In this instructable i will show you how to make a pickguard for your guitar or bass that will replace the plastic/celluloid/polyurethane pickguard on your instrument. Having a wood pickguard can really accent your instrument, especially if it has a natural wood finish. Its also pretty easy
Step 1: Supplies
A sheet of Birch plywood in whatever thickness you want. (not too thin, or it will crack and splinter when you are cutting it
Power drill with drillbit matching the width of the screws holding the pickguard in place
Wood stain (optional)
Wood finish (I used Deft)
Step 2: Tracing the Pickguard
Take the original pickguard, and place it on the sheet of birch plywood. Take a sharpie, and trace the pickguard onto the wood using it as a template. Dont let the pickguard slide or move around or you wont get the right pickguard in the end.
Step 3: Cut the Outline
Take your utility scissors and cut around the outline of the pickguard that you drew onto it earlier. neatness counts. If the edges are uneven in parts, you can either cut off slivers with your scissors or take a sanding block and file them down.
Step 4: Cut Out Pickup Holes
This is the hard boring part. Take your Exacto knife and trace around the holes for the pickguard/knobs or any other holes in the pickguard. Just trace and re-trace the cuts over and over until you have cut through the wood. Take breaks while doing this to avoid getting Carpel tunnel or Aids or something. When you are finished cutting through the wood, gently pry the pieces of wood out of the pickguard.
Step 5: Drill
Put your pickguard over a thick scrap piece of wood and hold it with your hand while drilling. Drill holes in the dots you drew on from the wood from your original pickguard. Be careful while doing this, because since you are drilling near the edge of the pickguard it could easily crack or splinter.
Step 6: Staining the Pickguard (optional)
My bass has a light natural wood finish, so i thought it would look nice in contrast if the pickguard was darker. Lightly sand the pickguard, then apply a coat of the stain of your liking, wait until dry, and repeat for whatever you want the finish to look like.
Step 7: Apply Finish
Take the finish of your liking (Aresols work the best) and apply 3 to 5 coats letting dry, and sanding lightly in between coats.
Step 8: Attach to Your Instrument
Take the original scews and screw the pickguard back onto your guitar/bass.