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G and L New Pickguard

4/1/12 – Note, the wiring associated with this repair was completed by Noah Drew, an independent guitar electronics tech. Noah can be reached at 607-351-1624.

1.1 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 1.2 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
1. G&L ASAT The owner of this Classic Custom Semi-Hollow wants to convert it to a “bluesboy boy” by putting a standard size Humbucker in the neck position. To achieve this, I will make a custom pickguard out of the plastic of his choosing. 2. The Pickup Cavity is too small. This guitar was routed for the longer and narrower “Jumbo MFD” pickup. I will use the new pick- guard to determine the layout of the pickup cavity modifications.
1.5 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 1.6 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
3. Layout consists of tracing the outline of the old pickguard onto the new pickguard blank, marking the neck side of the pickup cavity and drilling the mount- ing holes. The workbench and the original pickguard sandwich the new pickguard blank with a bar clamp through a bench dog hole holding the whole thing together. 4. Bandsawing the new guard a little proud of my scribed line. I will ignore the tight corners for now.
1.7 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 1.8 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
5. Drilling the Corners is quick and easy. I have the original tortoise pickguard and the new guard attached to a workboard. This makes it easier for me to precisely locate the drill press cuts. 6. Connecting the Dots with more bandsaw work.
1.9 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 2.0 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
7. Sanding to the Line The disc sander makes quick work of the outside cuts. 8. Sanding the Inside Cuts is fast with the oscillating spindle sander.
2.1 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 2.2 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
9. Hand Tools are an easy way to get into the corners that the power tools can’t touch. A sharp chisel and a half-round needle file clean up the neck pocket and bridge recesses. 10. Beveling the Pickguard with the disc-sander bed set to 45 degrees.
2.3 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 2.4 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
11. The Spindle Sander also has a tilting table that’s useful for beveled inside cuts. 12. Marking the E Strings’ locations will allow me to ensure that the new pickup pole-pieces properly align with the strings.
2.6 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 2.7 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
13. The Pickup Ring that came with the new pickup is the perfect tool for laying out the humbucker’s footprint. 14. Drilling Out the corners of the pickup cutout.
2.8 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 2.9 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
15. A Series of Holes that overlap is a quick way to get rid of the waste. 16. Another Trip to the spindle sander.
3.0 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 3.1 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
17. Lay Out is key The pickguard is the perfect template for laying out the perimeter of the new pickup cavity. 18. A Forstner Bit chucked into the drill press gets rid of most of the waste. I’m stopping short of the cavity’s final depth.
3.2 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 3.3 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
19. Chiseling inward at the top of the body ensures a clean cut. 20. Chopping Downward gets rid of the rest of the waste.
3.4 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG 3.6 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
21. Cutting to Final Depth with the chisel’s bevel facing down- ward. If I had drilled to the finished depth, there would be a bunch of unsightly little holes left from the drill bit. The chisel leaves a relatively smooth finished surface. 22. Blues Boy Conversion The new black pickguard really looks smart on this blonde swamp ash ASAT.
3.7 G and L ASAT Bluesboy Conversion New Pickguard.JPG
23. The Edges are smooth and follow the contours of the original pickguard. The pole pieces align with the strings. Now this guitar is off to Noah to get re-wired.