I would like to attach a pickguard to a vintage instrument, with the option of removing it sometime in the future. Any suggestions..?


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The pickguard will have an effect on the finish, and if it's opaque, it will shade the wood from UV.

How much effect will depend on the finish, the guard and the adhesive used.

First step here would be to be very specific about the instrument - make, model, age, etc.  

This guitar had an after market pick guard applied some time in the distant wasn't on the instrument when I acquired it, but the discoloration and convex footprint remain. I have a nicely fitted faux turtle shell pick guard that I would like to apply, for my playing physicality. A purist, in the future, might want it removed. So I'm trying to true to it's wah. A 1929 00-42. Thank you.

What Frank said.

If you want a pickguard that is not semi-permanently attached these are often used by sellers and builders of high-end instruments so that the instrument is not damaged while folks try it out.  I've used them and they do indeed work.

removable pickguard

Not sure that I would have selected the product name that these folks did though....  Visions of Star Trek and something else rather disgusting....

Given that this guitar is rare and extremely valuable, I personally urge you to have it restored using original style materials and methods. What I mean is do not use a self adhesive off the rack pickguard. I don't know how any professional on this forum could give you ANYTHING but similar or the same advice.

If you are not a professional restoration expert, I also highly recommend you seek the services of one. A substandard replacement at this point could reduce the value of the instrument by MANY thousands of dollars.

Nice guitar. You're a fortunate guy :)

Both Paul and Hesh are spot on, if you're really about temporary use the removable one, but as soon as it's affordable get this to a pro and have it repaired correctly. '29 00-42 is a way nice axe and highly regarded on the vintage market.

Thanks...however I'm still looking for an adhesive that will hold the pick guard in place, but won't obliterate the finish (any more than it is) Any suggestions....? It's a great playing guitar, but has been worked on extensively....a players instrument, not a collectors piece...As I stated, I have the pickguard I want, sized and fitted...just want to hold it in place...

Will rubber cement hurt the finish?

This guitar may be french polished shellac and if so any solvent based anything is potentially likely to damage the finish.  I have a FPed L-OO that I made in which one of my friends drooled.... scotch on it and it shows... trust me.... ;(

If it's lacquer solvent based anything is also a huge risk.

Hesh, Scotch WOULD cause a blemish since it's practically the solvent of choice for shellac. 

Hey Ned - Yeah I know and I personally use Everclear 190 proof to mix my shellac.  It's pure grain alcohol and as such safer and less toxic than denatured Alcohol and the higher proof lets it flash off a second or two after a pass.  Great stuff and if you screw up the job you can always drink it too.... ;)

They only sell a watered down version in Michigan, California too so I drive to Indiana to get the 190 proof stuff.  Basically it's moonshine...

Thanks....I shall experiment with this substance...I sorta had this in mind, and will continue to research...I was hoping there might be a adhesive made specifically for this purpose...

Whatever you want to do.

However you personally might feel about it.

Please follow the advise given above by Frank, Paul and Hesh.

You have been blessed with a treasure, to which you now owe, a duty of care.


Here, we have been preserving Artefacts of Historical Interest, far, far longer than anyone else than exists in the English Speaking Western World.

It's so easy, to enact change, particularly cosmetic alteration, for what seems to be highly desirable and  the very best of reasons. But the effects of which will be completely irreversible and unalterable  forever.  A change that may effectively ruin and desecrate, what is fundamentally an Artefact of Historical Interest.

With the greatest possible respect. America, as we understand it could not be described as an Ancient Country or as having a Long History.  Please do not actively depredate and dishonour what is in reality a True Work of Art, created by Genuine Craftsmen, and one that represents almost one half of the History of your Nation.


Even if it really seems, the best thing to do, to you right now.


You've written it's not a Collectors Piece, but a Player.

All the more reason to completely respect its Age. Not dress up Mutton as Lamb.

At a certain point in Life. We should fully become what we really are, and be totally recognised, for that. Old Musical Instruments should be regarded as Great Lady's.


Please listen to what Paul has written in particular, whose  expert guidance, if followed, will see you right.





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