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Shrinking Pickguard on old Yamaha acoustic

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A friend brought over a great old 70s Yamaha FG-300 yesterday. As you can see the pickguard is shrinking and discoloring the finish, and it's a little grungy. I get the feeling playability is more important but would like to keep it as original as possible.

I don't know what to do, if anything, about the pickguard. I can remove it with a little heat, a spatula, and some patience. Is there finish underneath it? Will the discoloration be underneath it too? I could make a similar one to replace it.

Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/zD7YMMrgV97Cawh5A

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No guaranties, but most likely the discoloration is from exposed adhesive after the pickguard shrank back. And there is very high probability that there is finish under the pickguard and all you have to do is clean off the adhesive--which is likely crystallized. On the down side, sometimes adhesives have solvents in them, that can attack the finish. That will mean the finish will be marred and probably discolored as well. Not a problem if you are going to cover it up with a new pickguard.

You might try using a little mineral spirits and see if you can clean up the exposed adhesive before removing the original guard.

SR

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