last week so I've got that taken care of. I've have to get a bit to cut the angle, but I do have a few bottom bearing flush bits.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 08:13 PM
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

no problem bro.
one thing always start a route on a flat part and never into a point.
the first time i used my homemade router table i was patternig a headstock.
when i started the point of the headstock into the router the tip exploded and ruined the neck.


also plexiglass sucks you need a step drill bit to do holes or you get cracks and if you dont take off enough material before you route it will melt on you.

also if the material has a coating on it (usually a plastic film or paper) leave it on until guard is completely finished.

good luck it is easy and so fun and you can make necks with the table easily from patterns from ai guitars.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

great tips! I will start a thread once I get everything going, but will also post a pic of the guard when I get that done.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 01:37 AM
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

My recommendation is buy a custom made pick guard from any number of pick guard companies. The cost is about $35.

Companies like Pickguard Heaven are reputable . AVOID companies like Terrapin Guitars. Check Yelp for ratings.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

I have been making my own now and its easy now that I have a router. I can get a sheet of material big enough for 2 for about 13 bucks.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 06:11 PM
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

Turned out nice. The router table with a template makes it so easy.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDaddy93402 View Post
AVOID companies like Terrapin Guitars. Check Yelp for ratings.
I have to disagree about Terrapin. They've done quite a few guards for me and all have been excellent work, albeit some took several weeks. Also, be aware than the owner/founder, John Polk, died of cancer early in the year and his spouse, Mary Newell, has taken over the business. Things seem to be a little slower, but I want to help her out as she works to keep the business happening. She did an excellent job on my last two custom design guards.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

PickGuard Heaven is just about the only company that has been willing to get "it " right.
Terrapin screwed up my order sent me the wrong pick guard for my bass, and when I told them it was wrong they told me that I didn't own the bass I had! I asked them to simply make right their error. Instead they endlessly argued with me, and said in order to get what I ordered I would have to additionally pay nearly as much money as I had already paid for them to correct the error. They have outdated templates and don't have the integrity to make right when they get it wrong.

Sadly I think that when the owner died, the heart and soul of Terrapin business died with it. Stay away unless you are willingly to gamble your money on their lack of consistency.

@Guitarrmageddon--- You can get really cool material from some of these pick guard companies to cut your own designs. You should check out their materials list.

Last edited by BigDaddy93402; 10-12-2013 at 07:21 PM. Reason: additional information
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 08:06 PM
 
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Smile Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUITARMAGEDDON View Post
I have been making my own now and its easy now that I have a router. I can get a sheet of material big enough for 2 for about 13 bucks.
ok. i helped you and now you make awesome pickguards.
now you have to make a tutorial for noobs. lol

looks great man.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Re: What is the best way to cut a custom pickguard?

HAHA, yeah, dis is how u doo teh pickguardz.

thanks for the help! I think I've done 4 or 5 so far.
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