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Removing a Acoustic PG on a Gibson j-45


kelly campbell
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Done this many times and you'll get many suggestions of the best method.......

A little heat from a blow drier.......just enough to warm things a bit, don't make it hot.  Catch an edge with a fingernail and begin lifting gently, keeping the warmth on it.  Always has come up clean for me this way.  The adhesive residue is cleaned up with lighter fluid........voila!  A naked top.

Edited by Buc McMaster
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30 minutes ago, kelly campbell said:

Ok thanks  Buc...The guitar is new...Leonard, have you used any chemicals in doing so?  I cant remember the name odd one...

Naphtha. Safe for cured nitro, but do not soak the guitar finish. That is, used it sparingly.

Some people here have used dental floss soaked in naphtha to help in removing a pickguard. I have not done this, so cannot comment with any authority on the process.

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On polyfinished guitars you can safely do it yourself using just a hairdryer. On guitars with soft finishes like your J-45 I would not dare attempt it myself. It is an experiment ripe for disaster. Hairdryer and chemicals can be quite hazardous. Professionals usually use a pallete knife for this. It is especially tricky to read the top grain underneath correctly when doing so, to prevent pulling up spruce. This is best left to the professionals with the right experience, equipment, and patience on hand to do the job right.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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There was a lot of pickguard removing (and re-installing) going on around here when Gibson was covering the rosette with the pickguard. If you aren't going to be changing strings yet, you'll still want to get them out of the way, so detune the guitar some, put a capo on the 1st fret or so to maintain proper windings on the tuner posts, pop the strings & bridge pins out. Stuff a towel in the soundhole- this'll protect from any potential internal staining from the naphtha, and will elevate whatever sort of cup/cap placed on top of the towel to make it easier to re-wet the floss as it's being worked under the 'guard, starting at it's "point". Even though naphtha is totally nitro-friendly, it feels safer than moving a soaked piece of floss dripping across the top, sides, and binding. Having the strings out of the way also allows for a maintaining a low angle while working the floss under the guard. Of the r&r's on Gibsons I'd done, 'never felt the need to get near, esp. on an acoustic guitar, with heat. It also shouldn't be necessary to bend the pickguard, either. When done, use the naphtha to clean both the 'guard and the guitar of any residual adhesive.

Keep in mind- if you have concerns about pick or fingernails causing wear with heavier playing, there are clear removable static-cling pickguards available. Or if you want to re-install the guard, the 3M 467MP adhesive sheets are available on eBay at a fraction of what StewMac charges.

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7 hours ago, 62burst said:

There was a lot of pickguard removing (and re-installing) going on around here when Gibson was covering the rosette with the pickguard. If you aren't going to be changing strings yet, you'll still want to get them out of the way, so detune the guitar some, put a capo on the 1st fret or so to maintain proper windings on the tuner posts, pop the strings & bridge pins out. Stuff a towel in the soundhole- this'll protect from any potential internal staining from the naphtha, and will elevate whatever sort of cup/cap placed on top of the towel to make it easier to re-wet the floss as it's being worked under the 'guard, starting at it's "point". Even though naphtha is totally nitro-friendly, it feels safer than moving a soaked piece of floss dripping across the top, sides, and binding. Having the strings out of the way also allows for a maintaining a low angle while working the floss under the guard. Of the r&r's on Gibsons I'd done, 'never felt the need to get near, esp. on an acoustic guitar, with heat. It also shouldn't be necessary to bend the pickguard, either. When done, use the naphtha to clean both the 'guard and the guitar of any residual adhesive.

Keep in mind- if you have concerns about pick or fingernails causing wear with heavier playing, there are clear removable static-cling pickguards available. Or if you want to re-install the guard, the 3M 467MP adhesive sheets are available on eBay at a fraction of what StewMac charges.

 

 

Thanks man...good advice there..I have another PG to put on a J-35 type with tiger stripe design..thanks again!

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15 hours ago, kelly campbell said:

Thanks man...good advice there..I have another PG to put on a J-35 type with tiger stripe design..thanks again!

ok. If you're also going to be installing another pickguard on that "J-35-type guitar" then remember: when using the adhesive sheets- they're one-take-Charlies... go   v e r y  slowly when making contact with the top. Some folks use a "hinge" made out of tape to get the 'guard in position. That method introduced a bit of slop for me when swinging into position, so reference points were marked with tape on the guitar from the dry run positioning. Also 'made some rings with tape to put fingers in (on the 'guard), since when holding it by the edges, the fingers prevent getting close enough for accurate final placement:

TYPu3Ha.jpg?1

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3 minutes ago, 62burst said:

ok. If you're also going to be installing another pickguard on that "J-35-type guitar" then remember: when using the adhesive sheets- they're one-take-Charlies... go   v e r y  slowly when making contact with the top. Some folks use a "hinge" made out of tape to get the 'guard in position. That method introduced a bit of slop for me when swinging into position, so reference points were marked with tape on the guitar from the dry run positioning. Also 'made some rings with tape to put fingers in (on the 'guard), since when holding it by the edges, the fingers prevent getting close enough for accurate final placement:

TYPu3Ha.jpg?1

I've found I useful when using tape as a positioning guide to use a constant clearance from the pickguard (or whatever it is I am installing that requires precise positioning) to the final placement location. If you set it up so that  you have maybe  1/32"-1/16" ( around .5mm) of clearance at each tape reference, you won't accidentally stick the pickguard to your reference tape.

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2 minutes ago, j45nick said:

I've found I useful when using tape as a positioning guide to use a constant clearance from the pickguard (or whatever it is I am installing that requires precise positioning) to the final placement location. If you set it up so that  you have maybe  1/32"-1/16" ( around .5mm) of clearance at each tape reference, you won't accidentally stick the pickguard to your reference tape.

✔️. Didn't seem to be an issue, if I recall. . . 'wanted to get the "point" of the p/g right, first. Just slowed way down to a glacial pace those last mm's.

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22 minutes ago, 62burst said:

✔️. Didn't seem to be an issue, if I recall. . . 'wanted to get the "point" of the p/g right, first. Just slowed way down to a glacial pace those last mm's.

Whatever works. My hand isn't quite as steady as it was when I was younger!

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There is another point to watch out for when removing the pickguard of your Gibson acoustic. A few models (e.g., J-180) have no lacquer whatsoever underneath the pickguard. Gibson does this sometimes and especially with darker finishes so as to intensify the color of the pickguard with the bright unfinished sitka underneath contrasting that aspect of the guitar with the dark finish.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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