Custom pickguard - show and tell!

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Gbm6, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Gbm6

    Gbm6 Electromatic

    Sep 30, 2019
    New Zealand
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    So barely a week or 2 into owning my first gretsch (g5422t), I’ve set about improving and personalising this beautiful thing.
    After installing a jack plate, my next endeavour was to replace the white PG with a black one.
    Proabably available to buy, but I preferred to try make one out of some from solid black gloss 3mm acrylic sheet.
    I traced around the original and cut it out with a small handsaw.
    I used some small files for the finer details that I couldn’t manoeuvre the saw through.
    Using a fine blade, I dragged it sideways toward me around the edge to shave and shape the contour finer - this also left a smoother finish than the files.
    I didn’t bevel the edges, and I may not but I’ll smooth them off with a fine sandpaper.
    Since these pics this morning, I’ve continued to shape a more generous space for the pickups.

    please share any comments or suggestions you might have, and certainly I would be keen to see your own custom pickguards!
    This was a fun exercise and i might try with a different colour, or painting the reverse of a clear sheet.
    Also considering doing a wooden one from a cedar sheet - although o couldn’t find any examples of wooden pickguards and I wonder if there’s good reason for that..?

    benjwri, thunder58, Dave-B and 5 others like this.
  2. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Looking good, just need to smooth the edges a bit more!
    MKunie likes this.
  3. dak55

    dak55 Country Gent

    May 31, 2018
    Like audept said, sand it some some more and see what you think. It looks pretty close now. If you have a router and a flush trim bit with a pilot bearing it might be an easier process. I've not done plastics before but don't see why it would be any different than wood working. No reason you couldn't try a wooden guard. There are some YouTube videos on it and plenty of examples on a Google search.
  4. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Good looking start. I agree with the above postings, bevel the edges and it'll look outstanding.

    Nice project. I like the gold over the black body.
  5. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Gretschie

    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    Looking good! There usually tons of wood pickguards on ebay. Don't know if there are any for Gretsch, but lots for strat/ tele/ acoustic.
  6. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    CFFC303B-8C4B-4272-9223-0FD1C3D4DD23.jpeg I put a Quickguards cream pickguard on my green 5620. I sold the 5620 and kept the cream guard and put it on my 5420

    Quickguards cream guard above

    Stock silver guard

  7. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Looks great! Nice work.

    Here's the pickguard I designed for my 5620. I scanned the original black guard, added the graphics in Inkscape, and sent the file off to for custom laser-cutting and reverse engraving. The cardinal was a piece of clip art that I found on Google. I scanned the Gretsch logo from another pickguard, and I designed the cardinal wordmark myself. I filled the engravings with white acrylic paint, and that was that!

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  8. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I’m a big fan of custom guards.
    Nice work so far!
    dak55 and Gbm6 like this.
  9. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    My 6131 came with a flat gold gretsch jet PG but I think the tortoiseshell pickguard with the steelhead logo and the jeweled western leather strap is pretty much an essential for the full western roundup look.
  10. S.R.Cash

    S.R.Cash Gretschie

    Aug 29, 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    If its gonna be mine,
    Its gotta stand out!
  11. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Solid woods react to humidity. Fine if you screw it down like a strat guard, but for floating pickguards you would need to use quality ply or a really hard wood like ebony, I think Cedar might be to soft.
    new6659 and Gbm6 like this.
  12. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    I changed this to....



  13. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    I'll pass over the ones that I designed via vector file and have them custom built for those that I hand-built at home :

    Raw Acetate 6mm thick material from Mazzucchelli - Italia :


    Cut to shape slowly with jigsaw - Aw ! No, sorry - error :confused: : I did not recall that I machined the contour of these on the small CNC at my work :oops: :


    Mill-rounding the edges with a rounding bit, then hand finished and polished :


    Installed with custom brackets :


    Also cut to size with a jigsaw in raw pickguard material (bought on eBay) after tracing the external contour of the original ones on it :




    Anyway, acheiving a really neat job isn't easy at all : a mistake can arrive quickly and a tiny flaw remains visible...

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
    new6659, Gbm6, mbkri and 5 others like this.
  14. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Love all those - very classy work :)
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Fender strat pickguards are sooooo boring so......
    And have a new one coming soon for my Tele :)

    new6659, Jeff67, Gbm6 and 3 others like this.
  16. Dave-B

    Dave-B Country Gent

    May 23, 2016
    Pickguards are great fun to make. Some great work in this thread.

    Here's one I did a while ago for my 5422. I bevelled the edges with a router, engraved the celtic knot & router with a CNC machine, and back filled the logo with metallic black acrylic before spraying silver.



  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Then Fender Bass pickguards are soooo boring so......

  18. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Thanks @Waxhead ! ;)

    There's probably a Mazzucchelli retailer in USA / Australia, since they are one of the leaders in that market... Search for glass mount material on the web via a local directory, or contact Mazzucchelli directy, as they have an online shop.

    Have a look to their catalog... :eek::cool: :

    Gbm6 and Waxhead like this.
  19. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    thank you Sir :)
  20. dak55

    dak55 Country Gent

    May 31, 2018
    Great work!!!! You have your own CNC machine??????
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