Newbie Builder's Experiences - I - Buying a Replacement Pickguard for a Strat

Dazkeirle

Senior member
Messages
192
Now to the experienced and the knowledgeable changing a pickguard is the easiest thing in the world. But what if you're like me, a lone builder who knows nobody else who plays, let alone builds guitars? There are pitfulls that you can across in your build process that people don't often talk about as it's assumed common knowledge. I'm going to document all of these finding first hand to, hopefully, help the next guy in my position.

Now to start, on the advice of the guys here at Warmoth I decided that a change of pickguard and knobs etc. was the best move aesthetically for my nice new Warmoth build.

After a little debate I decide black is the way to go and so search out on ebay for a cheap black plastic pickguard. I find lots around the £10 area and buy one.

The description reads:

This is a brand-new three-ply black guard with the factory cellophane still on it.

As with all retro-fit pickguards, I would think that an amount of drilling and /or sanding would be necessary.

THIS IS NOT A FENDER PART - it is a Far-Eastern replacement part, and is cut to Import spec

I think fine, i understand that cutting around bridge etc may be required and so am happy to do this.

Lesson no.1

When the pickguard arrives i suddenly realise that the screw holes are in different positions. The screw holes are spaced evenly down the right hand side.

japstrat.jpg


However on my Warmoth and my official US Fender the distance between the top right and 2nd right holes are unequal spacing however on the received item the holes are almost equal.

usstrat.jpg


Here's the tip: US and Mexican Fender Strats (and Warmoths) have the screw holes spaced unevenly along the right, Jap and Korean versions have the more even spacing

I apologise if this is common knowledge, but I hadn't read it anywhere. Please be sure to check images that the screw holes line up and realise that US-Mex and Jap-Korean are different and so pay attention to listings that mention Import spec and ensure you check the photos to avoid unnecessary spends.

At least I've got a bit of plexi to practice on now.
 

Dazkeirle

Senior member
Messages
192
To add to this I've decided now to hold out until I find somebody who can supply a pickguard in great quality with the screws etc in the right places,  I just wasn't happy to put cheap tat on my lovely Warmoth.

Anybody recommend anyone from the UK?

Regards,

Daz
 

jimh

Senior member
Messages
1,344
Haven't needed to do this myself, but have a look at

www.wdmusic.co.uk
www.allparts.uk.com
www.brandoniguitars.co.uk

These are my usual go to places for bits.

Good luck
 

Dazkeirle

Senior member
Messages
192
I appreciate the links, if not for the pickguards for all the other nice bits.

Kind Regards,

Daz
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
It's expected that you'll need to drill new holes everytime you change a pickguard. Fill in the old holes with glue, toothpick buts, whatever, then drill the new ones.
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
Strat® Guitar Pickguard
Note: These pickguards fit American and Japanese Strats®. There are many Strat® clones. If it isn't a Fender®, Proceed With Caution!

http://www.warmoth.com/Pickguard/StratPickguard.aspx
 

JaySwear

Senior member
Messages
3,006
this is actually really good to know. i know warmoth says the tele deluxe pickguard can't be used with a fender tele deluxe, but i didn't realize the strat pickguard was supposed to be compatible. i'll keep that in mind if i ever need one, but i'll make sure to triple check all the screw holes! thanks for the info, and i guess having some plexi to practice on can be a good thing too
 

Dazkeirle

Senior member
Messages
192
tfarny said:
It's expected that you'll need to drill new holes everytime you change a pickguard. Fill in the old holes with glue, toothpick buts, whatever, then drill the new ones.

I havent seen this mentioned anywhere else but sounds like your certain of that.

The tutorials i've seen state the opposite: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=1207246

I've bought a new one, 5 ply, from the recommended wdmusic store so hopefully it will fit without me having to go to a shop.
 

JaySwear

Senior member
Messages
3,006
when i changed the pickguard on my old SG i had to drill new holes, but i never bothered to fill the old ones  :icon_biggrin: it was kind of one of those guitars.

but i'd plan for it, just in case. i mean, i don't think i've seen a real "beater" warmoth guitar, excluding anything modeled after an EVH something or other
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Different manufacturers put the holes in different spots - even a mexican fender won't take the american fender guards. It might work, might not, but you shouldn't be surprised if it doesnt fit the old holes. It's no big deal to drill a little hole in the guitar, under the pickguard where noone can see it. Get the guard in just the right spot, then tape it down with masking tape so it wont move, drill as many new holes as you need to. Just in and out real quick, and then you're no longer a 'guitar modding virgin'.  :icon_thumright:
 
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