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dbeetcher

J-200 Pickguard

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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

 

Anybody...?

 

Dan

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Dan, on my J-200 Standard the bridge thickness is .360" or 5/16" give or take.

Paul

 

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

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It's the day after Christmas and I just finished snow blowing the sidewalk. It has warmed up to + 6.

 

 

I will put a wrench into the bridge thickness if you don't mind. It's important to remember the J-200 has a top radius of 28'. The bridge has the bottom shaped to the 28 foot radius so it fits perfectly to the top. All of the bridges are close to the spec you mentioned but most are adjusted for the neck set so they can vary a bunch. Don't go for a standard thickness as there really is none. Fit the bridge to the guitar for the top radius AND the neck set. Then dial in the action with the saddle.

 

Good luck with your project and don't be too big of a stickler for details as Gibson certainly isn't.

 

I wouldn't try to machine the Flubber material from the back as it is a very rubbery material and it probably wouldn't work very well. If you use a celluloid material be sure to go slow and not generate too much heat. The celluloid is very flammable and you may have a problem. The folks in Montana always bring an old pickguard camping and just shave off a few slivers to get the camp fire started.

 

If you get frustrated and want to go the original way rest assured that the hand engraving can, and is, a ton of fun and there isn't much you can do to screw it up. Just follow the lines and you and your pickguard will be fine. The celluloid has no grain so it's pretty easy to engrave.

 

If you try to engrave celluloid from the back remember the color swirls thru all of the material so it would be difficult to see any engraving or paint from the front. Just a passing thought. Good luck and please keep us informed. We are interested.

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It's the day after Christmas and I just finished snow blowing the sidewalk. It has warmed up to + 6.

 

 

I will put a wrench into the bridge thickness if you don't mind. It's important to remember the J-200 has a top radius of 28'. The bridge has the bottom shaped to the 28 foot radius so it fits perfectly to the top. All of the bridges are close to the spec you mentioned but most are adjusted for the neck set so they can vary a bunch. Don't go for a standard thickness as there really is none. Fit the bridge to the guitar for the top radius AND the neck set. Then dial in the action with the saddle.

 

Good luck with your project and don't be too big of a stickler for details as Gibson certainly isn't.

 

I wouldn't try to machine the Flubber material from the back as it is a very rubbery material and it probably wouldn't work very well. If you use a celluloid material be sure to go slow and not generate too much heat. The celluloid is very flammable and you may have a problem. The folks in Montana always bring an old pickguard camping and just shave off a few slivers to get the camp fire started.

 

If you get frustrated and want to go the original way rest assured that the hand engraving can, and is, a ton of fun and there isn't much you can do to screw it up. Just follow the lines and you and your pickguard will be fine. The celluloid has no grain so it's pretty easy to engrave.

 

If you try to engrave celluloid from the back remember the color swirls thru all of the material so it would be difficult to see any engraving or paint from the front. Just a passing thought. Good luck and please keep us informed. We are interested.

 

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

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I'm new here so I expect to be flamed...

The J-200 and the Hummingbird pickguards are injection molded for the TV models.

I do not know how they were done in the past but I sure know how they are done now.

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Hi damnyankee,

 

Could you give details on how the pickguards are currently made?

 

Thanks,

Dan

 

 

I'm new here so I expect to be flamed...

The J-200 and the Hummingbird pickguards are injection molded for the TV models.

I do not know how they were done in the past but I sure know how they are done now.

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Hi damnyankee,

 

Could you give details on how the pickguards are currently made?

 

Thanks,

Dan

 

Most but not all are made offshore from a mysterious rubbery kind if of sound deadening material I call "Flubber". They are painted on the bottom of the material. This keeps the paint from rubbing off while playing with a pick.

 

Gibson does use several different types of material for the pickguards depending on the model and price. It's true that Gibson uses some molded and top engraved material for some J-200's and Hummingbirds. These are replications of the way they originally were made. The "Flubber" is just a mess and should be avoided at all costs.

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Hi damnyankee,

 

Could you give details on how the pickguards are currently made?

 

Thanks,

Dan

 

Yes, they are injection molded. I asked Gibson and I think it's ok to say this. I mold parts for Gibson.

That being said, please, don't anyone even think about trying to get me to sell to them directly.

I just ran several Hummingbird pickguards. The engraving is in the mold and somewhere on this site

is a picture of the lady that hand paints them. I call that color filling ( I also do laser engraving)

and we color fill all the time.

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Yes, they are injection molded. I asked Gibson and I think it's ok to say this. I mold parts for Gibson.

That being said, please, don't anyone even think about trying to get me to sell to them directly.

I just ran several Hummingbird pickguards. The engraving is in the mold and somewhere on this site

is a picture of the lady that hand paints them. I call that color filling ( I also do laser engraving)

and we color fill all the time.

 

So, are they color filled at Bozeman, or . . . ?

 

nWEjvSh.png?1

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Most but not all are made offshore from a mysterious rubbery kind if of sound deadening material I call "Flubber". They are painted on the bottom of the material. This keeps the paint from rubbing off while playing with a pick.

 

Gibson does use several different types of material for the pickguards depending on the model and price. It's true that Gibson uses some molded and top engraved material for some J-200's and Hummingbirds. These are replications of the way they originally were made. The "Flubber" is just a mess and should be avoided at all costs.

 

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...

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Here's the guard on my 1989. It's a replacement, installed in 2007. I put about 7 coats of lacquer on it, which may only be delaying the inevitible. Amazingly, the lacquer hasn't popped loose, peeled, etc. Not recommending this, by the way, just stating what I did 11 years ago. I've done many dumb things.

 

2mpx0sn.jpg

 

Here's the guard on my 2000. I think it looks like refried dog turd. If I had the opportunity to get a 'good' guard, I probably would. I bet someday people will look on a rubbed out J200 guards as a badge of honor like a worn maple Fender fretboard. People eat Tide pods too.

 

2vv9ov9.jpg

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There are a couple types of pickgurds. The tortoise ones are not the ones that are injection molded.

The ones I mold for Gibson are going to be translucent and solid in color. They will be the ones

that are colorfilled and not printed on the outside.

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