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Pickguard for P-90 Strat

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  • Pickguard for P-90 Strat

    I picked up a Chinese copy a while back. The bridge was incorrectly placed so I moved it, The guitar is now a player but has an ugly gap at the bridge/pickguard junction. I am also thinking about moving the pickups a tad. I would like some thoughts on creating a new pickguard to perfectly fit the changed real estate.

    This seems to be the only forum that has not lost its soul since teh whatever

  • #2
    If this is a non standard pick guard size you probably have to cut your own.
    You can use the original as a template. You can buy raw pick guard material at sites like Stuart McDonald.
    I'd cut the pick guard with a jigsaw slightly larger, then route the edges so they're beveled. You may even want to cut
    the plastic on a piece of thin wood which will make it easier to route.

    If you haven't got a router then using a Dremmil can work. I've done many pick guards with them including the pickup holes.
    Its not easy because one slip and your screwed. The pick guard material comes with a plastic film but you may want to add
    masking tape to prevent accidental scuffs and digs. You can also use a sanding wheel and shaped abrasive stones on an electric
    drill for beveling the outside. I've locked a drill down to work like a shop grinder. This way you move the pick guard material instead of
    moving the tool to bevel the edges.

    For the pickups, put a good later of masking tape on there and take one of the P90 covers to use as a template and trace the holes.
    Then drill a hole away from the edges and gradually cut the material out closer to the lines.

    As protection, I use a cheap method of setting up boarders that prevent me from cutting the holes too large. I tape hack saw blades down
    where I drew the lines around the pickup covers. These act as limiters that prevent me from accidentally cutting too far. If my dremmil creates a
    spark when I get too close I know I reached the limit. I use the pickup cover to test the hole when I get close to the proper size. I may resort to hand files
    and sand paper to get the edges smooth. I may even use a razor knife to get the edges partially cut.

    They also make hot knives for cutting plastic. I do use a soldering iron for punching holes through or smoothing edges, but again this can be a tricky
    thing because the plastic tends to blob up.

    Drill the pick guard screw holes with a smaller bit. Then take a larger drill bit with your hand and ream it out just enough so the screw fist flush.
    Again, use your old pick guard as a template. The back side of the pick guard will provide the small bit size by matching up a bit to the hole.
    Then use the front to find the bit that fits the wider bevel in the front. It should be the same diameter as you screw heads.

    Other than that you can use a piece of cardboard to design your own pick guard and just trace and cut everything out to the proper sizes,
    then use it as a template to cut the pick guard material. From there just take it slow. you can always take off more material if you go slow.
    Take too much and you're screwed. Like anything you do with your hands you take risks when making something. You do have to have a few
    failures over time. That's part of the education.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the detailed 411. Sorry for the late reply but the board would not let me post.

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      • #4
        There might be some places out there that can cut if for you. Maybe mojotone?
        Signal Chain My Fingers - Gauge Strings; Reverend Sensei; Ibanez TS9; Keeley 2-Knob Compressor; Eventide Space Reverb - Pigtronix Infinity Looper; Fender Super Reverb (without reverb)

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        • #5
          Just leave it off, you dont need a pg with p90s anyway

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          • #6
            ^^^ ??? You cant surface mount P90's with dog ears on a Strat type guitar like you would on some other guitars.

            The pickups have to be nearly flush with the pickguard. The height of a P90 is about the same as a normal Strat pickup so he shouldn't have to route the cavity
            so long as it has a Boat Route it should be OK.

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