New project: Making a pickguard

Time for a new project!

The pickguard on Jaime’s P Bass Jr. has bothered us since she got it.

The previous owner had left the plastic on the pickguard since it was new, back in 2004. That pickguard had a sticker on it, and a big white oval was left on the pickguard when we removed the plastic. There is no cleaning this spot– it must be UV discoloration.

That leaves us with the option, in order of preference, of just dealing with it, or putting a different sticker over the spot, or having a custom replacement made, or making a custom replacement myself.

I’m sure you can guess which we picked…

Tortoise Shell Pickguard Material - No Flash

Tortoise Shell Pickguard Material – No Flash

Tortoise Shell Pickguard Material - With Flash

Tortoise Shell Pickguard Material – With Flash


Yup, that’s right. Brown celluloid tortoise. Best I can tell, it is the real deal.

It was shipped straight from China. I ordered it on Feb 2, and it had a delivery estimate of Feb 26 – Mar 17. It arrived today, Feb 11. Not bad at $22.88 for an 11″ x 17″ sheet, delivered.

The next step is to scan her current pickguard as a backup. Then, I will use double-sided tape to secure her current pickguard to a piece of 3/4″ MDF. I finally get to use my router table to make the template an exact match of the pickguard’s outline. Once the template is done, I will use it to reproduce the current shape on the new pickguard material.

For the pickup cutout, I plan on assembling a pin jig. That is the only way I can come up with to accurately make those small-radius corners.

I haven’t figured out how I will do the counter-sinking of the screw holes, since I don’t have a drill press. I’ll come up with something, though. Or, I’ll get a drill press (sorry, Jaim– it’s  your fault!)

More to come!