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View Full Version : Wanted: Clear, Adhesive, Non-Damaging Pickguard Material



Jerryc41
05-17-2019, 09:35 AM
I'd like to put transparent adhesive plastic on the top of a uke or two to prevent the tops from getting scratched by my fingernails. My Fluke is already showing marks above and below the strings, and I'd like to keep it from getting worse. I have a couple of Martin sopranos I'd like to keep from getting worse, too.

I was thinking of something like they use for LCD protectors. They stick, but they can be peeled off easily.

EDIT: I'm going to order this pair of two.
https://smile.amazon.com/amFilm-Screen-Protector-Retina-Display/dp/B004WYA852/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=amFilm+iPad+2+Screen+ Protector+HD+Clear+for+Apple+iPad+4%2F3%2F2+and+iP ad+with+Retina+Display+%282-Pack%29+%28NOT+for+iPad+Air%2FiPad+5%29&qid=1558122072&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

YogiTom
05-17-2019, 09:41 AM
Why not try contact paper? Cheap, and easy to use. It peels off cleanly from glass when I’ve used it in etching projects. You could cut it to just the shape you want to cover if you don’t want it on the rest of the soundboard.

Jerryc41
05-17-2019, 09:58 AM
Why not try contact paper? Cheap, and easy to use. It peels off cleanly from glass when I’ve used it in etching projects. You could cut it to just the shape you want to cover if you don’t want it on the rest of the soundboard.

I want something clear, and I'm afraid of what contact would do to the surface. I should get these sheets on Tuesday.

AQUATOPAZ
05-17-2019, 10:15 AM
I want something clear, and I'm afraid of what contact would do to the surface. I should get these sheets on Tuesday.

Sounds good. They definitely don't leave a residue. Good research. I should put them on my "list"

SailingUke
05-17-2019, 10:18 AM
Try screen protectors for phones.

YogiTom
05-17-2019, 11:13 AM
I want something clear, and I'm afraid of what contact would do to the surface. I should get these sheets on Tuesday.

I didn’t know you could get non-clear contact paper. I’ve only ever worked with clear. Perhaps you meant you want something that is nearly invisible to the eye? If so, you’re right, contact paper isn’t perfectly seethrough from an opacity standpoint.

You may be right on the adhesive residue left behind, though. Glass is one thing, but vintage wood is another altogether.

Jerryc41
05-17-2019, 12:02 PM
Try screen protectors for phones.

Good idea. They'll arrive on Tuesday.

Jerryc41
05-17-2019, 12:03 PM
I didn’t know you could get non-clear contact paper. I’ve only ever worked with clear. Perhaps you meant you want something that is nearly invisible to the eye? If so, you’re right, contact paper isn’t perfectly seethrough from an opacity standpoint.

You may be right on the adhesive residue left behind, though. Glass is one thing, but vintage wood is another altogether.

We must be talking about two different things. I mean the stuff that's used for lining a shelf, etc.

RafterGirl
05-17-2019, 03:22 PM
Definitely keep us updated on how it works Jerry. I've been thinking of something like this for my new Blackbird Clara. It's the first uke I've owned that I notice the sound of my fingers on the top when I strum. I'm trying very hard not to graze the sound board with my nails. I think a protector like you're getting would deaden the noise and protect the top as well.

Jerryc41
05-17-2019, 04:09 PM
Definitely keep us updated on how it works Jerry. I've been thinking of something like this for my new Blackbird Clara. It's the first uke I've owned that I notice the sound of my fingers on the top when I strum. I'm trying very hard not to graze the sound board with my nails. I think a protector like you're getting would deaden the noise and protect the top as well.

Funny - I took a clawhammer workshop, and the instructor emphasized bringing the fingers down hard on top of the uke. No one wanted to do that.

RafterGirl
05-17-2019, 04:16 PM
Funny - I took a clawhammer workshop, and the instructor emphasized bringing the fingers down hard on top of the uke. No one wanted to do that.
There's something about the surface material of the Clara that has a scratchy sound to it with even the slightest brush of nails. I'm hoping that a clear protector will tame that, plus protect the surface.

Jerryc41
05-17-2019, 04:31 PM
There's something about the surface material of the Clara that has a scratchy sound to it with even the slightest brush of nails. I'm hoping that a clear protector will tame that, plus protect the surface.

Good idea. :cool:

YogiTom
05-17-2019, 09:42 PM
We must be talking about two different things. I mean the stuff that's used for lining a shelf, etc.

Nope, same stuff. I think you may just be able to buy some that has patterns. I only ever used the clear stuff (https://www.amazon.com/Tact-Brand-Covering-Self-Adhesive-Semi-Transparent/dp/B00R8AWBJI/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?gclid=Cj0KCQjw2v7mBRC1ARIsAAiw34-uVMNltT4fCK0gR3KRa71PI-5Vyu8FaWzObH4Qc4sej2EDD0jbRTUaAgsCEALw_wcB&hvadid=174213049341&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1014073&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=779452092250133000&hvtargid=aud-676677759524%3Akwd-508940765&hydadcr=24656_9648981&keywords=clear+contact+paper&qid=1558165228&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1), as it made a great masking material when putting custom etching onto glass. Cut out your design either before or after applying to the area you want to apply etching cream using an Xacto blade, apply etching cream, wipe clean and peel off contact paper.

I've also used the clear stuff as a way to preserve the covers of paperback books, though it is not easily removed once applied.
https://www.wikihow.com/Cover-a-Book-with-Contact-Paper

Like I said earlier after you voiced some concern, I think it may tack differently to glass than to wood or paper.

Jerryc41
05-18-2019, 12:06 AM
Nope, same stuff

Live and learn. I think that would be too sticky for a wooden uke, though. It would be ironic if something intended to protect the uke damaged it.

YogiTom
05-18-2019, 03:35 AM
Live and learn. I think that would be too sticky for a wooden uke, though. It would be ironic if something intended to protect the uke damaged it.

Too true. I was reading up more on it since I’d gotten curious, and I guess you can remove it from wood if you heat it with a blow drier first, and then scrape off any residual adhesive. That would work for old vintage ukuleles, right? :p

Jerryc41
05-18-2019, 03:44 AM
Too true. I was reading up more on it since I’d gotten curious, and I guess you can remove it from wood if you heat it with a blow drier first, and then scrape off any residual adhesive. That would work for old vintage ukuleles, right? :p

Yeah, sure. I'll make a video of me heating a KoAloha or Kamaka and using a putty knife to scrape it clean. I think someone would put out a contract on me. :o

kissing
05-18-2019, 04:51 AM
I dont know if this has been mentioned yet, but there is an abundance of purpose-made pickguards available on eBay and Amazon. Just search pickguard or something, and you get a plastic pickguard with an adhesive backing.

If a guitar one is too big, you can cut it to size using scissors.

They are generally removable without damage to surface.. but I find this to be somewhat irrelevant as after installing, it becomes a somewhat permanent part of the instrument.

Jerryc41
05-18-2019, 06:13 AM
I dont know if this has been mentioned yet, but there is an abundance of purpose-made pickguards available on eBay and Amazon. Just search pickguard or something, and you get a plastic pickguard with an adhesive backing.

If a guitar one is too big, you can cut it to size using scissors.

They are generally removable without damage to surface.. but I find this to be somewhat irrelevant as after installing, it becomes a somewhat permanent part of the instrument.

Yes, I saw them, but they are too big and too obvious. I want invisible, removable protection. I'd be concerned about how removable they are.

I suspect the LCD protectors I'm getting will be too easily removable, especially on wood, but I'll have to wait till Tuesday to find out.

kissing
05-19-2019, 05:39 AM
Yes, I saw them, but they are too big and too obvious. I want invisible, removable protection. I'd be concerned about how removable they are.

I suspect the LCD protectors I'm getting will be too easily removable, especially on wood, but I'll have to wait till Tuesday to find out.


There are transparent versions of the guitar pickguards, just so you know.

I have actually used the LCD protectors on my Risa electric ukulele in the past.
It worked and was safely removable. But it may be more of a challenge cutting it into an aesthetically pleasing shape.

Either way works - perhaps LCD protector adhesive is a tad softer than the guitar pickguard type.

Kenn2018
05-19-2019, 03:40 PM
When I bought a used MyaMoe koa tenor ukulele it came with a clear mylar pick guard on it. It is so clear, it’s hard to see that it’s even there.

Brian, the person I bought the uke from, said that he and several people at the Reno Uke Group he belongs to, buy the self-adhesive mylar material from StewMac and then has a local luthier, Terry Webb of Sundance Guitars, install it on the instrument. It looks excellent and protects the wood of the top.

He also told me that the luthier can also remove the material without problems. I can’t vouch for that, because I haven’t had one removed.

www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Pickguard_Materials/Clear_Pickguard_Materials_Set_of_4.html

StewMac charges $20 for a pack of 4. Plus shipping.

Here's a photo he sent me showing the pickguard. There is a VERY fine, light line going from the top edge of the bridge to the right edge of the uke. It's trimmed around the rosette and extends upwards to about 1/4" of the top edge of the bout following the curve of the right side down to the horizontal line from the bridge.

118138

Jerryc41
05-19-2019, 04:03 PM
When I bought a used MyaMoe koa tenor ukulele it came with a clear mylar pick guard on it. It is so clear, it’s hard to see that it’s even there.

Brian, the person I bought the uke from, said that he and several people at the Reno Uke Group he belongs to, buy the self-adhesive mylar material from StewMac and then has a local luthier, Terry Webb of Sundance Guitars, install it on the instrument. It looks excellent and protects the wood of the top.

He also told me that the luthier can also remove the material without problems. I can’t vouch for that, because I haven’t had one removed.

www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Pickguard_Materials/Clear_Pickguard_Materials_Set_of_4.html

StewMac charges $20 for a pack of 4. Plus shipping.

Here's a photo he sent me showing the pickguard. There is a VERY fine, light line going from the top edge of the bridge to the right edge of the uke. It's trimmed around the rosette and extends upwards to about 1/4" of the top edge of the bout following the curve of the right side down to the horizontal line from the bridge.

118138

Thanks. I'll look at that. I found some pieces of LCD protectors today, and I experimented putting them on and off the wooden furniture. No problem. I'm not rushing into this, though.

I like your "signature."

Jerryc41
05-19-2019, 04:04 PM
When I bought a used MyaMoe koa tenor ukulele it came with a clear mylar pick guard on it. It is so clear, itís hard to see that itís even there.

Brian, the person I bought the uke from, said that he and several people at the Reno Uke Group he belongs to, buy the self-adhesive mylar material from StewMac and then has a local luthier, Terry Webb of Sundance Guitars, install it on the instrument. It looks excellent and protects the wood of the top.

He also told me that the luthier can also remove the material without problems. I canít vouch for that, because I havenít had one removed.

www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Pickguard_Materials/Clear_Pickguard_Materials_Set_of_4.html

StewMac charges $20 for a pack of 4. Plus shipping.

Here's a photo he sent me showing the pickguard. There is a VERY fine, light line going from the top edge of the bridge to the right edge of the uke. It's trimmed around the rosette and extends upwards to about 1/4" of the top edge of the bout following the curve of the right side down to the horizontal line from the bridge.

118138

Thanks. I'll look at that. I found some pieces of LCD protectors today, and I experimented putting them on and off the wooden furniture. No problem. I'm not rushing into this, though.

I like your "signature."

Jerryc41
05-20-2019, 12:38 AM
When I bought a used MyaMoe koa tenor ukulele it came with a clear mylar pick guard on it. It is so clear, itís hard to see that itís even there.

Brian, the person I bought the uke from, said that he and several people at the Reno Uke Group he belongs to, buy the self-adhesive mylar material from StewMac and then has a local luthier, Terry Webb of Sundance Guitars, install it on the instrument. It looks excellent and protects the wood of the top.

He also told me that the luthier can also remove the material without problems. I canít vouch for that, because I havenít had one removed.

StewMac charges $20 for a pack of 4. Plus shipping.

Here's a photo he sent me showing the pickguard. There is a VERY fine, light line going from the top edge of the bridge to the right edge of the uke. It's trimmed around the rosette and extends upwards to about 1/4" of the top edge of the bout following the curve of the right side down to the horizontal line from the bridge.

That looks great - since I can't see it. :)

I'm at the point where I'm wondering about paying StewMac $39.95 for free shipping. Will I buy enough to make it worthwhile. I just paid $10 in shipping for strap buttons. Will I need anything else. I have the material in my cart, so I'll have to decide.

hollisdwyer
05-20-2019, 05:22 AM
Jerry, when you finally settled on a solution I’d like to hear if you think that the pick guard material adversely effects the sound board sonically. I might ask a few Luthiers what they think because if no adverse effect I’d be interested in getting some of this stuff also.

Jerryc41
05-20-2019, 05:38 AM
Jerry, when you finally settled on a solution I’d like to hear if you think that the pick guard material adversely effects the sound board sonically. I might ask a few Luthiers what they think because if no adverse effect I’d be interested in getting some of this stuff also.

I doubt the pick guard would affect the sound enough for my ears to notice a difference. Otherwise, no guitars would have them. Of course, Willy Nelson doesn't use a guard, but his guitar has a big hole there. :)

I found an envelop full of various kinds of LCD protectors, but I think I'll order the stuff from Stew-Mac. Our local leader put clear plastic on his expensive Martin to prevent further scratches, and I'm sure he didn't agonize over what to use.

Jerryc41
05-20-2019, 09:48 AM
I can't bring myself to click "Buy" on a $20 item with $10 shipping. Maybe I can find m ore to buy.

YogiTom
05-20-2019, 11:33 AM
I used to own one of these for my trumpet days, but never imagined for a second it would have been made for stringed instrument players...

https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Accessories/Hand_Exercisers/DAddario_Planet_Waves_Varigrip_Hand_Exerciser.html

Or perhaps some interesting strings from Dunlop?

https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Accessories/Strings/Ukulele_Strings/Dunlop_Ukulele_Strings.html

Does that put you at enough in your cart? :p

zztush
05-20-2019, 12:00 PM
Screen shield for Nexus7 is the best according to this site.
https://yellow.exblog.jp/237695814/

He tried iPad one, but it has glue only on the edge of the shield.

https://i.ibb.co/brbhbYg/2.png (https://ibb.co/7GkckBJ)

hollisdwyer
05-20-2019, 03:23 PM
I doubt the pick guard would affect the sound enough for my ears to notice a difference. Otherwise, no guitars would have them. Of course, Willy Nelson doesn't use a guard, but his guitar has a big hole there. :)

I found an envelop full of various kinds of LCD protectors, but I think I'll order the stuff from Stew-Mac. Our local leader put clear plastic on his expensive Martin to prevent further scratches, and I'm sure he didn't agonize over what to use.

The area of a soundboard that is covered by a pick guard on a guitar is so much less proportionally than on a Uke (especially anything smaller than a Baritone). That was the point of my question. However, the upper bout, where you would stick the pick guard material may not contribute much to the sound of a Uke. I don’t know what is the case here. If there is not downside I’d like to do the same as you’re considering. I strum quite hard at times.

Kenn2018
05-20-2019, 05:26 PM
The area of a soundboard that is covered by a pick guard on a guitar is so much less proportionally than on a Uke (especially anything smaller than a Baritone). That was the point of my question. However, the upper bout, where you would stick the pick guard material may not contribute much to the sound of a Uke. I don’t know what is the case here. If there is not downside I’d like to do the same as you’re considering. I strum quite hard at times.

According to Brian, the person I bought the MyaMoe from, the pick guard does not affect the sound in any appreciable way. He has more than one he put the guards on. I didn't hear the tenor without the guard, so I have no point of comparison. But it sounds great with it.

A caveat, the MyaMoe koa has a Trueoil finish with a final lemon oil on top of that. The pick guard has an adhesive back. I don't know what kind of adhesive is used on the screen guards. But I imagine in both cases, a luthier would be needed to remove them. And to also remove any adhesive residue.

I'm not sure a static cling guard would work on anything but a high gloss finish, but I don't know that for sure. The sun shade I use in my car is static cling and it doesn't work on a porous or non-smooth surface. But sticks to the glass for a while before it starts to curl.

hollisdwyer
05-24-2019, 05:19 AM
According to Brian, the person I bought the MyaMoe from, the pick guard does not affect the sound in any appreciable way. He has more than one he put the guards on. I didn't hear the tenor without the guard, so I have no point of comparison. But it sounds great with it.

A caveat, the MyaMoe koa has a Trueoil finish with a final lemon oil on top of that. The pick guard has an adhesive back. I don't know what kind of adhesive is used on the screen guards. But I imagine in both cases, a luthier would be needed to remove them. And to also remove any adhesive residue.

I'm not sure a static cling guard would work on anything but a high gloss finish, but I don't know that for sure. The sun shade I use in my car is static cling and it doesn't work on a porous or non-smooth surface. But sticks to the glass for a while before it starts to curl.

I asked Beau Hannam about my concern about a pick guard and he reinforced what Kenn2018 said. He also sent me links to both removable and permanent material to use for this purpose. I’ll post them later. Right now I’m and trying to get over my jet lag after my flight to Hawaii yesterday.

Jerryc41
05-27-2019, 08:39 AM
I tried several different LCD protectors that I had on hand on my koa Fluke, and there wasn't much difference between them. One of them (for a cell phone) didn't want to stay in place. The best was a Zagg. I've used Zagg on cell phones and cameras, and they've been excellent. Very tough. It's become harder to find them in the sizes I want. The two different kinds of LCD protectors I used (both for cell phones), above and below the strumming area, are easy to remove. I'll have to see how well they stay in place.

The iPad protectors I bought don't seem to have any adhesive at all, so I won't even try them. I'll cut them to fit my Kindles. They not available now, anyway.

I have some of these Supershieldz in cell phone size, but they don't seem very sticky. I'll try them tonight. I'm not very hopeful.

I'm not going to get the sheets from StewMac because, aside from cost, they are very sticky, and they could damage the wood if I try to remove them.

"Warning: The adhesive on this Mylarģ is very sticky. If you do not have experience working with this product, it is advised that you practice on a not so important instrument first, or seek the help of a professional luthier. Removal can be difficult, and finish damage is always possible!"

I think these Zagg iPad protectors might be good, provided they have enough adhesive. For $7.99, you get enough plastic to cover four iPads. I need only about 2" X 3" for a uke.

I'll have to post this without any links and then try to add them.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WYA852/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Learn_About_Pickguard_Making_and_Repair/Self-Adhesive_Clear_Mylar_Plastic.html

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00NBKULA0/?coliid=I3SC5RJBXOGM59&colid=1K6S0U4KGY5NH&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

hollisdwyer
05-27-2019, 02:12 PM
I asked Beau Hannam about my concern about a pick guard and he reinforced what Kenn2018 said. He also sent me links to both removable and permanent material to use for this purpose. I’ll post them later. Right now I’m and trying to get over my jet lag after my flight to Hawaii yesterday.

These are the permanent ones:
https://www.lmii.com/pickguards-blank-sheets/2014-pickguard-sheet-transparent-self-adhesive-10-x-12-x-005.html

And these are the removable:

https://www.lmii.com/457-pickguards-pre-shaped/s-164/adhesive-removable