Do Acrylic Pickguards Hold Up?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Spidey, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Spidey

    Spidey Gretschie

    277
    Jan 14, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    I found some Acrylic blank sheet material that I'd really like for a scratch plate. But I'm afraid it'll be either brittle or more easily scratched than other materials. Has anyone ever had one that can tell me how it held up? I'm not expecting it to be bulletproof or anything, just wondering how it compares to other materials? I am a bit concerned about it taking an unexpected impact if it ever happens, since it's on a hollowbody and will stick out ever so slightly and not be fully supported. Most clear acrylic I've been around would crack easily. But that was a very long time ago, maybe it's improved since then?
     
  2. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    depends on the acrylic.. is it extruded, is it cast, is it polycarbonate? It matters.. Cast Acrylic is what you want, as it much more scratch, crack and shatter resistant. You can also flame polish the edges for a liquid glass look. It engraves the easiest to boot. I had an acrylics fabrication company back in the late 80, early 90s.. Kinda hard to recall a lot at this point since I just dont do much of anything like that now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  3. Spidey

    Spidey Gretschie

    277
    Jan 14, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    =========================================================

    Thans TVWT. Hmmm,... I'm not sure. I'll ask them and see what they say. The use of a torch for the edges is a great tip, thank you!!! I was wondering how to get those to blend - by buffing etc.

    Will it wear similar to other types or close enough? I'm wondering if the darker colors might make the scratches look milky or more hazy than materials I'm typically used to?
     
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
  4. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    its clear acrylic, its going to scratch. the brits call it a scratch plate for good reason. It keeps your guitar from scratching picks. :) Torching only works on cast acrylic, extruded isnt really meant to be workable. Polycarb is the most resilent but its got a purpose much higher than guitar picks :) Cast acrylic you can sand, drill (reverse rake bit),etc
     
    nickurso likes this.
  5. Spidey

    Spidey Gretschie

    277
    Jan 14, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    ==================================

    I agree, about anything will scratch or scuff if used. It was more about how it compared to other scratch plate materials. After I make a pick guard, I was hoping t use it for other applications as well. How it holds up was a big factor in deciding whether it's a good idea or not. Some of my guitar pick/scratch guards show scuffs easily, others almost nothing at all even thought they're played more. Color and pattern play into it of course but flexibility and cracking was my biggest concern. I've never had one before, but I see clear pick guards that are years old and they still look great. That made me wonder what most were made of?

    I did get an answer back. The supplier said they weren't technically sure but it was formed between two sheets of glass. From what I've read, that's likely cast then, does that sound right? I think I may spring for a sheet and get a looksie. Do you think I'll need special saw toothed blade, router bit and drill bits to work with it or just take it easy and not build up heat/friction best I can? I have cut some clear sheet in the past once upon a time and it wasn't fun but I didn't know what I was doing either. :) Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it TVtWT.
     
  6. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    yep that is Cast Acrylic and you should be good to go. btw.. if you go with acrylic guitar picks like Gravity picks (oh lordy I love these they DONT slip and they never break and hardly wear down) they are like media so there's even let chance of scratching and marring of the finish.
     
  7. Spidey

    Spidey Gretschie

    277
    Jan 14, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    =====================

    Thank You, I'll be ordering it today. And looks like I'll be making a few picks with the scraps or buying acrylic picks so I can try them out. Ha! Maybe I'll post pics if it doesn't take too long to finish this project. I have a feeling I'm gona like this material. Very much appreciated TV!
     
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
  8. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Do you have a hydrogen-oxygen torch set up for flame polishing? If not a small map gas torch can work but be sure to lay it on an alum. plate and lay an alum plate on top to isolate the edge.
     
  9. Spidey

    Spidey Gretschie

    277
    Jan 14, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    ===============

    I have a small hand held propane torch and I did find some aluminum sheet. Thanks for the tip! I'll look that up tonight and research the heck out of it before it gets here. Can't wait to try it and learn something new.
     
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