Pickguards are hard to relic. I give up.

Midgetje94

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Another thing you don't see attempted is shrinkage. The holes on my '68 are all stretched, as if the guard pulled from all edged to the center. One could drill a half screw head off and file the true location to shape. Distort it a little with a heat gun.
That’s one thing I’ve considered. I thought about looking into a way to imitate that. But it’s not exactly true to original. I found locking vintage tuners. I actually putting Dimarzio pickups in it. I have a traditional tele build (the sunburst) and this one is gonna be Drop D tuned. Gonna go with either a Super Distortion T/Area T set or Chopper T/Area T set.
 

Billy Claire

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The reason old pickguards cracked around the screws is because nitrocellulose shrinks as it ages. In a Strat, it can wreak havoc with pickups as it slowly crushes the pickup covers.

One of the problems with relic'ing pickguards is that there are all kinds of materials used now for guards and if you don't get really specific, your results will be disappointing. Some guards get really static'y and I had to rub a dryer sheet on the pickguard to get rid of static. Weird.

I think you did a reasonable job on the pickguard - it looks great!
 

Midgetje94

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The reason old pickguards cracked around the screws is because nitrocellulose shrinks as it ages. In a Strat, it can wreak havoc with pickups as it slowly crushes the pickup covers.

One of the problems with relic'ing pickguards is that there are all kinds of materials used now for guards and if you don't get really specific, your results will be disappointing. Some guards get really static'y and I had to rub a dryer sheet on the pickguard to get rid of static. Weird.

I think you did a reasonable job on the pickguard - it looks great!
Thanks man! I’m know it’s not 100%. But I think it looks better than most “relic” guards you’d buy. Especially for my first time.

May hunt down a better aged one later. But I’m happy with my work for now
 

kilroy6262

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Funny, I can't understand why anybody would want to buy/own a reliced guitar, but I completely understand why you want to make one. It's like making models - you can build the Tiger tank to make it look like it just rolled out of the factory, or you can make it look like it's been in battle, which is much, much harder
 

Full-Tilt-Tele

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"I feel your PAIN"... Remember, Art is in the Beholdin'...
IMG_20211018_134136.jpg
 

Telepathman

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I like to build relic T Style guitars. 1. I like old stuff, 2. I like telecasters.

I don’t pass them off as real. I don’t try to fool people. There’s a art form with it. At least to make it passable. Knowing where and how much to wear, knowing when to stop. I’ve made some pretty solid relics and getting good at it. I started and got good with aging wood parts, then moved to aging hardware realistically. Now, on this build, it should be my first FULL self relic (not relying on company aged parts. Doing it all myself by hand) Pickguards freaking suck.

I’ve been through a couple Pickguards, trying to get a realistic one. Wood wears, hardware tarnishes, plastic… is plastic. It’s the same all the way through, it’s made to stand the test of time. That’s why eco-nuts hate it so much 🤣.

Anyway this is my end product. Attempted to keep under the strings cleaner, had palm and finger wear (thumb part of palm rests above strings, and fingers balance hand below them) idk. I’m not 100% pleased with it. But I don’t hate it. But like it more than most “relic” guards.

*disclosure: I’m not usually a fan of white guards. But I wanted it on this one.

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I think that pickguard looks good or bad depending on your point of view, it looks old that's for sure, well done!
 

Midgetje94

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Funny, I can't understand why anybody would want to buy/own a reliced guitar, but I completely understand why you want to make one. It's like making models - you can build the Tiger tank to make it look like it just rolled out of the factory, or you can make it look like it's been in battle, which is much, much harder
Lol I would never pay a factory to do it (or buy a relic) but yea. Anyone can paint or assemble a guitar. I wanted to learn to make a convincing relic. (Still working. And learning. But I’m getting there.) this is one of the guitars I stripped and painted several years ago.

Started out as a MIM Strat in wine red.
Excuse the messy bed pic. Unfortunately they are the only pics I have of it.
 

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afcollett

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Been too hard on yourself brother, it looks good, as mentioned it’s about art, not fooling anybody, look at fidelity, novo , Nash ect. They are not trying to fool anyone, it’s simply supplying a demand.

My 2 cents timber walnut floor stain, graphite powder nitro spray and acid ( pleas be careful) are my tools.
 

Midgetje94

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Been too hard on yourself brother, it looks good, as mentioned it’s about art, not fooling anybody, look at fidelity, novo , Nash ect. They are not trying to fool anyone, it’s simply supplying a demand.

My 2 cents timber walnut floor stain, graphite powder nitro spray and acid ( pleas be careful) are my tools.
Yea I use Muriatic Acid for the nickel. Learned very quick. Spray painting with no protection (outdoors) isn’t a issue. But with this stuff. Wheeeww lol
 

TeleNutt

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I like to build relic T Style guitars. 1. I like old stuff, 2. I like telecasters.

I don’t pass them off as real. I don’t try to fool people. There’s a art form with it. At least to make it passable. Knowing where and how much to wear, knowing when to stop. I’ve made some pretty solid relics and getting good at it. I started and got good with aging wood parts, then moved to aging hardware realistically. Now, on this build, it should be my first FULL self relic (not relying on company aged parts. Doing it all myself by hand) Pickguards freaking suck.

I’ve been through a couple Pickguards, trying to get a realistic one. Wood wears, hardware tarnishes, plastic… is plastic. It’s the same all the way through, it’s made to stand the test of time. That’s why eco-nuts hate it so much 🤣.

Anyway this is my end product. Attempted to keep under the strings cleaner, had palm and finger wear (thumb part of palm rests above strings, and fingers balance hand below them) idk. I’m not 100% pleased with it. But I don’t hate it. But like it more than most “relic” guards.

*disclosure: I’m not usually a fan of white guards. But I wanted it on this one.

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I like Relics too and that pick guard looks great!! I’m also a fan of Lake Placid Blue.
 

Midgetje94

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I like Relics too and that pick guard looks great!! I’m also a fan of Lake Placid Blue.
I absolutely loathe blue. At least on guitars. UNLESS is LPB. Lol. Aged nitro LPB is one of my all time favorites. When it starts to green. Mmmmm
 
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biblebound

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Like you, I like Tele's, I like relic'd guitars, so I build relic'd tele's (I build strats too). I do it mostly for myself and friends. Because I don't have the set-up to paint, I stick with stains and I avoid plastics for pickguards. Now, if you're trying to remain traditional you obviously can't avoid plastic. Plastic is hard to realistically relic, at least, for me. I use wood. I order thin birch pieces (3' x 2' x 1/8"-1/4") cut, sand, bevel, stain, and seal. I can relic, to whatever degree I prefer, using sandpaper. They look really good and they're more durable than you would think. I also use leather for pickguards. Here are some of my recent builds...

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Midgetje94

Friend of Leo's
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Jun 22, 2021
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Age
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Location
Texas
Like you, I like Tele's, I like relic'd guitars, so I build relic'd tele's (I build strats too). I do it mostly for myself and friends. Because I don't have the set-up to paint, I stick with stains and I avoid plastics for pickguards. Now, if you're trying to remain traditional you obviously can't avoid plastic. Plastic is hard to realistically relic, at least, for me. I use wood. I order thin birch pieces (3' x 2' x 1/8"-1/4") cut, sand, bevel, stain, and seal. I can relic, to whatever degree I prefer, using sandpaper. They look really good and they're more durable than you would think. I also use leather for pickguards. Here are some of my recent builds...

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Nice! I’m still in Partscaster land. Lol hopefully one day I’ll be able to truly build my own. But this works for now. And honestly. I use rattle cans to paint mine. Automotive paint from autozone. Durable coats, cool colors.
 




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