Successful experiments in un-shrinking shrunken pickguards

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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AWSchmit
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Re: Successful experiments in un-shrinking shrunken pickguar

Post by AWSchmit » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:18 am

So cool. I really enjoy reading these threads.
I finally finish building a guitar, go to play it, and then remember, "oh yeah, that's right. I suck at playing... Why did I build another guitar again?"

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lefty
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Re: Successful experiments in un-shrinking shrunken pickguards

Post by lefty » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:45 pm

Will can I pick your brains on this please? I’ve just bought a 1960 guard for my new 1960 JM and the guy postage’s it to me without screwing it down to a board like i asked. I’m so annoyed as it shrunk and doesn’t fit. The money i spent is painful as I could have got a spitfire but worse is that he ruined a beautiful 1960 guard. It’s such a waste. What do you think about me trying to stretch it? Do think warming in an oven might be a less harsh and firey way to do it?

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will
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Re: Successful experiments in un-shrinking shrunken pickguards

Post by will » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:57 pm

lefty wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:45 pm
Will can I pick your brains on this please? I’ve just bought a 1960 guard for my new 1960 JM and the guy postage’s it to me without screwing it down to a board like i asked. I’m so annoyed as it shrunk and doesn’t fit. The money i spent is painful as I could have got a spitfire but worse is that he ruined a beautiful 1960 guard. It’s such a waste. What do you think about me trying to stretch it? Do think warming in an oven might be a less harsh and firey way to do it?
Warming a pickguard in the oven will make it soft enough to stretch, but the tricky part is getting it to stretch evenly. The thinner parts of the pickguard (like the area above the neck pickup) are much easier to stretch than the more massive areas (like the space between the pickups)

From my experiments, I've come to believe that flattening out a warped pickguard works quite well, but un-shrinking a pickguard is much trickier. I have a couple pretty old guards screwed to boards, but the reproductions are so much better these days that I use those instead.

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Re: Successful experiments in un-shrinking shrunken pickguards

Post by lefty » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:16 am

will wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:57 pm
lefty wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:45 pm
Will can I pick your brains on this please? I’ve just bought a 1960 guard for my new 1960 JM and the guy postage’s it to me without screwing it down to a board like i asked. I’m so annoyed as it shrunk and doesn’t fit. The money i spent is painful as I could have got a spitfire but worse is that he ruined a beautiful 1960 guard. It’s such a waste. What do you think about me trying to stretch it? Do think warming in an oven might be a less harsh and firey way to do it?
Warming a pickguard in the oven will make it soft enough to stretch, but the tricky part is getting it to stretch evenly. The thinner parts of the pickguard (like the area above the neck pickup) are much easier to stretch than the more massive areas (like the space between the pickups)

From my experiments, I've come to believe that flattening out a warped pickguard works quite well, but un-shrinking a pickguard is much trickier. I have a couple pretty old guards screwed to boards, but the reproductions are so much better these days that I use those instead.
Ok cheers Will. I appreciate you taking the time. I think I've reached the conclusion its not going to work. After some back and forth where the guy told me he's never heard of people screwing down guard and never having one shrink, I'm going to see if I can get a refund through reverb. I should have just gone for a spitfire from the off.

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Re: Successful experiments in un-shrinking shrunken pickguards

Post by Plumerai » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:23 pm

If you order from spitfire be sure to find out how thick the guard will be. I bought one for my 65 jm. Most of the holes lined up fine but the roller controls don't clear the top of the guard. maybe if i did away with shield beneath it will be better, but compared to the original guard it is a bit thicker. plus my original guard is mint instead of white.

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Re: Successful experiments in un-shrinking shrunken pickguards

Post by will » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:56 pm

I thought that I should post some "after" results in this thread. Here's an original mid-60's Jazzmaster guard that I got for a not-totally-ridiculous price because it was kinda shrunken and hacked around the bridge.

I managed to stretch it enough to fit on the guitar, though it got distorted around the pickup openings. Any part of the pickguard that is thinner will stretch a lot more than the thicker parts - it stretches like taffy or the cheese on a pizza (only slower and more flammable)

If I were to try this again, I'd make two sets of rectangles out of MDF that are a bit larger than the pickup cutouts and use them to clamp the pickup cutouts and keep them from getting distorted. It is a lot easier to stretch the plastic than it is to make it smaller again!

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...on the plus side it fits on the guitar now, without the screws getting totally diagonal - before, some of the pickguard screws couldn't even be seen when the guard was placed on the guitar.

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