Pickguard - To Remove Or Not...

Discussion in 'Restoration & Repair' started by Kyle, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Kyle

    Kyle New Member

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    This 1951 National has an added pickguard by a previous owner. Thoughts on removing or leaving as is..... feedback needed.
     

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  2. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    if it was me. I would remove and restore the whole top and bridge.

    That particular model of guitar doesn't have a huge vintage value. So you would be doing it a favor.

    JMHO.
     
  3. Kyle

    Kyle New Member

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    Hey Bruce,
    Thanks for the reply. I agree with you. I bought this guitar because I want to try to restore it, and I figured this would be a good one to work on.
    Any suggestions for how to remove the ugly pickguard? I tried to heat it with a hair dryer and had no luck at all. It's like they used super glue to put the pickguard on.
     
  4. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    if you believe its super glue. acetone is the solvent for Super glue.
    It will also turn any lacquer on the top to goo as well. which you can scrap off with a razor blade,
    So I would start there, and work slowly with small amounts of acetone to get the pickguard/s loosened.

    sidenote: Acetone won't "hurt"the wood. but super glues and lacquers may have staining agents in them that can become very thinly diluted with the acetone, and might penetrate the top wood leaving a permanent stain.
    So I prefer using sand papers and/or scrapers to remove all the top lacquers.
    I Never use chemical strippers as they "can" make refinishing a real pain. wood tends to soak them in like a sponge. and that stuff often can remain "active" for a very long time once its deep in the wood.
    So work slowly and carefully and test things on scrap as you go, you should be able to get nice looking results.
     
  5. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Active Member

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    JUST IN CASE,
    try lighter fluid on the pickguard. i use Ronsonol or Zippo, both are just naptha.
    IF the pickguard happens to be stuck on with a double stick "pressure sensitive" type of material. then the naptha will loosen it and not melt back the underlying finish.

    repair and restoration Luthiery really involves a fair amount of detective work. you just gotta poke, pry and peel, until your sure how something was put together sometimes.
     

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