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Firestripe pickguard install

#1 User is offline   scottnfld 

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 11:53 PM

Hey guys,
I recently had my guitar setup with a local luthier and had him swap out the pickguard for a new firestripe while he had it...figured Iíd leave it to the professionals. Upon getting home though I noticed what looks like air trapped under the guard. Any thoughts? Or is this how it should look after installing it?

https://postimg.cc/5jgS18sQ

https://postimg.cc/xqn3W63S
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#2 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:27 AM

That is the double sided adhesive you see through the guard. You can usually see it in the darker areas of the burst. Your luthier did a good job.

Lars
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#3 User is offline   dhanners623 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:49 AM

I'm not a repairman but being a lefty, I've done my share of pickguard removals and installs. While I'd need to see it in person, going from the photos I'd have to say I'm not sure it should look like that.

It looks to me like the double-sided tape didn't fully make contact with the pickguard, or the soundboard, or both. A new pickguard should be clamped on, even if double-sided tape is used. It's not just a matter of slapping the tape on the back of the pickguard and then sticking the pickguard on the soundboard.

As always, Frank Ford explains it all: http://frets.com/Fre...pickguard2.html
Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
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#4 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 10:12 AM

I have seen quite a few factory installed firestripe guards that look a lot worse than yours. The adhesive will be visible over the darker parts of the burst. See these examples. I would be very happy with your guard.

https://www.gak.co.u...-sunburst/96859
https://www.parkwaym...D-x38161157.htm
http://www.folkwaymu...ern-jumbo-0119/

Lars
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#5 User is offline   dhanners623 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:15 PM

View PostLars68, on 25 February 2019 - 10:12 AM, said:

I have seen quite a few factory installed firestripe guards that look a lot worse than yours. The adhesive will be visible over the darker parts of the burst. See these examples. I would be very happy with your guard.

https://www.gak.co.u...-sunburst/96859
https://www.parkwaym...D-x38161157.htm
http://www.folkwaymu...ern-jumbo-0119/

Lars


I'm going to have to respectfully beg to differ. Any luthiers here can correct me if I'm wrong, but the irregular light-colored linear splotches in Scott's original photos appear, to my eye, to be air bubbles trapped between the pickguard and soundboard. They are where the double-stick tape has failed to make proper contact with the pickguard and/or soundboard.

Were I a betting man, I'd wager the person who put the pickguard on did not clamp it. He or she figured where it should go, peeled off the protective tape and just pressed it down by hand without clamping it. If he/she did clamp it, I'll gladly stand corrected.

I know if my guitar came back from the repair shop looking like that, I'd have a chat with with the repair person.
Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
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#6 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:36 PM

While I cannot speak to your particular install, I do know the guard I put on my 45 has small, un-stuck areas due to the peaks of the grain of the spruce. Red spruce, in general, has a wider grain than Sitka, and the surface of a guitar top often has distinct peaks and valleys. The guard material is much to stiff to lay down flat in those valleys. This is not visible with a tortoise guard but is there nonetheless if you have a wide grained top. The translucent color of a tiger stripe guard does show areas of non-adhesion on such a top. Not really noticeable with a casual glance and no big deal to me anyway.....the guard still does its' job of protecting the spruce. If you don't like the look of it, you should perhaps go back to a tortoise guard.
J35 - J45 Vintage
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been.
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#7 User is offline   dhanners623 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:47 PM

View PostBuc McMaster, on 25 February 2019 - 12:36 PM, said:

If you don't like the look of it, you should perhaps go back to a tortoise guard.


Or have the repair person affix the pickguard with glue instead of tape.
Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
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#8 User is offline   vacamartin 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 02:11 PM

That pick-guard is a nicely beveled beauty. I have installed some fire-stripes and have not had the contact problem that is being discussed here. A simple solution is to take it off and re-apply with new tape and either a clamp or-(my favorite)-a dictionary placed over night. That is too nice a guard to not be set correctly!Posted Image
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#9 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 02:55 PM

View Postdhanners623, on 25 February 2019 - 12:47 PM, said:

Or have the repair person affix the pickguard with glue instead of tape.



What glue would you use for that application? (Serious question, since you may want to remove it for some reason at some point in the future.)
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#10 User is offline   scottnfld 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 10:35 PM

Hey guys,
Thanks again for all the input. I wonder if the guard had been installed using some water to push out the air would you still see the areas where the adhesive didnít contact with the valleys of the soundboard so to speak. Perhaps as someone else mentioned on here using glue instead of the 3M adhesive backing as an alternative? Anyhow I figure Iíll either live with it or go ahead and remove/ redo it myself.
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#11 User is offline   dhanners623 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 12:19 AM

View Postj45nick, on 25 February 2019 - 02:55 PM, said:

What glue would you use for that application? (Serious question, since you may want to remove it for some reason at some point in the future.)


Frank Ford -- who, unlike me, is an expert -- uses plain ol' Elmer's wood glue, an aliphatic resin:
http://frets.com/Fre...eglueguard.html

Whether he'd use it on a firestripe pickguard is something I don't know. In the past when I've had questions, I actually emailed Ford out of the blue and was pleasantly surprised to get a prompt and very helpful reply.
Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
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#12 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 01:45 AM

I suggest bringing it back to the luthier....

QM aka ďJazzmanĒ Jeff

This post has been edited by QuestionMark: 26 February 2019 - 01:46 AM

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#13 User is offline   62burst 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 03:46 AM

It does seem to be as Lars had mentioned, more noticeable in the darker area of the burst. Lars- hadn't you done an application of some paint on the back side of guards before to lessen how the pickguard coloration didn't match with the burst in that area?

OP Scott- did the luth tell you he used the 3M product? Would the use of two 3M sheets allow the adhesive to counter the peaks & valleys of the Adirondack top a little better?

Also wondering if the guitar had gotten dried out before the installation, if this would have made the grain stand out more.

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#14 User is offline   scottnfld 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 07:11 AM

 62burst, on 26 February 2019 - 03:46 AM, said:

It does seem to be as Lars had mentioned, more noticeable in the darker area of the burst. Lars- hadn't you done an application of some paint on the back side of guards before to lessen how the pickguard coloration didn't match with the burst in that area?

OP Scott- did the luth tell you he used the 3M product? Would the use of two 3M sheets allow the adhesive to counter the peaks & valleys of the Adirondack top a little better?

Also wondering if the guitar had gotten dried out before the installation, if this would have made the grain stand out more.



Good question! Yeah the guard was from Taylor Mullins at holter pick guards and itís a beauty. As for the guitar being dry I usually always keep it at 45-50% humidity so Iím not sure if that would be a factor.
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#15 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 07:42 AM

View Postdhanners623, on 26 February 2019 - 12:19 AM, said:

Frank Ford -- who, unlike me, is an expert -- uses plain ol' Elmer's wood glue, an aliphatic resin:
http://frets.com/Fre...eglueguard.html

Whether he'd use it on a firestripe pickguard is something I don't know. In the past when I've had questions, I actually emailed Ford out of the blue and was pleasantly surprised to get a prompt and very helpful reply.


That was a good article. I was surprised he could clean up that dried glue with water after it had set.

One problem with these modern non-celluloid firestripe guards is that they seem to be semi-transparent, especially in the lighter areas. This makes it difficult to get a "clean" installation with adhesive sheet, so that you don't see the pattern of the sheet through the pickguard.

Someone here who has installed one of these painted the back of the guard before installing the adhesive sheet, as I recall.

This was not a problem with real firestripe celluloid, which seems to be less transparent.
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#16 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 09:07 AM

I have painted the backs of a couple of firestripe guards. However, these were guards of a different kind. That particular type turned almost black in the darker part of the bursts. They were designed to be put on bare wood, like in the old days. Then the guards were glued to the unpainted wood, before the bursts were sprayed, so the color beneath the guards were much brighter, giving a totally different look from the front. A very different technique compared to today. So it is very difficult to make a transparent guard look right when applied over a dark finish. I basically painted a crude sunburst pattern on the back of the guard, with all shades brighter than the actual burst on the guitar. I picked the colors to make the guard look right from the front, then applied it with double-sided tape.


Here are two examples of my painted guards (third and fourth photos from the top):

http://www.firestripepickguards.com/

If you look at the photo of the new replica guard (this one with a sprayed sunburst pattern on top) lying on a white sheet of paper, and compare it to the original on the book cover picture, you can imagine how dark the replica would be if applied over sunburst, instead of a white sheet of paper. So painting the back is really a good compromise.

A fun and rewarding home project, but one I don't think will look good with the particular type of guard in th OP's questions. Too much transparent areas...

Lars

This post has been edited by Lars68: 26 February 2019 - 10:09 AM

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#17 User is offline   sbpark 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 09:57 AM

The stock fire stripe pick guard on my 2012 AJ doesn't look like that, and I've replaced quite a few J45 pick guards (tort, not fire stripe) including one that was an OEM Gibson pickguard that is sued in the "Vintage" models and a couple of the thicker, rubberized pickguards that are used on the "Standards", and have even made my own from blanks and applied a 3M adhesive sheet to it (the blank and adhesive sheet bought from StewMac) and have never had any of them come out looking like the OP's. I've never had any pattern like that under the pickguard. To me the Op's doesn't look right.

Looks like either air trapped between the pickgaurd and the finish, or even wood/finish that was ripped off when the previsions pic guard was removed, but I doubt that's the case given the uniform pattern.

This post has been edited by sbpark: 26 February 2019 - 09:59 AM

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#18 User is offline   jvi 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 10:30 AM

gotta say I think some of the messing with nice guitars is not good, there is a lot of f-with new guitars floating around, fine if you keep them but ...a lot dont,they just get sold again and then it starts all over again with the "new best guitar ever"
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#19 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 10:34 AM

View Postsbpark, on 26 February 2019 - 09:57 AM, said:

.....I've replaced quite a few J45 pick guards (tort, not fire stripe)....


Exactly. As I said, tortoise is not translucent like tiger stripe and will not show areas of non-adhesion on a wide-grained top. Unless the top is fine-grained, a translucent guard will show areas where the adhesive does not contact the bottom of a valley between grain lines. Red spruce is much more prone to this than Sitka owing to its' generally wider grain pattern. In the end, it's a cosmetic issue that has no bearing on the instruments' performance.
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#20 User is offline   sbpark 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 07:51 PM

View PostBuc McMaster, on 26 February 2019 - 10:34 AM, said:

Exactly. As I said, tortoise is not translucent like tiger stripe and will not show areas of non-adhesion on a wide-grained top. Unless the top is fine-grained, a translucent guard will show areas where the adhesive does not contact the bottom of a valley between grain lines. Red spruce is much more prone to this than Sitka owing to its' generally wider grain pattern. In the end, it's a cosmetic issue that has no bearing on the instruments' performance.


I also said I have a fire/tiger stripe guard on my AJ and it doesn't look like that.

And the tort guards I have are actually translucent in spots. I even have a few spots on my "OEM Gibson "Vintage" J45 pickguard that I installed on my J45 Standard (after 2 of the OEM rubbery pickguards failed to adhere) that's downright clear in a few spots and have also made my own and never had this issue or have seen it on my AJ with a stock fire/tiger stripe guard.

This post has been edited by sbpark: 26 February 2019 - 07:53 PM

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