Hi all.

I've got an Alvarez dreadnought (made in Japan) that has a crack under the pickguard. I want to remove the pickguard to glue and cleat the crack, then re-install the pickguard (assuming I don't damage it during removal).

Two questions I have are:

1) should I put a thin layer of finish (ie superglue) on the bare wood before re-installing the p.g.?

2) what kind of glue should I use? or should I use the double stick adhesive I've seen at Stewmac?

Thanks for your input. I've never done this repair before and could really use some guidance!

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I'm not a professional, so please take everything I write with a grain of salt.

First, I'd say you should post some pictures so the professional luthiers who can help you identify whether or not removing the pickguard is necessary/the right way to go.

It seems to me that you shouldn't remove the pickguard completely, if you can avoid it. Aligning it exactly to where it was before seems daunting, if not impossible (unless you install a new pickguard that has sticky backing). As for double sided tape, if the pickguard is tortoise shell or anything you can kind of see through, then the tape will be visible. Water-based glue is a good choice. It has longer open time which allows you to clean and clamp it properly before it's dry.

Anyway, I would suggest reading this post and this one, written by Frank Ford. I followed his steps when I had to remove and reglue the pickguard on my guitar a couple of months ago.

Hi Mark.

Taking the pickguard completely off will give you a much better chance to re-affix it properly.

If the pickguard is affixed to the finished top (PG put on after the body was finished), naphtha [lighter fluid] will release the remaining adhesive. This is my best guess as Alvarez was an entry/mid level instrument. The same naphtha will also clean any reaming adhesive from the back of the PG. You'll want it clean for the tape to sick to.

If the PG is glued directly to the wood, see one of Frank's articles on how to remove. A sealed substrate will give you better adhesion.

re: the double sided tape: it's completely transparent and will not show through even the lightest faux tortoise (but my guess is that it's black). 

Also, reinstalling the PG is a piece of cake if you use 'masking tape hinges'. Here's how:  Once the PG is off and the substrate has been prepped, apply & trim the transparent tape to the PG but let the plastic shield layer on for a while. 

Now, place the PG where you want it (the original location) and place two- 2" strips of masking tape... 1" on the PG & 1" on the body of the guitar closest to the side binding with an inch to an inch & a half apart. This is your guide.

Flip the PG over without disturbing the tape and remove the protective plastic shield layer and flip it into position. Press on the PG from the side of the guitar toward the soundhole to remove any bubbles. A super easy solution to a simple repair.

Others may have a more efficient process and may chime in.  There are several ways to accomplish the same repair but I find this one to be the cheapest, quickest and appropriate for your instrument.

Best of luck. I'm sure you'll do fine :)

Thanks for all the info.

There's a small corner of the p.g. that is loose and I can peak under it. It looks like the p.g. was glued directly to the wood. From reading Frank's articles, he used regular wood glue and reglued the p.g. to the wood. I think Paul (please correct me if I'm wrong) is saying that if I use the double stick adhesive, I should put some finish on that bare wood. ???

Would it be fair to say use yellow glue if gluing to bare wood, and use the adhesive if gluing to a top with finish?

post pics please so we can have a look.  there might be an easy way to do the repair without removing the pick guard completely.

 Marc, please be patient and let the Naptha work and don't get impatient. Use no tools at all to do this little job, because they will certainly mark the plastic or the top, or both! It can take 25 mins working slowly... Patience Grasshopper...  


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