What did you say about re-attaching pickguards to bare wood?

I received an old Gibson with the pickguard removed. There isn't a speck of residue on the underside of the guard and the footprint on the top of the guitar is all bare wood. I thought I read something about putting on a coat of shellac over the bare wood and using the adhesive sheeting. Is this the best way to go? I would rather not put finish on the body if I don't have to. There is a picture of the guitar if you would like to take a gander. Thank you all.

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My first choice would be to finish(seal) the bare wood, then install pickguard with sheet adhesive.

Another possibility, would be to serrate the back side of the pickguard and glue on with hot hide glue or titebond. You would need to make an inner and outter caul for clamping with a couple of C- clamps.

Martin installed their pickguards for several years directly over the bare spruce. They then applied the lacquer over the pickguard. I believe the finish over the pickguard added to the problems. I've had success with finishing under the pickguard with lacquer as described by Frank Ford on or as Jim mentioned earlier. The 2 sided adhesive works well. If it is a black pickguard you may be able to obtain some material from a local sign making shop that you can make a slightly oversized pickguard from. I have a local sign shop that I periodically purchase these sheets from. They come with the adhesive already attached. My supplier will sell me a half sheet which will make several pickguards. This material is handy for the times when a standard sized pickguard won't cover the edges. After the old Martin pickguards curl up and shrink, I like to just replace them.
Ronnie Nichols
no don't do anything like the such just build a caul a clamping caul for the top and bottom use tight bond #1 glue in place wait 24 hours Good luck do not french polish the spot and yes please use tight bond#1 direct to bare wood
Hi, Paul. I've got to say that I'm truly mystified. I promise I'm not being argumentative. I just don't see the down sides of using the adnesive sheets that would justify the effort you're recommending with clamping and Titebond and all. Is there really that big a difference in the quality or durability of the end product between the two methods? Making the interior cauls is a bit of a pain and getting it all clamped down right when the top is slick with Titebond that's trying to make the top buckle and the pickguard slip around seems to be a bit much relative to the alternative.

well bob this is the old school way of building I think the old builders is everything I try to follow like in Frank Ford and his repairs at R/V this is the true and tried method used and taught to the top luthier students in the country by the top Instructors in the country this might say something for using tight bond ?
It's been my experience that the Titebond regluing of pickguards depends on there being a full layer of wood fibers imbedded in the bottom side of the pickguard - that's what the Titebond sticks to.

While the shellac and adhesive sheeting might work, the problem I see is that the sheet might not be thick enough to span the gap if the pickguard sits on the top of the finish at the edges. We have a hummingbird in the shop right now where the guard is one of those thick monstrosities and it has curled upward in the middle. So to increase the adhesive layer, we're putting it back on with Weldwood contact cement, the same stuff used for counter tops.

Our old pal, Mario Martello used that contact cement exclusively for all kinds of pickguards with remarkable results. In the days before that sheet stuff was available, many of us used contact cement. The best advice I ever got about that stuff is to get a new bottle for each job - never try to use one that's been open a while. The difference in spreadability is really significant.


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