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Old 03-21-2019, 08:40 PM
Arch Stanton Arch Stanton is offline
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Default I'm not gonna do it, just curious...

Can a luthier remove a pick guard and make it look like it was never there, on a gloss top? Would it be an easy job or super expensive?
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:46 PM
Willie Voltaire Willie Voltaire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Stanton View Post
Can a luthier remove a pick guard and make it look like it was never there, on a gloss top? Would it be an easy job or super expensive?
It depends on how long the pickguard has been on, the type of finish, and how cured the finish was when it was installed. Sometimes it leaves a shadow or a "tan line" or an imprint when your remove it, but sometimes not. Sometimes the color difference evens out over time, sometimes it's there forever. In that case I'd imagine a refinish would be the answer, and that can get expensive. But I've removed a pickguard or two on new guitars with good results.

Here's an overview of the process: https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onlin..._hard_way.html
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:54 PM
Arch Stanton Arch Stanton is offline
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Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
It depends on how long the pickguard has been on, the type of finish, and how cured the finish was when it was installed. Sometimes it leaves a shadow or a "tan line" or an imprint when your remove it, but sometimes not. Sometimes the color difference evens out over time, sometimes it's there forever. In that case I'd imagine a refinish would be the answer, and that can get expensive. But I've removed a pickguard or two on new guitars with good results.

Here's an overview of the process: https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onlin..._hard_way.html


Wow, something i would never attempt.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:31 PM
Atomnimity Atomnimity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
It depends on how long the pickguard has been on, the type of finish, and how cured the finish was when it was installed. Sometimes it leaves a shadow or a "tan line" or an imprint when your remove it, but sometimes not. Sometimes the color difference evens out over time, sometimes it's there forever. In that case I'd imagine a refinish would be the answer, and that can get expensive. But I've removed a pickguard or two on new guitars with good results.

Here's an overview of the process: https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onlin..._hard_way.html
I agree removing a pick guard isn't the problem - what you find underneath might be. I replaced the pick guard on my GS Mini with one I made. Wasn't much of a challenge.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:44 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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If it’s on your 2018 Martin, the spruce top might not have started darkening with exposure to sunlight quite yet. That will depend on how much you’ve taken it out and played it outdoors, or left it out on a stand for extended periods.

If you took off the pickguard and there is either no “tan line” or one that’s barely discernible, you can expect to get the entire top to reach visual equilibrium. But if there’s a clear, obvious shape of the pickguard with lighter wood where it used to be, then getting the entire top to reach a uniform color will be difficult, because the darker exposed wood will always remain darker than the wood that was previously unexposed. It keeps getting darker at the same pace that the lighter wood darkens.

The only way that I’m aware of that can make the lighter wood catch up is if you were to make a cardboard template with the shape of the pickguard cut out, which you’d then tape to the top with painters’ masking tape, leaving the pickguard area exposed to light while you leave the guitar out on a stand.

Do that and eventually the pickguard area might darken enough to match the rest of the top.

That’s more work than I’d ever want to go to, though, so it would be your decision as to whether you’d want to expend that much energy on “correcting” what is only a cosmetic issue, and nothing more.

Hope that makes sense.


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Old 03-22-2019, 01:21 AM
hillin hillin is offline
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The pickguard left an imprint on my Hummingbird when I first took it off. I glued it back soon, not only because of the imprint, but primarily because a guitar, or at least a Hummingbird, without a pickguard is freaking ugly.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:11 AM
Arch Stanton Arch Stanton is offline
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Yeah, but what about all that hard glue stuff underneath?
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:35 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Most modern guitars have pickguards attached with pressure sensitive adhesive (AKA self stick). It is not hard, but rubbery. It can be removed with naphtha, which does not hurt the finish.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:09 AM
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Rodger Knox Rodger Knox is offline
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Dental floss probably doesn't work as good as the specialty luthier tools in the link, but it is cheaper and readily available.
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