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Tony Zemaitis Style Pickguards


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Im not particularly experienced to guitar making or anything, but as soon as i came across Tony Zemaitis Guitars i loved the pickguard artwork. I would like to make/get hold of an engraved scratchplate of the style of Danny O'Brien (zemaitis engraver), for a fender standard strat. Im not sure where to start? Any Ideas on anything?

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Zemaitis Photo Gallery

Engraving has come a long way since Tony and Danny started doing their signature pieces - you can probably get a laser engraver to do your pickguard now. The only trick will be coming up with patterns - the rest, as i understand it, is as easy as scanning the artwork into a computer and programming the engraver. If you want to do it by hand, maybe Craig can give you some pointers on it. I do know that it requires a good eye, a steady hand, and a lot of practice.

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I'm pretty sure Zemaitis used silver, or silver plated brass ( ??? ) sheet for the guitar tops on these - they would have been pretty easy to hand engrave as the metal is very soft - obviously getting the design right would be the hard part.

I also dont think he engraved them himself, some guy who used to engrave guns and stuff used to do them for him ( this is from memory from an old Keith Richards interview about them ).

I know someone who's got an 80's one he had personally made for him by Tony, think he got it for half retail at the time ( around $4000 ) - now its probably worth about $100,000 as the top was very personalised and the design was a one off.

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John Cattos guitar blows away any Zemaitis I have ever seen. He paid someone to do the top after creating the design with his computer. It wasn't cheap, but well worth it. If I was you, I would start this thread at MIMF, since he is a regular there. Believe me, you will learn alot from him. I am in love with all the guitars he has built, especially the Zemaitis copy and his Bigsby Merle Travis replica. They both kick major arse! I would give anything to have my Zemaitis back, (I had one of the pearl covered models). I found it in a pawn shop in a tiny little town in Tennessee for $600. Of course, I sold it and made one hell of a profit. Enough to buy my shop and all the tools. :D

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zem0002b.gif

id just want a design similar to this one. Look how beautiful this guitar is :D If i had $35,000 - $40,000 i wouldn't hesitate to getting one.

Are there any similar pickguards like this that are more available?

That is a great looking guitar, but you will have to be nuts to waste that much money on a guitar that will look better on a Medieval Castel Wall instead of on your hands being played...

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