Making the Pickguard

 August 1st and 2nd....I spent these two days making the pickguard for my mandolin. I basically followed Siminoff's directions here, although I used some different materials than he suggested. For the pickguard, I used a 3/32" thick piece of ebony headplate material I had sitting around. I used contact cement to glue some 1/32" thick tortoise plastic pickguard material onto the top of the ebony. I then bound the pickguard with the same ivoroid/black/ivoroid binding I used on the body of the mandolin (but I cut it shorter on my bandsaw).

A narrow ebony strip was glued to the bottom. Before it was glued, however, I had to drill and rout channels in both pieces of ebony to "sandwich" the two pieces of 3/32" brass rod, which protrude from the pickguard. These two rods slide into two holes drilled in the side of the fingerboard. A small block of wood was then glued to the bottom of the pickguard; this support block holds the 1/8" brass rod, which attaches to a bracket (I made mine of ebony), which screws into the side of the mandolin (into the kerfed lining). The bracket, rod, and support block suspend the pickguard above the soundbox. I learned how to use "tap and die" tools, too, as I had to make 6-32 screw threads on the brass rod and in the support block and bracket.

Sound confusing enough? That's sure how it sounded to me, the first few times I read the instructions on how to make the thing. But as I got into it, things became more clear, and I think it came out okay. At any rate, it sure beats buying one from Stew-Mac for $100!!!


Here are some photos of the finished pickguard:



See the Final Results!!!

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