Guitar pick guard copy

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Project by SchotterWoodworking posted 06-16-2011 01:07 AM 1700 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A very good friend of mine in Austin, TX is into guitar art. He wanted a wooden (paint worthy) copy of his pick guard to adorn with artistic flair. I rounded up some poplar and began planing it down thin. Really thin. I’ve never gone below 1/4” with my planer. I was a bit nervous until the first blank popped inside the machine. Once In knew what would happen when it cracked, all was well. Then I broke one sanding. Frustration is the only word for that experience. After a bit of fear-sweat scroll sawing and some easy-does-it sanding I called it good. I can’t wait to see what it looks like painted. I might post some pics if I can.

4 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20472 posts in 3100 days

#1 posted 06-16-2011 05:33 AM

Nice job on the pick guard. That is a good job for one of those horizontal drum sanders. Thanks for sharing your story on making it!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View George's profile


82 posts in 2598 days

#2 posted 06-16-2011 06:24 PM

One way to keep a thin piece from cracking or breaking while you do the pressure work is to put a backer board as a substrate to support you project piece while you do the milling and artwork. Cracking or breaking thin parts on a scroll saw is common so most put a thin support board to the project board by using a double sided carpet tape or a dab of hot glue on the corners, then when you through with the stressing work, just carefully remove the backer and wah-la. You may already use this process or some form of it, but I didn’t notice it in you discription so, just a helpful hint. Also, I can see a exotic pick guard for my son’s guitar(s), thanks for the project idea!!!

-- I did measure it twice, it's still too short.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3053 days

#3 posted 06-17-2011 03:08 PM

Luvswood has given some good suggestions for planing this thin stock. Another option that works well for me is to plane it close to thickness with my power planer and then hand planing the remainder. This makes me think that it would be fun to make one of these for one of my guitars. Only difference would be to make it from a nice exotic import with some interesting grain and then simply give it a clear finish. Possibly rosewood or some variety of mahogany. Lace wood would be interesting too. Glad to see you didn’t give up when you got frustrated. Nice work.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View SchotterWoodworking's profile


113 posts in 3025 days

#4 posted 06-17-2011 08:43 PM

Suggestions are appreciated! I thought some Brazilian cherry with a tung oil/poly finish would look superb. If it was up to me, I’d get some nice crotch veneer mahogany and apply that gorgeous figure to the pick guard. I am seriously considering making my own guitar, mandolin, and/or viola. If that comes to be, I’m going all out! Ribbon stripe mahogany bodies with cocobolo necks and ironwood details! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

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