View Full Version : New Ukulele and my pick guard protection.

11-28-2011, 04:19 AM
Hi I wanted to share with you my method of protecting the beautiful cedar top on my new (used) Kala Concert Kala\Cedar limited edition uke.

Here are two pictures showing the pattern, an extra protector, and finished product, I put it under glare on purpose to see there is almost no difference in the glare on the part that is protected.

Also a picture of my new Ceder top Uke next to my beautiful Antonio Loriente cedartop "Clarita" which is my main instrument.

NOTE: the picutre shows the protector in place, practically invisible!


I used an Ipad Screen protector (much cheaper), the one that has the actual protector sandwiched between two clear sheets. Anyway, I made a pattern on an 8x10 piece of paper by tracing the area on the uke. just put the paper on top between the strings and carefully trace the outline with a pencil. I did it inside leaving the perfing exposed.

I used a small can to make a perfect circle of the soundhole.

I then cut the pattern on paper, and used it to trace on top of the Sandwiched plastic screen protector.

NOTE: YOU NEED to make sure to draw on the TOP of the protector so the adhesive side is on the right side.

Once the outline and the inside (fretboard and sound hole) were cut,
I took off both (non-adhesive sheets) off the protector, and gently and carefully slid it between the strings and the uke. Air bubbles are not as critical as when doing this to an ipad, and they will dissapear in a day or two.

I have a similar setup on my spruce top but that was the expensive pick guard and I see no difference except the price.

These are static, with very light adhesive, so they won't damage the instrument and can always be taken off.

Now I can strum away to my heart's content.

By the way, you can check out some of my classical guitar stuff on http://www.youtube.com/user/olarte99 - No uke videos yet...

Hope this helps you as well.


11-28-2011, 06:29 AM
Congrats on the new uke, and good luck with the project!

11-28-2011, 07:23 AM
good job, that's the one thing I didn't like about my tenor Kala cedartop. so darn easy to ding/scratch the top. I went and finished it with tung oil. made the top much harder and didn't seem to effect the sound, that uke was loud!

11-28-2011, 07:59 AM
Thanks, and by the way, the project is done the picture with the pattern cutout shows the applied protector... practically invisible, and now I can strum to my heart's content.

Congrats on the new uke, and good luck with the project!

11-28-2011, 08:01 AM
Ah yes, but the beauty and warmth of cedar makes it worth it. I have had my guitar (pictured next to the uke) for a few years and only has one or two dimples... (character) and that one I use without any plastic guard because I don't strum it at all.

good job, that's the one thing I didn't like about my tenor Kala cedartop. so darn easy to ding/scratch the top. I went and finished it with tung oil. made the top much harder and didn't seem to effect the sound, that uke was loud!

mr moonlight
11-28-2011, 09:51 PM
Nice to she's being well taken care of.

PS. I also have an Antonio Loriente Clarita, but the Spruce top version. Had it for about 10 years now. They have a pretty nice line of classical guitars at really good prices.

03-19-2012, 06:50 AM
Hi, Ivan. I like this post, and seem to keep coming back to it. I have a cedar topped Pono, and I love it! absolutely love it. No dings and only one tiny scratch so far. You're right, nothing beats cedar (except maybe spruce...but I like cedar).

I am concerned, slightly, about the adhesive on the iPad guard Although it's minimal, it is there. Made to be put on Gorilla glass of the iPad, I do wonder if, over time (6-12 months) it could take the finish off the instrument.

I'm thinking about using overhead projector clear plastic (sold at office supply stores) and see if static electricity alone would keep it on. If it's the thin ones (in this instance, cheap is good), I think they can be fairly clingy--at least to one another--I'm not sure about to cedar.

My wife had an idea about heavy duty catering strength cling wrap. Might not give as much protection, but might be acceptable, esp on a satin finish uke.

Perhaps I'm overthinking the adhesive, but I just don't want to cause more problems than the potential scratches themselves.

03-19-2012, 07:15 AM
I've been using this for a while now and I don't expect any problems, however, you can always get clear plastic film like you mentioned from overhead projectors. Also Stringsbymail sell similar materials which I had used in the past for years until I decided to use the ipad cover type instead.

Mind you I only use these on glossy finished as the plastic does not really hold or look ok on the non-glossy finishes. And only the glossy finishes seem to be the ones prone to showing scratches and such.

07-16-2012, 10:56 PM
I'm in an area where I don't have the option to buy an official pick guard for my ukulele. My Kamaka ukulele has a lacquer finish and I thought of using the Gibson restoration polish on the ukulele if it ever got scratched but maybe prevention is much better than cure so I'm looking into your idea of using an ipad screen protector and wanted another update from you to see how the screen protector is fairing. I don't tend to strum too much as I prefer finger style tunes on the ukulele and I tend to strum over the fretboard out of habit from the way I hold the ukulele so the body isn't in too much danger unless I play while my guitar gently weeps and that forces me play over the body when I get to the higher frets.

I'm a little worried that if I remove the screen protector off for another after maybe a year or two as the screen proctors I've seen on my iphone can get scratched, that it will take some of the lacquer finish off due to it just being in contact for so long and that it bonds over time with the finish OR that I get a two color tone finish where the screen protector is compared to where there is no protector.

An update would be greatly appreciated thanks.

Skinny Money McGee
09-17-2012, 07:48 AM
I've been looking for a pickguard too. Read somewhere using that sticky back mylar sheeting can damage the finish. I have a Kanile'a with the glossy smooth finish, and just bought 5 sheets of the window decal film. You can print something on it and use it for a window sticker. It's kind of that rubberized clear film that uses static cling to attach. You can pull it up and put it back on as many times as you want.

I bought (5) 8.5 x 11 sheets for 9.25 (free shipping). Can cut out 6 or more pickguards per sheet. Thats 30+ pickguards for 9.25. Probably much cheaper then a single piece made specifically for an iPad. Not sure how well this would work with a satin finish uke, but it works well with glossy finish.

Anyway, go to ebay and look up: Papilio Inkjet Static Cling Decal Paper