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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Amazing Expanding Tele Pick Guard!

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Ragtop
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 27th, 2019 11:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

I broke out the Telecaster for the first time in a long time just now and dusted it off. Plugged it in, sounded good. Played for a while and something was not right.

Got to looking and saw that the pick guard was bowed up off the front of the guitar. There is a big gap between the p/g and the top, right in front of the bridge.

It appears that the p/g has expanded over time. I'm surprised that the screws held and didn't pop out.

Very weird. Anybody ever experience this before?

I don't remember the brand of the p/g, but it's a good one. Probably Fender. (I built this one myself.)

Help!

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 27th, 2019 12:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

A pic or two would be great.

This bowing of the plastic is often the result of fastening screws that are driven in too far.

BobbyMac
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Texas Panhandle

Born in Fullerton, California, in 1952
Jan 27th, 2019 01:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

Or screw holes in the pickguard that don't line up with the screw holes in the body.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 27th, 2019 02:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Or it got warped from heat exposure. My Squier Jazzmaster went wonky on mine due to heat related damage. It is a single ply pickguard and had it sitting in the case open while playing a show but didn't use it. It was a 100 degree day and it was sitting in an open case, not directly in the sun but after about 4-5 hours, we were packing up and the top portion was bulging and the area around the pickups were also bulging up. Luckily it didn't ruin the pickups or the finish, but it broke my heart to see it damaged. Have to get a new pickguard for it but all else seems fine, plus while I'm at it, I'm going to try and find a different bridge for it, because I never really liked the Dano style of bridge they put on it. I'm thinking about going with a wrap around type because I like the simplicity of those bridges and the solid connection it will have once it is anchored down. Also have some hotter P-90's to install under the old covers.
Ok, I went way out there, Sorry!!!
Possibly 'heat related damage'???

Ragtop
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 27th, 2019 03:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

No, don't think so, C-W, it's been sitting in a stand in my office for a year. No direct sunlight comes through that window. About 3 feet from the nearest heat register too.

Bobby Mac, I think the bulge would have been immediate if I had mis-drilled it. The p/g was perfectly flush with the body 10 years ago when I assembled this guitar.

Appreciate the input so far. Peegoo, I'm working on a photo for you.

Ragtop
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 27th, 2019 05:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

Here's a photo.

Telecaster P/G

Ryder
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Northwest Missouri

Butterscotch Blues
Jan 27th, 2019 05:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

Did it bind up on the sides of the bridge?

Ragtop
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 27th, 2019 05:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

No, Ryder, plenty of clearance there.

larryguitar19
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South Florida

larryguitar
Jan 27th, 2019 05:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Wow. Never seen that before.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 27th, 2019 06:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

That is really weird!

It doesn't look like an older nitro guard. Even if it were, they shrink--they don't expand.

My best guess is it's an el-cheepo Chinesium aftermarket guard made of laminates that are different plastic formulations, e.g., white vinyl printed with a tort pattern laminated to a black ABS substrate. The solvents in the two plastics reacted with one another and the vinyl expanded, causing it to arch upward.

Dissimilar plastics in contact with each other often behave like this--one shrinks or expands in relation to the other one.

I've seen single-layer vinyl pickguards (such as the white ones on the Jimmie Vaughan Strats) pucker a bit between screws, especially along the top edge near the low E string, but I've never seen a pucker this huge.

This stuff is hard to fix, because applying heat to soften and flatten the plastic (such as with an iron) can also make it shrink, expand, or warp. Probably best to get a replacement Fender or WD guard and be done with the problem.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jan 27th, 2019 10:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

Maybe the body shrank.

Ragtop
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 28th, 2019 06:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

Haha, could be, Te52!

The neck certainly has, the frets have sprouted pretty bad. If I played it more I would file them down.

jhawkr
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Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jan 28th, 2019 07:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

I was going to suggest shrinkage of the body. You live in extremely dry conditions where you are, especially in winter.

Ragtop
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 28th, 2019 08:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

Peegoo, I think you might be right about the shrinkage (SHRINKAGE, JERRY!!!). Maybe I'll know more when I remove the p/g to replace it. However, it is a good quality guard, as I recall.

OR, maybe you guys are right about the body shrinking. It was a seasoned chunk of ash when I got it 10-12 years ago, cut into shape with cavities and holes drilled. I fine-sanded it, and then slapped some stain and poly on it. So it is at least 12 years away from being a tree, so I would think it would be beyond shrinking. But, just in case, I put in my guitar room with the humidifier running, and I'll leave it there for a couple of days to see what happens.

jhawkr
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Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jan 28th, 2019 11:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

A couple days probably won't do it. I have a Mexican Strat with bad fret sprout. It took a good month of 50-60% humidity level to swell the wood back out. The shrinkage is always more pronounced on acoustic guitars but I've had issues with some Fender necks too. My Gibson J-45 is absolutely the worst when it comes to humidity sensitivity. I have to keep it humidified in case with a Damp-It or similar to keep it stable.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 28th, 2019 03:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

Wow, that is something I never would have guessed in a million years! You guys astound me everytime I think that I have a good answer. But with the thought of the body being made and finished at home, it could have been something along those lines that has now revealed itself after a few years!!!
Although the wood was fairly well seasoned, you'd think that stability would be the last issue that you would have encountered. But it would be intriguing to see if a new pickguard lines up with the holes there, as this would rule out 'body shrinkage' and that the pickguard would be at fault.
I'm with Peegoo on this topic, that the pickguard material is at fault and that a replacement guard will verify your question. It will be a great lesson for all of us to learn and to purchase reliable products from known brands and forgo some of these off-brands for the sake of their looks that draw us in!! Can't wait to hear/see your findings!
Best regards, Woody

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 28th, 2019 04:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think it's not a wood shrinkage issue because if the wood did shrink that much, we'd see finish popping off the surface.

littleuch
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Ocala, Florida

pwn me like it's 1999
Jan 28th, 2019 04:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I would think misaligned screw holes in a replacement guard would lend credibility to body shrinkage.

littleuch
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Ocala, Florida

pwn me like it's 1999
Jan 28th, 2019 04:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

Maybe there's something growing under the pickguard!!

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Jan 28th, 2019 05:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

At least you won't need any kind of stomp-box...'cause your distortion is already built into the guitar!! LOL!

Frankly, I'd find it hard to believe that a body could shrink that much without some other serious issues manifesting themselves.

My 2 cents...

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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Amazing Expanding Tele Pick Guard!




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