Repair Shop Spot: Pickguards!

In addition to setting up guitars, getting rid of buzz, refretting, installing pickups, fixing broken headstocks, restoring vintage instruments and general musical TLC, our repair shop does some sweet detail work like pickguards. Some folks need a new one, some want one added to a guitar that doesn’t have one and some folks have a crazy idea they want to see come to fruition. Read on…

Collings I-35 – Custom Pickguard

The Collings I-35 with a two ply pickguard that appears to have binding

The Collings I-35 with a two ply pickguard that appears to have binding

Josh B
. added a sweet custom pickguard for a customer who desired one with binding for his oh-so-sweet Collings I-35. However, he wanted to avoid the expense one with binding would incur. Josh concocted his own version using tortoise style material and cream material. He placed the cream behind the tortoise, which also highlighted the tortoise pattern, which looks really cool. He then beveled the edge, resulting in the appearance of cream binding. Lastly, Josh devised a sweet mounting method that did not invade the guitar at all – by using a bracket in the f-hole and using the existing pickup ring screws to hold in the guard. Beautiful!

A closer look - Josh did a bang up job on this I-35!

A closer look – Josh did a bang up job on this I-35!


Eastman Archtop – Pickguard Special Installation

Eastman archtop with pickguard attached

Matt H. crafted the missing mounting hardware for this classically styled pickguard.

A customer provided Matt H with the classic looking pickguard for his Eastman archtop, but there was no mounting hardware included. Matt fabricated an Ebony bracket himself which screws into the neck and created a custom block for the pickguard mount. The result is a sharp, classic look with craftsmanship that parallels the beauty of the guitar.

Ebony mounting piece for Eastman archtop pickguard

A closer look at the Ebony piece Matt made.


Eastman pickguard attachment

A closer look at the pickguard bracket with an acrylic block under the guard.


Eastman archtop with pickguard installed



Gretsch Junior Jet – Custom Pickguard

Gretsch with Dogear Fralin P90 pickups and LP Jr style pickguard

This inexpensive modded Gretsch now looks as cool as it sounds thanks to Matt’s custom Les Paul Junior style pickguard.

Inspired by the Repair Shop’s great work modding a few burst Junior Jets we had at the store back in 2011, web manager Anne brought in her used Junior Jet II for the same mod. After installing the Fralin Dogear P90s, the whole vibe of the guitar was screaming Les Paul and it didn’t seem quite right to put the same pickguard back on.

Gretsch Junior Jet II black

The Gretsch Junior Before: The Gretsch Junior Jet II originally had mini humbuckers and a teardrop pickguard.

Anne always hankered for an LP Junior and asked if the shop could replace the oval Gretsch guard with a Les Paul Junior style, rather than the more triangular LP Special style. A standard replacement didn’t fit, so Matt H custom made a Les Paul Junior guard, adjusting it to fit the curve of the horn on the Gretsch, and the new dogear P90s. The result? A sweet Gretsch hot rodded and modded with an LP Junior vibe.

Les Paul Junior pickguard crafter for two dogear p90s

A closer look at the pickguard


Gretsch JJII with Fralin Dogear P90s and Les Paul Jr style pickguard

The finished Gretsch Junior Jet with Fralin Dogear P90s and a Les Paul JR style pickguard. Sharp!



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