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Any DOWNSIDE to a Bakelite pickguard?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Boreas, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I do understand they are more fragile than typical scratchplates. Do they scratch more? Do they get dull? Looking to switch to a blackguard look, but don't need another potential problem.
     
  2. Frisco 57

    Frisco 57 Tele-Meister

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    They are a little more brittle. I've seen the corner's cracked or broken off by tightening the screws too much.

    In the old days Fender would shoot them with clear lacquer to make them shine a bit. The clear coat can wear through but all in all Bakelite pickguards are pretty durable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Afflicted

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    If you want it to stay looking shiny and bright, then a black plastic one might be better, since you could polish out pick marks if you really wanted to. Personally I prefer the way that mine has aged and I even went to the trouble of cutting a neck pick up hole in mine when I converted it from an Esquire, rather than put a brand new one on it.

    I didn't spray mine with clear lacquer, partly as I didn't realise this was needed, but I like the duller look and how it has naturally shined up with wear. It's quite hard to capture, though maybe I'm just not good with a camera:

    Tele 11.jpg

    Another angle:
    Tele 9.jpg
     
  4. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I prefer satin/dull/scratched pickguards. But this is going on a brand new guitar - replacing a white one. Trying to get a feel for how it will look against the gloss poly. I will likely try it as it is an Esquire reissue. Worst case scenario is I dump it a few years down the road and replace it. The cool factor is weighing heavily in the decision.

    Seems like it should have come standard on a reissue. Who puts a white pickguard on an off-white body?
     
  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    +1 I did the raw look Bakelite too and it gives a vintage appeal IMO.
     
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  6. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Holic

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    Since I put a Bakelite guard(double thickness) on my partcaster, women throw themselves at me. Depending on orientation this could be seen as a downside.
     
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  7. quackzilla

    quackzilla TDPRI Member

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    Nice guitar. What model?
     
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  8. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Be careful if you take one home those Bakelite gals are crazy

    Before you know it they are movin right in

    You’ll have to burn the place down to escape
     
  9. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Bakelite on glossy poly?
    Are there bakelite guards cheap enough to be worth it? If so, I'd kind of like one for my white blonde lacquer tele, (which came from Fender with a white guard, like late 50s teles that came in white blonde).

    I have a modern plastic (delrin?) black guard on it now because all the bakelite guards I saw were expensive resto parts.
     
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  10. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks: It's a Partscaster with a MIM 'Fat '52 U' neck that I refinished in nitro (and changed the 'Telecaster' decal to 'Esquire'). SC Relics body and Oil city pickups, Eric Clapton mid boost hidden under the bakelite 'guard. I cut the sides of the bridge away to give better access and stop catching my pick.

    Looks old school, but can sound almost like my Les Paul at times. :cool:
     
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  11. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    No downsides for me :).

    I roll my own from garolite or micarta sheet stock.

    Here's a link to the stuff I use - Garolite XX - the black stuff, 1/16" thickness.

    McMaster-Carr


    It has a nice finish just as it comes from the factory.

    You can also polish it, or dull it a bit with Scotch-brite, or get a glossy finish by shooting it with lacquer or whatever clear finish you prefer.

    It's a little stiffer than the other plastics usually used for pickguards.

    You can work it in a very similar way as wood - saw it, drill it, rout it, sand it, polish it, etc.


    It also makes great knife handles or grips for pistols.


    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  12. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Is this the same as Richlite used in fretboards?
     
  13. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Garolite has good electrical properties, too: it provides some shielding and doesn't get staticky.

    Oops, not a downside. The only downsides I can think of are that it only comes in one color and usually costs more.
     
  14. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine Tele-Holic

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    Bakelite's da bomb.
     
  15. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

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    Nice looking guitar!
     
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  16. Frisco 57

    Frisco 57 Tele-Meister

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    This partscaster tele has been together for 20 plus years and I vaguely remember wet sanding the bake lite guard for a bit of shine and to smooth the edges...


    Tele 001.jpg
     
  17. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yum! Yeah, I'm not sure what to do with the edges yet. Guess I'll have to wait until it shows up and see what i get.
     
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  18. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    Have one on my parts tele for like almost 10 yrs with no problems.
     
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  19. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    If you make your own the stuff is dirt cheap it is horrible to cut and sand but it should last a life time
    it actually looks pretty cool when the clear coat starts to wear
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Do the pickguards usually come with a clearcoat?
     
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