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About dbeetcher

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  1. If the pickguards are painted from the bottom, how does the paint remain visible through the top of the pickguard material? Is the 'Flubber' transparent!? I appreciate all the inputs from everyone, but sometimes the info is confusing....perhaps because there have been several different processes for making the pickguards? And I'm getting them all confused because I'm combining them together in my mind... By the way, I may have found a company that makes the pickguard material I'm looking for, with a clear layer on top and a Tortoise layer on the bottom. I have some sample pieces of the material that I'm going to test on my CNC machine. Stay tuned...
  2. Hi damnyankee, Could you give details on how the pickguards are currently made? Thanks, Dan
  3. Thanks for the pointers! For the bridge, I'll go for the .360" (or a little over) in the future. The ones I just made were about 7.5mm (.295") since that's what my plans showed, so they may be a little to undersized. But my first 3 acoustics are going to be 'test' guitars (using low cost materials), so I expect to make mistakes on them. I don't think I'll go with a celluloid pickguard this time around. I think I'll have enough to worry about without adding the issue of a basement fireball to the mix. Regarding engraving from the rear: I hope to buy (or laminate) a 2-layer pickguard, a thin Tortoise layer on the back and a thicker clear layer on the front. Then I'll use small endmills and/or engraving V-bits to CNC the 'flowers & vines' pattern on the back, penetrating the Tortoise layer just enough to make the pattern visible from the clear layer side. If that works, then I'll fill in the pattern with various paint colors. From the front of the pickguard, I'll have the clear layer with the painted pattern showing through the cuts in the Tortoise. At least that's the plan. Today I spent a few hours tracing out the pattern into Fusion 360 (CAM/CAM software). Once the pattern is finished (mabye tomorrow), I'll program F360 to cut the pattern shapes using the correct sized endmills/v-bits, then have F360 create the G-code that drives my CNC machine. I'll load the G-code on my CNC, then run some test cuts using some pink foamboard insulation. It's a good material to use when doing test cuts since it's pretty firm and cuts well, but if something goes wrong the bit dives into 'soft' foamboard instead of hard wood. I'm usually hovering over my kill switch when I start doing test runs for a new project. I'll probably have to buy some different v-bits, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Thanks again for the tips, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Dan
  4. Thanks for confirming that Paul! We lived in Rapid City from '79 - '87. Dan
  5. Hi Paul, Thanks for the measurement. However, 5/16" is only .3125"! Could you check again and see if it's .360 or 5/16". I agree that we're only talking a small amount of difference, but I'd just like to have a target value that I can use going forward. I'd like to be as accurate as possible. Thanks, Dan
  6. Hi Everyone, Thanks for all your comments. I have one last favor to ask: For those of you who have a J-200 with a mustache bridge, would you mind taking a measurement of the thickness of the bridge. The information I have is that the bridge is basically flat on top (except for the saddle) and it is 7.5mm (9/32") thick. However, if you do the mm-to-inch conversion, the two measurements are not equal.....there's an error of about 0.35mm. Now, 0.35mm is not much of an error, but I sure would like to be as accurate as possible when I make this bridge. I'm leaning towards the 9/32" as being the correct one, but let's hear what you have to say! Thanks, Dan
  7. Thanks for adding that photo. Now I understand how Gibson does it. I'm going to continue with my attempt to cut this pickguard from the rear side, using CNC. It could be really cool.........or it could suck, time will tell! Dan
  8. Hi Slimt, Would you mind describing your pickguard, with some details about how/where the engraving was done? Is the top surface smooth? If yes, is it because a clear pickguard layer was attached, or was a protective finish sprayed on? Thanks, Dan
  9. Hi Everyone, Thanks for your comments. I did not realize that I would arouse such passions about something as innocent as a pickguard! Allow me to provide some background about myself: I retired a year ago. About 8 years ago, I decided to get into building guitars as an 'after-retirement' hobby. I built a Telecaster from scratch and now I'm working on a Gibson J-200. I built a CNC machine a few years ago, and I've been trying to incorporate the precision/repeatability of the CNC into my guitar building processes. For the 'flowers and vines' pickguard, I'm planning on using CNC again. But I'm not understanding the process that was used by Gibson to make these, so it's frustrating to try to figure out how to use CNC to make these! It would be much appreciated if someone could take a few minutes to give details about the step-by-step procedures that one would take to build the pickguard......the type of details that you would give to an apprentice who doesn't have a clue about what to do! If this forum isn't really the right place to exchange this information, please feel free to email me and we could continue this conversation offline: dbeetcher@wi.rr.com Thanks again for all your comments! Dan
  10. Wow, really? Does that mean that the top surface of the pickguard was uneven (from the engraving and paint) and not smooth? I'm confused. I would think that a rough/uneven surface would collect dirt/grime/beer/crud! Not what I would expect for a pickguard. I'm still not catching on, I guess. Dan
  11. Thank you both for your inputs about how these pickguards are (or might have been) made. When you say that the pickguards were hand engraved, how was that done? I assume the engraving was done from the rear of the pickguard? Was the pickguard a two-layer item, with a solid color (Tortoise?) on the rear, and a clear layer on the front? Then the engraver would cut through the back layer just enough to form the 'flowers and vines' pattern, but not penetrate the clear front layer? Finally, the engraver would fill in the engraved cuts with the desired paint color? Or did they engrave the back layer from the top side, then carefully fill in the engraving with paint, then attach the clear layer on top of that (somehow)? I'm hoping to duplicate this method using my CNC machine, using a two-layer pickguard (solid/clear) and machining it from the rear. But the big thing that is holding me up right now is the two-layer pickguard material, with a solid color on the back and clear on the front. Any idea where I can get this material? Or can I attach two separate pickguard layers together using adhesive pickguard tape (not my preference!) or use some sort of chemical or solvent that would provide a good bond (without any air bubbles or other visible flaws)? Thanks, Dan
  12. I was wondering if anyone knows how a J-200 "flowers and vines" pickguard is made (see attached JPG for example)? Thanks, Dan
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