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Old 02-13-2019, 05:55 PM
CosmicOsmo CosmicOsmo is offline
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Default Cutting pickup cutouts in bound archtop pickguard

Anyone have any tips for how to cleanly cut some pickup holes in a bound, L5-style pickguard? I have an old Yamaha AE1200s archtop (L5ces copy) and the original pickguard has long since succumbed to nitro rot. I have a tracing of the original pickguard and purchased an uncut bound L5 pickguard from Allparts. It fits very well, aside from needing the holes cut for the pickups and mounting screw.

Anyone have any tips for cleanly cutting a pickguard without cracking it? What tools should I use? I have a small jigsaw that I was thinking could work, maybe drill out the corners and then sand everything smooth, but I'm worried about cracking it. Maybe I should purchase a jewelers saw?
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:01 PM
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bnjp bnjp is offline
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Best to make a plywood template from your drawing. Make sure it fits perfect smooth all the edges, then tape (double side masking tape) the template to your pickguard and use a router with a pattern bit. I use a smaller laminate router. If you want to do it by hand, You could free hand it close with a coping saw, then use files to clean it up to the line.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:28 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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I use a fein saw, super clean cuts

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Old 02-13-2019, 09:57 PM
Tone Gopher Tone Gopher is offline
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Another vote for using a small router - thatís the way we did it when I worked in a guitar repair shop last century.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:07 PM
CosmicOsmo CosmicOsmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnjp View Post
Best to make a plywood template from your drawing. Make sure it fits perfect smooth all the edges, then tape (double side masking tape) the template to your pickguard and use a router with a pattern bit. I use a smaller laminate router. If you want to do it by hand, You could free hand it close with a coping saw, then use files to clean it up to the line.
Great suggestion with the plywood template! I don't have access to a router though. I might feel more comfortable with the coping saw as I'd be able to go nice and slow.

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I use a fein saw, super clean cuts

Steve
I do have an oscillating saw (dremel, not a fein), hadn't thought about using that at all! How would you deal with the corners, drill them out?
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:13 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicOsmo View Post
I do have an oscillating saw (dremel, not a fein), hadn't thought about using that at all! How would you deal with the corners, drill them out?
With a single fluted step drill, normal drill will possibly tear it
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:07 AM
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clamp the piece between some thin plywood to support it while cutting.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:00 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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I tend to do this with files only, but a template and a small router or dremel tool is the more pro way to do it.
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