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  • Matteo 12:39AM

Clear pickguard removal

The 94 Dupont I recently bought has the clear pickguard, which presumably has been on for 20 years. Although it is causing no problems, aesthetically I find it unappealing. I've spoken with Michael about removal, and while I realize it can be done, I also know the finish will suffer. I'm curious to hear about any experiences anyone has had in regards to this issue. Also, has anyone had success in covering with a more traditional pickguard, tho I'm not sure that's what I would like to do.
Thanks!
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Comments

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    rgrice, I've got the exact same problem, so I, too, will be awaiting some of the brilliant replies that are so wonderfully and freely available from the djangobooks.com commentariat...
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • It is possible to do, one needs to know what the existing finish is, so that what goes on top is compatible, and you need to have someone who REALLY understands finishes to prep the affected then airbrush just enough on to match the finish. There may even be a bit of tinting in the original finish.

    It may also be just a matter of cleaning of some glue residue and buffing the top..you won't know until it starts to come off.

    The wood may be a little different in colour for a while if the top has had a lot of exposure to light but over another decade should become less obvious. I have done a couple of guitars....it's time consuming, laborious and if paying someone, if they truly know what they are doing probably not cheap.

    My flat top which had an ugly black glue-on guard still shows after almost 10 years.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • @Jazzaferri doesn't sound promising. I'd almost rather cover it with a unique gypsy style pickguard.
  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    edited December 2014
    I have applied and removed every type of pick guard .
    Its not a walk in the park.
    Some years ago the clear "stick on" type of guard was pretty easy to remove and was really thought of as an after market add on.
    A clear guard was only seen on Spanish Flamenco guitars and those were applied with fish glue or sometimes epoxy. They were seen as permanent fixtures not intended for removal . They were applied by professionals and removed and replaced by professionals . Those guards were easy to remove.
    Fast forward to the 70's and you see these thin Herco brand after market plates that you could cut to size and slap down. Those were easily removable by using naptha. The glue would thin if not dissolve when the naphtha hit it .
    These days the self adhesive plates are used by even the Spanish builders.
    Its seen as permanent , or at least "semi" permanent , these new plates are different . Thicker than the old Herco plates and with a much more tenacious glue. This glue is not thinned or dissolved by naphtha , so if you try to remove using this method what you find is that the solvent acts as a lubrication that voids the bond between the plastic sheet and the adhesive. That allows you to remove the plate but leaves the glue sitting on the top.
    OK so now you have the glue on the guitar and the plastic sheet in the garbage . Thats a start right !
    If your lucky you have more naphtha on hand and you wet a linen rag and start rubbing with the naphtha and after an eternity, in which you will contemplate the void, you will gradually transfer the glue from the top of the guitar to the rag. Keep changing rags and finally the glue is gone.
    Another "way" involves the use of heat to soften the later tenacious glue. That can get you in trouble with real finishes but can work on a guitar with a poly finish.
    If your planning on going over the old plate area with a new opaque plate you have less worries cosmetically but still will have to deal with the transition points between the new guard and the old guard, unless you make the new guard slightly oversize.
    Well. I could go on and on.
    The self adhesive plates vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so the glue is often different from one to the other.
    I have recently removed several clear plates from a known supplier.
    It costs just over an hour of bench time.
    With vintage stuff it can go on for hours.
    Some plates are down on finishes that are nitro over poly. If you try to remove a plate from a finish like that the nitro often lifts from the poly. Its really finish failure , but your going to have to over spray and level and buff.
    Mo Money !
    TMI ?
    Well, you asked.
  • So now I'm wondering about a nice looking pickguard to cover the clear plastic.
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    I just did a GJ workshop with Paul Mehling of Hot Club San Francisco last weekend and he was playing a wonderful Dupont with a clear pickguard. It sounded nice and looked even better. Personally, I would love to have a nice gypsy guitar with a pickguard, clear or otherwise.
  • I'm never satisfied I guess! I was just hoping it wouldn't be such a complex task that would leave the guitar looking terrible. I'm good with it and blessed to have more guitarbguitar than I deserve or will ever do justice to!
  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Its not worth removing a guard that isn't damaged .
    It does not effect sound unless its too large or too thick.
    A pick guard that is not being bashed about doesn't need to be more than .015 thick.
    So if its clear and not bubbled up or other wise damaged its best to leave it alone.
    I like having a clear guard on a guitar . It allows me to hand an instrument to a person and not worry about the finish getting torn up, but I don't apply them to vintage instruments unless its necessary.
    These French guitars don't always need a guard. Sometimes there is enough neck angle and bridge height that most people can avoid hitting the top unless they rest the fingers (which many do) on the top.
    The myth of the guard ruining the sound is just that , a myth.
    A plate is not a bad thing unless its ugly.
    jonpowl
  • BonesBones Moderator
    If it ain't broke.....???
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