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Right Tools To Make A Pickguard


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hi

I made a strat type pickguard for the first time (made some LP-styles before) and this is what I did and knew:

First I made a plywood template and afterwards I sticked the cut out plastic with double sided tape to it and thought when I run the ball bearing of my 45° router bit along the edge of the template it will cut a sharp angle. It was a desaster. I used the router bit in a drill press because I don't have a router at hand. Well I thought, since the plactic cuts like butter, I would "rasp" the edges off slowly, even with a slow drill press - actually quiet dangerous - I don't recommend that :D

The slot for a typical blade switch then is not what you would call precicion either. I drilled and then filed, but the result is nothing like a routed precision slot .

What are the right tools and bits to use - is there any blade switch routung templates somewhere or a special bit for the dremel, and the 45° angle, would the normal high speed router have done the proper job or do you need another special tool for it?

Any tutorial somewhere in the net ? - I must admit I didn't google yet- will right after this post

thanks and regards

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Not really, I believe this is the best applicable section. I just never could justify making my own pickguard when there are so many already available. My guess is that not a whole lot of people have done it. I do know that a router is a much more suitable place for a router bit than a drill press is. I'd say give it another shot with a router. Maybe get the right sized bit from stewmac (their inlay bits come in several sizes) and make a straightedge jig for the blade slot.

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Yes.. Use a "router" to give the 45 degree angle on the pickguard edges. With the ball bearing bit you have. Drills are not fast enough to "cut" materials even with the sharpest bits. Router table is very useful for this. Or you can place your router upside down on your workbench and make a small routing jig.

Here is what I've made for making routing templates.

And you can use dremel bits for the blade slot but if you don't have a dremel, you can buy a collet adaptor for your router so it can accept small shaft dremel bits. But I haven't tried using those collet adapters. Route the slot on a jig like Devon said.

If you don't have a router, just buy one.. or borrow one. It's the most useful power tool for guitar making or wood working.

I still don't have a router though and I've build a Les Paul. But I had a grinder motor that had similar specs with a router motor (320 Watts, 27.000 rpm, 6mm collet size). I made a base and a jig for it to keep perpendicular to the base. You can see it in the photo.. but clamped upside down.

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Yes.. Use a "router" to give the 45 degree angle on the pickguard edges.

And you can use dremel bits for the blade slot but if you don't have a dremel

If you don't have a router, just buy one..

ok thanks for the info - I know that I need a router - only lately, and now that I want to learn a CAD programm I was wondering, as a kind of computer person that I have become, to go the CNC way. That means, I design to detailes and have it milled on a CNC which still means that I have to assambe the thing ... right?!

Later I hopefully will realize a small table CNC and hope I will be able to saw fretslots, drill and mill all the same with it :D

Its a matter of priority - I am more impressed by the CNC technology then learning the skills to build it from scratch with the swiss army knife - may be after my 100th guitar I will go the complete handcrafted way - who knows - oops drifted away in explaination- sorry

I find tools to be not unexpensive if you only look at what you have to spend for proper fret dressing and nut slotting ......and that is probably why I still not have the dam router *lol*

btw: I use my drum sanders under table the way you show it on your pic and I do already have a dremel - I will have to look out for the right type bits now

is it correct to use a 60° countersink for the pickguard holes ?

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