Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

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mixtery
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Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by mixtery » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:34 pm

I have an old '63 fender JM pickguard that is just a tad too small to fit anymore (to make it to the screw holes).  Any methods of heating it or stretching it to fit the JM body again?

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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by RumorsOFsurF » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:37 pm

Take a small needle file, and file each hole very gently in the direction it needs to go.  Shouldn't take too much.  You may have to file the pickup openings a little, too.

Once you get done, you most likely won't be able to see it at all. ;)
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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by mixtery » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:43 pm

hi thanks for the response... you mean file the screw holes on the body or the pickguard?

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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by OffYourFace » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:52 pm

don't heat it up, that stuff is VERY FLAMMABLE!  File the pickguard, not the body  :)
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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by øøøøøøø » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:15 pm

yes, another vote for egging out the holes.  It will keep shrinking over time anyway, but whaddya gonna do?

The BEST method is just to never take it off the guitar if possible. That will help keep it from stretching out too much, but it might also put some strain on.

The green guard on my '62 finally started a small crack near the input jack.  I had the crack superglued from the back side and a small plate of brass glued on for reinforcement in that area. 

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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by spacecadet » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:23 pm

øøøøøøø wrote: The BEST method is just to never take it off the guitar if possible. That will help keep it from stretching out too much, but it might also put some strain on.
Someone else suggested once, and it made sense to me, that if you need/want to remove the pickguard from your guitar, that you should screw it into a piece of plywood rather than just let it sit.  That should theoretically help it maintain its original shape.

Plywood is not very strong, though, so I might buy a scrap plank of a hard wood like cherry or walnut to screw it into if I was going to store it for a long period of time.

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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by mixtery » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:32 pm

these are great ideas... i had the guitar refined as it came to me with no finish on it... good deal.  The pickguard sat off for a while and shrunk just enough so it won't fit all the holes in the body... maybe just two or three would have to be filed.... I'll have to be careful!

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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by øøøøøøø » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:47 pm

I'd file as many as you feel comfortable with as much as you feel comfortable filing to take stress off the pickguard to keep it from cracking.  I've heard the plywood trick as well.  I'm sure regular plywood would be fine to keep it from shrinking.

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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by the older brother » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:35 am

Remember: Be gentle with the filing! You can always file some more, but you can't go back if you've filed too much.

Pics on that guitar would be nice....


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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by Regan » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:09 am

The pickguard on my '65 Jag had shrunk slightly. The switch plate was the worst plate, and it would hardly go back in. I kept working with it, and finally got it in place by working in one side, holding it in place, and forcing the other side in. I actually put some small clamps on it to help get it in and I left them there while I was refinishing the guitar. It did help to stretch it a little, because when I removed the clamps a few months later, it went back in much easier. It was still tight though, and I ended up filing just a tiny bit in a couple of places so it could be installed/removed easier. A few screw holes were off slightly, but I did not have to file them. One is angled a little, but other than that it was pretty good.

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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by StevenO » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:40 pm

spacecadet wrote:
øøøøøøø wrote: The BEST method is just to never take it off the guitar if possible. That will help keep it from stretching out too much, but it might also put some strain on.


Someone else suggested once, and it made sense to me, that if you need/want to remove the pickguard from your guitar, that you should screw it into a piece of plywood rather than just let it sit.  That should theoretically help it maintain its original shape.


Plywood is not very strong, though, so I might buy a scrap plank of a hard wood like cherry or walnut to screw it into if I was going to store it for a long period of time.
That may have been me. I remember posting that idea thinking it was probably common practice and everyone was all "oh wow, never thought of that, good thinking!" and I felt very intelligent, :)

I'm sure other people have done/said the same thing though...

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Re: Jazzmaster '63 pickguard shrunk, can it be stretched ?

Post by spacecadet » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:01 pm

StevenO wrote: That may have been me. I remember posting that idea thinking it was probably common practice and everyone was all "oh wow, never thought of that, good thinking!" and I felt very intelligent, :)

I'm sure other people have done/said the same thing though...
It probably was you... I hadn't thought of it before, but then I'm still technically kind of a n00b (even though I've been playing off and on for like 20 years... I don't have much experience with removing pickguards or other assembly/disassembly of guitars).  So you may be right that other people have been doing it for a long time...

I know somebody else said plywood was ok, but I still would personally just make that one improvement to the idea and use a piece of hardwood.  Plywood itself warps like crazy unless it's attached to something else, and you might not even notice it on a piece that small.  But it seems like it could make the difference between your screw holes lining up in 5 years or not.  The plywood itself I could see stretching or compressing your pickguard.  Heck, it's not hard at all to find Ash or Basswood lumber to screw your pickguard into if you want to be a purist :)

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