Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

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Nord
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Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by Nord » Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:40 am

I need some advice. I have a '65 vintage guard that isn't quite fitting the guitar. The guard is nice and flat on its own and the screw holes line up, but it's running into trouble in a couple of areas.

The guard doesn't fit over the upper bridge thimble, which causes it to curl when installed.

Image

The guard won't fit over the bottom part of pickup selector.

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Here's the guitar with the guard installed:
Image

What's the best way to deal with these issues?

Should I gently file the guard to make it fit or gently try the heat gun method. I'm leaning towards the former, but wanted to get some opinions from others who had similar issues with vintage guard.

Thanks for any all help!
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SWFC68
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Re: Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by SWFC68 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:38 am

I gently sanded mine in both those locations. I used fairly coarse paper over a small flat block for the plate and a dowel for the thimble holes and went carefully; a few strokes at a time. The guard material is soft; you'll get there quicker than you think. I did just enough to get it to fit with a sliver of daylight. I've never done the heatgun method, that looks more fraught with risk to me :)

-Andy

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Nord
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Re: Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by Nord » Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:47 am

Thanks for the recco and method, Andy! I agree, the heatgun method seems risky and may not even be the right one for the job since the screw holes line up and guard is flat.

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Jazzmastervsjaguar
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Re: Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by Jazzmastervsjaguar » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:00 am

I've also carefully sanded a vintage guard with good results. As the other post stated go slowly and you'll be fine.

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Re: Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by CaptainCrunch » Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:29 pm

I've restored several hundred vintage drums kits (was my full time job for years), and drum wrap is commonly made of the same godawful stuff. I would only apply real heat on something I was willing to write off as a loss, because you could do everything right, and it might crinkle up into unuseability anyway. I'd sand it.

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Re: Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by SWFC68 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:30 pm

One other thing I'd say about the hole for the plate- i sanded the flat sides first, until they were opened up enough to go over the plate. Then I carefully did the corner radius to match and finish the shape of the opening. If you do the corner radius first its too easy to over sand or change the radius
Thats a beautiful guitar btw. Pretty much dream guitar spec for me.

-Andy

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Re: Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by Severed Hand » Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:03 pm

Get a round file set from a hardware store. It’s actually not too hard to make it fit with filing.

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Re: Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by Nord » Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:31 pm

Thanks to all you for the great advice. I've got the tools to get sanding. 320 grit seem like a good place to start? 400? I don't mind going slow if it yields better results.

Dream Jaguar for me too, Andy. I'm pretty sure it's the only guitar my wife would keep and play out of the herd.

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Re: Making a Vintage Pickguard Fit a '65 Jaguar

Post by Sweetfinger » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:07 pm

Pickguards shrink with age. I'd scrape or sand, it doesn't look like you have too far to go in the problem areas. For the thimble holes, you can wrap sandpaper around a marker or wooden dowel and work on the edge that needs to move a bit.
With the switch plate, you might get some emory boards from the beauty supply. You can also wrap sandpaper around a smaller dowel for the rounded corners. When you have it to where the guard will pop over the plate, you can use a razor blade straight up from the sanded edge as a scraper to clean up the opening. Nobody's going to see the thimble holes, so I wouldn't worry about cleaning those up.
Also, you can loosen the switchplate screws, let the plate slide just a bit to where it needs to go, and tighten the screws back down- if you didn't know that trick.

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